Today’s Garden Ideas

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Archive for December, 2008

Caring for Garden Ponds During the Winter Months

As temperatures continue to fall and snow is in the forecast, many of us with backyard ponds begin to worry about our friends under the water’s surface. It’s the snow, cold and ice that we need to prepare our fish and plants for, and with a few simple steps you can ensure the survival and health of your pond throughout the winter months. If you haven’t already, make sure that all of your plants have been cut back and put in the deepest part of your pond so their foliage does not continue to decompose causing gases to build up. All fish feedings should stop and not resume again until water temperatures reach 50 F. After all the fish and plants have been put to bed for the winter, most people wonder what is the best thing to do…keep their pond running all winter, or shut it down for the season. Either one will work fine as long as you take the right precautions. (more…)


More Thoughts on Winter Bird Feeding

Now is the time to be thinking about feeding the many beautiful, fine-feathered friends who remain in our area for the winter. Providing food and water will attract a variety of birds, delighting us with their beautiful colors against the snow and perching on barren tree limbs singing melodic tunes. We can enjoy their presence all winter while we are housebound. (more…)


Garden Lunacy – A Must Have for Winter Reading

The beauty of winter is hardly lost on the avid gardener. This is the time to sit back and contemplate the successes of last year and plan for the new one. What better way to keep the gardening ideas flowing than to pick up a good book and read what other gardeners are doing? Here are some titles that are sure to stimulate your thought processes and invigorate your gardening spirits.  Art Wolk’s book, Garden Lunacy, (AAB Book Publishing LLC, 2005) is great way to brighten a dreary winter night. And, if your plans include competitive gardening, this book shows you the way.



Using Living Plants in Holiday Decorations this Year


A favorite of mine for holiday decorating (and gift giving as well) are tabletop evergreens. Tabletop evergreens are available in several varieties and can vary greatly in size. I like to use those in 4″ and 6″ pots. These tiny trees are perfect for a mantel or grouped together for an interesting centerpiece. They can be placed in attractive holiday containers or the plastic pots can be covered with cut evergreens. These trees are also fun for children to decorate and have in their rooms for their own special tree. (more…)


The Cyclamen As an Inexpensive Holiday Plant


Very few of the holiday plants at today’s superstores cost more than $15, and most are much less. As for quality, many large retailers are purchasing plants locally if possible. Local plants are often of higher quality due to the shorter stressful shipping time. An extra bonus is that buying them supports our local economy. (more…)


How winter snows and storms Affect Trees and Gardens


The questions all of us have about this winter concerns how it will affect our gardens and landscapes. Are my trees and shrubs going to make it this year? Will my bulbs come up? Will my azaleas bloom? What will happen to my lawn? (more…)


Unusual Gifts for the Gardening Enthusiast


Gift-giving time is nigh — our nights are longer, our jackets are warmer, and our gardens are enjoying a well-deserved rest of their own. (more…)


Varieties of Christmas Trees


It’s around that time buy a Christmas tree. But what kind should you buy? Artificial, fresh cut or live? And what variety? This depends on the length of time you wish to keep the tree inside. If you’re looking at more than three weeks to keep a tree inside, you should consider an artificial tree. If less than three weeks, a fresh cut tree is certainly an option; and if you keep a tree up for 10 days or less, you can consider a living tree. There are many varieties of trees you can choose when planning on a fresh or living tree. (more…)


How to Care for Christmas Plants — Part Two


Now is the time of year when we begin to see holiday plants and bulbs for sale all over the place – poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cacti, and others. Maybe you want to grow an Amaryllis bulb for bloom at Christmas, or perhaps you have a Christmas cactus that never blooms. We have talked about caring for pointsettias and the lovely amaryllis. Here you can learn how to care for your Christmas cactus. (more…)