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Most people will know these plants, even if they don't recognize their genus. Snake Plants or Mother's in Law Tongues are the common names given to this group. Others may know them as indestructible house plants that never seem to die, or need fertilizer or water. Shoppers will surely see them as popular mall and restaurant decorations, or as frequently displayed designer potted plants. And yet others, in milder climates, may recognize them as common xeriphytic landscape plants. The following is a discussion of some of the more common species in cultivation, as well as a few less common ones, and how to take care of these plants.
Why start from seed? You might be tempted by the photos in the seed catalogs that fill your mailbox in January. You may want to grow wonderful heirloom vegetables that just aren’t available in your local garden centers. You could decide it’s more cost effective to start flats of plants from seed than to buy them outright. But I think the best reason to start plants from seed is that it’s just such fun! From seed to garden specimen is a magical process, and it’s enchanting to watch it unfold. Making this magic happen inside, however, requires LIGHT...
I welcome deer to my home one night per year - just the flying kind, and only on my roof. The rest of the year is spent using myriad tricks and methods to convince the terrestrial variety to roam elsewhere. Deer can wreak havoc on your garden and wipe out an entire season of blooms in one morning. I will discuss my years long battle against them and will report which methods and products work best, and which are a waste of your time and money.
Tree aloes are some of the most magnificent of all the succulents and can be awesome and imposing landscape statements. Most of the branching tree aloes are exceptionally neat and tidy-looking plants and are some of the most useful and valuable plants for use in xeriscape landscapes throughout the arid, warmer climates of the world. The following article is a brief introduction to some of these aloes, including some cultivational information and photos to aid in helping identify these plants in the nursery as well as in botanical gardens and private landscapes.
Back in the days of ancient Greece they had a god, the very rainbow in deity, and the grand messenger of Zeus. Her name was Iris. She was faster than the fastest wind and able to travel from the depths of the underworld, to the sea, and to the dry places we live in. She was known for her color and her ability to be anywhere – something many gods could not do because of one problem or another.
In this installment I’ll go through how to prune hydrangeas. Before we can do that however you need to know what species that you have. Each variety of hydrangea is pruned in a different manner. I’ll discuss the five most common species, and then we’ll go on to the pruning.
The year 2007 was a challenging year for many gardeners. Some of us struggled in one of the worst droughts the southern US has ever seen, and many more dealt with more rain than they had ever experienced. Through these difficulties, we learn that as gardeners, we need to be prepared for anything. My own experiences with deluges of spring rains taught me to work on creating well draining soils and provide areas for water-run off. This past year, I learned that I should also be prepared for drought – and to be mindful of water shortages in the future. So I decided to make rain barrels so that I could have water for perennial plants, trees and shrubs. It's not recommended to use asphalt shingle run-off water on edible plants.
The fourth in my series on community gardens will be more of a pictorial than verbal. The reason being no one in this garden speaks English. These folks are all Korean. They have the seeds, plants and most importantly the knowledge they have brought from their native land. I have made many attempts to find someone to translate for me with no success. I stop and visit this garden several time a season we communicate with a wave and a smile. I guess gardening is a universal language.
In a recent interview with our very own “Badseed”, owner of Gemini Gardens, the talk came around to the best daylilies you must have in the garden. These daylilies have the pizzazz, size, and scapes to really make an impact in the flower bed.
Delving into the depths of the vast Aroidian ocean is an adventure that would test even the mettle of Jacques Cousteau! Fortunately for me, voyaging in my imagination provided me all the safety I required. From giant swaying seaweed-like ribbon forests to the object of my adventure, the aquatic sentient aroids, this search was bound to turn up something interesting. And it did . . .
This particular garden is a real success story for urban farmers. Founded by 3 Dominican Nuns to teach low income inner city families to grow their own food. This location is actually the second spot this garden has been located. The first piece of property was taken over for the expansion of a mega casino in downtown Detroit.
