Back in the mid 90s, researchers proposed a new way of planting trees that involved digging a wide, shallow, saucer-shaped planting hole that measured five times the diameter of the tree’s root ball. The idea was that roots would grow more rapidly in the monstrous planting hole, thereby enabling the tree to become established faster. Lots of so-called experts immediately jumped on the bandwagon and praised it as the most important revelation in tree planting since the invention of the shovel. But the question is, Does it really work?
For me, the 2017 gardening season officially began last Sunday. I planted potatoes and onions. I pruned some fruit trees, a few Japanese maples, and several shrubs. I spread five bales of straw in the paths of my veggie gardens. I tidied up my ornamental beds in preparation for planting. And I raked and composted well over a dozen trash cans full of leaves. Then, just as the sun was setting, I sat on the porch with a beverage and admired my accomplishments. (Full disclosure: Later that evening I also took two tabs of Aleve PM.)
Years ago it was called edible landscaping. Now it’s termed foodscaping, and basically it refers to the practice of planting edibles in and among ornamentals. It’s great for folks who don’t want to maintain a traditional veggie or herb garden, but love the idea of growing and harvesting fresh produce. And here are some suggestions for putting the practice into practice.
A lot of landscape plants are looking pretty sad right now. In fact, some of them look downright dead. The question is, will they bounce back this spring, or should I dig them up and start thinking about what to plant in their place?
Acer palmatum ‘Sango kaku’, better known as the coral bark maple, has been growing in popularity in recent years, and with good reason: It’s beautiful all year long, even in the dead of winter – as in right now -- when its show-stopping, coral-colored trunk and twigs are at their peak.
Not every bird is lucky enough to find a warm, cozy spot when the weather turns foul. Even those that do find shelter still need food and water to survive. And there’s a genuine payoff for gardeners who tend to their flock: The birds will call your garden home and eat everything from weed seeds to pesky plant pests.
More houseplants bite the dust during winter than any other season, and that’s too bad. But it’s really not all that hard to keep your houseplants healthy and happy this time of year. Just follow these suggestions.
Sales of Poinsettias in the U.S. will top $250 million in the six weeks leading up to Christmas. That’s a lot of green spent on a plant most people toss in the trash after the holidays. But then again, can you imagine Christmas without Poinsettias?
When it comes to gorgeous fall color in the landscape, trees tend to get all the glory. And deservedly so. But there are a number of spectacular shrubs whose fall color rivals even the showiest of trees, and here are a few of my favorites.
In my final installment of terrific trees, I’m gonna go out on a limb and focus on several not-so-well-known trees, all of which are white pines.