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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Creating Serenity in the Garden

Serenity is not the word that comes to mind when I'm out in my garden lately. After a long day at work, which can be incredibly busy this time of year, I look around my garden and see nothing but spring chores. I wonder how I will get it all done with my almost 2 year old son in tow. But then I catch a glimpse of spring bulbs beginning to emerge, and a sense of serenity or peace sneaks in, remi...

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Starting Seeds Indoors

By this time each winter I am chomping at the bit to get my hands dirty. The seed catalogs fill my mailbox, each one taunting me with another new and improved variety of vegetable or flower. Seeds are one way to plant unusual varieties of flowers and vegetables for generally less cost than purchasing plants. But using seeds does cost in terms of time invested in growing the transplants....

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What is a Proven Winner®?

The annuals I learned to plant as a young girl came in familiar plastic four or six packs, and each year the selection was pretty much the same. Today, more and more of the plants we purchase for our gardens are "branded". But what's in a name? Often these branded plants carry with them a higher price tag. Is paying a premium price for an annual plant that will only last one growing season wort...

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I was fascinated by bonsai the first time I saw some for sale at a local nursery in high school. They were as cute as could be—perfect trees in miniature. I surrendered $15 of my hard earned babysitting money and took home a little boxwood bonsai. It lived through the summer, and my efforts to overwinter it properly failed miserably. In hindsight, perhaps a mass-produced bonsai purchased at the...

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Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

One of my favorite catalogs of tropical plants has a section entitled "Indestructible Houseplants". Five species of Sansevieria , commonly known as Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue are listed in this section. I know from personal experience that Sansevieria are extremely durable plants. My mom has one that was purchased before I was born, and I remember the family dog yank...

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I imagine that a fair number of people reading this column are also enjoying a cup of coffee at the same time. Enjoying the newspaper over a cup (or two) of coffee is one of life's simple pleasures in my opinion. Coffee has been a popular beverage at least since the 9 th century when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. According to legend, a goat herder noticed his...

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Managing Houseplant Pests

After all the Holiday decorations have been put away, our homes might look a little bare. It is the perfect time to brighten the space with a houseplant or two. Most indoor gardeners encounter unwelcome pests at one time or another. Typically problems begin to escalate during the winter months. In general, during winter our houses tend to be warm and low in humidity and light, whereas h...

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