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Dave's Garden Articles: By Marie Harrison

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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Cryptanthus - Dividing and Growing
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

For a couple of years I grew a small Cryptanthus (earth star, crypt for short) under a glass cloche for its decorative appeal in my brightly lit Florida room. I lifted the cover if condensation formed inside the cloche, but generally the crypt was left under the glass cover for extended periods of time. Gradually the plant grew until it could no longer fit in its place. Several pups were vying for space, so I knew the time had come to divide it.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

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A World with Many Bugs is a Good Thing!
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Well documented is the fact that the number of pollinators is diminishing worldwide. We know of the plight of the honeybee and the greatly diminished populations of butterflies and other pollinators. Also stated again and again, and beginning to be understood by concerned people is the fact that our food supply is directly related to pollinator activity, and that pollinator activity depends greatly on the availability of diverse plants that support them.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

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Pollinators in Peril
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Evidence indicates that honeybees and other pollinators are in trouble. Over 75% of the world's crops require pollination, which is an essential ecological function without which the human race and most of the animals and plants that populate the earth could not survive.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

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Hardy and Tropical Pipevines
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

My recent article about wooly pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa) made no mention of other pipevines. Many more suitable for gardens exist. Here are a few that may fit into your garden plan.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

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Wooly Pipevine for Pipevine Swallowtails
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

For several years, wooly Dutchman’s pipe has grown in my garden. Before the pipevine, I rarely saw the beautiful pipevine swallowtail butterflies. Now that the pipevine is well established and growing vigorously, the pipevine swallowtails are frequent summertime visitors.

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Stop to Smell the Flowers
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Most enjoyable among my gardening experiences are those involving the sense of smell. At no time other than spring is the garden such a treasury of olfactory experiences. Spring gradually merges into summer, and one plant after another blooms and adds to the miscellany of pleasurable scents.

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Monday, July 21, 2014

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We Make a Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

How many of us have an opportunity to make a garden from scratch – to turn a blighted piece of earth into a paradise for pollinators? My garden club had such an opportunity, and it has been very rewarding.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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Special Exhibits Division of a Standard Flower Show
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Standard Flower Shows have three possible divisions: Horticulture, Design, and Special Exhibits. The Horticulture Division and the Design Division are required. The Special Exhibits Division, however, is optional, and may include a wide range of exhibits that add interest to the show.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

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The Special Exhibits Division of a Standard Flower Show
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Standard Flower Shows have three possible divisions: Horticulture, Design, and Special Exhibits. The Horticulture Division and the Design Division are required. The Special Exhibits Division, however, is optional, and may include a wide range of exhibits that add interest to the show.

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Friday, June 13, 2014

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Butter Daisy, a Low Maintenance Annual
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Thinking back on which annuals have been the highest performers, I immediately think of butter daisy. Year after year it reseeds in the flowerbed out by the street where it is subjected to the hot, afternoon sun and the reflected light from the surrounding pavement. It begins blooming almost as soon as it emerges from the ground, and it stays in bloom until frost kills it.

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Monday, June 2, 2014

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Old Fashioned Globe Amaranth
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Summer’s arrival signals a new growing season filled with colorful annuals and perennials. Garden centers are full, and choosing from among the numerous offerings is often difficult. Why not rely on some old favorites, such as globe amaranth?

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

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Torenia, the Clown Flower
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Sometimes gardeners purchase the same plant year after year because it performs well and adds consistent color from summer through fall. Torenia fournieri, hailing from Southeast Asia, is one such plant that is always present in my summer garden.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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Gotta Have Gaura in the Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Gaura has long been a favorite perennial for gardeners in USDA Zones 5-10. This year the cultivar ‘Sparkle White’ was named a 2014 All America Selections (AAS) Bedding Plant Award Winner, and it has won the FleuroSelect Gold Medal award for garden performance in Europe. This comes as no surprise to most gardeners.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Love in a Mist
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Nigella is one of my favorite biennials. Most people call it Love-in-a-Mist, but others refer to it as “Devil in the Bush.” I cannot imagine why this comely flower would be called such an uncomely name. For me, the first appellation is much more fitting. In spring its misty loveliness graces gardens throughout the country and beyond.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

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Scarlet Milkweed - Friend or Foe?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Tropical or scarlet milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is native to South America, but it has become naturalized in parts of several southern states, including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Texas. Many questions and opinions exist regarding its use in gardens.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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Purple Coneflowers? or Red, Yellow, -- or Tangerine?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Purple coneflower is the 2014 “Perennial Plant of the Year” chosen by the National Garden Bureau. Native to the central and eastern United States, this lovely wildflower not only beautifies prairies and gardens across the country; it keeps them alive with butterflies, birds, and beneficial insects.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

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Milkweed and Monarchs
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

In much of the country, Asclepias (milkweed) of one kind or another is native. Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed for their survival. Tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is not native, but it is often chosen for garden plantings because of its colorful flowers and general availability. Native orange butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is more difficult to establish in gardens but may well be worth the extra effort required.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

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Keeping up with Plant Family Names
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Keeping abreast of the latest changes in plant taxonomy is a daunting task for people who try to keep up with such things. Knowing the names of plants and the families to which they belong is important to garden and horticultural writers who try to publish correct information.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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Monocots and Whaticots? Eudicots?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Until recently scientists accepted two major classifications of flowering plants. Most of us were taught that angiosperms (flowering plants) were either a monocot (monocotyledon) or dicot (dicotyledon). Today scientists prefer the terms monocot and eudicot (eudicotyledon). Horticulturists and gardeners are encouraged to get on board with the latest findings.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

