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Container Gardening How To

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

In one of the classes I took at the NY Botanical Garden I learned about the container gardening concept of "Thriller, Filler, Spiller". When you're selecting plants for your container, the Thriller is the central plant that grows taller than the others and is the focal point. The Filler is the plant or plants that surround the Thriller, and the Spiller is the plant that spills over the edges of your container. I followed this concept with the container I…
In one of the classes I took at the NY Botanical Garden I learned about the container gardening concept of "Thriller, Filler, Spiller". When you're selecting plants for your container, the Thriller is the central plant that grows taller than the others and is the focal point. The Filler is the plant or plants that surround the Thriller, and the…

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Caring for Bulbs After they Bloom

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

Where I live in Dutchess County NY, daffodils are one of the few bulbs deer do not graze so gardeners are planting more varieties of daffodils to get variation in their early spring gardens. After your bulbs are finished blooming, remove flowers so they won't put energy into producing seeds. For naturalizing, however, leave flowers and allow reseeding. At the NY Botanical Garden, daffodils are allowed to…
Where I live in Dutchess County NY, daffodils are one of the few bulbs deer do not graze so gardeners are planting more varieties of daffodils to get variation in their early spring gardens. After your bulbs are finished blooming, remove flowers so they won't put energy…

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How To Grow Microgreens

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

The Early Spring issue of Country Gardens with a feature story on our greenhouse also has an interesting story about growing microgreens. Here's a link to the Country Gardens website with How To information on growing microgreens. I started 3 crops myself, using 3 handmade plates by the talented Vermont potter Amanda Ann Palmer. Because microgreens are harvested a couple of weeks after the seeds are sown, a shallow dish with no holes for drainage is perfectly acceptable. [caption id="attachment_2262" align="alignleft"…
The Early Spring issue of Country Gardens with a feature story on our greenhouse also has an interesting story about growing microgreens. Here's a link to the Country Gardens website with How To information on growing microgreens. I started 3 crops myself, using 3 handmade plates by the talented Vermont potter Amanda Ann Palmer. Because microgreens are harvested a couple of…

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Forcing Bulbs Indoors for Early Spring Bloom

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

Forcing bulbs to bloom indoors in late Winter is a way to enjoy the magic of Spring flowers a little early. If you received a free package of our pink Foxtrot tulip bulbs, they are ready to be potted up indoors as soon as you get them. This is because they have spent the winter in a cool warehouse in Pennsylvania. (For other Spring blooming bulbs, you need to put them in a cool, refrigerated location for 6-8 weeks before…
Forcing bulbs to bloom indoors in late Winter is a way to enjoy the magic of Spring flowers a little early. If you received a free package of our pink Foxtrot tulip bulbs, they are ready to be potted up indoors as soon as you get them. This is because they have spent the winter in a cool warehouse in…

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Which Plants Want A Winter Rest?

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

Which Plants Want A Winter Rest? Many plants native to warm climates can be grown in colder zones as perennials, but require a rest period during cooler months, which encourages them to bloom or fruit again. Dormancy in plants occurs when the environmental conditions are not suitable for the plant to grow; this is most often during a cold or dry season. Here are a few popular plants I have in my garden, and the techniques Northern gardeners can use…
Which Plants Want A Winter Rest? Many plants native to warm climates can be grown in colder zones as perennials, but require a rest period during cooler months, which encourages them to bloom or fruit again. Dormancy in plants occurs when the environmental conditions are not suitable for the plant to grow; this is most often during a cold or…

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Farmer-Florists Bring Flowers Fresh From the Farm

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

Stephanie Hall is part of a growing trend in the florist trade to source flowers locally and in season. Her farm in North Carolina, Sassafras Fork Farm, has a two- acre plot dedicated to approximately 70 different varieties of cut flowers. Says Hall about the farmer-florist movement, "It's a stark contrast to the conventionally grown, imported flowers of the commercial floral trade."  Stephanie grew up in Chapel Hill, the daughter of a UNC professor.  In 2011, she and her (just…
Stephanie Hall is part of a growing trend in the florist trade to source flowers locally and in season. Her farm in North Carolina, Sassafras Fork Farm, has a two- acre plot dedicated to approximately 70 different varieties of cut flowers. Says Hall about the farmer-florist movement, "It's a stark contrast to the conventionally grown, imported flowers of the commercial…

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Growing Edible Figs

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

Fig trees are easy to grow in warm climates. They produce their best fruit in Mediterranean climates with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Mature fig trees are fully cold hardy to 20 degrees F. The trees can be grown outside their normal climate range if they are planted in lightweight, easy to move containers. In climates where winter temperatures fall below 20 degrees F, the potted plants should be moved indoors to a sunny location until spring. Fig…
Fig trees are easy to grow in warm climates. They produce their best fruit in Mediterranean climates with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Mature fig trees are fully cold hardy to 20 degrees F. The trees can be grown outside their normal climate range if they are planted in lightweight, easy to move containers. In climates where winter…

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Permaculture in Practise at Dingle Hill Flowers & Herbs

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

I visited the farm, Dingle Hill Flowers & Herbs, on a sultry August day, my car bumping up a hilly, mile-long stretch of gravel road leading to the former dairy farm, now herb sanctuary, in the Catskill Mountains of NY.  Finally I took a sharp turn and headed towards the main farmhouse and the "Heart" of the enterprise, where I met owners Daphne Boss Ayalon and her husband Jerome. Liz Scholl, Womanswork's master herbalist, who sources herbs from Daphne for our…
I visited the farm, Dingle Hill Flowers & Herbs, on a sultry August day, my car bumping up a hilly, mile-long stretch of gravel road leading to the former dairy farm, now herb sanctuary, in the Catskill Mountains of NY.  Finally I took a sharp turn and headed towards the main farmhouse and the "Heart" of the enterprise, where I met…

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Growing Dahlias with Frances Palmer

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

The following excerpts are reprinted from an article by Frances Palmer in the May/June 2014 issue of Connecticut Gardener, with permission. Planting: I usually plant my tubers in late April, which is considered early. Most instructions advise planting tubers at the same time as tomatoes. Be that as it may, I dig a hole to accommodate the size of the tuber. If I am planting a new tuber, the hole is only a few inches down and the tuber is placed…
The following excerpts are reprinted from an article by Frances Palmer in the May/June 2014 issue of Connecticut Gardener, with permission. Planting: I usually plant my tubers in late April, which is considered early. Most instructions advise planting tubers at the same time as tomatoes. Be that as it may, I dig a hole to accommodate the size of the tuber.…

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