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Hellebores, Early Spring Bloomers in your Garden

Category: Flower Gardens, Garden Planning, Plant Ideas & Info, Spring Projects, Tools & Techniques

Helleborus orientalis is also called Lenten Rose. In horticulture circles it’s well known that you can’t rely on common names to reveal the true identity of a plant.  The name Lenten Rose sends a mixed signal because it is not in the rose family, but it does bloom during the Lenten season.  In our part of the country that makes it an early spring bloomer!…
Helleborus orientalis is also called Lenten Rose. In horticulture circles it’s well known that you can’t rely on common names to reveal the true identity of a plant.  The name Lenten Rose sends a mixed signal because it is not in the rose family, but…

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How To Get Flowering Houseplants Ready for Spring

Category: Houseplants, Indoor Gardening, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects

It's time to wake up your houseplants!  As the days grow longer and the sun gets stronger, now is the time to wake up two of my favorite flowering houseplants, clivia miniata and agapanthus.  Because it takes so much energy to produce a flower, they have been resting over the winter between bloom times. Here are some techniques gardeners use to get them ready for spring. Clivia miniata Clivias are native to…
It's time to wake up your houseplants!  As the days grow longer and the sun gets stronger, now is the time to wake up two of my favorite flowering houseplants, clivia miniata and agapanthus.  Because it takes so much energy to produce a flower, they have been resting over the winter between bloom times. Here are some techniques gardeners use…

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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.…

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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…

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Growing Herbs Indoors

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

There are many reasons why it’s satisfying to grow herbs indoors during the cold winter months in my Zone 6 region. Imagine smelling fresh basil, peppermint or rosemary anytime you want in the middle of January. Think how pretty a grouping of plants looks on a kitchen counter or in a windowsill.  Feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from picking parsley or chives from your own garden for a recipe that calls for fresh herbs --instead of purchasing a…
There are many reasons why it’s satisfying to grow herbs indoors during the cold winter months in my Zone 6 region. Imagine smelling fresh basil, peppermint or rosemary anytime you want in the middle of January. Think how pretty a grouping of plants looks on a kitchen counter or in a windowsill.  Feel the sense of accomplishment that comes from…

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Meet Illustrator Kate Blairstone!

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Strong Women Building A Gentle World

Kate Blairstone is no shrinking violet. As an illustrator she approaches her subjects with the exuberance of a person who is curious about everything. Before she draws a plant or an animal, she wants to know more about the community they are a part of and the relationships that inform their world. As a gardener she has a floriferous sense, so everything is densely packed in her Portland, OR garden. She buys plants small but they grow up fast in…
Kate Blairstone is no shrinking violet. As an illustrator she approaches her subjects with the exuberance of a person who is curious about everything. Before she draws a plant or an animal, she wants to know more about the community they are a part of and the relationships that inform their world. As a gardener she has a floriferous sense,…

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Annual Flowers Aim to Please, by Dorian Winslow

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  You can't beat an annual plant for its desire to please the gardener. It has one season to live and it puts all of its energy into producing flowers. If you plant a seed, either indoors or directly in the garden, some annuals will germinate and grow to maturity, producing a flower in as little as 8 weeks. Cut that flower and it takes it as a mandate to produce more flowers. Give it average soil and it’s ok…
  You can't beat an annual plant for its desire to please the gardener. It has one season to live and it puts all of its energy into producing flowers. If you plant a seed, either indoors or directly in the garden, some annuals will germinate and grow to maturity, producing a flower in as little as 8 weeks. Cut…

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You Say Clematis and I Say Clem-ah-tis, by Dorian Winslow

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  Clematis is a versatile vining plant that comes in many sizes and colors. Monty Don, the British gardening personality, said in an interview with The Guardian, “Everyone loves clematis. To dislike clematis as a matter of principle would take a degree of perversity of the same order as disliking grass, trees or coffee ice cream. If you have a wall or fence, a decent-sized…
  Clematis is a versatile vining plant that comes in many sizes and colors. Monty Don, the British gardening personality, said in an interview with The Guardian, “Everyone loves clematis. To dislike clematis as a matter of principle would take a degree of perversity of…

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Willow: A Plant That Loves Water

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  One of the most widely known willows is pussy willow.  The botanical name is Salix discolor and it’s native to North American wetlands. Its catkins are as soft as a kitten’s paws and it’s one of the first plants to signal spring is nigh. The botanical genus for willow plants is Salix and there are about 400 water loving species in the genus. Where I live in Pawling, NY we are situated in the 6,000 acre Great Swamp Watershed,…
  One of the most widely known willows is pussy willow.  The botanical name is Salix discolor and it’s native to North American wetlands. Its catkins are as soft as a kitten’s paws and it’s one of the first plants to signal spring is nigh. The botanical genus for willow plants is Salix and there are about 400 water loving…

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Allium: A Gardener’s Best Friend

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

  I have heard many a seasoned plant person say that if they had to choose only one plant to grow in their garden it would be Allium. Why do gardeners love this genus of plants? Because Allium has hundreds of species ranging in shape and size, blooming from early spring to late fall, and deer don’t like any of them! In addition, while they are hardy with strong stems they are well mannered and don’t try to push out…
  I have heard many a seasoned plant person say that if they had to choose only one plant to grow in their garden it would be Allium. Why do gardeners love this genus of plants? Because Allium has hundreds of species ranging in shape and size, blooming from early spring to late fall, and deer don’t like any of…

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