We are still a week away from the equinoctial start of spring, which is a bit of a joke if you look about the garden: Spring has been quietly raging for weeks. The hellebores are in full flight, the rhubarb has begun to sprout and the early daffodils are hoofing it off the stage.
Put in the work now to clean up last year’s detritus, and you’ll be rewarded with a garden that’s ready for when party really gets going.
A conservation project underway in Cornwall aimed at securing the future of one of Britain's rarest butterflies is proving to be a success, thanks to the creation of special 'butterfly corridors' and the revival of traditional woodland management.
Too cold to work outside? Gather up all your house plants and give them some attention. Take cuttings from some that have become long and lanky and either put into water for rooting, or plant. To start in soil, be sure it is potting soil. Use a rooting compound, create a hole for planting with a pencil, plant, water and put into filtered, not direct, sunlight. When plants have rooted, re-pot and give as gifts. Check to see if some of your houseplants have become root bound and need re-potting. This is a good time to give them a bath to rid them of dust and check for diseases and insects.
Choose a sunny day, brew a cup of tea and invite the gardener from next door over to visit in that welcomed sun. All gardeners love to share ideas, plans, dreams and plant material, too.
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of gardening is starting your own plants from seed. The varieties of vegetables and flowers you can grow are endless.
Seed-starting supplies include clean pots and planting flats, finely milled sphagnum moss, sterile germination mix – made of peat moss and perlite or vermiculite – and grow lights or a sunny spot to set the containers.
Consider adding a little bit of blue-ribbon pride to your shade garden in the spring.
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost,’ also known as a false forget-me-not for the delicate flowers it produces, has shown that beauty can thrive in full shade. It was recently named 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Hilliard-based Perennial Plant Association.
Don't delay this renovation project one day longer. Hardy plants can be added to the landscape year-round and late winter or early spring is always a good time. The weather is still a bit cooler so the work is easy to do and the plants can begin growth with less stress. Do remember to keep the soil moist and give the plants a first feeding in 4 to 6 weeks. Only cold sensitive plantings might be delayed a few weeks longer.
This is Meijer Gardens' most popular annual exhibition and the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the nation. From now until April 30, you can mix and mingle with more than 6,000 tropical butterflies flying free in the 15,000-square-foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.
Ghost Plant and Corpse Plant is found in the forest understory associated with a rich soil high in organic matter and surface litter. Its height ranges from 4 to 10 inches and it can be found growing singly or in clusters. The bell-shaped flowers are present from June through September and are pollinated by small bumblebees that feed on the nectar.
Parsley is one of the main food sources for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. They're usually found in curly parsley but I had a few in my Italian flat leaf parsley last year.. Soak the seeds overnight in warm water and scatter them across the soil, barely covering them with loose potting soil. They need a short period of cool, moist weather to germinate so spring is perfect. . .
These universal principles have become the set of tools I use to create gardens that embody all the key elements of the world's greatest landscapes but are scaled to each individual's site, taste and budget. When woven into the plan of the garden, they are unifying components that magically transform the space into a place of enchantment and beauty. . .
Spring is around the corner, and for those who have been chafing at the bit to get going and start munching on your home grown edibles, here are recommendations for putting in your Spring Edible Garden.
Garden design is an art, not any kind of exact science. The "best" design is the one that satisfies you. But there are certain guidelines that have been proven over the years to be more or less universal when it comes to creating pleasing gardens.
The best time to plant a moss garden is when evaporation is low; usually in the spring or fall (in seasonal areas). Mosses can withstand drought better than grass; moss suspends its growth while waiting for water. A shady area in your garden, where flowers and shrubs have difficulty growing, is a perfect spot for a moss garden. Moss does require some light for growth. Mosses cannot grow in full sunlight nor can they grow in deep shade.
The upshot is to plant your container with some perennial plants that will remain in the container after the colorful spring annuals have withered. A few great combos are a flowering hydrangea, planted with a dwarf evergreen and annuals of New Guinea impatiens or petunias. When the impatiens and petunias need to be pulled, replace with dianthus or snapdragons for a fall and winter show.
A tall urn looks dramatic planted with ponytail grass, geranium, petunias and licorice vine. The ponytail and geranium are near perennial and should continue to grow.
You'll be seeing more hanging baskets this spring that are planted with several flower varieties. This makes for an explosion of color as in a basket planted with coral geranium, ornamental, purple peppers, blue fanflower and white with rose-colored calibrachoa. We are seeing lots of calibrachoa in many colors in our garden centers. This plant can take weather, both hot and cold.
The legend of healing gardens is not a myth, but rather historical fact. Research by the National Garden Bureau found the Chinese were using medicinal herbs as early as 3,000 B.C. Colonists in Virginia felt a deep attachment to nature. They believed gardens were a place of creativity for the mind and body.
In recent times, the medical community has rediscovered the healing power of gardens. Hospitals and health care facilities are incorporating green spaces, flowerbeds and views of gardens into their environs. Healing gardens can be found at substance abuse centers, outpatient clinics, and retirement homes.
Most herbs germinate easily and as most of them have aromatic leaves they are unpalatable to pests. Their main enemies are heated airing cupboards and kitchen windowsills where amateurs usually grow them. A dark, heated airing cupboard will encourage herbs to germinate but it is a hindrance as soon as the first seedling leaves start to show. The absence of light draws up the seedlings and in only a day or two makes them spindly and unusable. Unless you are extremely vigilant you will ruin the entire crop. Instead of cheating in an airing cupboard. . .
Throughout the season, gardeners count on the dependable moonwort to enhance bouquets and potpourri mixtures (separate the pods and use them singly). Cleaned and dried, money plant pods can be enjoyed year-round in dried arrangements. . .
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