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

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Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Tropical Plants Houseplants Winter Gardening

Thursday, May 21, 2009

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Garden Tour Lessons
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Those who open their gardens to the public have a right to expect visitors to be on their best behavior, and most guests are very well mannered. Sometimes, though, situations arise that cause concern. Knowing about these unexpected situations and being prepared with a solution can save the day. Conversely, if you are a guest to someone else’s garden, follow the rules of garden tour etiquette very closely .

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping garden tours
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African Violets with GIRL foliage, what sweethearts!
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

The first time somebody told me about girl-leafed violets, I thought they were pulling my leg. But I’ve fallen in love with the look of these ruffled, cupped, light-centered leaves. I’d like to share some of my favorites with you, along with tips for getting them to look their best.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants African violets leaves

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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Egyptian Walking Onions
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Any plant with a name as odd as Egyptian walking onion has to be a pretty interesting plant. Egyptian walking onions, also known as tree onions or topset onions, make a great edible conversation piece in the garden.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening onions and garlic cooking Egyptian walking onions

Monday, May 18, 2009

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Ayurvedic Herb: Coleus forskohlii
By Diana Wind (wind)

Appreciated since Victorian times, Coleus (now Solenostemon) lights up gardens and window boxes like precious gems. Some species are edible herbs and root vegetables too, with medicinal health claims. I consulted with representatives from Gaia Herbs in North Carolina, and with Coleus expert Ray Rogers in search of health and nutrition information about the Ayurvedic herb, Coleus forskohlii.

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Read more articles about:  herbs Coleus Ayurveda antioxidants May herb series

Sunday, May 17, 2009

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The Tall and the Short of It: Peas
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Tall vines or dwarf - which type of pea is right for your garden?

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening tips legumes peas
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Herb Festival Mania
By April (Aunt_A)

Look at the picture. Do you see the green hand reaching out to touch the leaf? Herb festivals connect communities with herbs and gardens. If you're not familiar with herbs or herb festivals, here's an introduction to them, plus a number of great reasons to attend a local festival. (Hint: if you don't see the green hand, keep reading to find out where to look.)

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Read more articles about:  herbs festivals farm life garden crafts May herb series

Saturday, May 16, 2009

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Sea Hollies - Prickly Beauties
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Generally gardeners avoid spiny or prickly flowers (a notable exception are roses!) but there is one group of 'spiny' flowers that provide a long season of bloom, easy care and use as both fresh and dried cut-flowers. I am referring to the sea hollies, Eryngium. Not only are the flowers interesting, the silvery-blue colour is also quite unique. Read on to learn more about this wonderful garden ornamental.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers sea hollies Eryngium
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Herb Pastas: Making Healthy Homemade Herb Noodles
By Bev Walker (Sundownr)

There is a HUGE difference in the taste and texture of homemade pasta noodles compared to the prepackaged store-bought pastas. There is NO limit to what can be added to your own homemade pasta! As many herbs become ready to pick and use, let's spice up basic pasta dough with herbs. Get your taste buds set for some new bursting-full-of-flavor foods with healthy benefits!

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism cooking nutrition recipes

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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Four Thieves and their herbs…
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

There are a number of variations on the legend of the Four Thieves and how they survived the Black Plague. The common thread throughout the stories is an herbal mix that enabled these men to survive a pandemic that killed millions people in the mid 1300s. By all accounts, it was the worst pandemic in recorded history, but some, like the Four Thieves, survived and lived to tell the tale of how they did.

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Read more articles about:  herbs folklore and legends May herb series

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

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Bay Laurel - the 2009 herb of the year
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

The 2009 herb of the year is (drum-roll, please) bay laurel or sweet bay! This woody, aromatic perennial tree native to the Mediterranean has many reasons to be celebrated, both for its historic significance and its usefulness today. But is California bay almost as good? Please, read on.

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Read more articles about:  herbs Laurus cooking May herb series

Monday, May 11, 2009

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Street Trees
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

The life of a street tree can be tough. It has to put up with car exhaust, salt and sand from winter road crews, heat from asphalt and pavement, and many other things most “normal” trees don’t have to deal with. How can you be sure that you are making the proper choice for a street tree?

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs garden design and landscaping street trees Frank Lloyd Wright
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Fragrant Flowers: The How and Why
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

What's that heady fragrance drifting on the air at dusk? Cinnamon, nutmeg, nectar...scents that emanate from an oriental lily or lilac or honeysuckle. What's a garden without those wonderful scents? But have you ever wondered how and why flowers smell the way they do?

