I love rain, especially when it follows a long day of planting or starts right after I’ve finished mowing the lawn. But too much of a good thing is rarely a good thing, and too much rain can wreak havoc in the garden, often in some rather unsuspected ways.
I saw my first hummingbird of the season last Monday, and it prompted me to think not only about cleaning and setting out my feeders, but also adding a few more Hummer-friendly plants in my landscape. And for those of you who are considering doing the same thing, here’s a list of plants preferred by 10 out of 10 hummingbirds.
At some point, all gardeners hear the term pH, perhaps most often when trying to figure out how to turn their hydrangeas either pink or blue. But not all gardeners realize just how critically important it is in terms of how plants grow. And yet there are certain plant problems that we may think are the result of pest or disease or fertilizer issues, when in fact the real culprit is an improper pH.
For years, I’ve been asked repeatedly, “What’s your favorite plant”? It’s a difficult question to answer, because there are so many incredible candidates. But the other day, while pruning my Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ bonsai, I came to the realization that my favorite plant – or more specifically plant group – would have to be Japanese maples.
Container gardening is more popular than ever. And I couldn’t be happier about that, because I’ve been a container gardening fanatic for decades, and it’s encouraging to know other gardeners – especially newbies -- are discovering just how rewarding it can be. But exactly what are people growing?
In a word…everything.
That’s right. Soil is alive. It’s a living organism. And until you get your head around that concept, you’ll never really get gardening. Sorry, but it’s true. So make those three words your gardening mantra. Carve them into the handle of your favorite shovel. Paint them graffiti-style on your fence. Shout them out at the top of your lungs for all your neighbors to hear!
Morning lows earlier this week were colder than a polar bear’s paws. As a result I had at least a dozen friends ask me what effect, if any, the way-below-freezing temperatures might have had on landscape plants. My responses ranged from “We’ll have to wait and see” to “It’s a goner” depending on the plant in question. Here’s why.
Who says you can’t combine peppers and petunias? Some of the coolest gardens I’ve ever seen contained a mix of edibles and ornamentals. And whether you call it edible landscaping or foodscaping or whatever, it’s great for folks who don’t have the space or desire to maintain a traditional vegetable or herb garden, but love the idea of harvesting fresh produce.