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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Spring Crocus

I've been prowling my yard looking for signs of spring. Right on schedule, the crocuses are showing themselves and appear in a hurry to be the first to bloom. It may surprise you that as a genus, Crocus is in the iris family. But unlike iris, Crocuses grow from a corm, which is technically compressed stem tissue. It is not uncommon to hear Crocus referred t...

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The scent of hyacinth in bloom is definitely a sign of spring to me. While I prefer to look at hyacinths in my garden and smell their sweet scent drifting in my windows, this time of year a pot of blooming hyacinths indoors is a welcome sight after a long dreary winter. Hyacinths are members of the genus Hyacinthus , which are bulbs formerly placed in the lily family Liliace...

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Master Gardeners Help Others Learn to Grow

The idea for the Master Gardener program began in 1971 with two overwhelmed horticulture educators from Washington State University Extension, David Gibby and Bill Scheer. Their jobs were to bring urban and commercial horticulture programming to the major metropolitan areas surrounding Seattle and Tacoma, Washingto...

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I am always looking for topic ideas for my columns. Fern Horn, a Master Gardener from Shelby County e-mailed me with questions about her attempts to grow broccoli sprouts, and suggested I write about sprouts in my column. As I researched answers to her questions, I learned there is a lot to learn about growing your...

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Miracle Fruit

I consider it quite a personal achievement to be able to say I thought something was cool long before Martha Stewart deemed it "a good thing". But I am proud to say I had a miracle fruit plant long before it appeared on her show. Miracle fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum , is an evergreen shrub/small tree native to tropical...

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