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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


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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Fairy Gardens

A trend in gardening that has been around long enough to make me wonder if it still qualifies as a "trend" is fairy gardening. People used to just look at me with a puzzled look on their face when I mentioned fairy gardens. If I utter the phrase now, people respond with "Fairy gardens? Are you teaching a workshop? Where do I sign up?" The basic idea of fairy gardening is gardening in mi...

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If you garden to any extent, sooner or later you will encounter a hypertufa planter. If you are unfamiliar with hypertufa, it is a lightweight stone-like material made from Portland cement, peat moss and either sand, perlite or vermiculite. Planters and decorative items made from hypertufa resemble carved rock. While lighter than carved rock and certainly less expensive than carved rock, hypert...

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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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