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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Lilacs

One sure sign to me that Spring has taken hold and there's no turning back is lilacs beginning to bloom. Though lilacs are a very common sight around the U.S., they are native to Europe and Asia. There are about twenty different species of lilac, or Syringa , plus many different hybrids of these species. They are closely related to another common landscape shrub, Ligustrum , the...

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Recycling & Repurposing in the Garden

In his book The $64 Tomato, William Alexander chronicles his quest for the perfect garden at the expense of his sanity and much of his money. Garden centers and catalogs all want to sell you the latest and greatest garden gadgets that promise you the perfect garden. But if one of your reasons to garden, particularly to vegetable garden, is to save money on food costs, buying special garden gadg...

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Creeping Charlie

Creeping Charlie holds a special place in my heart, as it is one of the first plants besides a dandelion that I learned was a "weed". For my dad, I think this plant is more than a weed, it is instead an evil enemy he has waged war with for more than my 40 years on earth. For as long as I can remember, my dad has fought a relentless battle against this green enemy. I spent many an hour a...

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Caladium

If you are looking for something to brighten up a shady spot in your landscape, consider Caladiums . Their brightly colored leaves streaked in shades of green, white, red and pink in various stripes and spotted patterns attract a lot of attention. It's another one of those plants that has the dangerous potential of being one I'd like to collect because of the astounding number of differ...

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Hyssop

With spring being the season of Passover and Easter, it seems timely to write an article on hyssop, one of the "bitter herbs" mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I was somewhat surprised to find that there are several plants commonly referred to as "hyssop", complicating identifying the true identity of this biblical herb. Hyssop is mentioned in several instances...

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Spring Houseplant Care

One way to satisfy the urge to garden this time of year is to do some spring cleaning of your houseplants. This is the perfect time of year to trim, repot, and divide houseplants. It's also a great time to evaluate any special garden plants overwintered in the house or garage. Many of my houseplants become somewhat leggy indoors, even those that I keep under supplemental lighting. I res...

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Shamrocks

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, it seems appropriate to discuss what many associate with him, the shamrock. Many also wrongly assume that the shamrock is the official symbol of Ireland as well. In fact, the Celtic harp is the official symbol. But the shamrock does hold special meaning for Ireland, dating back to the days of the ancient Druids. The Druids believed that the shamro...

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