This pictorial article is the 4th of an alphabetical introduction to some of the most magnificent flowering succulents. Aloes are one of the best and most used landscape plants, coming in a huge variety of sizes, shapes and colors. But if that were not enough to attract a collector's attention, many aloes also have some of the best flowers of all the succulents, rivaling the most spectacular flowers of all plants. The following is a continued alphabetical listing, as an introduction to this species many floral presentations as witnessed in Southern California.
I have seen cauliflower described as ‘a wimp's broccoli’. When I was growing up it was always served covered by a ‘white sauce’ and of course it is frequently paired with cheese sauce. Frankly, anything can be made to taste good when covered with cheese sauce! But cauliflower can be the star of your dinner if you bother to look in the spice cupboard for some tantalizing Indian flavours to put the sizzle in this lowly vegetable.
There are few more impressive trees that are as care-free, magnificently flowered and are living works of southwestern-landscape art all at the same time, as are the solitary tree aloes. There are dozens of tree aloe species and all have their unique flowers, leaves and statements to make. The following article is a brief description of some of the solitary tree aloes (those with a single trunk and no branches) in cultivation, including flower description, some notes on cultivation, and some discussion on how to tell them apart. Part 2 will be a discussion of the tree aloes that branch (later article).
Primroses are one of the most popular groups of garden flowers. With over 500 species and countless hybrids, they exhibit great diversity and lend themselves to a variety of garden settings. This article will describe the culture of this lovely group of perennials and their use in the garden. A future article will describe in more detail, the main easily-grown groups of primroses.
Palms are one of the most popular, if not THE most popular of house plants around the world. They provide an atmosphere of majestic tropical splendor combined with ease of care and availability that few other house plants can match. All one needs to do is watch a movie or television show and most likely there will be a house palm in the back ground. Or visit the shopping malls and most likely you will see palms all over, often magnificently stretching up towards the upper floors. When you check in hotels, or go to a nice restaurant you will often see palms as decorations. Indeed, few plants say the tropics in such a luxurious way, or look as good indoors, particularly in larger rooms with tall ceilings as palms do. Generally they are easy to care for, available and affordable, and have few major problems as long as the environment is acceptable.
What would an aroid look like if it were a sentient being? My first visionary answer yielded two possibilities: one anthropomorphic and one completely non-humanoid. As my imagination would have it, both are represented on Aroidia. The one I stood face to face with at the conclusion of the first installment in this series of articles was the anthropomorphic kind. But what would the life cycle of these moving, non-animal entities consist of?
In the second part of this series I’ll cover how to choose a rose the basic types and how to plant them. As the old rosarian saying goes “If you put a $50 rose in a $2 hole it will probably die; if you put a $2 rose in a $50 hole it will survive” correct planting is critical in successfully growing roses.
From an early age I always loved tropical plants, they held a promise of exotic far-away places, and from time to time over the years I had the good fortune to be close to them, whether they be as houseplants in cooler climates or (oh joy!) when living or visiting in warmer areas. When we bought a vacation home in Southwest Florida eight years ago I had no idea to what extent this would change my life.
The 25th of December is a day we always winter sow our poppy seeds. I made a mistake last year and decided to save hubby the work and do it the "night before". The following explanation and apologies to Clement C. Moore :)
In this series of articles I’ll discuss the different types of roses, how to plant, how to care for them. You’ll learn about disease and insect problems. Fertilization, spraying and general upkeep. You’ll become an expert on America's flower in no time at all.
Many years ago, I was in a college dorm where I could have only a plant or two. However, before I went to college, I had a small tropical garden in Maryland long before it was fashionable to have a tropical garden up north, so what I was suffering from was severe plant withdrawal. This malady was not assuaged by having just a couple of plants, and I was desperate to find an outlet for my botanical creativity. What I've written here is the first in a series of articles that will share with you the journey of imagination I embarked upon. . .
