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Gardening Articles, Tips and How-tos - Dave's Garden

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Gardening Tips Cactus and Succulents Vines Spring Gardening
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Annual Flowers Garden Humor Herbs and Herbalism Fall Gardening
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Tropical Plants Houseplants Winter Gardening

Thursday, June 17, 2010

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Forum Banners: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
By Melody Rose (melody)

Our forum banners follow our commitment to being for and by gardeners, and have been created from photos shared by members. Looking around, it's easy to see they have taken some fantastic photographs. So how does a forum get its own special banner here at Dave's Garden? Really all it takes is asking the question, and a little legwork.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

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Leaf miners: more than meets the eye
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Cryptic white squiggles or shriveled patches on leaves could be the work of hidden leaf miners.

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Read more articles about:  leaf miners insects pests leaves Integrated Pest Management

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Aunt Bett's Pleurisy Root: Butterfly weed
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Seems to me that everybody got sick all at the same time back when I was Aunt Bett's young assistant. It wasn't unusual to have four or five folks huddled around the coal stove on a chilly winter's day in Aunt Bett's front room. Some were coughing, some were just sitting, and one was unbelievably handsome.

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Read more articles about:  herbs folklore and legends Asclepias herbalism Aunt Bett stories

Monday, June 14, 2010

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Introduction to Bougainvillea
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This amazing colorful vine is grown extensively as a landscaping shrub and potted plant throughout much of the tropics and the warm temperate and subtropics throughout the world.

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Read more articles about:  Bougainvillea vines tropicals

Saturday, June 12, 2010

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Pruning, pinching and picking
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

Most of us know we have to prune forsythia and pinch coleus. But when I said "this tree needs to be pruned" and my darling husband said "but I did that last year," this reporter resolved to learn more about why we need to prune our plants and trees.

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Read more articles about:  pruning pinch topping

Friday, June 11, 2010

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Sprouts for Salads
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

You don't have to have a big garden to have freshly-grown greens in your salad every day, regardless of the season. You don't even have to have a garden at all. Anyone can grow zesty, crunchy fresh sprouts in the kitchen with a minimum of effort and expense.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening seed starting greens lettuce
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Diamond Frost Euphorbia
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Diamond Frost® euphorbia has captured the hearts of gardeners throughout the world. Its merits are touted at gardening programs featuring dependable plants for the garden, and its praises are sung by friends who share affection for the plant as they relate their experiences in growing it.

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Read more articles about:  Euphorbias container gardening annual flowers tropicals

Thursday, June 10, 2010

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Hummingbirds, Nature's Kamikazes: Attracting and enjoying the Ruby-throat hummingbird: Part I
By Melody Rose (melody)

What is it about Hummingbirds that makes normally sane people do crazy things? We spend untold amounts on the perfect feeders, and landscape whole gardens devoted to the health and happiness of these little creatures. Books, websites, and lectures are devoted solely to their habitat, care, and migration patterns. These tiniest of birds with the boldest of attitudes have captured the hearts of young and old alike.

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Read more articles about:  birds wildlife insects hummingbirds bird feeders host and nectar plants migration
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What are annuals?
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

There you are wandering the aisles of the big box store or huge nursery. The helpful sales person stumps you with his first question-"Are you looking for annuals or perennials?" Well, what are annuals anyway?

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Read more articles about:  annual flowers beginner gardening

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

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The Color Red in Folklore and in the Garden
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

If nature has a favorite color, it would have to be red. It may not be the most common color, but you can find red just about anywhere, from the depths of the sea to the depths of space. It is found in fresh molten lava and ancient sandstone. It's all around outside us, and inside us too. Truly, literally, we can't live without red.

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Read more articles about:  folklore and legends color theory garden design and landscaping

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

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Aunt Bett and Gathering Cowslips
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I had a hard time understanding what Aunt Bett was going to do with cowslips the first time we climbed the mountain to gather them. I thought we were going to a pasture where cows grazed in the summer, and then I wondered what on earth cows would do without their lips. It was all a mystery to me.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening herbs primrose cowslips Primula Aunt Bett stories

Sunday, June 6, 2010

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A large and colorful family, the Acanthaceae
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

This article is an introduction to an extended botanical family well worth meeting and growing…

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Read more articles about:  tropicals Acanthaceae

Friday, June 4, 2010

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Rain Gardens-Got Bog?
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Do you have a bog, low spot, problems with standing water? Well then, a rain garden just might be the solution to your landscaping problems and you will be helping the environment as well.