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Read more articles about:  fragrant plants and flowers

Sunday, May 10, 2009

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Une randonnée à Roche-Plate
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

Do not run away, only the title will be in French…and I will even translate it for you: "A hike to Roche-Plate." And yes, Roche-Plate, not Flat-Stone as this is a place on Reunion and today we will slip on our best hiking boots for a nice walk in the heart of the island.

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Read more articles about:  hiking nature island life

Saturday, May 9, 2009

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Peace Lily Revisited
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Last November, LariAnn Garner introduced you to the very popular peace lily. This article will revisit this wonderful plant providing you with some details of the more popular cultivars available on the market as well as insights into the floral biology. The flowers may seem simple but their pollination is quite involved. If you want to see peace lily with fresh eyes, read on!

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Read more articles about:  houseplants aroids Spathiphyllum
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Annuals: old faves and new twists
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

I swore I didn't need another plant. But there's no harm in just looking, right?

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening container gardening annual flowers garden centers and nurseries
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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 toads YSTC

Friday, May 8, 2009

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Black Widows in My Garden
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Black Widows are one of the most commonly encountered spiders in the garden. Though very poisonous, they are also considered beneficial creatures. The following article serves an introduction to this infamous creature along with some of my personal experiences with Black Widows.

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Read more articles about:  insects spiders
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The Tall and the Short of It: Beans
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Pole beans or bush beans - which is right for your garden?

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening beans

Thursday, May 7, 2009

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Native Azaleas for Florida and the Deep South
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Particularly prominent in my childhood memories are flower-picking excursions on the first warm days of spring. Mother delighted my sisters and me when she suggested a trip into the woods to pick honeysuckle. We didn’t know that they were really native azaleas, and we certainly had never heard such words as Rhododendron canescens. Nevertheless, these intoxicatingly fragrant flowers evoke fond memories every spring when they bloom in woods and landscapes throughout the South.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants ornamental trees and shrubs Azaleas Rhododendrons
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Peat Moss Alternatives: Coconut Coir and Rice Hulls.
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Looking into peat moss alternatives makes sense, from both financial and environmental viewpoints. Coconut coir and rice hulls are two currently popular candidates for “greener” choices. This spring, I’m trying both as additions to my regular potting mix.

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Read more articles about:  organic gardening container gardening soil and composting coir

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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Southwest Adventures: Tribute to Tohono Chul Park
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

As gardeners, we love to visit botanical gardens when travelling. If in London, Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace are at the top of the list for must see gardens. In Tucson, we have Tohono Chul Park.

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Read more articles about:  public gardens Cereus Penstemon desert gardening

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

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Mountain Laurel Memories
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

There is nothing prettier than a cluster of Mountain Laurel blossoms. I wore them in my hair, I tucked them into the pockets of my overalls, and I tied them on my wrists when I played dress up. They refuse to grow for me here in the flatlands of western Kentucky, but in my memories they are always in bloom.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants toxic plants Kalmia Aunt Bett stories

Monday, May 4, 2009

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Cool Climate Gardening: When to start vegetable seeds
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Starting a vegetable garden from seed is a huge undertaking even in warm, hospitable climates. In cooler areas such as Zone 5 and 6 gardens, this can be an even bigger challenge to fight with Mother Nature’s unpredictable last freezes and cool ground temperatures. Use this guide to help you know how to plan and prepare for your veggie starting this year.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening seed starting vegetable gardening hardiness zones

Sunday, May 3, 2009

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Cold Hardy Euphorbias- the small globoid to columnar species
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Many Euphorbia species are grown in cultivation in pots in protected greenhouses and cold frames. But can any of these survive outdoors in the warmer temperate climates? The following article briefly summarizes my experience growing a few of these smaller species outdoors in a Mediterranean climate.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents Euphorbias Mediterranean climates xeriscaping desert gardening

Saturday, May 2, 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 insects YSTC

Thursday, April 30, 2009

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‘Kentucky Colonel’ Spearmint: It’s Not Just About the Juleps
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Although I’ve grown over a dozen different kinds of mint, I always come back to one variety as my very favorite. Let me introduce you to the many uses of ‘Kentucky Colonel’ spearmint…

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Read more articles about:  herbs cooking propagating plants mints Mentha spearmint peppermint recipes

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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Black Walnut Trees Produce Juglone, Toxic to Many Other Plants
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Black Walnuts produce a substance known as juglone which is toxic to many plants, and can cause allergic reactions in humans and horses. Juglone is excreted primarily in the roots, saturating the soil in a radius of 50-60 feet or more in a mature tree. The buds and nut hulls are also high in juglone.

