Smart gardeners prepare for summer dry spells and drought. A little water can go a long way, if you plan ahead with effective water conservation techniques. Click here to read.
Want butterflies? A kaleidoscope of gossamer-winged beauties all a flutter in a cloud of garden flowers that you planted? The truth is, creating a butterfly garden is pretty effortless, because many truly easy garden flowers are big on the butterfly palate. And butterflies eat with their eyes, so the flowers they love are generally the vibrantly hued flowers that we love, too. Click here to read more.
Lilacs’ romantic looks and honeyed fragrance evoke Victorian gardens and sumptuous bouquets. In full spring glory, the soft, panicled blooms of lavender, purple, white, or pink bedeck the bushy shrubs, inspiring ooohs and ahhs. If only the show lasted longer: After just two weeks, the flowers fade, transforming most lilacs into plain shrubs with little landscape appeal. But this doesn’t have to be the case. A few lilacs break the mold by offering long-lasting good looks without shirking on flower quality. Read Article
For floral flamboyance, dahlias are hard to beat. The diversity of flower color and forms as well as growth habits and relative ease of culture make these ever-blooming tuberous plants favorites for gardeners worldwide. Read more...
The tendriled vines of peas produce delicious pods in cool spring weather, and their roots naturally fortify soil with nitrogen. Once warm weather comes on, they can be pulled and replanted again in late summer for a second crop in fall. Read more...
Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles have popularized high-protein garden veggies. Growing a good selection of nutritious, protein-packed grains and beans means expanding upon the standard repertoire of veggies. The list may include cool-season legumes, like chickpeas and fava beans, as well as winter grains and warm-season crops, such as edamame and amaranth. Read more
By default, gardens help the Earth by providing vital green space, but there are smart ways to boost a garden’s overall value—environmentally, socially, and economically. Some steps are small. For example, growing your own food organically takes little effort and offers big rewards with fresh, low-cost produce. Composting your own food scraps and fallen leaves reduces landfill waste and results in rich compost for your garden. Similarly, choosing the right garden plants will feed wildlife and make your yard more ecologically sound.
Sometimes old-time gardening advice is the best advice. When I searched for the most complete tips for growing the best strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa), I eventually turned to two of my oldest gardening books–How to Grow Vegetables and Fruits by the Organic Method (J.I. Rodale, 1961) and the Cyclopedia of Horticulture (L.H. Bailey, 1902). Both offer a wealth of information for strawberry growing success. In fact, my new strawberry patch is already producing good fruit! Read full article.
IN MY alter ego as a superhero promoter of underdog plants, I envision myself donning a mighty green mask and chlorophyll-enriched cape to shine a dazzling spotlight on the lesser-known members of the genus Monarda. Read about these pollinator powerhouses!
Roses have a bad rap when it comes to pests and diseases—causing ecologically minded gardeners to avoid growing these seemingly needy, unsustainable garden beauties. But this need not be so. With the dawn of more resilient rose varieties and better rose-care products, it is easier than ever to successfully grow roses organically.
IN THE COMMERCIAL CUT-FLOWER INDUSTRY, it’s not easy being green. In response, an influx of eco-conscious growers and designers are embracing the so-called Slow Flower Movement—aided by a suite of savvy writers and other advocates furthering their cause. Choose sustainable cut-flower sources!
Seed saving is easy, saves money, and ensures that your seeds have come from a reliable source (your garden!). Smart seed saving requires that you (1) allow your seeds to fully mature, (2) clean your seeds properly, (3) store your seeds correctly, and (4) know exactly what you are saving and storing. Step 4 is probably the most essential and least understood. Read more...
Edible berries native to North America feed wildlife and offer untamed, flavorful pickings for hikers and roadside harvesters. Native blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries, and others pack a punch of flavor unmatched by garden-variety hybrids—anyone who has tasted a wild blueberry pie knows store-bought berries are no match! Discover native berries suited to your own yard or garden.
There’s something about miniature anything that draws kids, and every year my ‘Minnow’, ‘Hawara’, and ‘Baby Moon’ just cry out to be picked by my children. They make the prettiest fairy bouquets and are easy-as-pie to grow, so this bulb-planting season I plan to expand upon my mini daffy plantings. These cute miniature daffodils are easy to grow and oh so sweet.
Big, bold, tropical plants look amazing in summer gardens and large containers, and they drink up the summer heat and humidity. So often ornamental bananas, exotic elephant ears, upright sanserverias, strappy cordyline, and colorful croton are grown only indoors or way down South, but they will thrive any place that’s steamy. Placing them in the right spot with the right companion plants is part of the fun.
Honey bees (Apis mellifera) may garner more of the limelight, but North America is also home to approximately 4,000 known native bee species that are just as agriculturally, horticulturally, and ecologically important. Learn smart ways to garden for native bees.
Reading antiquated gardening books can feel like finding buried treasure. They tell of times when tools and garden plants were simpler and planting designs classic. Many deliver loads of useful, old-timey tips and techniques, making them that much more fun to read. And they tend to be beautifully illustrated—all the more reason to seek them out. Link to article