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Read more articles about:  backyard habitats garden design and landscaping conservation rain gardens bogs

Thursday, June 3, 2010

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Crotons : Codiaeum (koe-dih-EE-um or koh-dee-EYE-um)
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Crotons can be grown as a landscape plant in Zones 10-11. Outside those zones, they make colorful container plants that can be kept for years with just a modicum of care.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals crotons Codiaeum houseplants

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

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Garden Styles: Xeriscape
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Summer of 2007 was a real eye-opener for hundreds of gardeners around the country. Statistics proved it wasn't just our own gardens that were suffering from the lack of rain - one-third of the country was under some level of drought conditions. Having moved from a lush city lot with abundant water at hand to a rural setting on a hill serviced by a not-so-abundant well, I learned quickly that my plant choices would have to change.

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Read more articles about:  conservation xeriscaping drought-tolerant plants mulches
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Agave 101, Part B: Selected Large Species
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

In a previous article I introduced the reader to the basics of Agave culitvation and a few of the more common species of Agave. In this one I will touch upon several of the larger species of Agave. This article will in no way be able to cover all the larger Agave species there are, but it should provide at least an introduction to these large desert landscape plants.

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Read more articles about:  Agaves cactus and succulents desert landscaping

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

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Glad About Glads
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

To paraphrase that well-worn Shakespearean saw about a rose: A glad by any other name is still a glad. But...is it one gladiolus or one gladiola? Is it two gladiolus, two gladiolas, two gladioluses, or two gladioli? All of these forms of the name appear in a Google search of "gladiolus." Proper Latin would dictate only two: gladiolus (singular) and gladioli (plural). I prefer to use "glad," which avoids this confusion altogether.

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Read more articles about:  bulbs gladiolus

Monday, May 31, 2010

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Insect Profile: Cucumber Beetles
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

The kids will soon be wrapping up their school year, the NHL and NBA are heading toward their respective post-seasons...and the cucumber beetles are preparing to party harder than Paris Hilton.

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Read more articles about:  organic gardening insects pests beetles ladybugs beneficial insects

Sunday, May 30, 2010

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Tips on planning a fruit garden
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

The trend today is very strong for growing your own, whether vegetables, fruits or nuts, and fruit bush and tree suppliers were sold out early this year. Now is a good time to do some planning and preparation for your future fruit garden (and remember to order early for next year). Planning involves many things: layout, soil, water, drainage, sunlight, wind direction, and of course, choosing what to plant. This article will cover some tips and suggestions.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries orchards garden design and landscaping

Saturday, May 29, 2010

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Lady Ferns (Athyrium species) for the Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

One of the most important ferns for the landscape is the lady fern, Athyrium felix-femina. There are many named cultivars which vary tremendously in their size and shape. There are also several other garden-worthy species, the most important being the Japanese Painted Fern, A. niponicum 'Pictum' and its newer cultivars. This article will introduce you to the wonderful diversity found in the genus Athyrium.

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Read more articles about:  ferns Athyrium

Friday, May 28, 2010

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Astilbe: Introduction and Cultivars
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Astilbes boast airy plumes of feathery blooms high above deeply cut, glossy foliage. They are perennial to Zone 3 and lend an elegance to moist, partial sun borders or ponds. If you are unfamiliar with Astilbe, delve into their graceful world with me.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers ponds and water gardens Astilbes shade gardens
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Do as I say, not as I do
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

" I really should have ___" must be my garden mantra. It's what I mutter to myself daily while strolling the green acres. I'm constantly reminded of good garden practices that I fail to follow through on. Maybe a public confession here, of what I know I should be doing, will shame me into action.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips beginner gardening garden humor

Thursday, May 27, 2010

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Crocus Lawns for a Joyful Spring
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

When they heard we’d be adopting a baby girl, my wonderful DG friends wanted to throw a shower. They asked what we needed for our new daughter. I thought back to the sweeps of bright blooms we’d seen in Amsterdam last spring and said “Crocus bulbs! Let’s plant a crocus lawn for her.”

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Read more articles about:  bulbs crocus tutorial naturalizing

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

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Toxic Plants- What Does That Really Mean
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

What does it mean to say a plant is toxic? How toxic does a toxic plant have to be to be toxic or non-toxic? That may seem like an odd question, but is one that has bothered me for years, and particularly as I read another senseless, long list of toxic plants on the internet.

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Read more articles about:  toxic plants gardening and our pets

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

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Mistletoe, Birds and Butterflies
By Kennedy Harris (kennedyh)

Drooping Mistletoe is a common mistletoe in Southern Australia, growing mainly on Eucalyptus and Acacia trees. It is mainly dispersed by one little bird, the Mistletoe Bird and it is the food plant for a beautiful butterfly, the Imperial White and a beautiful moth, the Mistletoe Moth.

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Read more articles about:  birds butterflies moths mistletoe mistletoe birds

Monday, May 24, 2010

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The Subtle Saffron: Growing and Using
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, is easily grown in the home garden. YOU CAN grow it yourself! Crocus sativus is a member of the iris family.

