Mother of Roses

Image by vdaiga, morguefile.com.

I’ve never been much for growing roses. My gardens had always been more cottage style with plants growing close together in a riot of color, texture, and form. Roses simply didn’t work in my design. Besides, there were all those thorns to contend with, and I hate getting pricked in the garden (you may have [Read More...]

Do I Dare Speak of Fall Mums in Spring? Practical Gardening

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Writing about hardy mums in the spring may seem like an oxymoron. Let me explain. For years I’d listened to homeowners say what bad luck they had growing perennial chrysanthemums. They’d plant the big showy mums every fall and rarely found that they survived the winter and grew the following year. Tired of failing, they’d [Read More...]

Eat Your Yard! Practical Gardening and Edible Landscape Solutions

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Fresh produce from the garden is one of the simplest delights of summer. What’s not to like about plucking off and biting into a tomato, cucumber, or sugar snap peas still warm from the sun. Many of us do not have a yard large enough for a vegetable patch or time to volunteer at a community garden, [Read More...]

Jump Start Your Garden by Direct Seeding, Practical Gardening

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Most of us want our gardens to come back to life as soon as the snow is melted. Once the soil is thawed, you may be tempted to buy plants and get them in the ground, but resist the urge. For those of us in USDA Zone 5, we can still anticipate a hard frost, [Read More...]

Fall Blooming Pansies, Practical Gardening

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In the Midwest, we’re all pretty familiar with fall mums, Russian sage, and flowering kale as the main staples of the late-season garden. These plants are tolerant of cold nights and less sunlight. But why not add pansies to your selection? Until recently the general public was unaware that the pansy is not heat tolerant, [Read More...]

Transplanting Perennials and Hardwoods, Practical Gardening

Photo by pippalou at morguefile.com

October is a lovely time of year for dividing and transplanting in your gardens. The urgency of spring gives way to a slower pace of planning. There are many reasons to divide perennials: to keep them healthy and free of diseases, to have more plants, keep them contained to an area, to open up space. [Read More...]

Forcing Bulbs for Preseason Color, Practical Gardening

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When I plant containers of bulbs in the fall, I am thinking about the color they will bring indoors during late winter days or as outdoor focal points early next spring. To force a bulb means that you are manipulating its environment so that it will bloom out of season. Before spring flowering bulbs can [Read More...]

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...]

Storing Tender Bulbs, Practical Gardening

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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...]

Cuke Frog and Snapping Dragons

Zucchini Blossom

Just some pictures from the gardens…                                                                         All images property of Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB. All rights reserved. [Read more...]


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