|August 6, 2005 12:06 - Honey, Hollyhocks and a Nameless Gnome
To an outsider beekeeping sounds like an idyllic occupation. Once you have acquired your bees you have a huge workforce who will carry out the hard work of pollinating plants and then producing the honey. As beekeeper all you have to do is deliver your hives to the farms and orchards and leave the bees to perform their duties while you get paid. And then you can sell the honey too. Needless to say it is not quite that simple as Jonathan Dubbin explains. Read more..
"Grandma's Garden" is the title of this piece by Virginia Hayes in which she laments the passing of several plants that have fallen from favor over recent years. Although she admits that "You can’t grow everything", she does ask us to look again at such old favorites as dahlias, hollyhocks and shasta daisies. There is also a special mention for lace cap hydrangeas. Read more..
The BBC has an extensive gardening section on its website which is full of useful information and tips. There is a Neighbourhood Gardener scheme which has recently acquired a new mascot - a garden gnome. You can enter a competition to choose a name for the gnome. Find out the details here.
August 14, 2005 17:57 - Flagstaff Woes and Winter Gardening
Even a Master Gardener can't always get it right. "It all started with the sweet peas that failed to germinate. Then the kale was ravaged by flea beetles. The lettuce looked nice but was too bitter to eat. The basil bolted before developing enough leaves to harvest. Dozens of zucchini formed but rotted before they were even two inches long. Then the cucumbers failed to produce any fruit. And I have yet to pick a single ripe tomato." But next year it will all be different. To learn why, read more.
If you want to know what new trees and shrubs are going to be in the garden centers in 2006, Nancy Szerlag has been looking through the wholesale catalogs and can give you a sneek preview of what you can expect. There are more than fifty new varieties of which hydrangeas and hibiscus are just two. Read more..
"Hot temperatures call for winter gardening" according to James Welsh. "Now is the time to be thinking about your winter garden." His message is clear, prepare for planting now so that you will have crops to harvest through the cold of winter. Read more..
August 20, 2005 10:45 - Grass Seed and Stinkhorns
It really is too much - you've spread mulch all over your flower beds to help retain moisture but then a fungus appears in the mulch. What is worse is that it is an embarrassing fungus which has been identified as "Phallus impudicus". How to get rid of it was the question posed to Michael Martin Mills and his reply was that you will have to remove all the mulch and some of the topsoil as well. But he has a novel suggestion for simplifying the task. Read more..
"Overseeding is one of the most important lawn care tasks, yet few homeowners ever do it" says Jeff Ball. But if you fertilize your lawn properly why should you need to add new seed is the question that he is often asked. To find the answer, read more.
As we near the end of Summer and Fall is fast approaching merchants are gearing up for September and October which some regard as their busiest months. Fall and spring are the two big seasons for bulbs because this is when gardeners plan and plant their bulbs and plants that will bloom in the coming spring and summer, respectively. To encourage you to take a look at their stocks Dutch Gardens are offering $25 off on orders of $50 or more. Well worth a look.
August 24, 2005 12:00 - Late Summer Bloomers and Some Bargains
Here's a headline that caught my eye "Summer doesn’t have to end with beige". If, like the writer, your lawn is brown and your beds are dry and cracked then just remember that it is possible to have continuing color in your yard. Late summer bloomers include Lobelia cardinalis which is now available in various pastel shades in addition to the original red. Rudbeckias also feature at this time of year as does the Hibiscus Rose of Sharon. Read more..
While most merchants are gearing up for their fall promotions Gardeners Supply Company is having an End of Summer Sale. Everything from Flower Seed Balls to Metal Sunflowers, from Copper Obelisks to Stainless Steel Gazing Balls, and Solar Lights to Pots and Planters. Also included are Seedstarting items which could be just what you are looking for at this time of year. In all 184 items have been reduced. Just click on the banner and take a look.