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

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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

Friday, April 4, 2008

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Aunt Bett, Bee Balm and Battling Bees
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Every journey up the mountain with Aunt Bett was an adventure. Gathering bee balm was one of the most exciting since we had to battle the hungry bees to get our fair share, not to mention the fact that the uniform for bee battling was never to be forgotten. This is the third in a series of stories about my great Aunt Bett, the mountain medicine woman.

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Read more articles about:  bees herbs Monarda recipes Aunt Bett stories

Thursday, April 3, 2008

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Snakes- Good for the Garden
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Most people seem to have an innate fear and loathing of snakes, which sometimes works out for the snakes (people leave them alone) and sometimes it doesn't (people kill them when they find them in their gardens). There is no way I can convince someone who is terrified of snakes not to be, but perhaps a discussion of their benefits and harmlessness to the garden will deter a few would-be killers of these wonderful and efficient garden predators.

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Read more articles about:  wildlife snakes
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Companion Planting- The how and why planting flowers and vegetables together make for a better garden
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Companion planting is not an old wives tale.. there are scientific foundations for using these methods to improve your garden.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening tips annual flowers juglone companion planting

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 12 – Why Grow Iris?
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

This series has come to a close. With all the information I have given you, I wanted to appeal to you one last time to add iris to your landscape. So here are the top five reasons to grow an iris.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises
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Rock Dust… DUH!!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

I have had bits and pieces of information about using rock dust in the garden scattered among my garden notes and in my books for years. Recently some neurotransmitters in my brain finally worked together and I had a really big DUH! about why I should use rock dust in my garden, and what it can do. It is all so very simple to me, finally.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers micronutrients rock dust
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Bee balm (Monarda)
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

This versatile member of the mint family is often overlooked for use in the perennial garden. Let us try to change that.

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Read more articles about:  herbs perennial flowers Monarda bee balm
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Music to your plants - Using microbes in concert to protect against pathogens
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Natural soil is a veritable cornucopia of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other small organisms, all living together in a delicate balance. Any disruption of that balance can result in one or more of the microbes gaining an upper hand over the others. In some cases, the ones proliferating are pathogenic, or damaging to your plants. Now, imagine a soilless media, practically devoid of any microflora, becoming inoculated with a pathogen. Without competition, the surprise is that any plant growing in such a medium survives! Fortunately, the means to restore a population of beneficial microbes to your soilless medium is available. Read on . . .

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting microbes fungi

Monday, March 31, 2008

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The Jewel Alocasias - Spotlight on Alocasia reginula 'Black Velvet'
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Of all the smaller Jewels, Alocasia reginula 'Black Velvet' is one of the most familiar and recognizable. The dark, almost black leaves, adorned with brilliant silvery-white veins and velvety look make for an unmistakably beautiful sight. You just want to hug and baby this wonderful little plant, but in so doing you may kill her with kindness. Read on. . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Alocasia

Sunday, March 30, 2008

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The Many and Varied Uses of Rosemary
By Karen Jones (karri_sue)

With a huge plant like this, I have learned to be very creative when it comes to using rosemary. I sell plants, make bath products and cook with it as well.

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Read more articles about:  herbs cooking rosemary
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The Zodiac Garden
By Ian Maxwell (GranvilleSouth)

Following lunar phases in the garden is the first step down a more obscure path . According to occult gardeners, there is as much significance in the moon's traverse of the astrological wheel. Through both the Zodiac & Aristotle's system of four elements, fortunes in the garden are foretold in the stars. Or so some say. Old wives' tales or esoteric wisdom? It's time to explore this next level & find out for ourselves.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening tips folklore and legends lunar calendar

Saturday, March 29, 2008

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The weather is awful….
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

So it’s Saturday morning, you have the day off and a bunch of new acquisitions to plant, and you wake up to the sound of – OH NO – it’s BUCKETING and a gale is blowing, not even the ENGLISH* will garden in this weather. So – do you crawl back under the covers…. or make good use of the day in other ways? Here are some suggestions of things you have probably vowed to do for ages but have never gotten around to. Now is your chance!!

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening gardening tips weather and storms garden humor
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One Technique for Painting Succulents with Watercolors
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article is an introduction on how to do some watercolor paintings of some of the simpler succulents (aloes, agaves etc.). Some painting tips will be mentioned and some sample paintings will be shown as they develop from start to finish.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents garden art botanical prints

Friday, March 28, 2008

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Dwarf 'Needled' Conifers
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

If you have a small garden but want year-round attraction, there are multitudes of dwarf conifers that can fit the bill. This is part one or a two part series on the more common dwarf conifers that mature at about 1 m in height. This article will cover some examples from the 'needled' conifer genera which include Abies, Cedrus, Cryptomeria, Larix, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Taxus and Tsuga.

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Read more articles about:  conifers
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The Invaders: Ivy (Hedera helix)
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Who does not love an ivy-covered cottage? An ivy-covered wall? The friendly confines of ivy-covered Wrigley Field? Even the gods loved ivy. But it seems that quite a few mortals do not love ivy at all.

