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How to Plant and Site Trees and Shrubs

The key to successful gardening is to go (and grow) with what you’ve got. If your garden has acid soil and lots of shade, go with acid- and shade-loving plants. If sunny, dry, alkaline conditions dominate, then plan and plant accordingly. This also holds true for the garden’s aesthetic. For example, more “naturalistic” settings (such as a woodland edge) call for more informal, nature-evoking plantings. Beautiful and bountiful things happen when a garden is in harmony with its surroundings.
Understand Your […]

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Late-Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden

Late-Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden
Sometimes this time of year is referred to as the “dog days of summer”; however, I do not think of it in these terms. Yes, it is hot, many garden flowers are flagging, and there are garden tasks to do, but August is also a month when there is much for us to enjoy in […]

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How to Revive Midsummer Garden Flowers

How to Revive Midsummer Garden Flowers
The neverending summer heat, especially here in the Midwest, stresses garden flowers and potted plants as well as the people that care for them. Formerly vibrant containers of calibrachoa, petunias, marigolds, gaillardia, salvias, zinnias, and other annuals, can start to look pretty drab by August without intervention. Plenty of perennials will also pop back and either rebloom or form attractive […]

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My Eight Favorite Summer Cut Flowers

A bouquet of summer dahlias and China asters will beautify any vase.
It’s always nice when the prettiest summer flowers can be cut and brought indoors for long-lasting arrangements. Aside from beauty and long vase life, several criteria make a flower suited to cutting. Long-stemmed, showy flowers of all sizes in unique and brilliant colors make the cut (pun intended). I also like heavy bloomers, so […]

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How to Make Herb-Infused Vinegars and Oils

Make Herb-Infused Vinegars and Oils
Making your own herbal infusions in oils and vinegar is a great way to preserve herb flavors from your garden. Since comparable store-bought bottles can be pricey, you’ll save money and have some delicious artisanal gifts to give to friends and family.
Harvesting and Drying Herbs
Bundles of […]

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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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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.” -Jessie Keith

Even small-scale green roofs need specialized knowledge for success. You can’t […]

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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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Essential Culinary Herbs of the Seasons

Essential culinary herbs are best planted in spring.
Stylish and serviceable herb gardens are a delight through the growing season when they appeal to the eye and senses and provide fresh herbs. In winter, stores of dried and frozen herbs make cooking a pleasure. If you don’t already have a culinary herb garden, you are missing out. And, there’s no reason not to grow […]

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10 Essential Tips For New Vegetable Gardeners

The new vegetable gardener will succeed if given the right information from the beginning.
With decades of vegetable gardening experience under my belt, it’s easy to take the years of knowledge for granted. It’s like riding a bike. I garden on cruise control and react or learn quickly when faced with a new challenge. In turn, years of teaching new gardeners have kept me in touch […]

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