The weekly gardening newsletter from

May 29, 2021 - Issue #515 Read in Browser

Flower gardens reflect the care they get.



Planting Raspberries

aspberries thrive in well-worked, well-fed, slightly acid soil (pH 5.5 to 6.8). Like most fruits, they crave sunlight and plenty of moisture, but adequate drainage is critical. Take the time to eliminate perennial weeds as much as possible, either by repeated tilling or by planting a cover crop a year in advance. Be sure to mix in some 10-10-10

Growing Marjoram

Shakespeare knew his herbs, and characterized them in his work. In All?s Well that Ends Well, someone gives a compliment, describing another as, "the sweet marjoram of the salad, or rather the herb of grace."

Weeds- Horsetail

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) has been around since dinosaur days. It is a common perennial weed in the northern half of North America, especially in moist soils. Upright stems with cone-like tips bear spores, but horsetail owes its staying power to spreading roots.

Growing Sage

Sage is for more than seasoning your Thanksgiving turkey. Harvest fresh leaves from your kitchen garden to flavor meat and bean dishes, or toss the blossoms into salad! You can even wire dried sprigs to a frame to create an aromatic wreath or swag.


Found throughout the United States. The cabbageworm is the larva of a common white, day-flying butterfly with three to four black spots on its wings. The damage done by these caterpillars is similar to that

Garden Prep for Tomatoes

Where you plant your tomatoes in the garden is important. Tomatoes need at least six to eight hours of sun a day to produce well -- and full sun is best, especially in cooler, more northern climates. Tomato roots won't do well in soggy soil -- a sunny, well-drained part of your garden is best.

Growing Citrus

Most people don't realize just how large the citrus family is. What you see in the supermarket is only a small portion of what can be grown. Pummelos, blood oranges, limequats, and myriad mandarin varieties offer exciting new taste experiences and landscape possibilities.


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By Carole McCray

Summertime means bouquets of flowers from the garden. Plant a garden solely intended for flowers to enjoy indoors throughout the rooms in your home.  If you are currently dependent on flowering shrubs like roses, peonies and hydrangeas alone for arrangements, consider planting a cutting garden. 

Summertime means bouquets of flowers from the garden. Plant a garden solely intended for flowers to enjoy indoors throughout the rooms in your home. If you are currently dependent on flowering shrubs like roses, peonies and hydrangeas alone for arrangements, consider planting a cutting garden. The following suggestions are for creating a cutting garden:

Location - Choose a sunny location. Around the vegetable garden is a good location, or consider a secluded place behind a border where cuttings will not be so evident.

Planning - Choose plants with your favorite-colored blooms; soft shades in pink, blue, lavender or yellow, or vibrant shades of fiery reds, deep purple, dark blue or golden yellow. It all depends on how you want to harmonize with the interior of your home and the colors you love to live with.

Planting - Prepare the soil by adding a compost mixture to the soil and spading it into the ground. Lay a mulch to control weeds. Check the nursery or garden center where you purchase plants as to the soil requirements for the plants. Know which plants need frequent watering and which are drought-tolerant.

Caring for Cut Flowers - The best time is to cut flowers early in the morning or in the late evening. When you go to harvest from your cutting garden, bring a bucket of cool water and a sharp (and clean) pair of scissors intended for cutting flowers. Snip stems at an angle, and place flowers in your bucket of water. Bring indoors and set in a cool spot until the temperature matches the room, and then arrange the flowers. For flowers for immediate use, cut the stems and carry flowers with the heads down to keep stems straight and flower heads from breaking.

Favorite Perennial Flowers for Cutting - Some of my favorite perennial flowers for bouquets are astilbe, bee balm, columbine, coneflower, coreopsis, delphinium, gaillardia, lavender, peony, roses and shasta daisy.

Favorite Annuals for Cutting - Cornflower, cosmos, dahlia, geranium, larkspur, marigold, snapdragon and sweet pea. (Editor's note: Some of these are actually perennials, but are often grown as annuals in many parts of the country.)

Favorite Biennials for Cutting - These are planted one year and bloom the following year. Canterbury bells, English daisy, forget-me-not and Sweet William.

Your cutting garden will show the pleasures of your handiwork, whether it be an elaborate arrangement or simply placing a single flower in a bud vase.

About Carole McCray

Carole has been writing for nearly 20 years. A recipient of the Garden Writers Association Award for newspaper writing, her monthly syndicated column reached almost 1,000 newspapers across the US and Canada. We're delighted to have her join our newsletter with semi-regular articles for your enjoyment, inspiration and education.


Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Velvet Vixen')

Daylily (<i>Hemerocallis</i> 'Velvet Vixen')


Alpine Eryngo (Eryngium alpinum 'Superbum')

"In the evening, setting sun"
Alpine Eryngo (<i>Eryngium alpinum</i> 'Superbum')


Chihuahua Flower (Graptopetalum bellum)

Chihuahua Flower (<i>Graptopetalum bellum</i>)


Tall Bearded Iris (Iris 'Vintage Look')

Tall Bearded Iris (<i>Iris</i> 'Vintage Look')


Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum 'Soft Line')

Hen and Chicks (<i>Sempervivum</i> 'Soft Line')


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In almost every garden, the land is made better and so is the gardener. ~Robert Rodale
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