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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Strawberries-- Fragaria spp.

Few would argue that a sure sign of summer approaching is the first strawberries of the season. You may think "First strawberries? But aren't they in the store all the time?" That's where as modern people we forget that every fruit and vegetable at one time was only available fresh for a limited time each year. The strawberry we consume today is actually a hybrid of two wild types, one...

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Blue Star (Amsonia sp)

Looking out at my garden, the perennials are just starting to put on their show, despite my lack of attention the last couple of years as mom to a now 2 year old boy. As I manage to find a few stolen moments in the garden this year, I'm taking note of which perennials have done well despite little, if any, care. Blue star ( Amsonia ) is one that has done quite will in my absence....

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Planting Trees

Last week's column discussed choosing trees suited for particular parts of your landscape. In Extension, we like to say "Choose the right plant for the right place". Once you've chosen the right site and the right kind of tree for that site, now just buy one and plant it, right? Not quite. When looking at trees for sale, buy the best quality you can. This may mean buying a smaller tree,...

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Choosing Trees for the Landscape

One of my favorite sayings about trees is: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." While I understood the truth of this statement when I originally heard it, it didn't really have personal significance to me until I became a homeowner ten years ago this month. Adding to this new meaning was the fact that we were new homeowners of a new house with n...

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Bletilla striata-- Chinese Ground Orchid

Every gardener I know, including myself, seems to want what they don't have. In my garden, shade is in short supply. Even though it's been ten years since we moved into an absolutely empty landscape, my trees are a long way from providing significant shade to my gardens. I now have two gardens where there is partial shade for at least a portion of the day, and whatever direct sun they get is in...

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