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Read more articles about:  vines invasives and weeds ground covers ivy

Thursday, March 27, 2008

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Master Gardeners, Who they are, What they do
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

I’ve been a Master Gardener for 11 years; I’ve been a DG member for 7. During that time I’ve read many posts on Dave’s Garden regarding exactly what a Master Gardener is. I believe there are a lot of misconceptions about the Master Gardener program. I'm going to clue you in on who they are and what they do.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips
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Watering African Violets 101: Different Strokes for Different Folks
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

How to water, when to water, how much to water… Watering might be the most discussed topic in African violet care. While there is no “one true way,” a look at several common techniques might help you figure out how to keep your African violets happier and healthier.

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Read more articles about:  African violets houseplants gardening tips

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 11 – True to Name
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

You love your new iris. The blooms are not the color you thought they should be but they are stunning. So you post a photo of the wonderful new iris blooming for the first time in your garden and someone says that is not it – you have an imposter. Where did you go wrong and what can you do?

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises plant identification
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The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat. They dined on mince and slices of quince...
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Quince, a very popular fruit in past generations, has fallen almost into obscurity and is now one of the most under-rated fruits. It is related to apples and pears and has a pear-shaped golden yellow “pome” fruit. Quince fruit is used mainly in desserts and as fruit butters, jellies, relishes and chutneys.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries cooking ornamental trees and shrubs quince
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Trees Of North America: Eastern Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis
By Melody Rose (melody)

The white branches reach into the winter sky, making a stark contrast to the dark gray trunks of the other forest residents. A streak of light among the dreary sameness. Like the painted ponies of the Native Americans, the Sycamore tree is an unexpected splash of excitement in the uniform monotones of the commonplace landscape.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants ornamental trees and shrubs
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Thai Caladiums - Will they rock the Caladium world?
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The Caladium community is being turned on its ear by the newest varieties coming out of Thailand. There's no telling what they are doing over there, but one thing is for sure, they have developed some stunning plants that are now available in the U. S. A. Before you plunk down your cash, however, let me tell you my experience with these entrancing beauties . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals hybridizing aroids Caladium

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

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Aunt Bett's Sure Cure for Croup: Hawkweed
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

During all the years of following my Great Aunt Bett up the mountains of eastern Kentucky searching for one illusive plant after another, I never missed a trip with her. Well, until the year I was seven.....

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants herbs herbalism asphidity bags Aunt Bett stories

Saturday, March 22, 2008

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Gardening in the Zone
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

Ok everyone, hold up a trowel if you know what USDA Hardiness Zone you're in. As a gardener, knowing your zone is one of the most basic and important pieces of information you can possess. Your hardiness zone helps to tell you what plants grow well in your area.

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Read more articles about:  hardiness zones gardening tips
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Painting the Roses Red
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

Ah, the classic red rose. I would bet if you asked ten people to picture a rose in their mind, at least eight of them would picture a red rose. Men in particular seem to be drawn to red roses. Let's take a look at some favorites, old and new.

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Read more articles about:  roses rose gardens

Friday, March 21, 2008

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20 great and overlooked palms for marginal Mediterranean climates
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

The Mediterranean climate is a marginal climate for growing palms though there are literally hundreds of species that can be grown in such climates (comparable to the drier USDA zones 9b-10a climatic zones- eg. southern France and Italy, Southern California, Sydney Australia etc.). These are all basically mild, minimally humid to nearly desert-like subtropical climates in which most truly tropical palms cannot survive, but ones where killing frosts are infrequent. Most landscapers and growers are well aware of the common and hardy palms that grow in these climates, and make good use of them frequently. However, there are other excellent choices that are less well known. And that is the point of this article, to give the reader 20 more excellent palms for their climate that maybe not too many others have and that can be potentially great landscape additions to their yards or businesses.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads Mediterranean climates

Thursday, March 20, 2008

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Roll out the barrel, the rain barrel that is!
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

Do you know that the roof area of a 1500 square foot house will catch and run off 900 gallons of water during a 1 inch rainfall? The average yearly rainfall in the area where I live is 27 inches per year. If I were able to catch all of that rain it would amount to over 24,000 gallons. We may not be able to catch it all but I will tell you how to catch part of it for use in your yard and garden.

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Read more articles about:  conservation rain barrels
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Edible Landscaping: Basil Varieties for Containers, Beds, and Borders
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

It’s hard to beat a pot of basil by the kitchen door, where its fresh flavor can be added to sauces and salads all summer long. But basil’s possibilities don’t end there. With so many varieties and cultivars available, Basil is one of the best edible ornamentals around!

