SPRING-BLOOMING MINIATURES

SPRING-BLOOMING MINIATURES By Dr. Leonard Perry Extension Greenhouse and Nursery Crops Specialist University of Vermont The old saying, “good things come in small packages,” is especially true for the spring bulb garden. Although large Dutch tulips and yellow daffodils certainly have their place in the garden, spring-blooming miniatures–called minor bulbs in the nursery trade–add pizzazz. Most are prolific bloomers, with […]

Succulent plants come in many shapes and sizes

There are many varieties of succulent plants to choose for the perennial garden. These no-fuss beauties are easy to plant and require no intervention on our part. Once planted, they flourish so well, the only care they need are dividing when cramped because they grow so quickly, and then only to increase again in their newly planted location. As the […]

VACATION BLUES

Anyone who has ever doubted the ephemeral nature of gardens should go away on a two week vacation. It helps to make sure that your friends and relatives are either away or inattentive at the same time, and are therefore unavailable for even routine watering. When you return, take a deep breath and confront your beds and borders. The results […]

Garden watering: when how much

WATERING A LAWN OR GARDEN is tricky business. Knowing when and how much is two-thirds of the job. When depends upon the soil and the rooting characteristics of the plant involved, how much will be governed by the amount of soil that is dried out. An actual inspection of the soil in the root zone of the plant is the best […]

Step on a crack – What grows in a crack.

I have never had much luck growing Johnny Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor) from seed, but finally two years ago a single plant survived to maturity.  Last year that lone survivor begot several offspring. This year those offspring have taught me the true meaning of the cautionary proverb, “Be careful what you wish for.”  Johnny Jump-Ups are popping up everywhere, including in […]

SECRETS OF CUT TULIPS

Although the outdoor landscape may be bleak right now, the greenhouse industry has found a way to bring spring into our homes. And that’s by fooling tulips and other spring flowers into blooming early indoors. The cut tulips you find at your florist shop, local greenhouse, and supermarket this time of year are “forced” tulips that were grown in greenhouses […]

Gold Of Ophir

Gold Of Ophir For centuries and perhaps even millennia people have been searching for the source of the Gold of Ophir. My own search started last week, and I am pleased to say that my shipment of the fabled cargo should arrive sometime in May. It all began when I opened up a popular magazine and read an essay written […]

What if I don’t do fall yard clean up?

WHAT IF… If the garden magazines, web pages and other information sources are to be believed, the world is full of gardeners who worry a lot about cause and effect. Most of them are busy—too busy sometimes to do the things that they think they ought to do in the garden. This is a frequent source of guilt, and since […]

MAKING MAPLE SYRUP

Although the calendar may say spring, here in the north country, March only hints at the warmer weather to come. For gardeners this can be a frustrating month with late season snows, fluctuating temperatures, and mud limiting outdoor activities. One way to shorten the waiting period until the gardening season is to force branches of spring flowering shrubs like forsythia, […]

A SEEDY STATE

A couple of years ago I had an exhausting spring planting season.I started everything from pansies to parsley from seed, and for weeks all I did was run from one windowsill to another with a watering can.I worried constantly about damping off disease.After I put the seedlings outside to harden off, I brought them back in again on stormy nights.Finally, […]