Many foods are often associated with the holidays and are enjoyed by millions every winter near the New Year. Some of these foods, it turns out, though seemingly safe for us humans, may not be so for our pets. The following is a brief overview of some plant-related foods that are potential toxins for your dog and cat.
Do you trim away the excessive growth of invasive vining plants? I am sure you do if you live with wild grapevines, wisteria or honeysuckle. Do you stuff the trimmings into a plastic bag and send them away with the rest of your trash? Here is an idea for a great family project using those very same trimmings. Your kids and your fine feathered flying friends are going to love it, and it will last long after holiday decorations are stored away.
Everyone knows that ginger is a spice used to flavor gingerbread men and houses. Do you know what else it can be used for? What about how to grow your own instead of buying it at the grocery? There are many types of this plant and most have uses far beyond just looking pretty. In this article I plan to enlighten you on how versatile ginger really is and that growing it is so very simple!
The second garden in my series on community gardens has a lot of historical significance behind it. It’s located on property that was Henry Ford’s home. His mansion Fairlane is ¼ mile east of the garden. The mansion is designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Here is a perfect gift for someone you know who already enjoys hummingbirds in their garden, or for someone who would like to attract hummers to their yard. If you like hummingbirds and don't already have this, get one for yourself, too... they're inexpensive and so much fun! A hummingbird window feeder.
Picture this scenario, the first nice spring day arrives. You’re going to get a head start on your yard work. The garden will be tilled and the grass cut before the day is done. You go to the garage and give the mower a pull, nothing! You pull again, nothing; again you give the cord a jerk, not even a sputter. @#$%&&%^ you scream, “Daddy, Mom says you shouldn’t use that kind of language”, says your son or daughter watching intently near by. This scene could have been avoided if you had taken a little time before putting your power equipment away in the fall
In this final part of the series of flora in the kitchen we look at the remarkable wildlife plant Cattail, which is appropriate since it is also edible. Another much used decal is the Saguaro Cactus, symbol of the Southwest, and the stylized floral designs used on the Kitchen Kraft line.
That lovely African violet just jumped into your shopping cart. Now you are worried that you’ll kill it, because “everybody knows” they are fussy, delicate plants. Wrong! With a few simple tips, you'll keep your new African violet happy and blooming for years to come.
Have you ever just wished you had a close friend to garden with...someone close in proximity and in camaraderie? Someone who would go on Saturday morning nursery trips with you and make you feel less-bad about all the money you spend while there? True, we all have each other here on Dave’s Garden, but some of these friends can be half a world away. Here are some tips on how to create a gardener out of a supposedly “black-thumbed” friend who can be your new gardening buddy. This feat is actually a lot easier than you might think.
A stroll along the shore of any Pacific Island will surround you with a multitude of plants that, to the uninformed eye merely look and smell lovely and tropical. What you might not know, is that the majority of these plants have a much more important purpose in their lives. Please let me explain…
At some point in the heat of summer most gardeners long for a little of the tropics in their gardens. Finding a dependable tropical-looking garden plant can be hard, but look no more and welcome to the wonderful world of cannas!
Aloes are one of the most popular landscape and potted succulent plants grown in cultivation. They vary in size from barely 1" tall to over 40' tall and nearly as wide. They come in a variety of shades of blue, green, grey, purple, red etc. and a nearly equal variety of shapes. And, as a group, they are relatively easy, carefree plants to grow. If they never flowered they would still be extremely popular plants for gardeners, collectors, landscapers and public gardens. But they have the fantastic additional attraction of making an enormous and breathtaking variety of beautiful and fascinating flowers. This extra 'perk' makes aloes one of the premier choices of all succulent plants one can grow. The following is a pictorial introduction to aloe flowers that can be enjoyed in cultivated plants in the southwest US. This article will cover just the Aloe species starting with the letters a-c. Subsequent articles will provide examples of some of the rest.