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Read more articles about:  herbs annual flowers container gardening basil edible landscaping
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Growing Caladiums: A Bright Spot Of Color For Shady Areas
By Melody Rose (melody)

Do you have a slightly shady spot where bright flowers refuse to bloom? Possibly an east facing entryway or porch, where some vibrant color is needed to welcome guests? Maybe, you are a gardener on a budget who needs a lot of bang for not much buck. There is a plant that fills these requirements, and gives the gardener a summer-long show that will delight all who see it. Plant some Caladiums. They are easy to grow and reward you with a gorgeous display

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Read more articles about:  tropicals container gardening Caladiums

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 10 – Breeding Iris
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Boy meets girl, boy loves girl, and boy and girl get married, have kids, and live happily ever after…. right? Not so in the world of iris. Let’s take a little look at the ins and outs of breeding your own iris.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises hybridizers
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There are Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun By the Pigs Who Search for… Truffles??
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

The truffle is an expensive, highly sought-after fungus about the size of a walnut, famous in French cuisine, and grows 15-20 inches deep among the roots of trees. (Think underground mushrooms.) They are indeed hunted with female pigs capable of sniffing out the delicate, perfumery aroma said to mimic the male pig sex hormone. Here in the United States we have recently begun cultivating truffles and have trained dogs to sniff them out. Apparently dogs are not as likely to eat the valuable crop as are pigs.

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Read more articles about:  fungi mushrooms cooking truffles
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Proper Pruning of Pear Trees
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Are you confused about pruning fruit trees? It's really not that hard, but let's start with the easiest, most forgiving of all the fruit trees. Pear trees are generally easy to grow and maintain. This is one type of tree that tends to be self-thinning to save you some work.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening pruning fruits and berries pears Pyrus
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Caladium hybridizing - Making your own unique plant creation
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Each year at this time of year, we begin seeing Caladiums show up for Spring planting. Most of the varieties seem the same, or similar, from year to year. Does that mean that new varieties are pretty much a thing of the past? Well, even though Caladiums have been hybridized for over 100 years, you can still come up with some that are your own unique creations. Read on and I'll show you how . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals hybridizing aroids Caladium

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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Dyeing Eggs Naturally
By Karen Jones (karri_sue)

Do you remember dyeing eggs with the little color tablet? It seemed that you were only limited by your imagination. Now that you're grown, are you looking for something a bit more sophisticated?

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts holiday celebrations plant-based dyes

Monday, March 17, 2008

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Add a Little Leprechaun Magic to Your Houseplants: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a GREEN blooming African Violet
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Am I seeing things, or does that African violet blossom look a little green today? Maybe it’s green with envy because that ever-blooming trailing violet has taken center stage again. Maybe it’s seasick because I’ve overfilled the water tray. Wait – check the calendar! It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the Leprechauns have been up to mischief. That must be it. Maybe that’s why green blooms seem so magical…

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Read more articles about:  African violets houseplants green flowers garden humor
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Aroids of the imagination XII - Snake Tongues, Right-Handers and other Wonders
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

From right-handed pinnate leaves to spathes shaped like a snake's tongue, here's a group of different and fascinating Aroidian flora for your viewing pleasure . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids
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Thinking Ahead 103: Planting for the Future
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

We've all done it - filled a small empty spot in the garden with a darling little tree or shrub. Then one day, we notice that it's not so little and no longer darling. What was used as filler has now overgrown its appointed place in the landscape. Nurseries and garden centers use the phrase "right plant for the right place." This means not only considering water, light and soil, but thinking farther ahead than the immediate future.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping ornamental trees and shrubs perennial flowers

Sunday, March 16, 2008

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Roses ~ In the Pink
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

Pink roses are feminine, soft, romantic...and my absolute favorite. So in this article, instead of listing the most popular pink roses on the market, I'm going to share the ones that I love the most. Here is a bouquet of two dozen pink roses from my garden to yours!

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Read more articles about:  roses rose gardens
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Thrills and ills of seed trading
By Dinakar KR (Dinu)

As I moved on, trading has taught me many lessons as failures far outweighed successes, not in terms of the seeds reaching destinations, but the reached ones germinating as I [foolishly] desired. That led to great disappointment but the positives that resulted from all that has been a worthy outcome.

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Read more articles about:  swapping plants and seeds

Saturday, March 15, 2008

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Make-over Your Old Flowerpots: A Face-lift For Weathered Plastic
By Melody Rose (melody)

As winter fades to Spring, gardeners everywhere are looking at their poor, tired plastic pots. They slink by them with averted eyes, as the faded and weather-worn plastic sits unloved and unused in a corner of the basement, or garage. The dread of putting fresh and cheerful flowers in these eyesores can now be banished. There is a wonderful product on the market now that will give old pots new life.

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts frugal gardening container gardening recycling
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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 butterflies

Friday, March 14, 2008

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Missouri Botanical Garden Orchid Show
By Cathy M Wallace (cathy4)

A small traffic jam forms at the door as visitors take their first sniff of the air at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Orchid Show. How I wish I could make the photos "scratch and sniff" so you could enjoy more than the pictures, as the smells are as scrumptious as the colors of the flowers. Come along as I wander through a beautiful orchid garden.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals fragrant plants and flowers orchids public gardens flower shows Missouri Botanical Garden

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