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Dave's Garden Articles: By Marie Harrison

Thursday, May 23, 2013

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Fabulous Figs
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The fig tree that grows a few feet from my Florida room window is now in full leaf. Tiny green figs grow at each node, and every day they swell and fill out a bit more. Soon they will be ripening and ready to harvest. I can’t wait.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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Bletilla striata -- the Easy Orchid
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Many gardeners believe that orchids are specialty plants that can’t be grown by inexperienced gardeners, especially under ordinary garden culture. It is true that many orchids have growing requirements that many of us cannot or choose not to provide, but the hardy ground orchid is not one of them. This hardy perennial requires no special coddling and is easy enough for beginners, provided a few basic requirements are met.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

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Simply Green
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

For years I have grown as many perennials as space allows in my garden. I have, needless to say, amassed quite a collection. While I admire the colorful flowers that bloom on many of them, I now realize that many of my favorite perennials are simply green.

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

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Pretty Yellow Bows Adorn a Child's Easter
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

My childhood was rich in many ways, but in other ways it was very difficult. Times were hard, and the whole family worked long, hard hours just to supply the necessities of life. One year a very special aunt held an Easter celebration, the memory of which holds a special place in my heart. The letter that follows expresses my appreciation to this aunt who added so much gladness to the heart of a child. .

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

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Lessons of the Bradford Pear
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Choosing a tree for the landscape seems like a game of chance for many people. We see a tree that we think is beautiful, and we become single-minded in our pursuit of it. Sometimes we forget to find out all we can about plants before adding them to our landscapes—often with less than pleasing results.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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Chinese Ligustrum, an Invasive Menace
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Amiable Spouse finally agreed to cut down the variegated Chinese privet that was growing in the front yard. I pruned it back countless times and was always careful to cut out the portions that had reverted to solid green. Still, he rather liked it, but he acquiesced after I explained the problem and showed him evidence of reversion to solid green in several places in our neighborhood.

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Friday, March 15, 2013

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Coral Ardisia, A Beautiful but Invasive Plant
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Anyone who views up close a mass of coral ardisia would naturally want it for their landscape, for it is very attractive. Sometimes called coral berry, spice berry, hen’s eyes and other descriptive names, this small upright shrub is a trickster of the meanest sort. It is a prime example of why gardeners should learn about the plants they invite into their gardens.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

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Keeping Fresh Flowers Fresh
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Most people enjoy fresh cut flowers in their homes. They know, however, that once a flower is cut its lifespan is shortened. Several techniques will help keep cut flowers fresh and pretty for as long as possible. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers that will help you get the most out of your cut flowers.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

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Winter Musings of a Passionate Gardener
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

My garden is located in Zone 8B very near the Gulf of Mexico. Winters are cold enough to make working outside unpleasant on some days, and frequently our tender plants require winter protection. Still, we share common tribulations and jubilations with gardeners everywhere. Many will identify with the musings of this passionate gardener.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

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Japanese Sedge -- An Easy-Care Groundcover
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The catalog read, “Carex morrowii ‘Aurea-variegata’ (Japanese sedge). Graceful swirls of handsomely variegated leaves, green with a central yellow stripe, form neat, rounded clumps and are fully evergreen in the South and partially so in more northerly areas. 10 to 12 inches tall and easily grown. Zones 5 to 9. One-quart container. Each $12.95.”

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

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Sweet Alyssum -- A Tiny Plant with Big Impact
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is one the tiny plants that makes a big statement in the garden. It’s one of those that I like to call a little giant, because no matter how small it is, its contribution to the garden can be gargantuan.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

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Nun's Orchid -- A Good Choice for Beginners
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Orchids are a group of plants that has almost escaped my hortimaniacal tendencies. Not that I don’t admire them greatly, because I do. It’s just that I feel they need special treatment and care that I am unable to provide.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

