Gardening

Gardening secrets – how to cultivate, how to grow, how to take care of plants, trees and flowers.

How Compost Turns Yard Waste Into Black Gold

In nature, there is no such thing as waste. Fallen leaves, twigs, and bits of plant material fall to the ground, where they are broken down by microorganisms, and their nutrients recycled back into the soil to feed another generation of plants. You can mimic this elegant cycle by using your yard waste as mulch, or by turning it into compost. You’ll be keeping a …

Should You Compost Your Poop? Studies and best composting systems!

While many of the nutrients we eat are released in a convenient liquid form (which is why diluted urine is great for immediate use in the garden or compost pile), the residual bulk and nutrients are delivered in a somewhat more problematic form: poop. Why problematic? Well, it’s heavy, bulky, and smelly, but, most importantly, in its raw form, poop is significantly more likely to contain …

The Phloxes Flowers

Many wildflowers bloom early in spring, making use of sunlight that reaches the ground before the trees leaf out. Some are ephemeral, disappearing in summer’s heat. I prefer double-duty plants, whose foliage remains as a groundcover or background. The Phlox wildflowers are among the loveliest of these. Wild Blue Phlox One of my favorites is Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata). It has the familiar phlox-type …

African Violet care – How to grow Saintpaulia

Saintpaulia plant, known as African violet is part of Gesneriaceae family, brought from Africa and acclimatized all the world. If you know how to take good care, you will enjoy her amazing flower. African violet is not demanding, is easy to care for, even for beginners. Here are some conditions this beautiful floweris asking for: Light African Violets like a lot of Bright Light, but not direct sunlight. They do well under fluorescent lighting, …

Herb Crafting: A Living Wreath

Oh no !! It’s almost winter and you are already longing for some fresh herbs from your garden. You don’t have to wait until Spring to enjoy the taste and smell of fresh herbs. Why not make a living herbal wreath to keep you company this winter? It would also be the perfect gift for the gardener on your Christmas list. They are simple to …

Integrated Pest Management: Tips for December

When planting amaryllis bulbs this winter be sure to check for red sunken spots on the bulb surface. These spots indicate the presence of a fungus called Stagnospora curtisii which can cause leaf scorch. Infected plant tissue turns red, the leaves and stalks may become bent, and in severe cases the stalks dry up without ever producing flowers. A surface sterilization can prevent the infection …

Integrated Pest Management : Tips for November

It takes your houseplants a little while to adjust to being inside. Don’t worry if the foliage becomes lighter in color or some of the leaves drop. Your plants are just trying to get used to less light and lower humidity. Avoid fertilizing and water less frequently during this adjustment period. It’s never too early to start planning next year’s garden. Take a walk around …

Integrated Pest Management: Tips for June

Look for bagworms toward the end of the month. Early detection is important; caterpillars are cleverly disguised and can quickly defoliate plants before they are noticed. Bagworms prefer evergreens such as arborvitae, cedar, juniper, and pine. Tap a branch over a sheet of white paper; look for small, green caterpillars with a small cone of plant debris attached to them. As they grow, they enlarge …

Make Quince Jelly!

In the Fall, we often have a fruit which brings this question from most of our customers, “What is this?” When we tell them they then ask, “What do you do with them?” Make Quince Jelly! “This is a very old recipe and the product is considered a great delicacy. Collect the quinces from the Japonica bush – Japanese Quince- very late in the season, …

Community Supported Agriculture

by Sylvia Ehrhardt Anyone who has enjoyed the taste of vine-ripe tomatoes or fresh juicy blackberries knows that nothing matches the flavor and aroma of just-picked, fully ripe fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately it is just about impossible to buy such fresh produce in any store. Most people know they could grow their own, but just don’t have the time or inclination to do so. The …

Oatlands Plantation

Two defining features of the Oatlands Plantation Gardens are the terraces installed in the early 1800’s by the plantation builder, George C. Carter, and the English boxwood parterres added in the early 1900’s by Mrs. Edith Corcoran Eustis, wife of the second owner. In the Spring of 1994, the lovely green geometric patterns so familiar to Oatlands visitors had turned brown and ugly, the victims …

A Bird’s Garden Of Seed

A garden devoted to flowers whose seeds attract birds is a beautiful addition to any yard or patio. Native and cultivated plants can be used to attract such birds as the White-throated Sparrow, the American Goldfinch, juncos, thrashers, towhees and cardinals to name a few. Larkspur (annual, self-seeding) Cosmos (annual, self-seeding) Cornflower, Bachelor’s Button (annual) Cleome (annual, easy to grow) Snapdragon (annual, self-seeding) Purple Coneflower …