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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


If you've always wanted to grow fruit in your backyard, but were afraid of the time and effort involved, consider raspberries. Relative to a lot of other home grown fruits, raspberries require a lot less attention. Among fruits commonly called raspberries, there are a few different species in the genus Rubus . Rubus is the genus also known as the "brambles", which inclu...

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I have a tendency to collect plants. Something about certain plants that have dozens of species and cultivars makes me want to have every one of them in my garden. My husband argues that this is not healthy behavior, and that there should be a twelve stem program for 'plant addicts'. Any gardener knows this is totally normal behavior. Thyme is one of those plants that triggers my urge t...

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Panicled Golden Raintree Koelreuteria paniculata

Before I was ever a homeowner, I had a "wish list" of plants I wanted in my very own yard, including some trees. Little did I know that I would end up with a completely blank slate to work with in a new subdivision. This has presented its own set of unique opportunities and challenges over the last eight years, working to improve the clay-filled substance that passes for soil in our area....

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Cucumbers are a crop I don't ever remember my parents having difficulty growing in the garden. From a young age, I remember helping my mom pick lots of cucumbers to make into refrigerator pickles, still a favorite of mine today. You may not think of cucumber as "exotic", so it may surprise you to learn that cucumbers are believed to originate in India. It appears that trade routes helpe...

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Zinnias have their own "rags to riches" story in the plant world. Their native range starts in the Southwestern U.S. and stretches to South America. Zinnias are a common wildflower in Mexico, but you probably wouldn't recognize it. There are about a dozen different species of Zinnia , but one of the most important ancestors of modern cultivars is Zinnia elegans , native...

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