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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


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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Planting Trees

Though the growing season is winding down, there is still time to plant trees. In fact, planting trees in fall is probably a little better than planting them in the spring, and certainly a lot better than planting in the heat of summer. The big advantage to fall planting of trees is that the soil is already warm. This warmth will promote root growth and recovery from any stress associat...

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Fall Gardening To-Do List

Fall is a great time of year to evaluate the space needs of plants in your garden. If you are at all like me, each spring I think I have a lot more space than I actually have. I end up overcrowding my beds and sooner or later something has to be removed or relocated Take some pictures of your garden this fall. You will be glad you did in January when the first spring garden catalogs fil...

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Golden Hakone Grass

Every gardener I know, at one time or another, has inadvertently planted a thug in the garden. By thug I mean a plant that takes over the garden, bullying its way over every other plant that's already there. Some ornamental grasses are incredible bullies in the garden. Grasses will tend to grow in two ways-- as clumps that get thicker and wider, or as a spreading mass which sends out rh...

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When you say fall flowers, most people immediately think of chrysanthemums. An equally beautiful choice for the fall garden, but one which is often overlooked is the aster. The name aster comes from the ancient Greek word astron , meaning "star", referring to the shape of the plant's flowers. Asters come in a wide range of flower sizes and colors, but have the same basic...

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At first mention of the word geranium, I imagine most of us picture a red-flowered annual. Technically speaking though, what we commonly refer to as a geranium is a member of the genus Pelargonium . There is a genus Geranium , which is related to Pelargonium , but they look very different. The genus Geranium contains over 400 species of annual, perennial...

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It seems like this time of year our gardens are just as exhausted in the heat as we are. Some might say their garden just looks "tired out". We've waited in anticipation for spring and summer's colorful displays, and by August sometimes plants are looking a bit stagnant and worn. One way to reinvigorate the late summer garden is by using later-flowering plants, those that don't start to...

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