August Gardening To do list

Learn the August garden tasks for your gardening hardiness zone. Do you know what your hardiness zone? Once known, then find the required task. Zone 1 Sow seeds of wildflowers and fall veggies Aerate, dethatch and fertilize the lawn As first frosts threaten, pick mature green tomatoes to ripen in a dark, cool place indoors Purchase containerized trees and shrubs […]

Starting Seeds Indoors

Seed starting indoors is exciting and infectious, and you’ll soon find that your windowsills are crammed with little pots of seedlings and you have an overwhelming desire to study greenhouse designs. But a greenhouse is not necessary for a satisfactory experience in gardening, as long as you follow some practical considerations such as light and temperature requirements and space. A […]

Arabis – Rock Cress, Wall Cress, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

Arabis – Rock Cress, Wall Cress The Rock Cress is a small, white, four-petaled flower and its masses of snowy bloom early in the Spring contrast beautifully with the Basket of Gold (Alyssum saxatile compactum) and the blue False Wall Cress (Aubrietia). It blooms very soon after the snow disappears and the flowers are so numerous that when a plant […]

Erigeron – Fleabane, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

Erigeron – Fleabane The Erigeron has Aster-like flowers which are in bloom during the Summer months. The different species vary in height from 5 inches to 3 feet. The flowers grow from small tufts of leaves, somewhat like the English Daisy (Bettis) and the blooms of the taller varieties measure 2 inches and 2 1/2 inches across. The colors are […]

Gentiana – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Gentiana Gentiana (jen-te-a-na) Named after Gentius, King of Illyria who first used the plant medicinally (Gentianaceae). Gentian. A large genus of hardy perennials. Most of those in cultivation are dwarf plants suitable for the rock garden, but a few are more at home in the border. Some of them are lime-haters. Species cultivated G. acaulis (now considered […]

Grow Your Own Peas

The pea is a vegetable which helps the soil, has an interesting history, is easy to grow, and is a more versatile food than you might know.  It is loaded with helpful vitamins, protective phytonutrients that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, protein and fiber.  They’re low in fats but, what they have, are healthy omega-3 fats.  Some research (whfoods.org) indicates […]

Growing and Care Bottle Brush Tree. Callistemon

CALLISTEMON—Bottle-Brush Tree (Calliste’mon). Tender evergreen flowering shrubs from Australia which belong to the Myrtle family, Myrtaceae. They are well adapted for growing outdoors in California and in similar mild climates and for greenhouse cultivation elsewhere. They have narrow, dark-green, leathery leaves, which are slightly aromatic when crushed. The flowers are densely packed in terminal cylindrical spikes resembling a bottle brush […]

Planning Cottage Gardens – History, Spring, Summer, Herbs and Rose Plants

Cottage Gardens The cottage garden tradition is one that is peculiarly English in character. The old-world charm of the cottager’s plot owed little or nothing to any of the major developments in garden design or landscape architecture. The English cottage garden just ‘happened’ and its chief attraction lies in the effect of ordered chaos that it produces. Like the wild […]

Centranthus – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Centranthus (ken-tran-thus) From the Greek kentron, a spur, anthos, a flower, alluding to the shape of the flower (Valerianaceae). A small genus of annuals and perennials, natives of Europe and the Mediterranean area. The hardy herbaceous perennial, C. ruber, the red valerian is almost a weed on cliffs, railway embankments, and old walls. The name is sometimes […]