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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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Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Tropical Plants Houseplants Winter Gardening

Friday, December 11, 2009

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Gifts from and for Gardeners: How to Make a Discharge Printed Vest
By Melody Rose (melody)

Now is the time of year that for many people, thoughts turn to gift giving. In my family, we celebrate Christmas with an exchange of thoughtful gifts that do not necessarily cost a great amount, but instead may be hand crafted, or tailored to each personís interests. The thought and care involved in choosing the gift is often more valuable than the actual item

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

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A Garden Like no Other
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

This is the time of year when thoughts turn to colder weather. Gardens (and gardeners) hunker down for the coming winter. Outbreaks of cold air swoop down from the Arctic, that land of perpetual ice and snow...

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Read more articles about:  garden history public gardens cool-climate gardening botanic gardens alpines

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Memories of a Longleaf Pine
By Stephanie Boles (josette63)

Growing up in the sandhills of northwest Florida, I was blessed to have the freedom to roam the woods. One of my favorite places to walk was a stand of longleaf pines on the west side of our property. An uninterrupted stroll through a stand of longleaf pines, the piney woods to old-time southern folks, is a true pleasure.

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Christmas Crafts From Old Times
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

I love Christmas! But what I like best is decorating the Christmas tree... and the sound of carols, and the smell of Christmas goodies ...yummy! Santa Claus is on his way (that is me, of course!) But I just have to wait until everyone is asleep, so I can put the gifts under the tree!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

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How To Kill Over-winter Roses
By Sheri Williams (WigglyPaw)

If someone had told me I was going to be captured, heart and soul, by the most finicky, demanding, frustrating, disease-prone plants in our universe, I think I would have gone to a psychiatrist. Now my roses are in their beds for the winter, exactly where I would like to be.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening roses hardiness zones frost protection garden humor

Saturday, December 5, 2009

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The Old World Deciduous Azalea Species
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Many of us are familiar with the deciduous azaleas. Many of the wild forms hail from eastern North America but a few choice species also hail from Eurasia. This article will introduce you to these Old World azaleas.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs rhododendrons azaleas acidic soil
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

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

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

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Pomander Balls - natural air fresheners you can make with your children this holiday season!
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

Jumpstart your own holiday feelings, and imprint your children and grandchildren with a wonderful and visceral holiday memory they will treasure forever. Pomander balls is not the latest pandemic disease, no, a pomander ball is a gentle fragrant holiday craft to share with small children and a skill you can pass down for generations.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

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A tropical marvel, the genus Heliconia.
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

For the ones of you who have had the chance to travel to Southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Singapore, of for that matter almost any tropical location you could not but stop in your tracks when facing a blooming Heliconia plant and for the ones who never went there here is a chance to enjoy those jewels at low cost.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals Heliconia houseplants

Saturday, November 28, 2009

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Blue Flag Iris...Not Just for Water Gardens
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Many gardeners think blue flag iris, I. versicolor, are only useful for water gardens but as long as the soil remains evenly moist, they make admirable plants for the standard garden. With over 20 selections to choose from, this iris demands a second look.

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Read more articles about:  Irises ponds and water gardens perennial flowers
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

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

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Read more articles about:  Donkey ystc Garden Humor

Friday, November 27, 2009

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Butternuts, by the bushel
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I've long been a fan of butternut eating, but more recently consider myself as something of a pro at growing these winter squash in the casual home garden. Care to read my words of wisdom on both aspects of butternutticity?

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

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Wit and Wisdom: Gardening Commentary Through the Ages
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

By necessity, by proclivity, and by delight, we all quote.--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

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The History and Uses of Winter Squash
By Melody Rose (melody)

As summer fades into fall, the days get shorter, and the bright flowers in our gardens start to fade. Many of us start looking for a cheerful pick-me-up to add some color to the tired landscape. Thatís when the straw bales, bright mums, colorful pumpkins, and squashes start to dot the neighborhood front lawns.These decorations are plentiful and cheap here in this area, and many people use them in attractive, clever arrangements. Little do they know that they are decorating with an ancient, healthful food, used long before Columbus or the Conquistadors set foot upon this continent.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening heirloom plants cooking winter squash
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Herbology at Hogwarts: Plants in the Harry Potter Books
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

Devilís snare, fanged geranium, bubotuber, snargaluff and puffapod are just a few of the fanciful plants readers encounter in author J.K. Rowling's imaginative fictional world. However, many of the plants mentioned in the series are quite real and have a long and storied history. Some can even be found in modern-day gardens.