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New Year's Resolutions for Gardeners
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Happy New Year, Gardeners! As New Year's Day approaches, we think about how we’re going to make our gardens better in the coming year. Maybe your garden was perfect last year, but mine was not. The main thing that was wrong was the absence of the gardener for prolonged periods of time. I have several resolutions that will make my garden and gardening experiences better during the coming year, and I challenge other gardeners to incorporate some "earth friendly" changes in their gardens.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

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Euphorbia milii -- Crown of Thorns
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Crown of thorns is the common name for the species Euphorbia milii. A member of the Euphorbiaceae family, it is one species among the over 2,000 species in the family. The genus Euphorbia, according to the GRIN website (APG III Taxonomic System) lists 528 species, subspecies, and varieties in the genus.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

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A Simple Floral Design for Christmas
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Florists and other outlets charge high prices for simple Christmas floral arrangements. With just a few components, you can make one for your table, your neighbors, your boss, your friends, your child’s teachers . . .

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Monday, November 19, 2012

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Flower Show Competition
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Every year as flower show time nears, we garden club members shift into high gear. We've been coasting along all year attending floral design refresher courses and anxiously awaiting publication of this year's flower show schedule. We’ve been grooming our plants and getting them in tiptop shape.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

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Celosia, a Favorite of Floral Designers and Gardeners Alike
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The cockscomb outdid itself in my garden this summer. Simply because the summer was gone and winter approaching, I cut the stems and brought them inside to dry. They just thought their life was over. I have plans for them that would boggle their minds had they one.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

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Snapdragons Delight Gardeners of All Ages
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Southern gardeners are heading to nurseries now to purchase plants that will color their winter and early spring gardens. Several kinds of plants will do nicely, but snapdragons are longtime favorites.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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Snapdragons
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

In most of the Deep South, fall is the time to plant snapdragons. While they can be purchased and set out in the early spring, these spring planted snapdragons never reach the fullness and vigor of their fall planted compatriots.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

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Euphorbiaceae, A Family of Great Variety
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Many plants belong to the genus Euphorbia (about 528 species), but that is not the extent of the Euphorbiaceae family, which contains about 232 different genera and many, many species (APG III Taxonomic System). This article addresses some members of the Euphorbiaceae family that are not of the genus Euphorbia.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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Thunbergia, a Genus of Many Species
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Several members of the Thunbergia genus are popular garden plants in various parts of the country. A previous article described the species Thunbergia battiscombei (blue clock vine) in detail. Several other Thunbergia species are popular garden plants in areas where they are hardy.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

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Blue Clock Vine, a Favorite Thunbergia
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

It’s hard to remember when I first started growing the blue clock vine. It has been a star in my garden for several years. However, it takes a bit of understanding and familiarity with its habits to make it really shine.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

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Garden, How Do I Love Thee?
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Every time I look out my windows, sit on my back porch, or walk around the house, I’m struck by how much my garden means to me. Without a doubt, it pleases me more than any other garden I know. Several identifiable elements combine to make it special to me.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

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A Magnolia for Your Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The magnolia family (Magnoliaceae) has only two genera: Magnolia and Liriodendron. The Magnolia genus is composed of about 220 species. Various selections, cultivars, and hybrids multiply this number exponentially. The Liriodendron genus has only two species, one of which is native to the United States (L. tulipifera) and one that hails from China (L. chinensis).

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Friday, July 13, 2012

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Peacock Ginger -- the "Hosta" of the South
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Many gardeners transplanted to the Deep South strive valiantly to grow hostas. They grew them in gardens farther north where they made a stunning groundcover in shady areas. While a few gardeners have found a limited number of hostas that can survive in the coastal South, they seldom achieve the vigor achieved by those grown in more northerly climes.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

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A Calathea Groundcover
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

We gardeners always like to share news of plants that grow well in our gardens—particularly those that give us pleasure or are unusual or different. I have just such a plant that grows under the Nuttall oak in my garden. Getting an exact handle on its identification has been hard, but I think I have it figured out now.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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Dog Days Bring Bright Color to the Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Everybody knows that the dog days of summer are here. We can tell because it’s really a scorcher out there. A trip to the mailbox leaves us southern gardeners all aglow and shiny faced from the heat and humidity that blasts us the moment we open the door. This is the only time of year when staying inside and doing the laundry is more fun than going outside and picking a bouquet.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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Houseplants for Low Light
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

