Six new plant varieties and five new gardening products have won for the 2017 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 19th year of the Green Thumb Awards. Judges include garden writers like me, although I didn't judge this year. This week, we'll look at ...Read more
January is National Mail Order Gardening Month. Have you gotten garden catalogs in the mail yet? If you haven't received enough, or if you need more that are specific to a type of plant you want to grow, go to the Direct Gardening Association website for a list of companies that offer catalogs of plants and gardening tools. You will get a direct...Read more
Many people will be glad 2016 is over. Research has often shown that people can relieve stress in gardens, either through enjoying an existing garden or the act of gardening. For those of us who like to work in our gardens, it is important to sometimes stop working and literally smell the roses. Right this moment, resolve to enjoy your garden ...Read more
Q: We want to give a bird feeder and some seed to some friends for Christmas but don't want to get a cheap set. Which do you recommend?
A: For the feeder, you can't go wrong with one from Aspects or Droll Yankee. They're made in the U.S. and have a lifetime guarantee. You will not find these feeders in big box stores, as they both support the ...Read more
I am always on the lookout for space-saving designs. Several of my windows would be perfect for growing plants, but the windowsill is not wide enough to set a flowerpot. Besides, the cat would knock it off anyway. For a couple of years, I have been growing a phalaenopsis orchid upside-down in a Sky Planter from Boskke.
At first glance the pot ...Read more
There is still time to get presents for your gardener. The following are additional holiday gift options.
The Worx Aerocart 8-in-1 Wheelbarrow can carry 200 pounds, but the way it is balanced, it will only feel like 20 pounds. I like the fact that it has two wheels instead of one. I once tipped a one-wheeled wheelbarrow of concrete into a rose ...Read more
The gardener you're shopping for this holiday may tell you that they have all the tools they need. But here are a few they probably don't have and will be glad you gave to them.
I like combining several small items into one larger present. For instance, a pair of garden gloves, some insect repellent and a bottle of hand soap or hand lotion in a...Read more
If you have been in a grocery store or big-box store recently, I am sure you have seen red poinsettias for sale. Red poinsettias are the favorites; they easily outsell all the other colors. But in recent years, newer colors have become popular. Some of the new varieties are various purple, magenta and pink hues, as well as speckled and two-toned...Read more
If You Leave this Farm: The Dream Is DestroyedAmanda Farmer
A Memoir about courage, hope, and resilience. The story powerfully shows the internal struggle and conflict between personal desires, the crushing weight of constant submission to a father's misguided use of God-given authority, and the need to be accepted by one's ...
Looking for a holiday present for your gardener? A high-quality pruner is a valuable tool for any gardener. The repetitive motions of actions like hedge pruning can aggravate hand and wrist injuries. Your gardener will appreciate tools that are easy to use and reduce the amount of work and energy required to use them.
Hold your hand out in ...Read more
Q: I planned on tearing down a garage and the new empty space would be enough room to plant some dwarf fruit trees. Unfortunately, the project was delayed and the final location for the trees won't be ready before winter and the ground freezes solid. I already have some of the trees purchased. They are in a variety of pots. What would be the ...Read more
It's that time of year again -- time to get ready for winter. As our gardens prepare to go dormant for the winter, we can think ahead to the joy that bird feeding will bring. Fall is a good time to wash bird feeders and stock up on seed.
There are a few things to know in response to myths about bird feeding. First, birds will not become ...Read more
Q: Several local stores are selling sugar pumpkins. I have never heard of this kind of pumpkin. I was told it is good for making pies or using as a small jack-o'-lantern. I bought a few, and I want to plant the seeds to grow more of them for next year. Is this a good idea?
A: You can save the seeds, plant them and grow them, but you may not ...Read more
Q: I think you wrote that the preferred time to till soil in a vegetable garden is during fall, not spring. Why is that? I have always tilled in the spring.
A: It doesn't matter whether you have a northern garden that is planted in spring or a southern garden that is planted in fall. There are several reasons fall is the best time of year to ...Read more