Your swimming pool should be more than just a hole in the ground. It should serve as an oasis, a lush retreat for relaxation and fun. Unfortunately, many backyard pools are a tough environment for plants for a variety of reasons. Here are some things to consider when choosing plants for your pool area.
During the precious few moments when the hoses are not in our hands, we Southern gardeners pass the scorching days of summer comparing notes about what plants - if any - are still thriving in the sometimes triple-digit heat. My answer never changes: Russian Sage.
For much of the country, spring is the busiest time of year in the garden. The to-do list can be long and daunting: post-winter cleanup, fertilizing, planting, etc. Organizing your chores and planning your time wisely will keep you from becoming a stressed-out gardener. Here are some tips.
Autumn is finally upon us here in Texas...tree leaves are turning a soft golden color, the nights are getting cooler and finally, finally, we have logged some rain (at least around Dallas.) After the brutal, dry summer experienced across the entire state, fall couldn’t come too soon. Gardeners can now enjoy mild temperatures while tending to a number of chores.
My favorite part of the summer is harvest time. There’s nothing more wonderful than being able to pick ripe vegetables and fresh herbs and bring them right into the kitchen for cooking. However, if your counter starts to resemble a fully-stocked grocery produce section, you may need some new ideas for what to do with all of those wonderful veggies.
As a Texas gardener, my pulse always quickens upon reading the words “drought-tolerant” and “heat-tolerant” in a plant's description. And, no offense to succulents, but if the tough-and-tolerant plant I’m reading about is pretty, pink and fluffy…well, even better.
In the garden and in the kitchen, there’s nothing quite like an eggplant. Other vegetables can’t compare to its purple glossy beauty, and scientists are just now beginning to discover its unique nutritional value.
Here in Texas, the tomato plants of well-planned gardeners are already a foot tall by mid-March, and some of our spring crops have been in the ground for weeks. But for everyone not in Zone 8 and warmer, this is the perfect time to start those crisp, tasty spring vegetables.
Whether you're a foodie or someone who likes to casually cook with vegetables, there's no doubt you've noticed all the attention paid to kale in the last year or two. The leafy green hails from all over the globe, has been called everything from "the new beef" to "the new spinach"...and it's even incited a lawsuit.
Awhile back here on Dave’s Garden, in an article titled “We Got the Beet,” I provided a brief overview of how to grow beets (Beta vulgaris), one of the most beautiful, healthful and easy vegetables there is. Beets have received some interesting publicity since then, so it’s time to share more details on this wonderful cool season crop.
My Northeastern-dwelling mother, who is not a gardener, recently visited my Dallas back yard for the first time. Her first words were “Wow, what’s that big purple thing in the corner? It’s gorgeous!” “That,” I replied, “is a purple smoketree.”
Red hot Sprekelia is commonly known as the Aztec Lily or Jacobean Lily, but it isn’t a lily at all. This scorching babe, actually a member of the Amaryllis family, will add a bright dash of crimson to your yard.
So, the weekend comes, you've got a gardening To Do List as long as your arm...and it's raining, snowing or maybe even both. Fortunately for gardeners, there's always a side project waiting or an inside chore that needs doing. Here are ten ways to pass the time if you can't spend it outside gardening:
Perhaps Travis Bickle, the protagonist of Martin Scorsese’s classic movie “Taxi Driver,” said it best: “One of these days, I’m gonna get organiz-ized.” Travis wasn’t a gardener, as far as we know. But resolving to become more efficient and organized is always a good idea.
Celebrating the holidays surrounded by beloved children and pets always makes this time of year sweeter. But the little darlings sure can get into trouble when your back is turned, eh? And that’s why it’s important to be plant-smart about exactly what is adorning your holiday setting. Mischievous little fingers may reach for bright red berries, and curious puppies and kitties can eat anything and everything in sight. So let’s run down a few popular holiday plant choices and what you should watch out for.
Let me start by saying that I was a journalism major in college. In other words, math has definitely never been my strong suit. So in the past, when it came to trying to figure out how many cubic yards I would need to cover 1500 square feet of garden bed with three inches of mulch, I feared my brain would explode. For those like me, fear no more, and rejoice in yet another reason why the Internet is so fabulous: online calculators.
Fall is upon us, and while you might be tempted to handle the chillier weather by curling up indoors with a seed catalog and a cup of peppermint tea, you should instead pull on those garden clogs. It’s time to get moving, literally...and by that I mean moving plants.
I walked into the houseplant section of one of the big box stores recently and spotted it: a huge, lone chenille plant in full flower hanging from the ceiling. Quickly procuring it from the hook and placing it in my shopping cart, I instantly became the envy of every gardener in the store.
I’ll never forget Easter morning, 1991. I was in the kitchen making Sunday breakfast, while my then-husband Derek was at the dining room table, dutifully writing out some bills. Suddenly, I heard a genuine fear-tinged yell, followed by some completely unrepeatable cursing.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), is a beautiful, tall, arching plant with dual personalities: it has the willowy visual effect of ornamental grass in the landscape, and boasts a variety of culinary and medicinal uses as an herb.
Believe it or not, many of the most experienced gardeners you’ll ever meet are intimidated by seed starting. Whether it’s the continual need to monitor seed progress, the equipment involved or the sometimes high rate of failure, their trepidation is understandable.
Who could forget "The Curse of the Black Pearl," the first of the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean movies from a few summers ago? While they won't sprout a Captain Jack Sparrow for you, there are two 'Black Pearl' veggie varieties that have become hits with gardeners.
I was hoping to read that, upon moving into the White House, the Obama family was planning on growing much of their own food with a freshly installed organic vegetable garden. No luck on that front so far. That’s okay, though, it’s early yet.
I seem to have a penchant for – and have experienced frequent success with – some of the odder types of edibles: purple carrots, black tomatoes, round cucumbers. But this year, my weakness for the weird has seemingly gotten out of control. Nearly every seed packet I've ordered for the coming growing season has something unique to offer, to say the least.
Of all the creatures in your garden, earthworms are probably the most important. They are the digesters of organic material and the makers of fluffy, healthy soil. Much as we love them, however, they do have their enemies...in the form of predators. So how can we better protect our valuable little wiggly friends?
So you want to be a gardener. Congratulations! You’ll be joining the millions of others who enjoy what is probably the most popular hobby in the world. However, the sad truth is that some folks venture blindly into gardening expecting to magically produce dinner-plate dahlias and softball-size tomatoes without doing any of the necessary preparation or research.