This is the second article in a series about botany for gardeners.
"To me, the garden is a doorway to other worlds; one of them, of course, is the world of birds. The garden is their dinner table, bursting with bugs and worms and succulent berries." Anne Raver, Longtime Garden Writer for the New York Times.
Burning wood versus fossil fuels will eliminate 700 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere yearly, the equivalent of about 155 mid-sized cars vanishing from the highway, according to Denise Bechdel, team leader for Energy and Environment for the Penn State Small Business Development Center. Bechdel assisted a local fruit farm with grant writing and environmental consulting on installing a biomass burner to heat greenhouses for growing vegetables.
After a cold winter, spring has finally arrived, and it is time to plant the garden. One of the most popular annual plants, especially for Mother's Day, is the geranium. It decorates our flower beds and front porches and can be purchased at any type of store, ranging from small local nurseries to big box chains. In fact, the National Garden Bureau proclaimed both 1998 and 2012 as the year of the geranium.
If you are a gardener and enjoy your plants, you probably recognize the importance of a focal point which will enhance the beauty of these plants. A focal point can be anything that catches and holds your eye. It can be of practical use such as a bird bath, or it can be strictly ornamental. It can be a plant, or plant grouping, a whimsical or fun object, or a stately fountain or sculpture.
They say your home is an expression of who you are, so why wait until you get inside to express your personality? When you pull into your driveway, does your house say, "Welcome home?" Take a critical look at your front entrance. Are you pleased with what you see? What could you change to make it look better?
This article is the first in a series about the study of plants, knows as botany, for gardeners. It starts with a story about a wonderful acquaintance (whose second ever quilt won a $10,000 prize, but that is another story).
A wildlife garden can be described as an environment that is attractive to various forms of wildlife such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and mammals. Wildlife gardens may contain a range of habitats, including a pond to attract frogs, dragonflies, and birds; nest boxes for birds, log piles to provide shelter for insects, lizards, and worms; plants that attract beneficial insects; and a diverse supply of food (year round) to attract and keep wildlife in the garden.
Do you have some old overgrown shrubbery in your yard that is begging to be replaced? Is it blocking the windows, pushing you off the sidewalk, riddled with dead areas from past attacks of insects or wind damage? Maybe, you are just tired of going out there to do the big shearing job, but you are not sure how to go about solving the problem. Removing a large tree will probably require the help of a professional, but removing a shrub is not as hard as you might think.
Familiar and well-loved common names tend to get used for more than one plant. We should use common sense in talking about plants and remember that the botanical name is our guide to getting the right plant for the right spot in our gardens. However, to refer to potatoes by the botanical name Solanum tuberosum is not sensible. The same is true when talking about daffodils, pansies and other common garden plants. Botanical Latin, considered by some as a “dead language” since it is not spoken, is alive and well among gardeners. Botanical Latin plant names are intended to be specific, universal, and avoid the problems arising from using common names.
In simple terms a succulent is a plant that has the ability to store water in specialized tissue for use if water becomes scarce at a later time. For most people, this conjures up a picture of the dusty, dry desert environment. However, this is not always the case.
As my favorite Christmas carol is “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming”, even the coldest weather can bring the fragrant blooms to mind. I was given a beautiful long-stemmed red rose recently, and it led me to think about the long history of roses, although my own gardening relationship with them has been sporadic.
For consumers (and some very enthusiastic vendors), this time of year elicits shrikes of excitement and sheer joy as people line up to see which vendor has the early asparagus, rhubarb, or coveted dry beans preserved from fall harvest.
Tourists now have new reasons to visit Adams County thanks to the Wine & Fruit Trail, a self-guided tour of fruit growers, processors and sellers, as well as historic sites, B&Bs and restaurants
Every group has to make them, but too often we put off those pesky decisions. We talk in circles, get bogged down in details, repeat ourselves – all to avoid the moment of truth when we finally decide what to do.
It seems that we are experiencing more unusually warm periods during mid- and late-winter, so trees may be more susceptible than in the past to moderately low winter temperatures. Lessons from years in which there was a sudden drop in temperature indicate that trees most injured were those that lacked adequate vigor, those that were too vigorous, and those that had been pruned before the cold event.
Busy parents... do you wish your kitchen was more organized? easy to navigate? conducive to preparing healthy and delicious meals? Are the chores of putting away the groceries and locating meal ingredients the ones you most dread? If so, perhaps it’s time for a kitchen makeover to make your kitchen a “control central” for pulling together healthy meals in a snap!
With the school year in full swing, it is a good time to think about healthy snacks for hungry children returning home after school or those taking part in after school activities, such as sports, marching band, drama and other activities requiring long hours.
Did you know that January is National Soup Month? What’s better on a cold winter day than a steaming bowl of your favorite soup? Soup can be a welcome change of pace after the rich high calorie foods we have during the holidays. Not only a nutritious boost, soups can help ease the budget as many soup recipes use little meat, and/or inexpensive dried beans as a protein source.
A farmers’ use of heavy machinery has always been a common sight when passing a farm. Yet as machinery and innovations evolve, so do the practices of today’s producers.