Older gardeners have practical alternative

Editor’s note: This is the second of two columns on straw bale gardening, and the final column by Betsey Thomson. We thank her for all she contributed. We dug it. What you have done is created a composted interior in which to plant. Almost anything that can be grown in the ground can be planted […]

Don’t bail out on gardening; turn to straw

Straw bale gardening. It’s an excellent method of gardening for those of us who can’t bend or get on our knees, for anyone with limited space or for people that have horrible soil. When I say horrible soil I really mean that nasty red clay in West Virginia. Even the earthworms hate it. Up here […]

Straw bale growing eases back aches

The body has spoken. This is the year that my outdoor gardens are being reduced to the borders around the house and garage. What is left in my perennial island will be relocated to fill in foundation beds. Oh well, mowing will be easier without having to edge along the bricks lining those long curves, […]

Try keeping fit by getting down and dirty

Sometimes a favorite theme just has to be repeated. Several years ago I wrote about how healthy gardening is, and I feel this is a good time to revisit the topic. Fresh produce is only one benefit you receive from gardening. Gardening is also a form of exercise. Like other forms of exercise, gardening can […]

Colorful lilies make gardens beautiful

The white lily associated with Easter and representing the spiritual reasons of the holiday is also linked to motherhood in both mythology and in early religious writings. Did you know that in many churches during Victorian times, the stamens and pistils were removed from lilies as they represented “conspicuous symbols” that might move people to […]

Hop into spring on amphibians’ backs

Despite the brutally cold and snowy February, it won’t be long before spring makes its first appearance.  March is when robins and blackbirds return to our area in abundance and when the early budding of some trees and flowers hints at what is to come in April and May. Late March is also the time […]

It’s time to prime landscaping apparatus

March is cleanup month. Time to clean up our yards, tools and perhaps storage areas. This year I didn’t need a note on my calendar either. My Christmas cactus was pushed out of the pot by a lot of green sprouts. When I repotted it, using a bag of soil stored in the garden shed, […]

Cactus pointers that won’t hurt botanists

Thank goodness for cacti and succulents during the winter. Those good old standbys aren’t fussy about the heat and low humidity and require little water. That is most of them, as the jungle natives such as our Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas cacti do need regular watering, but the desert natives could care less. Cacti […]

January is perfect for being bookworm

January is a good month to catch up on serious garden reading; books that I’ve bought but haven’t had a chance to completely peruse. I did finish Andrea Wulf’s “Founding Gardeners. The Revolutionary Generation Nature and the Shaping of the American Nation,” a follow-up to her wonderful book “The Brother Gardeners.” If you like history […]

Laws protect plants home decorators seek

It’s time to prune my evergreens so that I can utilize the trimmings for my holiday decorations. When I make my annual door wreaths, all the greens are from my own property. Under the Christmas Greens Law, many plants are protected from being removed from state or town properties and only with written permission from […]