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Tales from a Plant Addict

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


At first mention of the word geranium, I imagine most of us picture a red-flowered annual. Technically speaking though, what we commonly refer to as a geranium is a member of the genus Pelargonium . There is a genus Geranium , which is related to Pelargonium , but they look very different. The genus Geranium contains over 400 species of annual, perennial...

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It seems like this time of year our gardens are just as exhausted in the heat as we are. Some might say their garden just looks "tired out". We've waited in anticipation for spring and summer's colorful displays, and by August sometimes plants are looking a bit stagnant and worn. One way to reinvigorate the late summer garden is by using later-flowering plants, those that don't start to...

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Garden Spider Argiope aurantia

There are certain topics that we field questions on quite regularly at the Extension office each growing season. Unusually large insects fit this category-- they are something that stop a lot of homeowners in their tracks and prompt them to bring us a specimen or send us a picture, usually with worried commentary about whether the creature is dangerous to them or their garden. As the gr...

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Seed Saving

One of the first "gardening lessons" I remember as a young girl was saving seed from marigolds. I remember my mom showing me how to pick the flowers that were dead and dried on the plant and put them in a brown lunch sack. I also remember that brown lunch sack sat in a cabinet in our basement, and if you wanted to plant marigolds in the spring, you took some of the dried flowers from th...

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Bottle Trees

Like me, you've probably seen them in many gardening catalogs this year, and at craft fairs and art shows in the area. They seem to be the "in" thing for the fashionable garden in the last few years: bottle trees. The concept is simple—a metal tree-like form, or even a dead tree itself is the base to hang colorful glass bottles from. The history of these garden ornaments may surprise you....

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