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.
For those seeds that are clinging to the inside walls of the plastic or cellophane seed packets, making it almost impossible to get them out, I found that rubbing the packet with a fabric softener sheet (dryer sheet) does a good job of stopping static cling.
Do you want to attract bees, butterflies, and/or hummingbirds to your garden? The best way to lure pollinators into your garden is to plant things they love. Pollinators love wildflowers. These are a few of my favorites that are loved by pollinators and are easy to grow.
This isn't a quick fix, but if you have areas where you simply cannot garden due to the heavy clay soil, Gypsum (aka calcium sulfate) can improve the soil structure. There's no need to dig or till the gypsum in. Just add it to the top of the clay soil. The Gypsum will break up the clay on a molecular level, allowing water to permeate through. It's best to apply several applications (over a year or more) before you add your other amendments and finally begin your new garden. We've done this and I think it's worth the time. Gypsum can also be used to remove sodium from saline soils.
Maybe you've been considering the addition of edibles to your garden, but you aren't willing to give up the beauty that only flowers can provide. The solution: Grow edible flowers! This list of edible flowers can easily be grown in your garden. In fact, some of them might already be growing there.
When the seed of a plant germinates, that first leaf or set of leaves to unfold is called a cotyledon. Cotyledons are developed by the embryo of the seed and are sometimes called seed-leaves. They contain stored food reserves from the seed, used to keep the seedling fed until the next set of leaves, considered the "true leaves," appears. Once the second set of true leaves sprouts, the plant will begin photosynthesis. The cotyledons will wither and disappear soon after the true leaves start to grow.
A "Monoecious" plant has male and female flowers living on the same plant. They are considered imperfect flowers. Squash is an example of a monoecious plant. In the image the male flower is on the left, the female flower on the right.
To have a supply of fresh home grown tomatoes into fall and until the first frost, you might want to consider planting some new plants now (July). If you have a long enough growing season, plant transplants, cuttings from existing plants or from seed. When your spring plants are done producing, the summer plantings will just be starting!
When potting plants, put some fallen leaves in the bottom half of the pot and then add potting soil. The leaves will keep the water draining and hold the soil in. Over time the leaves will compost, which really makes the plants happy. It works especially well with big pots, cutting down on your potting soil expense!
It started out as a usual morning as I hand watered the front garden; then I noticed what looked like bird droppings all over one of the lime trees.
Some may call it a common weed while others call it a wildflower, or as its name implies some still call it a medicinal herb. All-heal grows practically all over the world and has been regarded as a healing plant since ancient times.
Native plants and flowers are adapted to the specific conditions of your region, making them durable and easy to grow, as well as beautiful additions to the garden.
A nice hot cup of horehound tea with honey and lemon and a warm slice of banana nut bread covered in melted butter. That's one of my fondest childhood memories. With winter and the holidays just around the corner, I'm reminded of horehound and what a special herb it is.
If I were asked what I love most about this tree, I probably couldn't give just one attribute, but the first thing that comes to mind is how much I enjoy the pleasant fragrance the tree emits, and how its handsome stature makes a perfect Christmas tree. But then maybe it's because it's so beneficial to songbirds and other wildlife, protecting and feeding so many over winter. Or maybe it's how much history the tree has, or how it provides medicine for many.
Garlic is one of my favorite flavorings to use in the kitchen and one of the easiest of all the herbs to grow in the garden. If you absolutely love the smell and flavor of fresh garlic, or have ever considered growing your own garlic, this fall would be a really good time to plant some cloves. It takes little effort to grow them yourself and you will be rewarded with juicy and flavorsome bulbs.
Leave the flower heads of Black-eyed Susan, (Rudbeckia) over winter. Although not particularly attractive all dried out, the seed heads will feed the birds.
Nature is filled with a wide variety of beneficial insects whose diet consists mainly of the little pests that invade your gardens. Yes, there really are "good bugs" and they are a great way to combat the pests that are ready and waiting to devour and destroy your plants. Some of these good guys may have been hanging around and you didn't realize they were actually keeping pests off of your favorite flowers or vegetables. Let's take a look at some of these beneficial predatory insects so you can learn who your allies are.
Heirlooms are a perfect choice for the beginner gardener. The seeds of many of these old cultivars have been saved and passed down for generations because of their easy-to-grow habits. They are those wonderful old fashioned flowers that your grandmother grew forever in her garden, or those delicious tasting tomatoes that you might remember eating as a child. But it doesn't stop there; as you begin to consider growing heirlooms, you will discover many unique and interesting flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits.
So what about Companion Planting? Is it merely folk lore and old wives' tales without any scientific evidence to back it up? Or can you create a beautiful garden that flourishes in rhythm with the natural balance that mother earth has to offer (without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals) by using companion planting practices? Maybe some traditions and folklore were created for a reason.
This beautiful plant is said to bring courage to the heart and drive away all sadness. And that's just the beginning of all the lovely virtues of this herb. Borage is also a great companion to some of your garden favorites. Bees love the nectar rich flowers. I like to add the vibrant blue flowers to salads but they are also great candied for desserts or fresh in beverages. You can make your own flowery ice cubes with your garden edibles, there are easy instructions at the end of this article.
I have a personal fondness for this old-fashioned flower. Its delicate fragrance takes me back to when I was a young girl spending many hours in the garden. The taste of the sweet nectar from the spur of the nasturtium, the skipper butterflies fluttering around, and the ladybugs . . . I'm transported back in time.