Gardening 720 Ideabooks

It's hot outside, and in the midst of planning your Fourth of July barbecue and prepping the pool for months of heavy use, remember that your plants are also waiting for a cool summer drink. Water, prune, feed and plant; before you know it fall will be here. And while you're doing all that, enjoy your summer garden too,...
Be a Butterfly Savior — Garden for the Monarchs
I had a 10-gallon aquarium sitting on our dining room table in 2011. I’d browsed Craigslist to find a rearing tank for monarchs. When I met with the seller in a McDonald’s parking lot, I discovered she was about 13, and her older brother came out...
How to Grow Your Own Sweet Summer Crops
Summer is the height of gardening season. Farmer's markets and roadside stands are filled with fresh produce, while home gardens are at the peak of production. It’s a time when eating fresh and healthy is easy and enticing. To reach this stage,...
10 Easy Edibles for First-Time Gardeners
The idea of growing edibles is always tempting. Photos of edible gardens promise you lush landscapes filled with a tantalizing mix of vegetables, herbs and flowers that will make all passersby stop and stare. Getting started with an edible garden can...
Summer Crops: How to Grow Tomatoes
There’s no contest: Homegrown tomatoes, freshly picked, taste best. Given that, including them in a summer vegetable garden is a no-brainer. The next question is, which one to grow? There are tomatoes for every region, from Alaska with its short summers...
Great Design Plant: Skylands Oriental Spruce, a Favorite Conifer
Conifer addiction can be a terrible thing. Just ask anyone who knows me. Visitors to my garden frequently ask me which of my 100 conifers is my favorite. Without hesitation, I answer the Skylands Oriental spruce. It has beautiful...
How to Avoid Overcrowded, Overpruned Shrubs
Have you driven by a landscape with flowering shrubs, crowded so closely that they have had to be pruned into round, square or even cupcake shapes? It makes you wonder if it was how the landscape was intended to look. Unfortunately, there are far too...
5 Prairie Wildflowers That Can Heal Your Soil
In the middle of summer I walk the garden in search of serendipity: a small spider web delicately laced between fragile flowers, a never-before-seen...
Great Design Plant: Try Penstemon Digitalis for Showy White Blooms
If you are new to gardening with native plants and are looking for a good introductory plant to try, smooth beardtongue is an excellent choice. This Penstemon species will rival any cultivated ornamental with its large, white flowers; upright form; and...
How to Design a Garden That Lasts
If you’re anything like me, you bring home your nursery purchases with zeal and hope, piling them nicely in the garden corner for temporary storage until you can place them where you envisioned on the drive home. But a funny thing usually happens —...
Great Design Plant: Try California Wild Grape for Interest All Year
California wild grape is known best for its sensational fall colors, but it is much more than a one-season plant. In spring its silvery leaves and tiny buds emerge from bare vines. In summer the lush foliage with ripening fruit will conceal that...
Great Design Plant: Texas Ranger Explodes With Color
Residents in the Southwest who are fortunate enough to have Texas ranger (Leucophyllum frutescens) growing in their gardens are familiar with the eager anticipation of the year’s first flush of purple that covers this attractive yet tough...
Great Design Plant: Blue Vervain for Beauty and Bees
There are so many native plants to choose from of all stripes — many of which most of us don’t grow. But once you start growing them, it’s amazing how you’ll suddenly notice them in the wild (which is half the fun of using native plants). Blue...
Great Design Plant: Northern Bush Honeysuckle, a Bronze Beauty
What first attracted me to this gently mounding shrub at the nursery was the distinctive bronze foliage that glowed in the sun. The fragrant tubular yellow blooms came as an unexpected bonus, as did the discovery that deer do minimal damage to it —...
The Simple Secret to Gardening Success
Avid gardeners and those in the landscape industry talk about soil a lot. Clay, sand, topsoil, mulch, amendments, compost — we throw around these terms regularly because the ground is so essential to what we do. For anyone who claims to have...
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