Nov
10
2010
0

How do you overwinter geraniums?

overwinter geraniumsThere are a few good ways to overwinter geraniums even where the weather is coldest. 1 – Geraniums (Pelargoniums and true geraniums alike) are expensive.  A large display of geraniums generally means some real money has been spent on gardening.  And sadly, most people re-buy every spring. 2 – Geraniums are ridiculously easy to overwinter.  [&hel[more...]

Sep
01
2010
2

What is a bullace and what recipes suit it?

bullacesA bullace is a wild plum that can be either dark blue-purple or light yellowy-green, sometimes flushed with red. Black bullace and white bullace are the traditional names for the two kinds. There are a few cultivated varieties too, which give rise to more names and varied colours. Damsons are similar to a dark bullace, [&hel[more...]

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May
24
2010
1

Why grow tomatoes upside-down?

upside-down-tomato-plantsSome folks like to hang up a bucket and grow a tomato plant out of the bottom of the bucket, letting the stem grow downwards towards the earth. What’s the point? By growing the tomatoes suspended upside-down, snails and slugs are unlikely to bother the plants, and you won’t need to use stakes to stop [&hel[more...]

May
21
2010
0

Why does a groundskeeper need to be a good manager?

striped-lawn-and-hedgesA groundskeeper may not have to deal with many people, but he—or she—still needs a few traits that make a good manager. To some extent, a groundskeeper’s work is more critical—well, more open to criticism: everyone can see it, and one doesn’t need experience to recognize if it’s sloppy work; except for disastrous weather, there [&hel[more...]

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Feb
16
2010
1

What is guerilla gardening?

Photo by aldrin_muya - CC-BYGuerilla gardening is the greening of a blighted urban area by bypassing the official channels and taking direct action. Guerilla gardeners surreptitiously plant and maintain trees, shrubs and floral borders to brighten up local eyesores such as abandoned buildings, industrial units, car parks, and other parts of the concrete jungle. Strictly speaking it's not always [&hel[more...]

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Jan
14
2010
0

How did a wildflower change the course of American history?

White Snakeroot Flower - courtesy homeredwardprice - CC-BYThis deadly bloom is one of the most common wildflowers in the late summer in U.S. Midwestern woods and is seldom noticed, since it is somewhat weedy. It is a notorious killer, and at one time ravaged whole communities with its poison. Small pioneer settlements were visited by a terrible affliction, which came to be [&hel[more...]

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Sep
18
2009
0

Can I grow palm trees outside where it freezes?

Windmill palms standing in the snow in Seattle - courtesy rutlo - CC-BYAre you thinking of being out in the cold looking at bare trees and wishing you could have a more tropical landscape?  Well, maybe you can.  There are palm trees that can take 20 degrees fahrenheit below zero temperatures and survive.  There are palm trees that will grow as far north as Canada and some [&hel[more...]

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May
31
2009
0

How do you grow rosemary for cooking and fragrance?

Rosemary growing in Spain   (Photo by soltenviva - CC-BY)Rosemary is delicious in all kinds of savoury cooking, and it’s simple to grow in climates not too different from its home base around the Mediterranean. If you plant it near a path not only can you enjoy its scent when you brush past on sunny days, but on rainy days you can easily pick [&hel[more...]

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May
28
2009
0

How can I grow Chives to use in cooking?

These chives are ready to be split (photo by answerfinder CC-BY)Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are perhaps one of the easiest herbs to grow in your garden or in a container. They require little attention and bring a late-spring colour to the garden. Chives are part of the onion family. You can eat the bulb, leaves and even the flower head. Most people just use their leaves [&hel[more...]

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May
27
2009
1

Why do gardeners tie daffodil leaves into knots?

Daffodil knot (photo by Roger Browne - CC-BY)It’s an odd custom. Some gardeners will fastidiously tie all their daffodil leaves into knots at the end of the flowering season. What gives? Actually, the purpose served by the knots is more social than horticultural. Daffodils burst into bloom each April (or October south of the equator). The petals then fall off and, provided [&hel[more...]

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May
27
2009
0

Can you use flowers in food and drink?