One of the most frequently asked questions from novice gardeners concerns which plants can grow at various light levels in the home. Some houseplants prefer bright light and can even tolerate direct sun. Others, such as those originating on the shady bottom of a forest floor, can flourish in the low-light areas of your home.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

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Reblooming Hydrangeas
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) have changed significantly in the past few years. While the big, blowsy flowers have always stolen the show in May and June, gardeners intent on having hydrangeas in their gardens can now select types that bloom throughout the summer.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

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Tulip Poplar
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The tulip poplar, also known as the yellow poplar or tuliptree, is a deciduous member of the magnolia family. Three states, Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky claim it as their state tree. It is one of the most frequent tree species of the eastern United States forests and is hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

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Hot Flowers for Hot Places
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Several years ago my class of 6th graders and I noticed a raised brick planter behind the cafeteria. It was in a highly visible area where buses loaded and unloaded and where parents came to pick up their children at all hours of the day. The planter was filled with weeds. It had not held any flowers or anything attractive for years. We decided to do something about this eyesore.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

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Salvia Delights Gardeners and Wildlife
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Salvia is the largest genus in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. The genus contains reliably hardy herbaceous and woody perennials as well as annuals and biennials including over 900 species as well as many cultivars and hybrids. Salvia species can be found throughout the Old World and in the Americas.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

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Viburnums, Dependable Landscape Shrubs
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Viburnums are adaptable shrubs and small trees that rank among the most ornamental and useful for general landscape purposes. Hailing from such diverse places as China, Korea, North America, Canada, and Japan, and some with hardiness ranging from USDA Zones 2-9, a viburnum can be found that will suit almost every garden.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

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Bluestars - Easy-to Grow Perennials
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Bluestars (Amsonia spp.) are clump-forming herbaceous perennials. About 22 species exist according to some experts, and many of them have potential for garden use. Most are native to North America, but a few hail from Europe, Korea, Turkey, and China. An internet search reveals that less than half that number can be found in the trade, but those that are available are superb additions to the garden.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

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Flower Show Competition
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Every year as flower show time nears, we garden club members shift into high gear. We've been coasting along all year attending floral design refresher courses and anxiously awaiting publication of this year's flower show schedule. We’ve been grooming our plants and getting them in tiptop shape.

Continue reading »

Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Flowering Quince: Cinderella of the Early Spring Garden
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

All winter, flowering quince has been sitting in its corner, its spiny tangled mass of branches nondescript. Then, one day in early spring, the fairy godmother of the garden waves her magic wand. Bright flowers emerge from the leafless stems against a barren winter landscape, and flowering quince becomes the Cinderella of the garden.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

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Bringing Caladiums Out of Winter Storage
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

As spring approaches and plans for the summer garden get underway, gardeners begin thinking about the caladium tubers they dug last fall when the leaves began to die down. Soon it will be time to take them out of winter storage and return them to the garden for another glorious season of color and beauty.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

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Yellow Jessamine Lights up the Spring
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Yellow jessamine was officially selected as the state flower of South Carolina on February 1, 1924. Most likely flowering in every nook and cranny of the state, its pervasive fragrance and golden yellow flowers could not have escaped the attention of members of the General Assembly as they considered various alternatives.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

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Clivia, A Houseplant Gift from Africa
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Clivia is a popular houseplant or garden plant for tropical climates. Commonly called bush lily, flame of the forest, or simply Clivia, this South African plant has attributes that make it a much sought after favorite.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

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Conditioning Cut Flowers and Foliage
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Many people enjoy cutting plants from their garden to use in bouquets and floral arrangements. To get the most out of your cut plant material and make it last for the longest possible time, condition it properly using a few tried and true techniques.

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