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The Art of Bonsai Making is Still Alive Today with Bruce Baker and Goliath

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Bruce Baker has been working on one bonsai project for 12 years -- and he’s just getting started. Taking the long view is part of being a bonsai artist or practitioner. “Bonsai trees can live hundreds of years and they’re always changing,’ he says. “They’re never done,” he adds. The process, as Bruce sees it, is about gradually revealing what is already there, and enhancing or sometimes exaggerating it.  It takes patience, planning and plenty of solitary contemplation—just you and…
Bruce Baker has been working on one bonsai project for 12 years -- and he’s just getting started. Taking the long view is part of being a bonsai artist or practitioner. “Bonsai trees can live hundreds of years and they’re always changing,’ he says. “They’re never done,” he adds. The process, as Bruce sees it, is about gradually revealing what…

vaccinating a dog

Dividing Perennials and Potting Them Up for Plant Sales and Plant Swaps

Category: Flower Gardens, Garden Planning, How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

You volunteered to participate in your local plant sale fund raiser or plant swap, and now it's time to make good on your promise! Many plant sales that were scheduled for spring were postponed until fall, which gardeners know is one of the best times to plant! So go into your garden and dig up some perennials or bulbs, divide them, and pot them up. You can even propagate some houseplants if you leave enough time. The night before you…
You volunteered to participate in your local plant sale fund raiser or plant swap, and now it's time to make good on your promise! Many plant sales that were scheduled for spring were postponed until fall, which gardeners know is one of the best times to plant! So go into your garden and dig up some perennials or bulbs, divide…

vaccinating a dog

How To Divide Irises

Category: Flower Gardens, How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Bearded iris (Iris x germanica) is the most commonly grown iris. Its fleshy roots are called rhizomes. The flowers are distinguished by a caterpillar-like fuzzy "beard" that runs down the center of each cascading petal or 'fall'. The "beard" aids in pollination, providing a landing spot for bumble bees and other insects, and supposedly directing them towards the pollen. Iris rhizomes should be divided every 3 or 4 years to maximize vigor and bloom. Two years ago my irises bloomed…
Bearded iris (Iris x germanica) is the most commonly grown iris. Its fleshy roots are called rhizomes. The flowers are distinguished by a caterpillar-like fuzzy "beard" that runs down the center of each cascading petal or 'fall'. The "beard" aids in pollination, providing a landing spot for bumble bees and other insects, and supposedly directing them towards the pollen. Iris…

vaccinating a dog

Growing Flowering Vines

Category: Flower Gardens, How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects

There's something romantic and old-fashioned about flowering vines, the way they amble over garden fences and climb up trellises. If you're thinking of planting an ornamental vine in your garden this year, know what some of the different types are by reading on. The basic types of vines are those that cling to a support with aerial roots, those that twine or grow tendrils that wrap around a support, and those that need our help attaching to a support. [caption…
There's something romantic and old-fashioned about flowering vines, the way they amble over garden fences and climb up trellises. If you're thinking of planting an ornamental vine in your garden this year, know what some of the different types are by reading on. The basic types of vines are those that cling to a support with aerial roots, those that…

vaccinating a dog

Gardening Ideas for Kids: Have More Fun by Using Veggie Scraps

Category: 'Dear Ruth' Column, How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

My friend the horticulturist Ruth Clausen told me about a great activity to do with kids indoors.  She calls it "garbage gardening" because it involves planting vegetable scraps that would otherwise be headed for the garbage pail or compost heap. Ruth asks, 'What sounds like more fun to a child than growing garbage on a windowsill?' It's a good question. Start with carrots and onions, potatoes, pineapples and other vegetable waste, and use recycled cottage cheese or yogurt containers as…
My friend the horticulturist Ruth Clausen told me about a great activity to do with kids indoors.  She calls it "garbage gardening" because it involves planting vegetable scraps that would otherwise be headed for the garbage pail or compost heap. Ruth asks, 'What sounds like more fun to a child than growing garbage on a windowsill?' It's a good question.…

vaccinating a dog

Grow Your Own Microgreens Indoors — It’s A Great Winter Gardening Project!

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Remember the adage that good things come in small packages?  Let’s start with microgreens. Scientists and nutritionists say that microgreens provide a much denser source of nutrition than their mature selves.  A study published on WebMD.com concluded that because they’re harvested right after germination, they still contain all the nutrients they need to grow. The flavor packs an outsize punch too, and they are great sprinkled on salads, in sandwiches or as a garnish for soups. Microgreens are not the…
Remember the adage that good things come in small packages?  Let’s start with microgreens. Scientists and nutritionists say that microgreens provide a much denser source of nutrition than their mature selves.  A study published on WebMD.com concluded that because they’re harvested right after germination, they still contain all the nutrients they need to grow. The flavor packs an outsize punch…

vaccinating a dog

Upcycle Gift Wrap Ideas

Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

When I gift wrap I use what I have on hand for the paper and the trimmings. I like pretty packages so I keep ribbons and ties from previous holidays and use them to jazz up this year's gifts. For the gift wrap I might use brown kraft paper or a cut up grocery bag. Here are several ideas using items you probably have around your home. Keep it simple yet pretty, and reuse what you have.
When I gift wrap I use what I have on hand for the paper and the trimmings. I like pretty packages so I keep ribbons and ties from previous holidays and use them to jazz up this year's gifts. For the gift wrap I might use brown kraft paper or a cut up grocery bag. Here are several ideas using…

vaccinating a dog

Roots By The Sea

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

It almost seems as if everything in Heidi’s life has led her to this enchanting place – a home on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island where she and her husband David Sommers enjoy sailing and gardening. Heidi grew up in Rye, NY, the daughter of a talented gardening mother, Helen Hild, who enrolled her at age 8 in a children’s gardening program at…
It almost seems as if everything in Heidi’s life has led her to this enchanting place – a home on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island where she and her husband David Sommers enjoy sailing and gardening. Heidi grew up in Rye, NY, the…

vaccinating a dog

Do you have drainage problems in your garden?

Category: How-To Projects, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

It's been a rainier winter and spring than most here in the northeast, and many of us are having issues with drainage in places we never had them before. In some cases it might be best to wait and see if the problem persists or if the excessive rainfall is just an aberration. In my case I have an herb garden that hugs the back of our house and extends about…
It's been a rainier winter and spring than most here in the northeast, and many of us are having issues with drainage in places we never had them before. In some cases it might be best to wait and see if the problem persists or if the excessive rainfall is just an aberration. My herb garden…

vaccinating a dog

Propagating Plants: Go Forth And Multiply

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  One of the most satisfying parts of gardening for me is to take part in the miracle of plant propagation. It can be as simple as pinching off a stem and dropping it in a glass of water or as complicated as grafting a branch from one plant onto the root stock of another. Boom!  A plant is born.  There are two primary ways plants procreate: sexually and asexually. Sexual propagation is through seeds, and it is the primary…
  One of the most satisfying parts of gardening for me is to take part in the miracle of plant propagation. It can be as simple as pinching off a stem and dropping it in a glass of water or as complicated as grafting a branch from one plant onto the root stock of another. Boom!  A plant is born. …

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