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Read more articles about:  folklore and legends toxic plants

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

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Nature's Surprise
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Sometimes when we least expect it, Mother Nature hands us a gift that brings us to our knees in thanks. This is such a story.

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Read more articles about:  pruning ornamental trees and shrubs Quercus

Sunday, November 22, 2009

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Watching gourds dry: hurry up and wait
By TC Conner (tcfromky)

Military folks have heard the phrase "Hurry up and wait." Gardeners know it's like watching gourds dry. New ideas come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. And one of the reasons gardening has always been at the top of the list of favorite hobbies is because it offers folks the chance to try something different. Crafting with gourds is different, and that's what makes it special.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

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

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

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Friday, November 20, 2009

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Hibiscus, the healing plant
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

I was amazed to find out how many illnesses can be helped with hibiscus. All of its parts are used, especially the flowers, which are so beautiful they can even heal the soul!

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Read more articles about:  tropicals hibiscus medicinal plants

Thursday, November 19, 2009

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The Intriguing Fragrance of Banana Shrub
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

When I first smelled a banana shrub (Magnolia figo) in bloom in a friendís garden, I began an immediate search for one to add to my garden. Sometimes we humans, as enthralled as we become with fragrant plants, forget that they do not produce scents just to please our sense of smell. Scent serves an important biological function for plants by attracting pollinating creatures that are necessary for the survival of the species.

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Read more articles about:  banana shrubs Magnolias evergreen trees and shrubs fragrant plants and flowers

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

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Making Your Own Bird Cakes, Rendering Fat for Suet
By Cathy M Wallace (cathy4)

The birds in your neighborhood don't care if you spend $1 or $20 for the suet in the feeder. Here is the frugal way to make your own for next to nothing, plain or fancy! Why render the fat? A good question that will be answered if you keep reading...

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Read more articles about:  birds frugal gardening nuts recipes bird feeders bird food

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

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Job's Tears - A Fascinating Plant
By Diana Wind (wind)

Participating in seed swaps here on Dave's Garden sure has wonderful rewards. In a swap last season I received seeds for a plant called Job's Tears, Coix lacryma-jobi. A member of the Poaceae (grass) family, it is quite a fascinating plant.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants swapping plants and seeds Coix ornamental grasses

Monday, November 16, 2009

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Recycling for Birds ó Food for Thought
By Marna Towne (Mrs_Ed)

Pack rats take notice! Put your scraps and castaways to use in the garden for the birds.

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Read more articles about:  birds bird houses bird feeders recycling November recycling series

Sunday, November 15, 2009

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Recycling - Good For The Environment, Bad For My Kitchen
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

They said it would be easy. They said we wouldn't even notice. They said it would become second nature. They lied!

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Read more articles about:  recycling November recycling series

Saturday, November 14, 2009

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

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a 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 wildlife snakes
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The Siberian and Sino-Siberian Iris Species
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Most of you are familiar with Siberian iris but todays array of hybrids had humble beginnings. This article will introduce you to the wild Siberian iris species. While not as flamboyant as the modern hybrids, they have a certain grace that allows them to be included in any beardless iris collection.

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Everything you could ever need you already have: You can reuse everything
By Dana Garmon (iris28)

There are two reasons to reduce, reuse and recycle. The first one is obvious: we are ruining the earth with all the items we thoughtlessly throw away. The second reason is the increasing expense of everything we buy. Now is the time to put to use all the great ideas our frugal friends have been using for years.

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Read more articles about:  recycling container gardening gardening with kids November recycling series

Friday, November 13, 2009

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Philodendrons - Spotlight on the "Tree Types"
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

These are among the largest of the plants in the genus Philodendron, producing thick trunk-like stems and cord-like roots that can wrap around nearby trees or anchor to the ground like guy wires. Known also as "tree philodendrons", they are spectacular in the tropical landscape but can become unwieldy indoors . . .

