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

Welcome to our library of articles, where you can search and browse over 2,000 articles written by our own team of garden writers. Interested in becoming a Dave's Garden writer? Submit an article to apply.

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Perennial Flowers Herbs and Herbalism Vines Spring Gardening
Annual Flowers Cactus and Succulents Invasives and Weeds Summer Gardening
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Fruits and Berries Wildlife Fall Gardening
Tropical Plants Houseplants Gardening Tips Winter Gardening

Friday, February 5, 2010

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Aquarium to Terrarium
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

Have you ever seen those really cheap used aquariums in yard sales? Ever wondered what they'd be good for? Any plant loving human has dreamed of a terrarium at one time or other. That perfect blend of humidity and warmth, a mini tropical paradise. This article will explain how to create that paradise.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants frugal gardening recycling African violets ferns terrariums
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The Chaparral: A Western Story
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

Ned cursed himself for being so gold greedy. Why did he ever leave his safe clerk job in Indianapolis just to die in this forsaken desert-jungle? He cursed Lulu-Belle. The fool horse was frightened by a shadow and ran off with the saddlebags and canteens. He cursed the wretched scrub - too high to see over, too low to shade him; too thin to climb up, too thick to crawl through. He had to marvel at it, though. He had traveled through the desert and the vegetation was as sparse as expected. Here, the ground was a dry as a bone but the vegetation was as thick as in the Missouri River bottomland.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants Mediterranean climates drought-tolerant plants chaparral fire ecology

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

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Wide Row Raised Bed Gardening-The perfect plan for the lazy gardener
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Rather than plant single straight rows in your garden, try planting wide rows. Several advantages are listed below along with some general instructions for creating wide rows. You'll get more yield in less space, and your garden will require less maintenance.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening tips raised bed gardens
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The Skeleton in the Garden
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Admit it. You look out the window and the landscape is pretty bleak, unless you live in the southern part of the planet. Here in Ohio (Zones 5 & 6), the view doesn't offer much from December through March, but this is the perfect time to take stock of your gardens.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping ornamental trees and shrubs pruning

Monday, February 1, 2010

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Buying, Transplanting, and Caring for Bareroot Plants
By TC Conner (tcfromky)

Choosing bareroot plants can allow the home gardener to select from a wide variety of interesting flowers, shrubs, and trees.

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Read more articles about:  bareroot plants mail order gardening perennial flowers ornamental trees and shrubs

Friday, January 29, 2010

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Seed Starting 101: Seedling Heat Mats and Inexpensive Alternatives
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Are your peppers more poky than perky? Is your basil more balky than bouncy? Do you wish your seeds would speedily sprout into sturdy seedlings? Bottom heat could be the answer. The seed catalogs piling up by your easy chair tout the wonders of seedling heat mats – and they are right! Heat mats can produce remarkable results. But are they the only answer?

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips propagating plants seed starting vegetable gardening herbs

Thursday, January 28, 2010

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Springtime, Summertime, Autumn, Wintertime … Dreamtime: New Plants to Consider
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

In this second installment of Springtime, Summertime, Autumn, Wintertime … Dreamtime, I invite you to join me in another activity of this "fifth season" that I celebrate every year in January and February.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers North American native plants hydrangeas Thalictrum Mahonia peonies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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Food From the Fruits of Our Labor: Winter Delights with Preserved Vegetables
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Our chores in the garden are long past and, as winter settles in, most gardeners are probably already looking at nursery catalogs. But if you worked hard last season, you should have a cupboard or freezer full of goodies to warm you through the cold weeks ahead. Here are some recipes to help you use the bounty.

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Read more articles about:  canning and preserving foods cooking recipes vegetable gardening

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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The Benzoin Tree
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

These days I am much more aware of lists of ingredients on products that I purchase. I am the one standing in the aisle of the corner grocery reading the fine print on the bottle of cough syrup or the jar of peanut butter. Someday soon, perhaps we will all be standing in the aisles reading labels.

