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Dave's Garden Articles: By Sally G. Miller

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Frosty fern: adding Selaginella to your collection
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Frosty fern is a relatively new offering for indoor gardens where I live. It's a friendly looking, cute little plant worth trying or giving. Curiously enough, it is really not a fern, and will die if it gets too frosty (frozen.) So what is it, really?

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Monday, December 1, 2014

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Queen's Tears: the Beginning of Beautiful Billbergia
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I'd heard the exotic name "Queen's tears" years ago but never seen the plant. Now that I have one, I'm learning that it is just one of many wonderful, equally fascinating siblings in genus Billbergia.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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Tips for Growing Your Own Harvest Decorations
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Piles of pumpkins, scads of squash, gatherings of gourds...it's fun to fill the front porch or dining table with fruits of the harvest. Growing them is a great beginner-gardener or child-friendly project. Here are tips for growing decorative fruits of the harvest.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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Checklist of timely tips for November gardening
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

The cooler weather of autumn inspires many to harvest a few more glorious hours in the home garden. And why not, when there is so much gardening still to do? Check these tips to help you plan your precious gardening time in the last several weeks of the year.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

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Growing great hardshell gourds
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Bottle, kettle, apple, swan; the descriptive names of hardshell gourds tell you this is a fun crop. And, unlike colorful thin shelled gourds which brighten fall displays and soon wither away, hardshell gourds will dry to a permanent and very craftable wooden form. I'd like to give you the basics on growing the best hardshell gourds for crafting fun.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

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Rain chains, decorative alternative to downspouts
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Rain chains are hundreds of years old, and one of the newest trends in jazzing up the home landscape. Pretty and practical combined, they can be purchased or crafted at home from a variety of materials. See if a rain chain might fit your home landscape needs.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Euonymus leaf notcher: A new pest
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

You could say we asked for it with the widespread use of a few Asian Euonymus species in our landscaping. It's inevitable that Asian insects would follow. The Euonymus leaf notcher (Pryeria sinica) is a recently identified Asian moth that's finding a comfortable new home in Maryland and Virginia gardens. Learn to recognize this pest and be ready to greet it with safe, effective control methods.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

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A small story of monarch motherhood
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

What difference can one person make to the numbers of monarch butterflies in the world? The monarch world may never realize what difference we made. But the gardener will know. This story begins with a small effort by one gentle gardener. I will call her Miss M...

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Friday, September 19, 2014

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Fothergilla- Lesser-known native shrub with big fall color
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

With gorgeous fall color, Fothergilla (witch-alder) should be more well known to gardeners. This native shrub deserves the spotlight for its fall foliage show. Spring flowers, ease of care, and versatility round out a profile of an excellent candidate for many landscapes. (Did I mention the gorgeous fall color?)

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Friday, September 12, 2014

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Creepy Crickets: What Gardeners Need to Know About Camel Crickets, Mole Crickets, Mormon Crickets and Jerusalem Crickets
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Field crickets are well-known to most gardeners. But charming field crickets have some creepy cousins. Most of us will eventually encounter one of these odd insects. Here's what you'll need to know when destiny brings you face to face with a "creepy cricket."

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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Field crickets: these summer singers are welcome, almost all the time
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

One of our most familiar insects, whether you garden or not, is the field cricket. The sound of late summer is the song of crickets chirping, all day and all of the night.

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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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