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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


With spring being the season of Passover and Easter, it seems timely to write an article on hyssop, one of the "bitter herbs" mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. I was somewhat surprised to find that there are several plants commonly referred to as "hyssop", complicating identifying the true identity of this biblical herb. Hyssop is mentioned in several instances...

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Spring Houseplant Care

One way to satisfy the urge to garden this time of year is to do some spring cleaning of your houseplants. This is the perfect time of year to trim, repot, and divide houseplants. It's also a great time to evaluate any special garden plants overwintered in the house or garage. Many of my houseplants become somewhat leggy indoors, even those that I keep under supplemental lighting. I res...

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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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