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

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Friday, July 9, 2010

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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

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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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

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