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs plant dangers black walnuts juglone
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Why Choose a Locally Owned Nursery to Buy Your Plants?
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

Bigger is not always better. When it comes to plant selection, service, and enjoyment, nothing can be finer than the smaller family owned garden nurseries.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers buying plants garden centers and nurseries

Monday, April 27, 2009

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Choosing a Lawn Care Professional
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

Whether you're looking for someone to mow and trim, or a company to maintain your grounds year 'round, do your homework. Typically, March is the month when homeowners begin to think about the coming season of lawn care, although in many parts of the country, the weather does not cooperate until later.

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Read more articles about:  summer gardening lawn care fertilizing garden tools
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Alocasia watsoniana - A Giant Jewel!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Most of the Alocasia species that I consider to be "jewels" are small growers suitable for a windowsill or small conservatory. However, not all Jewel Alocasias are so diminutive! Read on to learn about this Giant of the Jewels . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Alocasia elephant ears

Sunday, April 26, 2009

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Easy Succulents: Bowiea volubilis, the Climbing Onion
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This is one of a series of articles on some of the most interesting and easiest succulents to grow. The Climbing Onion is familar already to many succulent enthusiasts, but it is becoming more and more popular with gardeners and growers of all ages and skill levels. The following article serves as an introduction to this peculiar plant and has some ideas on how to take care of one.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents houseplants climbing onion Bowiea
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Pruning, trimming, lopping and aerial wood-cutting.
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

As a previous article on secured tree climbing raised interest amongst many readers, I thought it would be instructional to go a step further and present now trimming up large trees, a rather technical and dangerous activity but sometimes necessary.

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Read more articles about:  pruning ornamental trees and shrubs

Saturday, April 25, 2009

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Mountain Avens - the Genus Dryas
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Mountain avens are a familiar sight throughout the northern Rockies, the higher mountains of Europe and the Arctic regions. If you have ever traveled in these areas, you will have encountered these delicate yet tough alpines. If not, let me introduce you to these dwarf members of the rose family.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Dryas rock gardens
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Tango, the Garden Cat ~ part 2: Tango's Garden Adventure
By Diana Wind (wind)

It's time for part 2 of the fictional short story Tango, the Garden Cat. The adventure is written for all ages to enjoy, based on a true story of a cat that just arrived in our backyard garden. Tango is a feral, outdoor cat that may never rest in the comfort of a cozy, safe, indoor bed. A brief article inspired by a no-kill, cat shelter's garden, designed by a Master Gardener, precedes the story.

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

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Small nut trees in the Home Fruit and Nut Garden
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Most nut trees are too large to grow more than one or perhaps two in a home fruit and nut garden. However, a few familiar (and some unfamiliar) nut trees are suitable, depending on your climate zone. Almonds, cashews, filberts (hazelnuts), pine nuts and pistachios are some of the well-known smaller nut trees.

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Read more articles about:  nuts orchards
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Beans! Beans! The Poisonous Fruit!
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Everyone knows that eating beans may have a socially undesirable effect on the digestive system. But many people are unaware that kidney beans, if consumed raw, contain a dangerous toxin that can produce much more drastic effects.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening plant dangers cooking beans toxicity
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Lichen, an Ecosystem Wonder
By Diana Wind (wind)

My inspiration to write about lichens came from a lichen-covered, dying red maple in our front yard. For lichens, every day is Earth Day. Like people, lichens need a clean environment to thrive. Celebrate Earth Day by doing something good for the environment. Baked goods always enhance a celebration; I hope you enjoy the recipe at the end of the article.

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Read more articles about:  fungi recipes lichens ecology Earth Day plant-based dyes

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

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Let's have a tea party!
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

According to those who know, a tea party is an afternoon social gathering at which tea and light refreshments are served. I'll make the tea, and you bring refreshments, won't that be fun?

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism teas Aunt Bett stories
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Please, just call me "Herb"
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

Many of us use the terms herbs and spices interchangeably. Just what exactly is the difference, anyway? Is there a difference?

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism ethnobotany spices

Monday, April 20, 2009

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Firs and Spruces
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

All evergreen trees are not created equal. Most people cannot tell the difference between a spruce, fir and pine, though many distinct differences do exist. Read more on what specifically makes spruces and firs different from pines.

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Read more articles about:  evergreen trees and shrubs conifers

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