Parsnips taste like carrots that have been kissed with sugar.

Out In The Garden It’s Time To Settle In For Winter

Colder weather is on its way, but you still have a little time left to get a few things growing in the garden and prepare others for the threats of winter.  There shouldn’t be too many insect pests dining on your garden and landscape plants now that the weather is a bit cooler.  You should have decided by now which sections…

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You could just call this a gratuitous persimmon photo, since it’s usually so difficult for humans to harvest ripe persimmons.

Taking Care Of Fall Business

Believe it or not, you can still plant veggies for winter or spring harvest.  Many crops are generally pretty cold hardy in our area, and if they require protection, it’s usually as simple as heavy mulch, or protecting the leaves from ice by wrapping the plant or installing row covers if you have a lot of plants to protect.  If…

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Snapdragons offer amazing color in the garden.

Brighten Up The Cold Days Ahead With Pansies, Flowering Kale, and Snapdragons

Chrysanthemums aren’t the only richly colored flowers perking up the cooler days ahead.  Pansies, ornamental (aka flowering) cabbage and kale, and snapdragons are perfectly suited for our fall and winter climates.  They’re all easy to grow, and you can plant them as annuals in containers, or plant them in beds.  The ornamental cabbage and kale will put on a show throughout…

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Contemporary ink and wash painting of two of the Four Noble Ones.

Mum’s The Word For Fall Flowers

You’ll soon be waking up to brisk fall mornings, and contemplating how you’re going to decorate for fall.  And that usually means a trip to the nursery for some gorgeously plump and colorful potted chrysanthemums (aka mums).  Chrysanthemums are some of the most rewarding fall bloomers in the garden as well. Chrysanthemums, which are native to both Asia and Europe,…

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The demand for world traveler honeybees to pollinate fruit and nut crops around the world has put undue stresses on the bees.

To Bee Or Not To Bee – It’s Complicated (But It’s Not A Hamlet/Seniors RomCom Mashup Starring Bees)

I saw my last wild honeybee about eight years ago, while I was still living in rural/semi-suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  In my community, I was the only person lamenting that loss.  For years, I had watched my neighbors come out of their houses, arms swinging, with all manner of insecticides, spraying at anything and everything that moved.  I could never…

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For centuries, if you couldn’t afford a house like this, you couldn’t afford a lawn.

Hot Time, Summer In The City (And The Burbs)

First, a brief history of lawns.  Then we’ll rant about how they are the single most wasteful use of water. (Just kidding.  But only a little.)  The word lawn may have evolved from the Middle English word launde, which described a naturally occurring opening between wooded areas, where a variety of low to medium height plants thrived in the absence of…

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The benefits of having Pothos and Spathiphyllum in the house are multi-fold.

Houseplants Do Far More Than Bring Nature Indoors

Many of us resort to houseplants that don’t need watering, can’t be killed, and will thrive at the back of our walk-in closet.  You do know those are fake, right?  It’s time we went back to the good old days of spider plants everywhere (but not in the macramé hangers, please).  It turns out sharing our homes with plants is just…

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Monarch butterflies feed on Eupatorium blooms.

Let Butterflies Bring Nature’s Perfectly Imperfect Beauty To Your Garden

Ever wonder why some places have lots of butterflies and others have few or none at all?  Various factors influence whether butterflies are attracted or even welcome in a habitat, so maybe we should focus on what we can do to encourage butterflies and adapt our gardens and landscapes so that they can attract and sustain butterflies. Why attract butterflies?  What’s…

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This woodland garden incorporates a single element, a fairy door.

Your Garden’s A Little More Magical With A Welcoming Place For The Fairies

Some sources date the concept of fairy gardening to the late nineteenth century.  Others insist that for centuries, when people still truly believed in fairies, special places for them were created in gardens or landscapes to ensure that the mostly benevolent creatures caused no harm to their human neighbors. Today, fairy gardens are wildly popular again, and can occupy a…

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Giving children right-sized garden tools enhances their experience in the garden.

It’s Always A Good Time To Play In The Dirt With The Kids

It doesn’t matter whether budding child gardeners are introduced to the joys of nature (dirt and bugs, especially) at home by parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles, or at school by teachers who use gardening as participatory science lessons or exercises in building social skills.   Starting good gardening habits early improves the chances that our children will grow up to be…

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