Shade Flowers

When acquiring plants for a shade garden, remember that plants grow slowly in the shade, so get large plants. Plants often grow differently in the shade and some experimentation with size and blooming times are in order. The following plants grow well in deep shade. While the common Bleeding Heart will take some shade, the Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) thrives in full shade. It is possible to buy the Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart with red or white blossoms, but the hardiest variety has pink blooms. This perennial usually grows between 8 and 15 in (23-38 cm) tall and […]

Planning a Kitchen garden

Planning a Kitchen garden It is far easier to plan a kitchen garden where the garden is a new one. The gardener who takes over a garden used by previous occupiers may first have to remove shrubs and trees. Not only do trees, shrubs and hedges rob the vegetable garden of plant foods, but they cast shade over the growing plants. Few of the vegetables we grow tolerate shade and the site for the kitchen garden must, therefore, be quite open and unshaded. Brick walls and wood fences cast shade, too, but a wall or fence at the north side […]

Visiting Greenhouses and other December Gardening Tips

Visiting local greenhouses and transporting holiday plants home safely, cleaning and storing hand tools, and removing snow from shrubs are some of the garden-related activities for this month. Try to visit a local greenhouse, as the sight of so many plants all in bloom is sure to lift the spirits on a cloudy and cold day.  If you’re buying holiday plants anywhere, make sure to protect them on the way home with a paper “sleeve” or bag, especially poinsettias which are quite sensitive to cold.  Once home, keep plants away from drafts and heat sources, and don’t overwater.  Make sure […]

Garden tools for Digging and Weeding

How are you set for tools for this gardening season? There are so many more tools now that in the past, both power and manual.  Having the right tool for the right job, you’ll be amazed how much easier (on your body) and quicker your garden activities will get done.  Here are a few of the common manual tools for digging and weeding, and their uses. To start, you will need something to dig with, such as a shovel or a spade.    A shovel is built like a somewhat flattened scoop, generally with curved blade tip. It’s designed to move […]

African Violets: Seven steps to success

African violets are one of the easiest and most adaptable flowering houseplants to grow, as they do well in the conditions found in most homes.  There are seven main cultural factors you should be aware of to ensure their success. African violets that you buy are almost certainly hybrids, generally of one main species (Saintpaulia ionantha).  The native habitat of this species, in the Tanga region of Tanzania in Africa, gives clues to its culture.  The original species, introduced in 1893, was found growing there on mossy rocks and moist rock crevices in varying amounts of shade.  This area is […]

Fabulous Firs

Even if you’re not a gardener, you may know the fir tree from the popular balsam firs sold as cut trees over the holidays.  This tree and other related fir trees make beautiful landscape plants, providing a habitat for birds as well. The firs (Abies) are in the Pine family and are called conifers since they produce cones similar to pine trees.  Since firs often come from mountaintops, they prefer cooler climates as in the north.  They tend to be somewhat slow growing, but over time make stately trees.  They are not for urban settings as they can be injured by air pollution. […]

9 of the most stylish outdoor fire pits

Do you know what my favorite time of the year is? But my favorite part of this season is having gatherings around the fire pit in our backyard, enjoying with my family and friends, toasting marshmallows and making s’mores. So, can you guess what I’m bringing you today? I have rounded up 9 of the most stylish outdoor fire pits and I think that you will find them very interesting and attractive. They will inspire you to enjoy fall season as much as I already am.     A fire pit is a very easy way to make your yard […]

Vegetable Gardening

The work of planning the garden in as much as it consists in deciding what and how much we shall plant and where we shall plant it-may very well be done long in advance of the season of active operations. Indeed, it is a distinct and pleasurable advantage to make the long winter evenings supplement the long summer days by devoting a portion of them to the seed catalogs and other garden literature. The selection of varieties of vegetables to grow should be largely influenced by those, which form one’s daily fare throughout the season. Vegetables which are seldom purchased-unless […]

Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Plant Hardiness Zone Map Contents: What are hardiness zones? USDA and Canadian Hardiness Zones So what’s wrong with plant hardiness zones? How many zones are there? Applying zone references How to use the PlantAmerica map If you live outside North America Sunset Zones Heat Zones Protecting Plants Protecting Plants from the Sun and Heat Protecting Plants from the Winter United States, Canada & North America USDA Hardiness Zone Map (requires a pop up) no ads North America USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map Canada Plant Hardiness Zone Map [Your browser doesn’t support IFrames. Click here to look up your hardiness […]

Seed Germination Database

The following data is provided by Thompson & Morgan Successful Seed Raising Guide. This guide is out of print. A seed is an embryo plant and contains within itself virtually all the materials and energy to start off a new plant. To get the most from one’s seeds it is needful to understand a little about their needs, so that just the right conditions can be given for successful growth. One of the most usual causes of failures with seed is sowing too deeply; a seed has only enough food within itself for a limited period of growth and a […]