Big Difference in Naturalizing and Perennializing Bulbs, Practical Gardening

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Well, autumn is upon us and it’s nearly time for planting spring bulbs. Let’s start this column with definitions that will help you get a handle on nomenclature: True bulbs contain their leaves and flowering parts inside. These include tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. Corms carry their leaf parts on the outside to support interior bud [Read More...]

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Storing Tender Bulbs, Practical Gardening

Photography from http://www.flickr.com/photos/nilliske/3510306101/

Each year I would plant a few tender bulbs for their summer blooms or dramatic leaves. They are a wonderful addition to the home garden. The term tender bulb refers to bulbs, corms, tubers, and rhizomes that will be winter killed by our Zone 5 winters. These tender bulbs need to be removed from the [Read More...]

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Cuke Frog and Snapping Dragons

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Just some pictures from the gardens…                                                                               [Read more...]

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Tomatoes! Make ‘em Stop! Practical Gardening Gone Wild

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I don’t know why I agreed to the request from the woman who lives downstairs. Linda had asked that I grow some tomato plants for her—one ‘Sweet 100s’ and a second ‘Champion’—oh and would I mind maybe bush zucchinis and a single cucumber plant? I no longer worked the grounds at the retreat center and [Read More...]

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August To-dos, Practical Gardening

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Our warmest month in southern Michigan is usually August. The heat—though we seem to be short on that this year—combined with the shortening daylight hours pushes plants to maturity. Vegetables are coming on strong for the harvest, perennials are setting seed, trees and shrubs are hardening up for the winter to come. It’s that time [Read More...]

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Sun Damaged Skin and Cancer, Practical Gardening

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I’m just as guilty as the next gardener about forgetting, or avoiding, sunscreen. Consider this video a PSA. It sure gave me a wake-up call!   [Read more...]

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Travelling Bouquet Bag, Practical Gardening Series

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Sharing flowers from your garden is a joy for both you and the recipient. Here’s a handy way to transport those posies using a coffee bag! 1. Rinse well an emptied coffee bag. No need to use soap, coffee oils won’t hurt a thing. 2. That little vacuum button on the front? Sometimes they aren’t [Read More...]

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Off with Their Heads! Deadheading for Reblooming, Practical Gardening

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Like most gardeners I like a lot of flowers all season.  If you’re not a fan of annuals, you probably search for the few perennials that bloom all summer. You can also extend the bloom period of perennials by deadheading. Deadheading is the maintenance practice of removing spent flowers. By deadheading you keep the plants [Read More...]

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Hope Filled Art of Pruning

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I love to prune. It’s like art to me, a hope filled art. Each cut is intended to produce either a directional growth, to form and shape hardwoods for beauty, or to enhance the bearing of fruit. Sometimes with ornamental trees a whole section of limb that rubs against another will need to be removed, allowing [Read More...]

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7 Easy Steps to Bringing Flowers Indoors, Practical Gardening

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From spring forsythia branches to fall garden mums I bring the beauty and fragrance of my garden into the house. Some arrangements are minimalistic and modern while others are full and robust, looking very much like a 16th century Dutch painting. Either way, they grace my desk, home altar, or table—sometimes I take them to a [Read More...]

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