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

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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'Shrubby' Penstemons
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you love Penstemons but live in an area appears to be too wet? Then don't despair! There is at least one group of Penstemon that thrive in wet-summer areas. They are dwarf, mostly evergreen and make wonderful additioons to the front of the border or in the rockery. This group is called the 'Shrubby' Penstemon or botanically, species from the subgenus Dasanthera.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers penstemons rock gardens
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Fun feature: Dave's Garden Riddle
By Melody Rose (melody)

Dave's Garden members enjoy many activities besides gardening, and solving puzzles is a favorite pastime. We're offering this fun Saturday feature for everyone to test their identification and riddle-solving solving skills. We'll have an image or a question for everyone to speculate as to what it is. Just post your guess below and click the link to see the answer. No Peeking!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

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Can’t Grow Bell Peppers? Here’s a Ringing Endorsement for Some Alternative Sweet Pepper Varieties
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

I’ve struggled to grow bell peppers in my garden. Prolific varieties like ‘California Wonder’ produced small peppers for me. Other plants produced beautiful golden or red bell peppers, but only one or two per plant, per season. I tried many hybrids before realizing I had to learn to think outside the bell…

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Read more articles about:  summer gardening vegetable gardening cooking recipes canning and preserving foods peppers Capsicum
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Beach Botany
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

There are a lot of things one can do at the beach - swimming, fishing, surfing, kite flying, walking, beachcombing, bird watching, sun bathing, jogging, tidepooling, kayaking, botanizing... Botanizing? Yes, identifying, observing, and examining plants at the beach can add to your day of fun.

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Read more articles about:  plant identification North American native plants salt-tolerant plants

Thursday, July 15, 2010

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The Standard Flower Show -- Combination Plantings
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Ask three people what constitutes a combination planting, and you’ll get three different definitions. All of them would be right, unless they were entering a Standard Flower Show sponsored by a club that is a member of National Garden Clubs. In that case, there are very specific correct answers.

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Read more articles about:  flower shows container gardening terrariums dish gardens

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

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The Dirty Half Dozen: Six Insects That Are Harmful To Vegetable Gardens
By Melody Rose (melody)

In the past year, more people have decided to raise their own vegetables for a great number of reasons. The upsurge of first-time vegetable gardeners is quite noticeable. They have a hard time deciding what is a beneficial insect, and what insects will do their gardens harm. Here are six different insects that you do not want hanging around your vegetables. We will call them The Dirty Half Dozen.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening pests insects beetles aphids hornworms
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Aunt Bett, Aunt Elen and Headache Cures: Feverfew
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

One might think that one great aunt is enough to add spice to your life, but I had another one who added nothing but vinegar. The trouble was, I worried more about her than I worried about Aunt Bett. I shouldn't have, she very nearly outlived me.

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

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Introduction to Aloe Hybrids
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

There are potentially an almost limitless number of these hybrids, and some of them are among the most popular and commonly grown of all the aloes. This article will introduce the reader to a few of these ornamental succulents.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents container gardening aloes nomenclature

Sunday, July 11, 2010

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Zephyranthes, The Magic Rain Lily
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

Mirror, mirror of the pond, which is the fairest rain lily in the world?

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Read more articles about:  bulbs Zephyranthes
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A large and colorful family, the Acanthaceae. (Part three)
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Ah, here come my friendly visitors with seed baggies ready and pruning shears firmly clenched in hand, ready to get some more material from today’s tour in the garden as they know we are going to meet with another set of members of the Acanthaceae family.

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Read more articles about:  Acanthaceae tropicals

Saturday, July 10, 2010

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Japanese Maples 101
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Japanese maples are often considered one of the most lovely garden trees. Certainly few garden plants exhibit such variation in habit, leaf form and colour. This article will be the first of several devoted to this most elegant of garden plants. Here will be described the cultural requirements of Japanese maples, how to plant and how they are placed into their various groups, based on size or leaf shape.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs maple trees Japanese maples

Friday, July 9, 2010

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The Brazilian (Canna) Skipper
By Deb Magnes (debnes_dfw_tx)

The Brazilian Skipper is 100% butterfly, even though it has been commonly mistaken for a moth. The flight motion of the skipper is usually quick, skipping from flower to flower, for such they were named. They drink nectar from flowers, and skip only in the daylight hours. Not at night when moths are most active. As a caterpillar, they are not favorably recognized. One might even say they are the underdogs of cats. What if all they need is a formal introduction and a little more information? Then all is well...let's just start all over again!

