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September 23, 2023
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Soil is more than dirty

All weeds are plants. Not all plants are weeds. Weeds are a specifiable subset of plants. Specifically, weeds are plants that grow wildly where they are undesirable. Similarly, dirt is likely soil, although it could be anything that is dirty. Soil is not merely...

Cuttings become copies of originals

elderberry cuttings
Seed is the most familiar source of much of the vegetation that inhabits home gardens. It is the origin of almost all vegetables and most annual flowers. Some seed grows directly into its gardens. Some grows in nurseries to become saleable young plants. Seed...

​​Succulent plants exhibit unique foliage

All cacti are succulents. However, not all succulents are cacti. Actually, cacti are a very unique family. Their distinctive spines and thorns are very specialized leaves and stems. Such specialized leaves can not photosynthesize without green chlorophyll. Therefore, cacti rely on their succulent green...

Fern foliage is softly bold

Ferns are foliar perennials. They provide neither floral color nor fragrance. They provide neither fruits nor vegetables. With few exceptions, they provide no shade. The very few that are deciduous are not impressively colorful for autumn here. Ferns can not grow as hedges. Nor...

​​Mild weather inhibits summer growth

The weather this year has been a cold hot mess! Both the worst frost since 1990 and the worst storms since 1982 occurred in one winter. Then, cold wintry weather lingered into spring to inhibit spring bloom. Now, cool and mild weather of spring...

Stakes and binding for trees

horticulture column
Few trees that inhabit home gardens begin their residency as nature intended them to. Most are exotic, from other ecosystems, regions and climates. Almost all initially grew in nurseries, with their roots confined to cans of soilless media. Most rely on pruning and binding...

Ornamental foliage augments spring color

macro image for green and yellow plant
Spring bloom is the most colorful color in the garden here. It is not the only color, though. Some deciduous foliage will provide color at the opposite end of the year. Bark can add a bit of color, particularly while deciduous trees defoliate for...

Bloom is bountiful for spring

Pride of Madeira
Bloom that was delayed by the unusually wintry winter is making up for lost time. Spring bulbs, flowering cherries and deciduous magnolias were amazing. Wisterias and lilacs continue their pastel display within some climates. More flowers bloom during springtime than at any other time...

Shade imposes limitations on gardening

Home gardens are becoming shadier. Modern homes are taller to fit closer together. Modern fences are taller to compensate. Densely evergreen trees and large shrubbery compensate more. Taller homes and fences, and denser vegetation, shade more of their smaller modern parcels. Not much sunlight...

Forcing early bloom even earlier

flowering quince blooms
Some of the earliest of spring flowers are done blooming. More are just beginning. Then, a few early spring flowers barely qualify as early. Their fresh color is especially pleasing after such an atypically wintry winter. Many are delightful cut flowers. A few that...