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 […]

Chocolate plant Berlandiera lyrata

Chocolate for the Garden

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many people turn to chocolate as the universally acceptable gift. Instead of going for the calorie laden type, consider trying something that will not add to the waistline. Give the gift of plants or seeds to make a “chocolate” garden. Some of the plants look like chocolate, but […]

Sweet Peppers in all colors

Sweet or Hot, Peppers are Popping

Since 1995, the International Herb Society has selected an “Herb of the Year”, basing their selection on three areas: culinary, medicinal, and decorative uses. In order to be selected, the herb must perform outstandingly in two of the three areas. The 2016 selection, peppers Capsicum ssp, meets the standard in all three. Peppers come in such […]