All-America Selections Winners
My garden seed catalogs are arriving, and I am always happy when I find the All-America Selections logo in a plant's description. These plants have been vetted by the AAS, an independent nonprofit organization that tests new plants. They have about 80 test gardens from Alaska and Canada to California and Florida. ...Read more
The American Garden Rose Selection judges have announced the newest roses to be selected in the testing program. This was a bountiful year. There are six new winners. There have only been 22 in the previous seven years.
The AGRS program is the replacement of the All-America Rose Selection program that ran from 1940 until 2013. Roses that have ...Read more
They say that hindsight is 20/20, and that is what we want to do this year: put 2020 in our hindsight. As I wrote in my first "A Greener View" column for this year: "In our mind's eye, we see ourselves healthier, happier and leading more productive lives. The pursuit of gardening can help with all of those visions." I didn't realize how many ...Read more
Question: We live in a lovely subdivision in which the homes back up to a pond. It's really pretty, until the geese arrive. They spend a lot of time in my yard (and all of my neighbors' yards) and leave lots of presents. I mulch my grass -- clippings, droppings and all. Is that good or bad for my lawn? Can I use their droppings as fertilizer in ...Read more
We are down to the last week of shopping for Christmas presents. I have a few last-minute gift ideas that you can still get. Last week, I mentioned that a lot of gardeners are also bird-watchers, and a combination of small gifts in a single gift basket would be a good idea. That idea can be used for gardeners that are also culinarily inclined.
Most gardeners are also interested in the birds that come to their property. If your gardener is one of them, then I suggest he or she would appreciate a bird feeder as a gift. You can combine a bird feeder and some flower seeds into a gift basket for a gift that satisfies both hobbies.
You can't go wrong with a bird feeder from Aspects or ...Read more
If you have a gardener on your shopping list, it can be hard to find something new. Here are some new products that the gardener on your list might not have heard about.
As a kid, you probably picked some mushrooms and wondered if they were deadly or not. As an adult, you have probably seen mushrooms growing in the lawn and had that same ...Read more
Question: We were thinking of using a live Christmas tree this year instead of cutting one down. After the New Year, we want to plant it in our yard. Is there anything we should know about how to do this?
Answer: There are several evergreen tree species that can be used as a Christmas tree. Pick a tree that is appropriate for your landscape in ...Read more
I always appreciate feedback to my articles. Recently, I replied to an older gentleman about using a leaf blower instead of the labor-intensive rake that he had been using. Several people thought I didn't give rakes enough love, and a few thought they had a better alternative by using a mulching mower.
They said things like: "I felt like the ...Read more
Q: Our backyard woods comprise oaks and other deciduous trees, so our leaf cleanup is constant every year. Over two decades, I have used every form of leaf removal. I have used my mower to mulch the leaves sometimes but have heard conflicting opinions on this. Some say it's good for the soil and grassroot systems (protected from the Virginia ...Read more
In November, most of us will see our transition into winter, although many northern and high-altitude areas have already experienced a lot of snow. November is a cleanup month. It is a good time to fix up, clean up and put away tools and get out the snowblower. It is a good month to reflect on how well the landscape and garden looked and ...Read more
Q: The water in my goldfish pond has turned a very dark brown color. What can I do to filter it out?
A: Is the water tea-colored but clear, or is it cloudy and brown? The coloring comes from tannins. The breakdown of leaves in water colors the water brown, like tea leaves in a tea bag. There are tannins in tree leaves, acorns and branches, ...Read more
Q: I use a rake to gather the leaves falling from my trees. I am getting older, and the raking is getting harder. My neighbors have more trees, and they use leaf blowers, but they are noisy. Is there a benefit to the lawn for either tool?
A: A leaf rake is great for small landscapes. They can pick up large leaves, but leaf rakes are not good ...Read more