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Tales from a Plant Addict

Fun (& a few serious) facts, tips and tricks for every gardener, new and old.

Hardiness and Heat Zones

Sometimes looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to mail-order plant catalogs. It's hard not to be seduced by the glossy colorful pages, each one filled with plants that will surely look stunning in your garden. Or will they? I'm sure many of us have planted a plant that we know will look "perfect" in a particular spot, only to have it die–maybe not at first,...

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Winter Aconite-- Eranthis hyemalis

This time of year I'm chomping at the bit to see some sign of life in my garden. It's not unusual to see me prowling around, peering at the mulch in my garden where I know a perennial is lurking below, ready to start another growing season. On really desperate days I'm out there with my little hand cultivator, carefully loosening the mulch, looking for the hopeful sign of green shoots...

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“Irish” or “White” Potatoes

Besides shamrocks, another plant associated with St. Patrick's day and the Irish is the potato. Potatoes had been an important crop to humanity long before they made it to Ireland. Wild ancestors of the modern potato have been traced to the Andes mountains in Peru and Bolivia. The Incas were using potatoe...

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Forsythia

There are many signs of spring, but one that tells me spring is finally really coming, with no turning back is when the Forsythia are in bloom. If like me, you are itching for a little springtime, you can cut a few branches of Forsythia this time of year and bring them indoors. Placed in water in a vase and warm in your home, the bright yellow blooms should open withi...

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Ficus

Mention growing Ficus , and many people assume you mean the houseplant that is a small tree native to Southeast Asia. But they're only partially right. Ficus is an enormous genus of plants containing over 800 species. Some species are trees, but others are shrubs and vines. The common name...

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