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?
Here in our neck of the woods, we have dozens of great trees to choose from, both deciduous and evergreen. But there are three in particular that are as close to foolproof as you can get because they tolerate an incredibly wide range of soil conditions, are relatively pest and disease free, and are tough as nails. Oh and on top of all that, they’re beautiful.
Imagine being able to add something to your garden that makes plants far less susceptible to insects and diseases, provides essential nutrients and micronutrients, improves soil structure and water retention, activates beneficial soil microbes, and basically provides the perfect growing conditions for anything and everything you grow. Now imagine that “something” is free.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about conifers, and it won’t be the last. My love affair with this amazing plant group began many years ago with a visit to Rich’s Foxwillow Pines Nursery in Woodstock, Illinois. Owner Rich Eyres took me on a tour of his place, and as he described the plants in his considerable (as in $12-million) inventory, his passion oozed like sap from a fresh-cut spruce.
This Saturday morning at 10:00, none other than Piet Stuifbergen of Holland-based exporter Stuifbergen Bloembollen will be at Southwood to share his vast knowledge of bulbs with us. I don’t pretend to know what Piet knows, but I have successfully planted thousands of bulbs over the years, so I thought I’d give you a brief primer on bulb planting in advance, including a few of my favorite tips and tricks. First, the basics.
I moved into my current home just over four years ago, and from day one I’ve dealt with rabbits ravaging my vegetable gardens. I actually made the situation worse by building fences to keep my three dogs out of the gardens, which basically created safe havens for the rabbits (and squirrels, but that’s another story).