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Read more articles about:  herbs garden history tropicals benzoin

Sunday, January 24, 2010

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The Magic of Green
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

The color green could be considered the color of life. Humans cannot be self-supporting for long in a place that is never green. What is more bleak than an iceberg, lava field, or empty parking lot? Green is the color of plants and plants are making our oxygen and directly and indirectly making our food. Plants are the basis of most of the life on earth.

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Read more articles about:  leaves color theory green flowers colors folklore

Saturday, January 23, 2010

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Scallions from sets or seeds
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Are you chomping at the bit, (er, hoe?) in early spring? Get started early by planting onion sets for green onions, or take scallions to the next level with seeds for bunching onion varieties. Either way, you'll soon enjoy crisp tangy scallions from the garden.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening onions and garlic seed starting scallions

Friday, January 22, 2010

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The Petrified Forest National Park: Frozen Forever in Sparkling Stone.
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

One of the stranger things found in nature, petrified wood has all the texture of bark and splinters, and all the color and shimmer of a display at the Museum of Gems and Minerals.

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Read more articles about:  nature fossils geology National Park American Southwest

Thursday, January 21, 2010

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Sweetshrub, a Necessary Shrub for Fragrant Gardens
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Gardeners may not have thought of sweetshrub for years, but one sniff transports us to yesteryear and memories long buried in the recesses of our minds. In all likelihood, if sweetshrub is not already a part of our garden, a whiff of the heady scent on a spring day sends us off to the nursery in search of one.

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Read more articles about:  Calycanthus fragrant plants and flowers ornamental trees and shrubs

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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Fairy rings and other plant lore
By Dana Garmon (iris28)

Have you ever wondered how plants get their common name? Have you ever been curious as to why some old-time gardeners do the things they do? Oral traditions and folk lore are a big part of gardening culture. Many plants get their common name from an old wives' tale or a story that has been passed down. Old-time gardeners follow the rules of local stories and lyrics about planting more than the back of the package. How many stories do you have growing in your garden?

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Read more articles about:  folklore and legends ornamental trees and shrubs fungi fairy gardens

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

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Introduction to Cold Hardy Tree Ferns
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Few plants say the tropics more effectively than do tree ferns, yet thankfully many species of tree ferns are fairly cold hardy, enabling gardeners throughout the world to use these for decoration and landscaping in climates much less tropical than from where they originate. The tree fern is a commonly used plant in landscaping designs from Britain, the Pacific Northwest, the Mediterranean, Southern California, the Southeast US and in tropical climates all over the world. They are basically living works of art, as well as useful shade for smaller, understory, more tender tropical and subtropical plants in marginal climates. The following is a brief overview of some of the more commonly grown cold hardy tree ferns in cultivation.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals tree ferns
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Slippery Elm, Slippery Slide
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Slippery elm and Raggedy Ann's Slippery Slide have not a thing in common, but somehow the two intermingled in my mind. It could be because I learned about them both at about the same time when I was a little girl.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs herbs Ulmus Aunt Bett stories

Monday, January 18, 2010

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Dyeing Carnations: A Fun Project With Kids
By Melody Rose (melody)

Have you ever wondered how florists get the various colors streaked on white carnations? The answer is simple, and a wonderful project to do with children. Dyeing carnations is a common process, and is easy to do at home

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers garden crafts Dianthus carnations pinks gardening with kids

Sunday, January 17, 2010

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Clare's Garden
By Clare Corre (Clare_CA)

I have a garden for many reasons. Besides the obvious reasons of sustenance and of enjoying the pleasure derived from being surrounded by beauty, nature, color, texture, and fragrance, gardening fills the senses and soothes the soul.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals fragrant plants and flowers invasives and weeds Brugmansias Passifloras tuberoses plumbago
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Quit Smoking Using Yard Weeds (Herbs)!
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

After nearly forty years, and many attempts, I finally quit smoking cigarettes using the same weeds that grew in my yard! If your New Year's resolution was to stop smoking once and for all, check out this herbal quit-smoking method that worked for a friend and me!

