Author: Laura Lee Rose

Plant a Tree For Arbor Day: Part Two

Site and placement of trees is the first step to correct planting. Know the requirements of that plant for light, moisture, drainage and pH. Do a soil test, and the results will let you know if Phosphorous is already available and whether lime is needed to correct the pH. Drainage is also important when doing the grading in planting beds or for individual plantings. We need to keep in mind the mature size and width of trees and shrubs. Planting too close to buildings or utilities should be avoided. Mulched beds will help to give a finished look to planting beds while keeping down weeds, moderating soil temperature, and helping to retain moisture.

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The Other Grasses and Rushes

Nature presents such diversity of plants. Leaves, stems, flowers, and roots differ throughout the plant kingdom. Groups of plants are associated by families, and plant taxonomists study plant parts to identify and to classify them. The rose family usually has flowers with 5 petals, while grass, rushes, and sedges commonly have plant parts in threes. Many of the native grasses found throughout our area are good landscape and ornamental plants. Of course many people know of grass as a “lawn,” and spend many happy hours mowing, weeding, feeding and watering it to have that picture perfect turf. Others may use rye grass to stabilize a bank or as a cover crop after the summer garden is harvested.

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Weed or Wildflower: What’s in a Name?

What is a weed and what is a wildflower? The same plant could be either or both. It depends on where you are and who’s asking. The common names of wildflowers may suggest whether a plant is a boon or bane. They may be called worts (means plant in Old English), weeds, or herbs. The animal kingdom is well represented in the nomenclature, and the scientific name of a plant will, in many cases, tell something about the physical characteristics of a particular species. Religious and mythological references also are connected with names of wildflowers. Medicinal and herbal usefulness are regularly referenced in both common and scientific names of wildflowers. Some are even named for people.

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Container Gardening in Box, Buckets, Baskets & Tubs

When rooms in your home need a change, you move the pictures on the wall, add a piece of furniture or lamp to give the room a new feel.  We can do the same thing with outdoor garden rooms.  When we add a vertical or horizontal element to the garden, it seems to change.  I belong to the “garden as an illusion” school as taught by the late Emily Whaley.  She believed that you create the look or focal points in the garden that you want people to see. We change the appearance of a garden room by adding something new or old.  I really enjoy using old pots and buckets, crockery, and sinks as planters. 

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Purchase, Propagate & Pass Along

Got Magic? When I was a very little girl I thought my grandparents were magic.  They were gardeners.  Every Saturday, it seemed to me, they worked in the yard.  They grew some of the shrubs that lined the long driveway to their house. Camellia japonica, C. sasanqua, holly, boxwood, and several varieties of azaleas were planted down the drive and around the house.  Two acres of sandy earth had tall pine trees which gave shade, pine needles, and helped acidify the soil to the liking of those acid-loving plants.  My grandfather never bought mulch.  What I clearly remember is the miniature forest of rooted cuttings in sand boxes with window sashes over them. 

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october, 2021

DEBBI COVINGTON: My Fabulous Cooking Show

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