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Read more articles about:  houseplants tropicals aroids Philodendron
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Recycling Kitchen Waste
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Every day people send perfectly good natural insecticides and soil amendments to the landfill. Many of them are not gardeners and donít really realize the gold theyíre throwing away, but some of them are gardeners who just have not yet discovered the beneficial properties contained in kitchen wastes. I, too, was a doubting Thomas until solid evidence made me a believer.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening recycling coffee grounds tomatoes soil and composting November recycling series

Thursday, November 12, 2009

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Dare to Dig
By TC Conner (tcfromky)

Digging bulbs and tubers for use next spring is a good thing, and it can prolong the time you get to spend in the fall garden before the snow flies.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening tropicals bulbs Cannas Dahlias gladiolus
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Recycling Fall Leaves & More as Fabulous FREE Garden Mulch
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Now is a great time to gather free mulch for your garden! Fall leaves (from your own yard or from the whole block), tree trimmings, old newspapers and cardboard boxes, and other reclaimed materials can be used to reduce weeds and enrich your soil.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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A stinkiní pack-rat, or a good recycler?
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

My family calls me a pack-rat, and I guess that is what I am. The reason for this obsession is, once I find a use for something; I see it as a raw material, not trash. I collect as much raw materials as possible and keep a check on the recycle bins, just like our midnight marauding skunk, to see what I have to work with before I start a project.

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Read more articles about:  recycling garden art garden design and landscaping garden crafts ponds and water gardens November recycling series

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - What Do They Mean?
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

These three Rs are very familiar, but have you really thought about what the words mean? They are not three words that mean basically the same thing. They are not some sort of environmental trinity of three equals. They are a hierarchy based upon the use of fewer resources and less energy. Recycling is good, reusing is better, and reducing is best.

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Read more articles about:  conservation recycling frugal gardening November recycling series
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Aunt Bett's Common Cold Cures
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

I am the world's worst patient, and I am at my worst when I have a cold. Common colds seem to grab me at the most inopportune times, when the sun is shining and it's warm, when it's holiday time and company is coming, or when I have to make a presentation to a hundred people. Ahhhh, but I have some secrets about cold remedies, thanks to my great Aunt Bett, and truly they work!

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Read more articles about:  Aunt Bett stories herbalism medicinal plants

Monday, November 9, 2009

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Getting To The Root Of Things. The Rutabaga: Its History, Uses, and Culture
By Melody Rose (melody)

The Europeans have a secret. They have a wonderful, healthful vegetable that for the most part, Americans do not use like they ought to. The common rutabaga is seldom seen at produce stands and grocery stores. Itís time that this vegetable is introduced to a whole continent of potential fans.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening heirloom plants cooking root vegetables rutabagas

Sunday, November 8, 2009

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A most useful tropical plant: the coconut tree
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Sometimes referred to as the "tree of life" or the "100 uses tree," Cocos nucifera is not only a common sight of any tropical shore, but indeed a highly useful plant. Let us get a closer look at this marvel of nature.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals palms and cycads coconuts

Saturday, November 7, 2009

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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 annual flowers Dave\'s Garden members amaranth
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Less Well-Known Bellflowers for the Border
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Recently I described the more popular border-type bellflowers. In this article, I will intoduce you to uncommon yet equally desirable border bellflowers that are well worth trying to find!

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Campanula

Friday, November 6, 2009

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Cooperative Extension, Your Gateway to Knowledge
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

Farmers and Gardeners across this great country owe a debt of gratitude to the late congressman Justin Morrill, of Vermont.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening garden history farm life soil tests

Monday, November 2, 2009

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Introduction to Succulent Senecios
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Senecio is one of the largest genera of flowering plants there are with thousands of species found all over the world. Though most are not, some are succulent plants with excellent drought tolerance and great plants for growing in pots and the landscape in a variety of different climates. It is this much smaller group of Senecios that will be discussed in this article.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents Senecios container gardening xeriscaping

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