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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

American Bittersweet

A plant to consider for a colorful fall display is American Bittersweet. But like a lot of plants, there are pluses and minuses to its use in the landscape. American Bittersweet, Celastrus scandens , is native to North America. It is a vigorously growing woody vine that may reach a height and width of twenty feet or more. All parts of this plant are considered poisonous, but it...

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Winter Squash

Winter squash have been a dominating theme at home and at work the last two weeks as we presented programs on the versatility of this often misunderstood vegetable. Many people decorate their homes with squash and pumpkins this time of year to evoke the fall season. But many people do not realize that many of these attractive squash are tasty as well. In general, people have heard of co...

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Apple Cider

Despite the proliferation of all the "pumpkin spice" flavored foods this time of year, apple cider is another flavor that says fall is here. A common question I've received is: "What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice? Aren't they the same thing?" The answer is "It depends." I hated it when one of my favorite professors in grad school would answer questions with this...

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Gourds

This fall, many of us will add decorations to our homes which often include colorful gourds. While we may look at them only as decorations, many cultures throughout history found that gourds could be dried and used as useful items such as storage containers, dippers, spoons, and bowls. Some even used gourds to fashion musical instruments. Although it was far more common to dry mature go...

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