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Read more articles about:  bulbs cooking recipes spices
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Eucharis amazonica - the Beautiful Amazon Lily
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The Amazon lily is a tropical bulb that produces clusters of fragrant, star-shaped white flowers up to three times a year. Although hardy only in tropical regions, it is an excellent houseplant that can add beauty to interiorscapes anywhere in the world.

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Read more articles about:  Eucharis tropicals houseplants

Sunday, May 23, 2010

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The Mulberry Tree: Is it a Friend or a Foe? Is it Wonderful Fruit or Free Bird Food?
By April (Aunt_A)

Like a berry on a tree, swinging softly in the breeze. Will the blue jay and the redbird eat my pie before it can be? Dear mulberry tree, I love you, but your wine stain brings me to my knees.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries mulberries birds natural dyes
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Some vines on Reunion Island, part six
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Vines lovers welcome on today’s tour, it has been a while since we did not have to bring along our solid machete in order not get tangled in those wiry stems, let us see some more climbers…

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Read more articles about:  vines climbers tropicals island life Reunion island

Saturday, May 22, 2010

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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

On Saturdays, the Writer's Group would like to say thanks by presenting a "You Supply The Caption" photo. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you the Readers will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just our way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Read more articles about:  garden humor farm life cows

Thursday, May 20, 2010

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Aralia cordata: Growing Udo
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

One of the great leafy vegetables from Japan that is a rare sight in American gardens is the Udo. This will be a starting look into the plant, how to grow it, and how to prepare it for consumption.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening cooking greens Udo
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Incredible Edible Flax
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

It’s hard to pick up any health magazine today without seeing an article touting the many benefits of flax. Flaxseed is widely used as a nutritional additive to foods, as a fiber crop, and pressed for its oil. Flax (known as common flax) is grown in the home garden for its lovely blue flowers.

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Read more articles about:  annual flowers Linum nutrition

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

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Colorful Palms- Not all Palms are Simple Green
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

There is a surprising variety of colors in the palm world. Palms are not always simply green tropical foliage. This article is a pictorial introduction to some of the most beautiful and surprising colors one can encounter in the palm family (Arecaceae)

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Read more articles about:  tropicals palms and cycads foliage plants

Monday, May 17, 2010

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Grass ~ More Than Just a Summer Chore
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Grass. It covers one-fourth of Earth's land, feeds millions of animals and birds, and helps stop erosion. Grass fills our vistas with beauty and helps purify the air and, in our own habitats, it defines our landscapes and holds together our garden designs.

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Read more articles about:  summer gardening lawn care ornamental grasses conservation
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Visiting My Garden's Wild Country Cousins
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

I recently spent half of my Spring Break at Mammoth Cave National Park, near Cave City, Kentucky. The park is obviously well-known for the cave that is within its confines (Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world, with around 370 miles of passages), but it also contains many lovely hiking trails above ground. It was there that I rediscovered the charm of random patches of flowers dispersed among the leaf litter on the ground, and a subtle smattering of color peeping from behind a fallen log.

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Read more articles about:  wildflowers hiking plant identification

Saturday, May 15, 2010

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Lewisia: Alpines Gems of North America
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

One of the symbol plants of the western American mountains are Lewisia. They are one of the most choice alpines that rock gardening enthusiasts can grow, but many are a bit of a challenge. Cultivation in pots is often an easier way to grow them. This article will introduce you to the plant named after Lewis of the famous 'Lewis and Clarke expedition'.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants lewisia alpine plants
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Bluebonnets: A Texas Tradition
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

As the bumpersticker says: “Don’t Mess with Texas.” The same can be said for our state flower, the Texas Bluebonnet, aka Lupinus texensis.

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Read more articles about:  bluebonnets Texas wildflowers Lupinus texensis Alamo Fire

Thursday, May 13, 2010

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Growing Asparagus
By Diana Wind (wind)

Once you decide to plant nutritious asparagus in your garden, there are only a few things left to decide: 1) what cultivar(s)? 2) crowns or seeds? and, 3) where to plant your perennial asparagus patch? Asparagus could make a home in your kitchen garden for 20 or more years!

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Read more articles about:  asparagus vegetable gardening spring gardening nutrition cooking vegetables

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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Let's Make Ginger Beer
By Ian Maxwell (GranvilleSouth)

We've been introduced to common hinger & shown how to grow it. Now it is time to take a closer look at the ginger families & one of the most popular ways of using this fragrant herb.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals cooking Zingiber

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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Fumitory
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Fumitory was not supposed to grow in Kentucky, but without even a line between us, how would it know to stay in Virginia?

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism folklore and legends Aunt Bett stories fumitory

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