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

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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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

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

Friday, December 25, 2009

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Love Across the Miles
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

If ever there was a rose that should be in every garden in the world, the Peggy Martin rose would be it.

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Read more articles about:  roses climbing roses Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

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Florida Anise, An Uncommon Evergreen Shrub
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

When choosing broadleaf evergreen shrubs for Southern landscapes, it is easy to fall back on the ones that we see in neighbors' yards and the ones that are commonly available. Every neighborhood is filled with azaleas, camellias, gardenias, loropetalums, and ligustrums. However, there are some less-commonly chosen evergreen shrubs that will add charm and distinction to your landscape.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs evergreen trees and shrubs Illicium

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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Tango, the Garden Cat ~ part 3: Home for Christmas
By Diana Wind (wind)

This is the final chapter of a 3-part miniseries about a feral outdoor cat we named Tango, who one day arrived in our garden. Tango's garden adventure reminds us of the plight of millions of feral cats struggling daily for survival. Tango and his friends also made my family think about how we felt about other peoples' cats hanging out in our garden. Would they be welcome in your garden?

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Read more articles about:  gardening and our pets garden fiction feral cats

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Turkish Delight: an International Treat for the Holidays!
By Angela Carson (Bookerc1)

Mention Turkish Delight to the average American, and the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (or the recent 2005 movie based on the book) will probably come to mind. Mention it to a resident of the other side of the world, however, and the associations will be very different!

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Read more articles about:  cooking Christmas roses holiday celebrations recipes

Monday, December 21, 2009

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A rosemary Christmas "tree"
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

A live rosemary plant would make a nice gift for a rosemary-loving cook. A decorated, miniature Christmas tree style rosemary would make a very nice gift.

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Read more articles about:  herbs holiday celebrations Christmas rosemary December evergreen series
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Pinecone Candle Holders for the Christmas Table
By Adina Dosan (adinamiti)

Many years ago, when Christmas ornaments weren't so plentiful like they are today, I saw my mom doing all kind of crafts for this beautiful holiday. I guess I inherited her skills--though not her imagination--so when I saw an ornament I wanted I preferred to do it myself. Even if the first one wasn't always the best, I persevered and finally got some nice ornaments for decorating my home for Christmas.

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts pinecones Christmas

Sunday, December 20, 2009

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Gardening Gifts A to Z
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Some are sensible, some are sorta silly; there's just got to be one item in the list to please the gardener you love. (Hint: if the gardener you love is ME, you've got 26 ideas now!)

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Read more articles about:  gifts gardening tips holiday celebrations Christmas gifts for gardeners

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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Japanese Plum Yew Excels in the South
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Looking for a groundcover plant that grows in shade and is mannerly, evergreen, attractive, and that the deer won’t eat? Look no farther. Cehpalotaxus harringtonia ‘Prostrata’ will cover your ground year-round with its glossy, dark green, needle-like leaves. Don’t expect it to happen overnight, though. Japanese plum yew, as it is called, is slow-growing, but those who have it in their gardens agree that it is worth the wait.

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Read more articles about:  evergreen trees and shrubs ground covers Japanese Plum Yew

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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Gardening with a Silver lining!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

While this time of year brings thoughts of silvery stars for the holidays and confetti for the New Year, elemental silver has a use in the garden that has been almost totally overlooked. Read on to learn the amazing facts . . .

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips pests diseases

Monday, December 14, 2009

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The Norfolk Island Pine - a living Christmas tree
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

While visiting home garden centers, and even some grocery stores in the holiday season, one might espy a small, symmetrical conifer being offered as an indoor Christmas tree, often already sparsely decorated, ready to go on the dining table or another prominent location in the home. These are usually Cook Pines (Araucaria columnaris) or Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla) and are sold by the thousands every November and December as living Christmas trees. Most are destined to die or be thrown out soon after the holidays, either due to ignorance or apathy. But with the proper care they can be kept healthy and made to last for many subsequent holiday seasons, almost becoming part of the family and a holiday tradition.

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Read more articles about:  Australian native plants tropicals houseplants Christmas trees
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The Holly and The Ivy: Ancient Symbols
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

Holly and ivy are familiar plants in the landscape and have traditionally been used to adorn homes during the winter holiday season. Although they lend their names to a Christmas carol, their significance to humans predates Christianity by thousands of years.

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Read more articles about:  Christmas folklore and legends holiday celebrations

Sunday, December 13, 2009

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Vines of Reunion Island, Part 5
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

And here we come again with those amazing plants that instead of growing a trunk or stem enjoy clinging to trees and bushes in order to grow; vines and creepers are back on Dave’s Garden!

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Read more articles about:  tropicals vines lianas Reunion Island island life

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