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Dave's Garden Articles: By Sally G. Miller

Sunday, August 31, 2014

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Time to Tame the Raspberry Jungle
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Raspberry pruning is a stickery job,and the instructions in the books seem so confusing. But a lack of pruning leads to tangled, unproductive, disease-prone raspberry jungles. When your worst winter weather subsides, you can tame your raspberry jungle and turn it back into a respectable patch. I've studied the instructions and will do my best to explain raspberry pruning simply and clearly.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Compost tea, love it or leave it? You decide
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Does compost tea sound like the best thing since sliced bread to you? Or do you think it's an overhyped fad of organic gardening movement? Either way, you have plenty of company. But if you aren't sure where you stand, keep reading.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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What Can Bloom in this Heat?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

A trip to San Antonio Texas taught me a lot of Southwest history, but it left me one burning question - how can anything actually thrive and bloom in this South Texas heat? Here's a "show and tell" about several heat loving, bright-blooming plants that I saw during my visit. Any one is worth trying in your hot zone 8-plus yard or your less-than- zone 8 pots or hanging baskets.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Perfectly picotee - choice picotee edged flowers for the summer garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I'm a sucker for picotee flowers! They're the ones whose petals have a delicate border of contrasting color. This trait is easy to find in some plant families, hard to come by in many. If you, too, love the picotee flower, read these recommendations.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

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Two problems, one solution: Houseplants fill your outside containers for summer
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Houseplants galore going on "summer vacation" outside. Empty pots stacked to the shed rafters. Let the twain meet, and use your tropicals and winter indoor plants to help fill those special containers in your garden or on your deck.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

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Japanese Barberry Linked to Lyme Disease: What Gardeners Need to Know
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

New human cases of Lyme disease number 20,000 to 30,000 each year in the US. Lyme is not decreasing, despite our understanding major factors of transmission since 1981. A study by University of Connecticut has shown a link between thickets of nonnative invasive Berberis and increased risk of Lyme disease. Scientists in Maine find that various nonnative invasive species create a thick underbrush loaded with infected mice. Gardeners should know about these recent findings concerning Japanese barberry and other nonnative invasive plants plaguing northeastern forests.

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Friday, July 4, 2014

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'Fireworks' for plant lovers, and not just on the Fourth of July
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Fireworks! The flammable kind can get you in trouble with the local authorities. Stay safe this Fourth and avoid the ones with gunpowder. Plant hybridizers have developed dozens of cultivars, named 'Fireworks', and hoped for the excitement to translate into profit. The range of successful introductions to date give an opportunity for almost any plant lover to legally own and use 'Fireworks'.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

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How to celebrate the first day of summer
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

You don't have to be a gardener, or American, to know that the first day of summer is worth celebrating. But how we do it is up for discussion.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

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Garlic Chives- Great In the Garden, Butů
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

We often choose plants for their attractive foliage or flowers, or because we like to cook with herbs, or because the plant is carefree, with one of these characteristics being our main goal. But some plants combine all these qualities nicely. One of these is Garlic Chives.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

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In Defense of Thugs
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I recently wrote about thugs. Then I had second thoughts. I've owned thugs, I've given and received thugs, and there are a few thugs living the high life in my own garden. Thugs can cause big maintenance woes, but they also have their merits.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

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Friends Don't Let Friends Plant Thugs: Tips for avoiding aggressive plants
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

It's a busy time of year for gardeners: time to dig out all your extra plants, and pass them around amongst all your fellow gardeners doing likewise. It's fun, but use a bit of restraint. Don't dump thugs on your friends, and beware of bringing an unknown botanical headache into your own garden, from a well meaning but uninformed friend. (With deepest apologies to the recipients of my own thugs, before I reached enlightenment.)

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

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Unusual Pregnant Onion: Ornithogalum longibracteatum
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Soon after I joined Dave's Garden, someone gave me a pregnant onion plant. What a surprise to realize as a not-so-novice gardener that I had never heard of this interesting, easy-care potted plant for inside or out.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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How to care for spring floral gift plants
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Live plants make beautiful, and well appreciated, gifts. A little good care will help the flowers last days longer in the house. And are you wondering if you can make the gift last for years to come by planting it in your garden? Let's make the most of your new daffodils, azaleas, tulips, or other spring floral gift plants.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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Cream peas: these easy, delicious "Southern peas" are making their way north
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Moving to a whole new gardening zone can open up great new possibilities. I haven't moved, but my sister has. When she started gardening in Florida, she discovered cream peas. She found them easy to grow, but better than that, she discovered that the "simple" cream peas were surprisingly savory. She was so happy with her cream peas that she shared them with me both in the garden and in the kitchen. Now I'll share them with you.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