Nasturtiums on colourful composed salad  (Photo by Sancho Papa - CC-BY)The first flower salad I ever saw was covered with bright nasturtiums like the visual treat in the photo. It impressed me with the idea that some garden flowers are not only edible, but look wonderful on food. You can grow them as well as the better-known herbs to add interesting colours and flavours to [&hel[more...]

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May
13
2009
0

How do you grow lavender for fragrance and cooking?

Lavender in full bloom (Photo by Per Ola Wiberg - CC-BY)Lavender likes a temperate climate with sunny summer days and cool winters. It will grow in most of Europe and in American zones 5-10. While it is happier on well-drained soils than on damp clay, it’s not too fussy otherwise. Mix sand into the earth round lavender roots to help it cope with heavy, wet [&hel[more...]

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May
11
2009
0

How can I add cottage style to my garden ?

Deep red hollyhock and bright poppies in a generously planted Dutch cottage garden - (Photo by Benjamin Rossen - CC-BY)Creating your own cottage garden is about building up an overall effect, not about following hard and fast rules. Aim for a nostalgic, informal look, with plenty of old-fashioned flowers – sweet-scented if possible. This style can suit not-too-hot parts of North America and Europe as well as anywhere in the UK. A traditional cottage [&hel[more...]

Feb
28
2009
0

How do you grow ornamental grasses?

ornamental grasses - 'Giant Grass' - courtesy laudu - CC-BYThe growing of ornamental grasses is becoming more popular, especially as water restrictions and drought bring their case against our water loving flower gardens. It wasn’t too long ago that many gardeners would shy from these ‘weedy’ grasses and opt for flowers and ornamental perennials. Ornamental grasses have had some bad publicity, and it’s not [&hel[more...]

Feb
14
2009
0

How do you grow strawberries?

Strawberries - courtesy *clairity* - CC-BYStrawberries are an ideal fruit for the home garden. They are easy to grow, fairly pest free, require little space and are fun. Twenty-five plants should provide enough berries for a family of four. There are many varieties available. Be sure to purchase certified, virus-free plants. They may cost a little more but will produce [&hel[more...]

Feb
12
2009
2

What is an adaptive or enabled garden?

Now for the vegetables (Photo by kckellner - CC-BY_Gardening can provide an enjoyable source of relaxation and purpose. Unfortunately, many individuals find their ability to garden suddenly cut short due to age, illness or injury. Traditional gardens can become off limits for those who are confined to a wheelchair or who have difficulty bending, kneeling, or standing for extended periods. Rows are often [&hel[more...]

Jan
24
2009
0

What kind of orange trees grow in Spanish cities?

Seville, Spain: orange trees at the cathedral - photo by mehrit - CC-BYIf you visit the south of Spain in winter-time you’ll see colourful, fruit-laden orange trees growing along the streets, in squares and public parks. They’re not sweet oranges, and so they stay on the ornamental trees without being picked by passers-by. In spring, visitors may be treated to the fragrance of orange blossom. Book a [&hel[more...]

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Jan
22
2009
1

What fruit and vegetables were grown in ancient Egypt?

Date farm outside of Cairo - courtesy CairoCarol - CC-BYVegetables and fruits were very basic in the ancient Egyptian diet and they had more of a variety than many modern people imagine. Common knowledge has it that the ancient Egyptians had dates, garlic and onions and little else.  Well, that just isn’t the case. Of course dates, onions and garlic really were staple foods.  [&hel[more...]

Jan
22
2009
0

What were ancient Egyptian gardens like?

Estate garden plan from ancient Egypt - Project Gutenberg LicenseGardens were very much a part of life in ancient Egypt and gardening was an honored profession. Ancient Egyptians designed and spent much time in garden houses, it was not some modern architect who invented the garden house idea.  Egyptian gardens (in the larger estates) were composed of both trees and flowering plants. Gardens with [&hel[more...]

Jan
22
2009
1

How do you grow pumpkins?

Large flat dark orange pumpkins  - courtesy IrisDragon - CC-BYNow growing pumpkins may seem like a no-brainer.  Stick a seed in the ground then stand back, unfold your favorite pie recipe, and wait, right? Well, not quite. It does take some work and it may take a few tries unless you are a commercial grower.  But go ahead, take a chance. Direct seeding should [&hel[more...]

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