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Displays in the Standard Flower Show
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

A previous article discussed collections in the Standard Flower Show. This article is similar, but its focus is on displays, which differ from collections in several important ways.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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Collections for Standard Flower Shows
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

National Garden Club Standard Flower Shows offer opportunities to exhibit and compete in many different categories of horticulture and design. In the horticulture division of a flower show, one section might offer an opportunity to exhibit a collection of plants grown by an exhibitor.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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Variegated Plants
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Variegated foliage plants are attractive to gardeners because they offer a change from the plainness of solid colored leaves. Of course, flowers can be variegated, too, and often for the same reasons as foliage, but this article concentrates on variegated foliage and the different types of variegation.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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Hosta an Asparagaceae? Are You Kidding?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Several shifts in taxonomy in recent years have sent those of us who try to keep abreast with such changes into a tailspin. Some of the most surprising changes have happened in the Asparagaceae family.

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Friday, December 27, 2013

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Easy-to-Grow Satin Pothos
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

One of my favorite plants is satin pothos. While it is easy to grow and beautiful in my home, it took lots of research to discover the plant's true identity.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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A Christmas Flower Show
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The Christmas luncheon is a highlight of the garden club year for my garden club. Everyone brings a covered dish, and the hostess committee provides a ham or turkey. One year the occasion was made even more festive because the garden club decided to have a Small Standard Flower Show along with the Christmas luncheon.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

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A Grapevine Christmas Tree
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

For years friends have given me “gardening” Christmas ornaments. I have sprightly garden Santas, garden angels, miniature gardening tools, flower and butterfly ornaments, and all manner of garden knick-knacks made especially for hanging on a Christmas tree. For a long time I hung them on the tree with all my other ornaments. However, as collectibles so often do, my garden ornaments became more and more numerous.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

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Sage and its Uses, Then and Now
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Sage was an important part of my childhood experiences, but I had little appreciation that it was used for anything other than seasoning sausages and hogshead cheese. Today I grow it in my herb garden and use often. As a matter of fact, sage is an ancient herb that has been used for centuries, not only for seasoning, but for its medicinal properties, as well.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

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Thanksgiving Cactus
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

All these years I thought I was growing Christmas cactus. Research into the holiday cacti has revealed that I was growing Thanksgiving cactus all along. Distinguishing between the two is easy if you know what to look for.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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Floral Design the NGC Way
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

National Garden Clubs is a “go to” place for people wishing to learn about floral design. After a few short lessons, prospective designers learn that NGC designs are different from those they are accustomed to seeing in florists, grocery markets, and other places where floral designs are constructed or sold. NGC has spent many years preparing curriculum and organizing schools to teach the art of floral design.

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Friday, November 1, 2013

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Floral Design for Kids
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Garden clubs take seriously their charge to work with children and teach them the joy and art of gardening and floral design. In this article I will share some simple techniques that can be used to create a plethora of designs with children of all ages.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

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Thryallis - a Shower of Gold
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Thryallis is not a plant in my repository of childhood memories. Grandmother didn’t have it in her garden, and I never saw it or was aware of it until a few years back when I saw it growing in a botanical garden. It struck my fancy then, and I looked until I found one for my garden.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

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The Matchstick Bromeliad
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Many times I chance upon a plant that provides beautiful surprises. Such is the case with matchstick bromeliad. I had always thought bromeliads were tropical beauties that required special care and protection. Most of my bromeliads are put in containers and moved to the greenhouse come winter.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

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Florida's Scrub Communities
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The Florida scrub communities are very old ecosystems, some of which have been in existence for as long as a million years. Scrub communities are characterized by the presence of mostly shrubs, in contrast to forests dominated by trees, and savannas and prairies dominated by grasses.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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Flowers -- Who Needs Them?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Obviously, we all need flowers. Without them the world as we know it could not exist. However, we do not have to have them in order to have a colorful garden. A look at various parts of the author’s landscape will illustrate that flowers are not a necessary component of a garden filled with color.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

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Sunflowers on the Beach
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

On a recent trip to Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida, I was struck by the number and variety of plants that grow on sandy dunes bordering the Gulf of Mexico. One plant that was thriving in this inhospitable environment was dune sunflower.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

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Sparkleberry
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Gardeners often seek native plants because of their adaptability to an area and their attractiveness to native birds, butterflies, and other creatures. Sparkleberry is a plant with much to offer those seeking an attractive and useful addition to their landscape.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

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A Different Kind of Crinum
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

My string lily is a gift from Aunt Gladys, my Mississippi gardening buddy. On each trip to Mississippi to visit my family, her house is a necessary stop. Like all my other gardening friends, she’s likely to have something beautiful blooming in her garden at any time.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

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Support Your Vines
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Finding supports for vines growing in my garden has always been a challenge. Wooden fences rot, and sometimes a vine is wanted in a place where there is no fence or other support. Finally, I stumbled onto a solution that has made growing vines easy anywhere in the garden.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

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Fireworks in the Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Fireworks are plentiful this time of year, but not only in the night sky. Many sparklers, firecrackers, and other aptly named plants are available to add sizzle, pop, snap, and crackle to your garden.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Herbal Groundcovers
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Some gardeners grow herbs for their culinary uses, and others grow them for their medicinal applications. Still others grow herbs to brew their favorite teas or to make flavorful vinegars, butters, and oils. Some, like me, have them purely for the pleasure of growing them and working among them. Few, however, realize that some herbs can be “scentsational” groundcovers.

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