April 4, 2012

Garden and Landscape Hot List

Here's what's hot right now!

You Can Grow That!

On the fourth of every month willing garden bloggers will write a You Can Grow That! post. Share your posts here. Connect with those who are talking about the variety of great things that grow when we cultivate plants and gardening.

Gourmet Salad Greens

Did you know that pre-packaged salad and other leafy greens, despite being “triple washed,” have been found to contain bacteria? A story by Consumer Reports in March 2010 reported that 39% of of samples that were tested exceeded unacceptable levels of total coliform and 23% were shown to be contaminated with Enterococcus...Read More

Cherry Pie Rose

Ladies and gentleman, gardeners young and old, rose lovers and rose haters, step right this way to see The Incredible Growing Rose.

Never in your gardening years have you seen a rose so tiny grow so quickly.

Never in your gardening years have you seen a rose so gracefully endure torrential spring time rains followed by two months of torrid summer heat and drought...
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Growing Family Bonds through Gardening

I have many childhood memories. Some of my strongest are associated with growing vegetables or otherwise enjoying the plants around me. You, too, can grow family bonds and influential memories by growing and enjoying plants together...Read More

Summer Bulbs

For many gardeners, summer bulbs are as mysterious as the exotic places they come from.

Most bulbs that bloom in summer look different than their spring-blooming relatives. Many spring bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, have flat bottoms and pointy tops. Summer bulbs are more likely to look like a sprawling creature from the deep.

The term summer bulb includes corms (gladiolus), rhizomes (daylily) and tubers (begonia). Gardeners seem to be most familiar with cannas, caladiums, elephant ears (Alocasia or Colocasia), gladiolus and dahlias, which already are staples in perennial beds. But interest is on the rise for the less familiar summer bulbs, such as pineapple lily (Eucomis) and rain lilies (Zephyranthes)...
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Rhododendron Ciliatum

I picked up this gorgeous ray of joy as a $9.99 afterthought ten years ago on a hot August day. The tag said it was a “native plant” and would produce pink flowers but seriously, it looked like a bunch of dry twigs and leaves. Laboring under the misapprehension that rhodies need deep shade, I planted it under our old hazelnut tree, and watched it do . . . nothing. For nine years, I’d get a few amazing pale pink blossoms, but it still looked dry and stick like...Read More

Squash Isn't Just a Child's Game

But the rules we must follow are not OURS. They are nature’s rules. That’s why gardening seems difficult. We Americans tend to be proud of our rule-breaking ways! Actually, rules make things much easier and as Andy Rooney loved to ask, “EVER WONDER WHY…. ?”. Well, in gardening, you don’t have to wonder. The law of sowing and reaping cannot be bargained with or altered. It offers a comforting predictability. Plant a squash seed, get a squash, unless yet another of nature’s rules intervenes, such as survival of the fittest squirrel or cutworm or squash bug...Read More


Johnny's Selected Seeds Seed Calculator

Option 1: Choose a crop, then determine the number of seeds or young plants that you need.

Option 2: Provide your row length and space between seeds or plants, and find the number of seeds of plants that you need...
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Small Space Gardening for your Balcony

If you're an urban dweller and want to grow your own food, you usually don't have much to work with. A typically tiny balcony offers just enough space to either set up an edible garden, or a nice little table and chair where you can sit outside. With Skyfarm, you don't have to decide between either — now you can grow your arugula and eat it, too.

Skyfarm is a vertical gardening concept from German designer Manuel Dreesmann. It arose from Dreesmann's awareness that as cities continued to grow and buildings continued to get taller, it left people with fewer backyards but more balconies...
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If a Tree Falls in the City, Does it do Anyone Any Good?

One Saturday in November, a few hundred volunteers descended upon parks and creek banks in and around Philadelphia to plant more than 2,000 trees. That day’s plantings were just a piece of a broader initiative to plant 300,000 trees in the City of Brotherly Love by 2015. And that initiative is but one part of a much larger program spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society that aims to plug 1 million trees into the ground across 13 counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. The mid-Atlantic is seriously putting the moves on Mother Nature...Read More

How to Create a Successful Hardscape

Hardscaping is an attractive feature and offers many appealing options, from a rustic stacked wall to a fully developed outdoor living room and kitchen. Once you've decided to create an outdoor space, you must plan carefully to meet your hardscaping goals.

"Research really pays off, especially when you consider that a fixed object in the landscape is not going to move easily — and you don't want to put in a lot of effort and then have your materials or design fail within a couple of years," says Samuel Salsbury, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and partner with Sabrena Schweyer, APLD, in Salsbury-Schweyer, an Akron, Ohio-based landscape design group...
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How to Plant and Install Ecoroofs

Instead of tar or asphalt, an ecoroof has a thin layer of soil and plants, says Greg Haines of Portland, Ore., who has been installing ecoroofs for several years. With a traditional roofing system, rainwater washes off rooftops and onto driving surfaces, eventually mixing with antifreeze and oil before it ends up in the sewer system. On an ecoroof, rainwater is absorbed into a vegetative roofing system, filtering out air pollutants and making cleaner water...Read More


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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