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Read more articles about:  butterflies moths Cannas host and nectar plants
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Easy tree swings mean happy kids (and parents)
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Take one sturdy shade tree, add two easy swings ideas, and invest just a little time and money. The payoff comes as a million kid-hours of outdoor fun while you watch from the hammock.

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Read more articles about:  gardening with kids tree swings swings oak trees

Thursday, July 8, 2010

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Cheddar Pinks: sometimes pink, never cheesy!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

When I first started gardening, a visiting friend brought me a terracotta pot with small mounded blue-gray grass looking contents. He assured me they (it?) would not only survive, but thrive next summer. I really didn’t appreciate it for 2 more years until one spring day I walked out my front door and was mesmerized by a sweet-spicy clove scent gently wafting from the delicate pink blooms. I was hooked, and now always have some growing in my garden.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers fragrant plants and flowers Dianthus pinks
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Spider Mite Rose Attack
By Diana Wind (wind)

Usually insects and arachnids live in our gardens peacefully, and we don’t even know they are there. Every now and then, though, they declare war on us, and our plants show signs of attack. Spider mites are a common garden pest that can severely attack when conditions are right. When they feast on beautiful roses, they create a not-so-rosy picture.

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Read more articles about:  insects pest management

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

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Seaside Plants
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

As gardener in a seaside community you need to always consider your choice of plants based on their saline-resistance. Not just salty soil, but especially salt-laden winds can wreak havoc with your beautiful plantings. Fortunately there are a number of plants that are eminently salt-resistant. Because of my location I will concentrate here on plants that grow in the beach areas of Florida.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips tropicals salt-tolerant plants

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

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Predator Insects: Nature's Ninjas
By Melody Rose (melody)

Creeping as quietly as a ninja, striking faster than a rattlesnake, they are part of the drama that goes on in every garden. They go about their business silently, and mostly unseen. These creatures are a necessary part of a well functioning eco-system. Even though they may not be loved by the squeamish, predator insects provide balance wherever plants grow. Some will be familiar, and others will surprise you.

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Read more articles about:  insects praying mantis dragonflies mosquito hawk beneficial insects

Sunday, July 4, 2010

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Introduction to Gasterias, Common and Easy Succulents for the Garden and Pottery
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Gasteria are neat, compact, easy-to-grow succulents from South Africa that are very common in the nursery trade, but probably should become even more so. This article serves as an introduction to this wonderful genus.

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Read more articles about:  gasterias cactus and succulents

Friday, July 2, 2010

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Wildflowers of the "Little House" Books
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

“There are no hothouse blossoms that can compare in beauty and fragrance with my bouquet of wild flowers.” So declared Laura Ingalls Wilder decades after her pioneer childhood. As a little girl, Laura thrilled to the colors and scents of the wildflowers she encountered in the woods and vast prairies of newly settled American territory. As an adult author, she used her memories of the natural world to bring the historic Midwest landscape to life in the “Little House” books.

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Read more articles about:  wildflowers garden history prairie plants

Thursday, July 1, 2010

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ColorChoice 2008 Introductions
By Victor Carrano (victorgardener)

Interested in gorgeous spreading roses that do not require spraying? What about a hydrangea that will bloom every year, starting in mid-summer, with foot - long panicles that turn from white through shades of pink? Those are just two of the 2008 introductions from the folks at ColorChoice®, the source of many of today's top flowering shrubs.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs hydrangeas roses
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Hibiscus sabdariffa (Roselle)
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

The roselle is up and growing again this year. While it is pretty enough all summer long with its dark green, deeply dissected leaves and red stems, that’s only the beginning of the show. As the season progresses, it gets better as the flowers bloom and the bright red calyces line the stems.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals annual flowers Hibiscus medicinal plants

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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Tomato Plants Getting Spotty? Don't Panic! How to Prevent and Treat Tomato Blights
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Last summer’s runaway “late blight” wiped out tomato harvests for a lot of us and left us ready to panic at the first sign on disease on our plants. If you see signs of problems on your plants this summer, don’t despair. Late blight isn’t the only possibility, and most of the alternatives are far easier to both prevent and treat!

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Read more articles about:  tomatoes early blight late blight tomato blights growing tomatoes

Sunday, June 27, 2010

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

You had been warned, the Acanthaceae is an extensive family with many noteworthy members; here are a few more

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Read more articles about:  Acanthaceae tropicals
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Aroids of the imagination VIII - Bananas and Aroids: A Match Made on Aroidia!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Banana plants have captured my attention for a longer period of my life than aroids have, so it is only natural that at some point, I would imagine the ideal melding of both into one plant. On Aroidia, the ultimate example of this fusion is found, but on Earth, a very close approximation can be seen in the aroid genus Typhonodorum . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids banana trees

Saturday, June 26, 2010

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Northern Lights Azaleas
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

There has been much talk about the Northern Lights Azaleas in recent years. And rightly so! For gardeners in zones 4 and even zone 3, they are invaluable shrubs for bright spring blooms. But even in zones 5-9, these cold hardy azaleas are still a welcome additon to the garden. Compact in size, vibrant colored, mostly fragrant and excellent fall color; sounds like the perfect shrub!

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs Azaleas

Friday, June 25, 2010

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Victorian Gardens of Cape May
By Diana Wind (wind)

Cape May, New Jersey features beautiful beaches, Victorian homes and gardens, butterflies, raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, ruby-throated hummingbirds and wetlands. The Cape is nestled in a peninsula at the southern most tip of New Jersey, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. This National historic landmark attracts travelers from around the world.

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Read more articles about:  cottage gardens butterflies fall gardening Monarch butterflies Victorian plants

Thursday, June 24, 2010

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Selaginella, Arborvitae Fern
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Every once in a while the gardener discovers, quite by accident, one plant or another that becomes an all-time favorite. Such is my experience with arborvitae fern (Selaginella braunii). My introduction to this plant happened a few years back when I visited the garden of a neighbor. I was smitten from the beginning.

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Read more articles about:  Selaginella ground covers mosses shade gardening

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

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Basil, the King of Herbs
By Diana Wind (wind)

BASIL (Ocimum basilicum) is derived from the Greek word 'basileus', which means King. Is basil the best herb (i.e., King) or was basil fit for Kings, since it is supposed to offer protection from the mythological half-lizard/half-dragon of death? I cannot tell you those answers; maybe you can tell me. What I can share with you is my love for the many varieties of basil, along with the nutrition profile and popular culinary uses for sweet basil.

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Read more articles about:  herbs basil cooking

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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Dutchman's Breeches, A Comedy of Errors
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Dutchman's Breeches is such a pretty wildflower. It has a history as strange as its name, and Aunt Bett's use of it was nothing but hilarious. Years have passed since our days of searching for this flower during springtime, but the sight of them still makes me smile.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening folklore and legends garden history herbs shade gardens Dutchman\'s breeches Aunt Bett stories

Monday, June 21, 2010

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How peculiar: A green flower
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Green thumb? Check. Green leaves? Check. Green with zone envy? Often. Green flowers? Say what? I love green flowers because of that very reaction; that and chartreuse is my favorite color. Here’s a few of my favorite green flowers to put in and around your garden to evoke a reaction of your own. Or, why not try a green-themed garden?

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Read more articles about:  annual flowers perennial flowers green flowers
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Dangerous Palms
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Most palms are relatively safe to grow, but some have their hazards.

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Read more articles about:  palms tropicals plant dangers

Sunday, June 20, 2010

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Making Cherry Pie from Your Own Cherry Tree
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

“Can she make a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?” You bet she can! And you can, too! From your own tree? Even better...

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries recipes orchards cherries

Friday, June 18, 2010

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Use cattle panels to build an arched trellis & hoop house
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

I experimented with an arched trellis made with concrete re-mesh wire and metal fence posts for my tomatoes and pole beans last year. It was a great success despite the late tomato blight, so this year I wanted a more structurally sound arched trellis and the cattle panels were the perfect size, sturdy and easy to manage!

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening winter gardening summer gardening gardening tips garden design and landscaping

Thursday, June 17, 2010

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Drought Survival
By Gabrielle Rhodes (Gabrielle)

It's HOT! It's DRY! There may even be a ban on watering. What's a gardener to do? Well, here are a few tips that I use around here.

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Read more articles about:  xeriscaping conservation gray water
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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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