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Lessons in tropical plant care
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Many of us struggle to grow potted plants in a home or office. We'd be in for some surprises if we saw the same plants growing in their preferred conditions. That plant which we may know as a finicky specimen can, in its natural home, behave like a completely different "animal." Understanding a plant's preferred habitat can really enhance the experience of growing tropicals in the home.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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Blooming and perfuming - Wintersweet, Chimonanthes praecox, is a fragrant, winter blooming shrub
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

This shrub has one exquisite quality: it blooms in the cold of winter with a delectable, summery fragrance. This one tantalizing trait of perfect perfume is all the plant needs to earn its place in the garden.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

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The five most fragrant winter blooming shrubs
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Winter takes away summer's colorful flowers, but sweet floral scents can remain - if you choose the right shrubs. A surprising variety of woody plants bloom in otherwise frozen gardens. Where the cold winds blow, and your January strolls in the garden are short, include a sweet-scented winter bloomer. The smell of spring, in the dead of winter, is a real mood-lifter!

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Monday, December 23, 2013

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Choice evergreens add spark to home landscapes
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Evergreens are ever popular in the home landscape. The persistent winter foliage reminds us of eventual spring, and shelters songbirds on frosty nights. Explore some evergreen options beyond the ubiquitous yew and pruned privet of run-of-the-mill landscaper's specials. Your home will thank you!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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Hard cider- an easy homegrown brew
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

For most of my American lifetime, the term cider meant "a fresh apple drink you buy in fall as an homage to harvest." In other times and places, cider has always meant "an apple drink which ferments, with or without human help, into a tangy alcoholic beverage and agricultural commodity." Now cider, or what I always called "hard cider," comes in twelve ounce bottles, on the racks between beer and wine. Cider is surging in popularity in America these days, filling a niche between beer (too frat-boy) and wine (too frou-frou.) And home brewed cider is about as easy to "grow" as anything in your garden.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

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Lilies that aren't lilies after all- Blackberry and candy lilies
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

If blackberry lilies and candy lilies are not lilies then what are they? More important, do you need them in your garden?

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Monday, November 4, 2013

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Spinning, Dancing Gourds: Cute Fall Decor, Child's Toy and Mini Birdhouse Ornament
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Gourds are always popular in fall decorating, and gourds are easy to grow. The tiny variety called "spinning top" or dancing gourd is an unusual heirloom type. Have a small garden or even a large pot with tomato cage? You can grow handfulls of these tiny treasures.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Sweet apple cider, a most delicious fall tradition
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Apple cider is the quintessential traditional fall beverage, and has been for hundreds of years. Cider making has a long history in America, but a much longer one in Europe.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

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What, about sorghum?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

"Why sorghum?" I asked myself, when Dave's Garden administrator Terry added sorghum to a list of suggested topics. Myself didn't answer, so I started reading. Pretty soon, I knew enough about sorghum to write a book. But Terry wanted an article, so for now, I'll just tell you something about one kind of sorghum and a tasty traditional treat made from it.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

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Soldier Flies in Backyard Composting and Worm Bin Management
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Something new is squirming in your compost- soldier fly larvae. Actually, they've been around for eons, but the attention they are getting is new. Backyard chicken ranchers love soldier flies. Worm farmers fear them. Soldier flies are harmless to humans and pets, and helpful to the average organic gardener. Read about soldier flies here, because none of your traditional gardening books even mention them.

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Friday, September 6, 2013

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Get Started with Wildflowers and Native Plants
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

The newest addition to your garden just may be flowers which grew there decades before you arrived - native wildflowers. Wildflowers and native plants of the continental U. S. have a charm all their own, an unassuming natural grace. Native plants can be just as easy to grow as the standard flowerbed fare that often hails from halfway around the world.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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Fields of Flowers - Planting a Meadow
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

How would you like to put away your mower for an entire year? Set your flowers free - plant a wildflower meadow. Late summer is the best time of year to plant a meadow. Your initial effort will be amply rewarded, with countless more hours of gazing at flowers.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

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Sympathy for the Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

In which I explain my sympathy (tolerance? affection?) for an armed-to-the-teeth, evil-looking, aggressive native tree.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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Colorful Copperleaf: Acalypha Brings Bold Foliage to the Garden
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Need colorful, striking foliage for a tropical look? You must try a Copperleaf. This plant is used as a pseudo-shrub in frost free gardens, and is now appearing as an annual in middle to cooler zones. Copperleaf also serves well as an indoor plant in a bright spot. What more can you ask?

