Stinging nettles

Delectable, Edible Stinging Nettle

There are a number of edible weeds, including dandelion, purslane, and lambs quarter. While it might be hard to swallow, figuratively speaking, stinging nettle may be added to that list. Urtica dioica, or stinging nettle is a perennial herb native to Europe and most of North America. The Latin term is quite descriptive: urtica means […]


Lawn and Garden Safety

The weather is warming up and many of us are heading outside to our lawns and gardens. As you tend to your gardens, here are some guidelines from the Center for Disease Control ( to keep your gardening season a safe one. When working outside, protect yourself from sunburn by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long […]

Argiope feasting on prey

Along Came a Spider

Spiders. Are they creepy, crawly creatures to be feared, monitored, squished or evaded as quickly as possible? Or, wonderful beings that add immensely to gardens? According to mental health statistics, arachnophobia, or a fear of spiders that overwhelms reason, is one of the top ten phobias with millions of sufferers worldwide. In the United States, […]

P1000825 (Large)

Made in the Shade

Some homeowners have been blessed with an abundance of beautiful, mature trees in the landscape. This means there is also an abundance of shade, which poses some challenges when choosing plants to surround the trees. Landscaping in the shade does not have to be limited to the ever popular hostas. While there are a wide […]

Oriental Poppy

The Bold, Vibrant Oriental Poppy

Now that spring has officially arrived, the flowers will bloom and brighten the corners of the landscape. First will be the bulb flowers such as the crocus, daffodil, hyacinth, and tulips. Then, a late spring, eye-catching brilliant display of Oriental poppies will dazzle the eyes for many gardeners. Oriental poppies, Papaver orientale, are an old-fashioned […]

Harvesting Cinnamon

Spicing it up!

We might not give spices much thought while we’re using them, but many have a history that goes back to the beginning of civilization. Spices have caused wars and great adventures. They have been used as currency, status symbols, medicine, and for embalming. Spices come from the roots, flowers, fruits, seeds, or bark of herbaceous […]

Hand pruners and loppers

Pruning Away, My Friend

Early spring is a great time to get the gardening season under way. March is the ideal time to prune trees and bushes. The branches are still bare, revealing the structure of the plant and making any necessary shaping a snap. In addition, insects and diseases that might attack an open wound are not active, […]

Romaine Lettuce 1

Lettuce Think Spring!

Now that Groundhog Day has come and gone and we are “assured” of an early spring, it is time to start thinking about planning the gardens. Lettuce seeds can be put into the ground as early as mid-April, a mere 8 weeks in the future. Although the selection in the grocery stores has vastly improved […]