|January 7, 2006 20:51 - Making Plans and GWS (gardening withdrawal syndrome)
"Have you planned your garden yet?" asks Kenn Alan. "Now is the time to plan where you’re going to place these plants in your garden. Measure your planting areas with a simple tape measure. Transfer the dimensions to graph paper." He then lists other tasks that should be tackled at this time of year. Test your soil and amend accordingly, have your lawnmower serviced and prune your hedges and shrubs. Read more..
Bruce Spangenberg is also concerned with planning, but he takes one step back and lists a whole series of questions that you should ask yourself before you choose new plants and shrubs for your garden. Plan before you purchase is his motto and, once you reach the end of his long checklist, you may find that your list of new plants has shrunk once you realize that they do not meet all the requirements. Read more..
Roger Hart from Mole Hill Farm is also planning and, in his case, it is his vegetable seed order. "For the past couple of days I have been putting together my vegetable seed orders and it is a relief to sit down and write; staring at a computer screen is easier on the eyes than squinting at seed catalogs." And it's not just a strain on the eyes - he finds the whole business of choosing varieties a stressful experience. Read more..
And may I wish you a belated happy New Year!
January 16, 2006 10:35 - Containers, Winter Weeds and Dementia
While many plants grow more slowly or even become dormant in the winter, there is one group that thrives whatever the season. Weeds are the culprits as Gene Joyner explains: "During the winter months a lot of cool-season weeds appear almost as if by magic and combine with the perennial and warm-season weeds that are already out there. Some people have a much worse weed problem in the winter months than they do during the rainy summer season. If you want to combat weeds in your landscape, you don't have a whole lot of choices." Read more..
If you are a newcomer to container gardening or perhaps you have used containers but your efforts have not been as successful as you had hoped, then this piece is for you. Pamela Crawford has 10 tips to make your puttering with pots easier and more enjoyable. Read more..
The health benefits of gardening are mentioned in the news from time to time. An item I noticed today suggests that daily gardening can reduce the risk of suffering from dementia by 36 per cent. For added protection you should also take a daily walk and have a drink afterwards. According to the study "Drinkers were 34 per cent less likely to develop the disease than teetotallers". Read more..
January 19, 2006 15:00 - New for 2006 Plus Glass and Roofs
What's hot for the new year and, more importantly perhaps, what's not? Don Davis takes a look at the ins and outs for 2006. "New plants, products and gardening practices are always coming along. Here is a review of what seems to be in and out in 2006." Everything from Knockout roses to purple carrots and Japanese beetle traps to biofungicides. To check whether the plants and shrubs in your backyard are "in" or "out", read more..
The freshest fruit and vegetables you can enjoy are those that only have to travel the few steps down your garden path to your kitchen table. How can any greengrocer or supermarket compete with homegrown produce for freshness? Impossible you might think, but one store has come up with the answer. Paula Companio, owner of a natural food store in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, is planning to grow crops on her roof. Read more..
In a recent post I mentioned GWS or gardening withdrawal syndrome which afflicts some gardeners in winter when they cannot go outside and get their hands into the soil. One activity that you can enjoy at this time is sprouting seeds as described in the latest issue of my newsletter Garden Ramblings. But for some proper winter gardening you need more than a couple of trays and a glass jar. "Whether they want to grow vegetables from seed beginning in late February, watch their favorite tropical flowers and ferns grow through winter or tend to a collection of heat-loving orchids, a select breed of gardeners in the Chattahoochee Valley have opted for the biggest gardening tool of all: a backyard greenhouse" Anne Addington reports. Read more..
January 23, 2006 15:35 - Whats the Rush? Auctions and Cool Tools
Are you too busy for gardening? Don't have enough time to look after your backyard in the way that you used to? If so you're just the sort of person that Joe Lamp'l believes needs to garden. "These days we want everything now, so we can get on to the next task. Even microwave popcorn that once took only three minutes has a new and improved version that pops more quickly." Slow down he suggests. "Gardening is meant to be savored." Read more..
There's a new auction site specially created for gardeners where you can buy and sell plants, seeds or anything else as long as it is connected with gardening. Website founder and owner, Al Stubblefield, explains, "During the last couple of years there has been many times when I wanted to help members who were going through some very tough times. One member called to say she could no longer afford an Internet hookup. Other members have lost everything in hurricanes and natural disasters. Some have lost jobs or suffered illness in their family. All this time, I've struggled to find a way for GardenHere to be able to help our members –viola . . . an auction area for us to share and help each other." If you decide to register please mention my username "hughe". GardenHere Auction
"Spring Is Coming - Get Ready With Spring's Coolest Tools" proclaims Gardener's Supply Company. A steerable tractor scoot is their featured item for just $69.95. Or if you're not yet ready for Spring, their After Holiday Sale is still on until Feb 1.
January 27, 2006 11:03 - Gesneriads, Lawyers and Grandma's Cutting Garden
What, you may ask, do Gesneriads and Lawyers have in common? Well nothing actually, except that they both receive a mention in gardening news. It seems that two gardening clubs have fallen out over who should hold the annual Easter garden festival. Solicitors have been instructed to resolve the dispute and even the local mayor has become involved. Read more..
There is no dispute over the gesneriads, in fact a laid back approach is the best recipe for success according to Kenn Alan. Gesneriads include a number of popular houseplants among which are African violets which are the subject of his article.
"First of all, I have discovered that African violets require about 85 percent neglect. Now, by this statement, I don’t mean that you should ignore them for 54 days in a row per year. I mean you should not water them everyday and feed them once a month. My African violets and streptocarpi rely on me just noticing their needs." Read more..
If you enjoy a touch of nostalgia you'll treasure the distinctive blossoms - reminiscent of your childhood days - in Grandma's Cutting Garden by Breck's, as there's nothing to compare with the beauty of an old-fashioned flower garden in bloom. You can enjoy all five distinctive varieties in bouquets, too, as each one makes an excellent, long-lasting cut flower - the perfect touch to add warmth and colour inside and outside your home.