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism medicinal plants recipes folklore and legends

Saturday, January 16, 2010

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21st Century Alocasia Hybrids - Developing Alocasia 'Imperial Giant'
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The genus Alocasia is one place to look if you are in search of the ultimate lush tropical garden. Unfortunately, so many of the most desirable species are also too tender to grow for very long in temperate gardens. With that in mind, I began hybridizing Alocasias with the objective of producing hardier, easier to grow tropical specimens for all gardeners. This hybrid is one of the newest I've developed.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Alocasia elephant ears

Friday, January 15, 2010

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The Medlar - Strange Fruit, What's Inside of You?
By Memory Russell (AYankeeCat)

I'll bet you have never even heard of Medlar, much less eaten one. It has been popular enough in the past to place it among the food items considered de rigueur for medieval and Renaissance-era banquets and feasts put on by the local Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization dedicated to the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe.[1] Shakesphere mentions the Medlar in more than one play and Caravaggio included it in his 1592 painting, Boy With A Basket of Fruit.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries heirloom plants medlars
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"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose": The Story Behind a Painting
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

One of the world’s most beloved depictions of a garden is “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). How Sargent came to capture that magical moment at the end of a summer’s day in his portrayal of two little girls standing amidst flowers is a fascinating one.

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Read more articles about:  Lilium garden art garden history

Thursday, January 14, 2010

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Hedgerows, Shelterbelts, and Windbreaks
By Gloria Cole (gloria125)

The strategic arrangement of trees and shrubs can significantly alter living environments for both humans and animals.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping ornamental trees and shrubs conservation hedgerows shelterbelts windbreaks
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Great English gardens - Alnwick Garden
By Sue Taylor (kniphofia)

Created by Jane, Duchess of Northumberland and opened in 2002, the Alnwick garden is one of the garden highlights of the UK.

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Read more articles about:  public gardens English gardens fountains rose gardens

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

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The Dog Rose: Rose Hips
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I recently found myself entangled in an impenetrable thicket in my son's backyard. It was my own fault, I had walked backwards playing with the little grandpuppy named Ruphus, and ended up on my backside with rose hips all around. It reminded me of a time long ago, when I ate rose hips straight from the bush.

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Read more articles about:  roses herbs herbalism

Monday, January 11, 2010

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Just add water, Paperwhites bring a hint of spring
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

When you see that classic cliche,"just add water," you're inclined to think there's a catch. But forcing paperwhite narcissus bulbs to bloom can be almost as easy as "just add water."

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Read more articles about:  paperwhites narcissus forcing flowers winter gardening bulbs gifts for gardeners

Sunday, January 10, 2010

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I Now Declare 2010 The Year of Weird
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

I seem to have a penchant for – and have experienced frequent success with – some of the odder types of edibles: purple carrots, black tomatoes, round cucumbers. But this year, my weakness for the weird has seemingly gotten out of control. Nearly every seed packet I've ordered for the coming growing season has something unique to offer, to say the least.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening seed starting tomatoes peppers melons cucumbers broccoli radishes carrots heirloom plants

Saturday, January 9, 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:  squirrels corn winter garden humor ystc

Friday, January 8, 2010

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Perennial Peanut
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Looking for an easy-care, low-maintenance groundcover for a full-sun area of your landscape? Have a berm or embankment that needs some tenacious roots to stabilize the soil? If you live in the coastal South or other temperate areas of the country, perennial peanut (Arachis glabrata) may be a great choice.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers ground covers Arachis

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

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Have no fear, Earthkind roses are here
By Dana Garmon (iris28)

In the dead of winter when those pretty catalogs start pouring in, you begin dreaming of a rose garden. After weeks of looking and planning, you decide that roses may be too much work. Have you actually gone through with your impulse only to have a rose languish through the first few seasons then never come back? Have you sworn off roses after suffering such disappointment? Well don't throw in the towel just yet. Earthkind roses might save the day.

