It's been a long year full of activity, especially centered around getting the National Gardening Association back on its feet. We're excited for what the new year will begin, and to get the podcast back! Enjoy the first of what will be many podcast episodes this year.
Make my version of a "topsy-turvy" stack of pots with three materials you might have lying around in your basement. A favorite of bumblebees and butterflies, this vertical gardening idea is also great for areas with little space. Materials needed are one long metal vegetable stake, 4-7 clay pots of differing sizes, and a couple of cans of old spray paint.
I have enough Christmas things to decorate several rooms with much left over, but at this time in my life I keep things simple. I do like to decorate the porch so it will seem welcoming. I prefer natural things like berries, crab apples, evergreens, cones, etc. Most of these things I can collect from my own yard or the yards of family members and friends. I like them arranged in urns or baskets, and they last until the New Year, when I discard them. Here are a couple of examples for this year:
Here is a quick and easy method of planting allium (garlic & shallots) in really tight rows (matrix). Using this method I can fast plant 200 allium in a 5x10 foot garden. In addition, later on it's really easy to spot any cloves that did not sprout.
Sempervivums are plants that originate on the European continent. Found at high altitudes known as alpine zones, they thrive in this harsh and rugged terrain. Sempervivums are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as gardeners fall in love with the textures and colors of these amazing little plants.
I really look forward to fall when so many plants change into their colorful fall wardrobes; it's such a beautiful sight. The American Beautyberry is one such plant that makes quite a showing, boasting bright magenta berries that look much like bracelets of amethyst beads glistening in clusters along drooping branches.
If you're like me and live in a cool climate, your gardening season will soon be coming to an end for another year. You've either got loads of work ahead of you cleaning out your flower gardens or you are ready to sit back and relax and leave the clean-up until spring.
Each fall the last task to put the garden to sleep is to mulch everything with a thick blanket of fallen leaves. If you are like me, you don't have enough of your own to go on all of your beds. So, I go around my neighborhood and collect the bagged leaves put out by the curb.
I have a pile of broken pots that I can't bear to throw away, a plastic container full of garden "miniatures" that I started collecting a long time ago, and lots of "baby" and small plants filling my shelves.Today I stirred in some creativity and it all came together!
We took a cutting from what we observed to be a cold-tolerant summer 2015 tomato plant and put it fully rooted into a low tunnel in our zone 8b south-facing garden. It was still happy after some 28-degree nights in the beginning of February 2016.
I love working in my garden, but each year the weather turns sometime in Oct/Nov as winter approaches. The only thing left to do on an occasional good day is raking leaves or cutting back perennials. This is when houseplants become important to me.
In the fall, I have always brought in cuttings from my annuals to overwinter and to have ready for my window boxes and pots for spring. I would grow them in 4-inch plastic pots on my windowsills covered with tin foil, which created a mess, and if I wanted to move them to another location, it took quite a while to move all of the separate pots.