My Craze for Conifers

My Craze for Conifers

A conifer is simply a plant that produces cones. That’s it. They can be deciduous or evergreen, but the vast majority are evergreen. What I love about conifers is the way in which the incredible range of sizes, colors, and textures can be used to enhance the look and feel of any garden, not to mention provide color in the dead of winter plus nesting sites and food sources for birds.

Bulbs: The Biggest and Best Bang for Your Buck

Bulbs: The Biggest and Best Bang for Your Buck

No other plant on the planet gives you more bang for your buck than a single, solitary, spring-flowering bulb, be it a daffodil or a hyacinth or a crocus or whatever. (Yes, I intentionally excluded tulips for the moment – more on them later.)Think about it: in most cases you shell out a buck or so for a gorgeous flower that will return year after year for decades. And in that time all the plant requires is an occasional drink and a light snack.

The Time to Plant is Now!

The Time to Plant is Now!

I’m no meteorologist, nor have I ever played one on TV. But I am a weather nerd, and the nerd in me says that the intense heat of summer and those awful heat indices of 110 or more are gone, to which I say good riddance. Because now we can all get back to the joys of digging in the dirt without the risk of heat stroke. So here’s a look at all the things you might want to consider planting, beginning this weekend.

Asian Jumping Worms!

Asian Jumping Worms!

I’ve been following stories about the bizarre – and extremely destructive – Asian Jumping worms for a few years, hoping that they would never make it to Oklahoma. Unfortunately, however, they have indeed been found in a few locations across the state, especially here in eastern Oklahoma. And that’s bad news. Potentially very bad news.

Sluggishness

Sluggishness

Slimy. Gross. Yucky. Those are just three words that quickly come to mind when I think about slugs, those slithering, nocturnal gastropods that can ravage everything from hostas to strawberries while we sleep. And yet, while there’s no getting around the fact that they’re both disgusting and destructive, they’re also fascinating creatures. Really they are.

Monarch Update

Monarch Update

At a press conference in Mexico City last January, scientists cheered when the official eastern monarch butterfly population was announced. And with good reason: The numbers were an impressive 144% increase over the previous year, and the highest recorded since 2006. At the same time, however, it was announced that the California western monarch population had declined by a stunning 86%. So what gives?

Leaves of Three, Let it Be!

Leaves of Three, Let it Be!

I was hiking with my five-year-old grandson not too long ago, and we came upon a large batch of poison ivy. “Leaves of three, let it be,” I said, to which he replied, “Huh?” I’m pretty sure I had the same puzzled look on my face when my grandfather said the same thing to me 60 years ago. But you’re never too young to learn how to recognize poison ivy, and you’re never too old to learn how to get rid of it.

Joe Gardener & Me

Joe Gardener & Me

Late last month, I flew to Atlanta to tape a television show with Joe Lamp’l, host of Growing a Greener World on PBS. In addition to the show, Joe has a huge presence on the web, and his website, joegardener.com, is a treasure trove of excellent information. He also offers online gardening courses, cranks out a regular podcast, and is all over social media. So why did he invite me to be on his show?

Watering Myths

Watering Myths

After a week in the mountains around Santa Fe, with lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s, I was less than excited to return home to sweltering heat and humidity. But then it is the middle of July, after all, so I had no reason to be surprised. After unpacking, I headed out to the garden to water, and that got me to thinking about a number of myths I frequently hear about watering. Seven myths to be exact.