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Tales from a Plant Addict

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

Arkansas Blue Star, Amsonia hubrichtii, 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

Each year the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) ( ) selects its "Plant of the Year". Members of the selection committee choose four perennial plants from an extensive list submitted by PPA members. Each year, the members of the PPA are invited to choose one plant among these four finalists to be designated as "Plant of the Year"....

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Rhizosphaera Needle Cast vs. the Colorado Blue Spruce

Tree problems can be very sneaky. A lot of the time they creep in, and before you know it, the problem is staring you in the face, demanding attention. I've had several calls in the last two weeks from owners of Colorado blue spruce trees, all describing the same thing: the needles on their beloved trees are turning purple and eventually falling from the tree. In a word, the trees look horrible...

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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 36 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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Spring Lawn Care

Everyone wants to be the person with the yard that greens up first on the block each spring. But what many people don't realize is that the best way to achieve the first green lawn is to begin spring lawn care in the fall. The grasses typically grown in lawns in this area such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fescue grow best in cool weather. A little extra TLC in late summ...

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Rain Barrels

Using a rain barrel is a simple way to respect our environment as we mark the 41 st anniversary of Earth Day this April. Rain barrels are a very fashionable "green" landscape choice nowadays. But they are nothing new. People have been collecting rainwater for hundreds of years, but as the saying goes, "everything old is new again". Most of the commercially available rain barre...

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