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Read more articles about:  roses Earthkind roses
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Flower Show Inspiration: Bringing Home Ideas that Work in Your Garden
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

The justifiably famous Philadelphia Flower Show runs for 8 spectacular days in March. Seeing the huge landscaped exhibits and thousands upon thousands of blooms is an overwhelming experience. But, being gardeners, we don't just want to gawk; we want to know what we can learn and bring home with us to our own gardens! Revisit the 2009 show with me for some ideas, and whet your appetite for this year’s show....

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Read more articles about:  flower shows garden design and landscaping Philadelphia Flower Show

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

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Pipsissewa: Wintergreen
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

There was a tiny plant that was very scarce in the southeast Kentucky mountains. If I looked hard enough I could find it, and when I did I always sneaked around chewing on its leaf. It wasn't toxic, but I was never supposed to take a bite of a plant unless Aunt Bett was beside me directing every swallow.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism North American native plants Aunt Bett stories

Monday, January 4, 2010

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Yew
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

We tend to not even notice the somber green of the yew until it is dusted with snow, then realize how amazing it is that a plant's leaves can remain alive throughout the winter. Behind those leaves is a fascinating story of a tree that in ancient times was the subject of worship, and in modern times is the source of a life-saving medicine.

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Read more articles about:  evergreen trees and shrubs winter gardening Taxus

Sunday, January 3, 2010

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Landscape Designers and Why To Use One
By Susan Schlenger (schleng)

A Landscape Designer with an education in Landscape Architecture has the skills to work with all facets of the landscape. Not only can they create beautiful designs, but also keep you from making costly mistakes. Areas of expertise can range from horticulture and planting design to the more intricate areas of paving materials, grading, drainage, and lighting design. A good landscape designer will look at the entire property and create a design where all elements are not only attractive, but also one which functions well, creating a cohesiveness to the entire project.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping landscape architects
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More than you ever wanted to know about onions
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I was the designated onion gatherer. I had a basket, a hand tool, a bonnet, and a red bandana. The bonnet kept the sun off my face, I dug the onions with the hand tool, I placed the freshly dug onions in the basket, and the red bandana covered my nose. I could not stand to smell the onions.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening onions and garlic folklore and legends garden history herbs

Saturday, January 2, 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 winter gardening

Friday, January 1, 2010

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Tree and Plant Frost Protection
By Paul Anguiano (tropicalaria)

Veggies freezing in the frosty air? Jack Frost nipping at your trees? Whether you're dealing with a freak cold spell in the warmer parts of the world, or squeezing all the warmth you can out of a colder clime, frost is a killer you can protect your trees and plants from.

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Read more articles about:  weather and storms tropicals hardiness zones frost protection

Thursday, December 31, 2009

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Lentils: Red, Green, Black...just how old and valuable are they?
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

The archaeological excavation at Franchthi Cave in Greece held the discovery of lentils dating back to 11,000 b.c. Indeed, lentils are and have been an incredible nutritional source for ages and continue to provide the same today.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening garden history cooking legumes beans lentils

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

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Old-Fashioned Parlor Plants
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

Houseplants are so ubiquitous today that we sometimes pay them scarce attention--and yet raising plants in the home is a relatively recent concept, for which we can thank the Victorians. They commonly kept a space called a parlor as their “best” room, used for entertaining guests and displaying family heirlooms and treasures. Such rooms were often decorated with plants, which thus became known as “parlor plants”.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants palms and cycads Aspidistra

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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The Culture of Plants
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I had a really rotten high school history teacher. But maybe, thanks to him, here I am a few decades later happily digging around, searching for things he did not teach me. Just like a botanical archeologist looking for golden treasures, I need to share what I found with you.

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Read more articles about:  garden history holiday celebrations folklore and legends Christmas Easter mistletoe

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