Category Archives: Annual Color

Restoring Habitat For Birds, Bees, and Butterflies

So are we, and so are a host of small creatures that lived in those woods. Birds and bats, raccoons and foxes, insects and snakes, slugs and salamanders, all displaced if not killed outright. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of space to house many of these beings. The bad news is that they need a bit of the wild, and any touch of wild is in danger these days. When I work with homeowners, I often hear that they want to welcome birds and nurture bees, yet the first thing they want to get rid of is the messy tangle of blackberries and salal, huckleberries and wild roses that so often edge the property. Even when I point out that such tangles are home and buffet for the very creatures they want to welcome, it’s clear that many folks can’t live with that lack of controlled appearance. Leaving some wild can be a hard sell, since our ideas about tidiness can be deeply rooted. Thus, it’s hugely important to equally deeply consider why we may think that the appearance of control is more important than a healthy, intact habitat environment. Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Early Crops, Easy Care Perennials, Garden Prep, Gardening With Children, Health & Wellbeing, Planting & Transplanting, Pollinators, Soil, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Plants To Lust After

Last summer I got to try out a new sauce tomato called ‘Saucy Lady’, a cuore di bue type that “melts” into robust sauces when cooked, skins and all. The flavor is just about perfect for a sauce tomato; full bodied and rich with just enough tartness to keep it tasting lively even when cooked and canned. A rather amazing tomato called ‘Get Stuffed!’ has no guts; the stippled red-and-tawny-gold skin covers a sturdy, cup-shaped container for your favorite stuffing mixtures. Slice the top off, fill ‘em up with what have you and bake them until bubbly, or stuff them with salad (pasta or chickpea) for a very pretty brunch dish. As an ardent gardener with very little space these days, I’m especially intrigued by a new category of tomato, the 3-4 foot dwarf indeterminates. Any of this new Super Dwarf series will thrive even in large containers and as we saw last year, they really do continue fruiting well into autumn. Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Early Crops, Easy Care Perennials, fall/winter crops, Growing Berry Crops, Pollinators, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living, Tomatoes | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Planning A Low Pollen Garden

After seemingly endless rain, warmer, brighter days feel especially welcome. Our flowers seem to feel the same way, for blossoms on practically everything are bigger and more abundant than ever this year. However, lots of flowers also means lots of pollen, which spells acute discomfort for many people and even some pets. As pollen fills the air and dusts our cars and garden furniture and even us, we may be tempted to rip out the borders and turn them all to lawn. Well, except perhaps those of us who are allergic to grasses. (!) Fortunately there are more rewarding alternatives, since living without gardens hardly bears consideration. Continue reading

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Farewell To Orange Petunias?

Print PDFGMO In The Garden Petunias are among the most popular of garden plants and no wonder. Prolific, long blooming and increasingly easy to please, these tropical belles are among the most reliable of basket fillers. In my young days, … Continue reading

Posted in Annual Color, Genetic Engneering, Health & Wellbeing, Sustainable Gardening, Sustainable Living | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments