Pam Beck

Holiday Houseplants

1-IMG_5020A bright white cyclamen makes an attractive seasonal floral centerpiece.
Stumped about what small token of appreciation to take to a holiday open house, a close friend’s party, or your annual family gathering this festive season? Consider gifting the host and hostess with a traditional winter flowering houseplant as a long-lasting reminder of your thoughtfulness.
One of the most popular holiday houseplants associated with our wintertime holidays is the colorful Poinsettia, named in honor of South […]

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Fun Fall Decorating with Pumpkins

DSC_8107This elaborate collection of pumpkins and gourds annually graces Lisa and Jeff Tice’s home in Greenville, SC. (Photo by Marian St Clair.)
Once upon a time, pumpkins only appeared briefly as round, orange Jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween night, as the tasty main ingredient in a traditional pie at Thanksgiving, or were mentioned in passing as a potential means of transportation and affordable housing in children’s fairy tales. Today, however, pumpkins have quickly transformed into the hottest decorating […]

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Southern Summer Annual Herbs

1-borageA beautiful borage flower ready for picking.
Defining an herb can be so confusing. Botanists say if something is “herbaceous” it is a seed-bearing, non-woody stemmed plant, but this term refers to all non-woody flowering plants. Herbalists, consider plants to be herbs as long as their leaves or stems benefit mankind in some way as medicine, dye, pest deterrents, perfumes, or, for our most popular modern herbs, for flavoring food. (A spice, in contrast, is […]

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Tips for a Four-Season Garden

1-IMG_4711A dramatic yucca blends beautifully with this summer perennial garden and becomes a featured soloist in winter.
Every gardener wants a colorful garden that can be enjoyed throughout the entire year. Spring is easy as it emerges onto the scene with bright white and pastel flowers among newly budding leaves. Sunny annuals fill the color niche […]

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Designing Small Garden Spaces

christine's copyUniformly colored patio furniture that echos a garden’s color theme is perfect for a small garden.
The good news is that your landscape is small. Less outdoor area to maintain means more free time for you and your family. You will save a lot of money on water and the cost of hardscaping. Your choice specimen plants will be noticed since they aren’t competing with swaths of other plants, and any decorative items you […]

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Repotting Houseplants

1-IMG_5075Before repotting, bathe smooth-leaved house plants in tepid water to help remove dirt or dust.
It is midwinter. You are occasionally stuck indoors, but your fingers are itching to play in the dirt. Why not channel that frustrated gardening energy into repotting some of your indoor house plants? As most houseplants appreciate being bumped up into a larger pot every couple of years, this activity could be beneficial for both you and your green cohabitants.
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Traditional Fall Harvest Pies with a Twist

Savory tomato pie is a perfect side for dinner or addition to breakfast.Savory tomato pie is a perfect side for dinner or addition to a holiday breakfast.
Unlike the cool berry and citrus pies of summertime, pies made with fall fruits and veggies are warmer, spicier, and richer in flavor. Choosing a dessert to make for holiday gatherings can be a struggle when one family member craves a deep dish apple pie with a flaky crust […]

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Mum’s the Word

1-IMG_4619There’s nothing like a fall patio bursting with colorful mums.
“The white chrysanthemum
Even when lifted to the eye
Remains immaculate”
∼Matsuo Basho

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“Weed” is a Four-Letter Word

1-DSC_0036Reusing cardboard can add new life to the garden, if properly applied.
Ever notice how many challenges in the garden are four-letter words? Wind, hail, rust, mold, cold, vole, mole, deer, bugs, ouch, and weed conjure up stressful garden situations, which must be immediately addressed, leading to even more work (another four-letter word). How we deal with the cursed weed that pops up here and there in our little corner of Eden usually involves back-breaking […]

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Big, Bold, Beautiful Blooms

1-DSC_0054The quintessential, evergreen Southern magnolia can have flowers reaching 12” across.
Is there a stronger magnet that draws one into a landscape than huge, super big flowers? I’m talking about blossoms the size of a small child’s head, a Sunday dinner plate, or a brass trumpet. Why would nature produce such enormous blooms when they rob energy from the plant? As pleasing as large flowers are to us, the plant’s primary purpose is to attract […]

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