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.
Is your garden full of the September sounds provided by birds, butterflies, crickets, and hummingbirds? Here are some tips on how to make your garden a wildlife oasis.