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Five Easy Steps for a Socially Distanced Garden Party

Five Easy Steps for a Socially Distanced Garden Party
A garden or spacious yard is a wonderful venue for an outdoor party, especially in the days of COVID-19. A warm summer evening with a drink in hand and a garden filled with friends, each on their own picnic blanket or lawn table, is a lovely way to hold outdoor gatherings where we can enjoy the beauty […]

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Favorite Summer Flowers for Butterflies

A tiger swallowtail perches and feeds on a purple coneflower.
One joy of summer is the butterflies that flit around our flower gardens. They do not mind the heat as long as they have plenty of moisture and nectar-rich flowers. There are many flowers that butterflies like best, both annuals, perennials, and even some shrubs. Among them are many of the common garden varieties that we […]

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The Best Container Plants for July Heat

The Best Container Plants for July Heat
It is July, and there are so many plants in bloom on my deck that it is like a bonanza of color. It is so relaxing to sit there and be surrounded by containers that are bursting with flowers and watching the hummingbirds aggressively guard their territory.  There are also honeybees and bumblebees, as well as an occasional dragonfly.
In […]

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Green Roof Essentials for Home Gardeners

Any green roof added to a home, such as this stylish patio green roof, should be fully or partially professionally installed.
“A roof of asphalt shingles is a desert wasteland compared to a living, cooling, vital green roof.”
Even small-scale green roofs need specialized knowledge for success. You can’t just throw potting mix on top of your garden shed, patio roof, or chicken coop, plant a few […]

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Soil pH Testing From Home Made Easy

 
Soil pH Testing From Home Made Easy
When asked about soil and gardens, the most common question I receive is about how to determine soil pH. Garden professionals emphasize the need to measure soil pH because it can be so important if the soil pH errs towards the extremes–too acid or too alkaline. Soil pH testing is certainly useful when you are getting to know your […]

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Perennials for Dry Shade

Japanese anemones are excellent shade perennials with late-season blooms.

Here in the Midwest, we have had unusually dry weather from August to October in the past few years.  Last year we had no rain, except for one sprinkle, for ten weeks.  My water bills exceeded $200, with the water company […]

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Early Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden


By the time the month of June arrives, I like to think that I have many of my early-season garden tasks completed. However, this is rarely the case because in a garden, there is always something to do and a project that has not been completed. And, this has been quite a spring.
The spring of 2020 has been nothing like […]

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Fragrant Garden Flowers to Soothe the Senses

Fragrant Garden Flowers: Lilac (top left), clove pinks (bottom left), honeysuckle (bottom right).

Close your eyes and step into the garden. What do you smell? If you plant for aroma, you can be guided through your garden blindfolded and know what plants are there. Honeysuckle, hyacinths, lavender, and roses are […]

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Diverse, Beautiful Garden Hostas

Diverse, beautiful garden Hostas come in all colors and sizes.
The plant kingdom never ceases to amaze me with the diversity that it offers. Even plants in the same genus can have very unique traits in leaf color and texture, growth habits, environmental preferences, winter hardiness, heat tolerance, and flowers. A good example of a diverse genus is Hosta, commonly called the plantain lily.
Many garden plants, […]

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Cottage Gardens for American Gardeners

An old cottage garden border contains peonies and oriental poppies, among other old-fashioned flowers.
I am a person who looks at all the new perennials available in local nurseries each spring and always find new ones I cannot live without.  When I get home, I look for a spot in my already full flowerbeds and stick my new purchases in. With intention, my carefree, fragrant, flower-filled […]

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