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Saturday, August 3, 2013

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Sedums- beyond 'Autumn Joy'
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

'Autumn Joy' is a well known perennial in the Sedum group. I'm sure you've seen it; you may have it. But don't stop there; welcome more showy stonecrops into your garden!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

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Garden Craft Project: Make a Faux Stone Trough from a Styrofoam Cooler
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Ah, the never-ending quest for cheap yet interesting planting containers or garden accents. I kept eyeballing several styrofoam coolers which once came with gift shipments of food. There had to be some crafty way to turn those thick, shallow boxes into attractive, unique garden accents. Here's my project: a faux stone trough made from a styrofoam cooler, a few simple materials, and just a little effort and time.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

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What's More Obnoxious than Kudzu? The Kudzu Bug
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Kudzu has been the scourge of the South for decades. Now it seems to be tied to a new scourge; the kudzu bug. This bug's appetite for kudzu should be a good thing. Unfortunately, the bug also infests food crops and annoys homeowners.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

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Mexican Petunia: A Welcome New Perennial for the East Coast, Well Known Thug Elsewhere
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

It's getting pretty hard for me to make my plant swap buddies say "Wow," but I did it last fall. The Ruellia in my sunny flowerbed blew their socks off. They'd never seen Mexican petunia in any local garden center. I got lucky, and caught the first wave of this perennial to hit our shores. With the plant now re-emerging in my garden, it's time to post my Ruellia user review. While I'm still happy with this plant, your mileage may vary... (cue the impending-doom music)

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Friday, May 17, 2013

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Delightful, Spring Blooming, Fragrant Mockorange (Philadelphus)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

"DURING recent years, there have crept into the trade a bewildering number of Philadelphus species and varieties." So wrote Donald Wyman, in 1936. in the an Arnold Arboretum (Harvard University) newsletter. He goes on to state that the 1931 "Plant Buyer's Index " lists 68 different mock-oranges. From your grandmother's garden to the new nursery down the street: what's tried and true, and what's new, in the delightful mockorange.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

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Prune Spring Flowering Shrubs as Soon as the Blossoms Fall
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Stop and smell the lilac - then prune it. Lilac, azalea, forsythia, and other spring flowering shrubs must be pruned right after the flowering period is over. Improper pruning will rob you of blooms. Good pruning habits will keep your spring flowering shrubs in top condition for years.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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See the Forest AND the Trees Courtesy of Your National Parks System
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

America's National Park Service system showcases our country's best features, from Acadia, Maine to Zion Canyon, Utah. Celebrate natural and manmade wonders of the United States during National Park Week every April.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

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Spring Bulb Blooms May Be Finished but the Gardening Isn't
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Spring flowering bulbs really get your attention while in bloom. Many homeowners debate how best to care for them afterwards, to keep them blooming and multiplying for years to come. Maximize the return on your investment in spring bulbs by knowing what to do for them when the petals fall.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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Explaining Vegetable Families: Cucumbers, Squash, Pumpkins and Melons are "Cucurbits"
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Dozens of kinds of vegetables grow in home gardens. But nearly all of those crops have their "roots" in just a few plant families. The cucurbit family includes all of the squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons in your garden. Understand the special needs and attributes of Cucurbitaceae when planning and tending your garden.

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Monday, March 25, 2013

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Invasive Plant Research Yields Some Good News
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Invasives are here to stay; that much is painfully obvious. For years we've heard about acres of wild lands lost to invasives, about the inevitable occupation of native "niches' by foreign species. What does the current research say? You may be surprised by these news items related to invasive plant species.

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Friday, March 22, 2013

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Think Twice about Leatherleaf Mahonia
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

When one gets excited about plants*, its easy to be impulsive. Unfortunately, if you don't think twice before planting certain specimens, you may have second thoughts afterward. Leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), also known as Beale's barberry, is a second thought kind of plant.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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Lucky Bean Plant: A New Curiosity is Really a Flowering Tropical Tree
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

It had to be fake. A plastic giant bean, split as if germinated, with a green stem stuck between the halves. It couldn't be real.

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