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The Greener View: Ice, Snow and Pigeons

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Ice, Snow and Pigeons

Q: Our area recently received a lot of ice and snow. Some of our trees were bent over during the storm but seem to be recovering after most of the ice and snow melted off. My problem is that some larger trees have broken or cracked limbs. They are in the backyard and have provided us with a lot of shade, and I don't want ...Read more

The Greener View: Valentine's Flowers

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you receive a flower arrangement or a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, you may wonder how to take care of them. Even though cut flowers are not attached to the plant anymore, they are still alive. Just like a living plant, they need water. Just like when they were attached to the plant, they will use water faster and wilt quicker if ...Read more

The Greener View: Careers in Horticulture and Landscaping

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Midwinter is a time when many high-school and college students are narrowing their career-choice options. Opportunities in horticulture and landscaping are abundant for individuals who enjoy working with plants, working outdoors or working with people. There are careers in arboriculture, floristry, greenhouse management, irrigation and landscape...Read more

The Greener View: AAS Vegetable Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we looked at the flowering-plant winners of the 2018 All-America Selections testing program. This week, we have the vegetable winners. There are three peppers, three tomatoes, one Chinese cabbage and one sweet corn.

When you see the red, white and blue logo of All-America Selections on seed packets or in catalogs, you can expect the ...Read more

The Greener View: AAS Flower Award Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

AAS Flower Award Winners

When you are looking at garden catalogs and plants in the garden center, it is sometimes difficult to know how well a plant is going to do in your garden. All-America Selections is an independent nonprofit testing organization that tests new plants. It has more than 60 test gardens, from Alaska and Canada, to California...Read more

The Greener View: Green Thumb Award-Winners Part 2

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we talked about the new plant varieties that have won the 2018 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This week we look at the tools category. The winning products are judged on their uniqueness, technological innovation, ability to solve a gardening ...Read more

The Greener View: Green Thumb Award-Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Four new plant varieties and two new gardening products have won the 2018 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 20th year of the Green Thumb Awards. Judges include garden writers like me, although I didn't judge this year. This week we look at the ...Read more

Winter Garden Tasks

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The North American landscape is almost entirely dormant. But just because the landscape is dormant doesn't mean gardeners have to be. Now is a good time to visit your local botanical garden greenhouse. It is warm and full of beautiful green plants.

Many gardeners also love bird feeding and bird-watching. Now is a good time to build a birdhouse....Read more

The Greener View: 2018 Gardening Resolutions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I used to have a New Year's resolution of not eating a whole watermelon in one sitting. That was back when watermelons weighed 25 to 30 pounds, but now many stores sell the little round baby watermelons. I have reversed my resolution so that now I resolve to eat a whole watermelon in one sitting at least once this summer.

Are you glad 2017 is ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Gift Books

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Winter is just beginning, and most of us are just starting to dream about next summer's garden. To help you or the gardener on your gift list plan your summer garden, I know of a few books that you can read by the fireplace that will warm your green thumb.

Many areas of the country go through droughts from time to time. Most of our landscape ...Read more

The Greener View: Winter Weather

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Even though recent snowstorms reached the Gulf states, there are heavy snowstorms and ice storms each winter. It is amazing how far south ice storms can reach. Only a few areas of our country are immune to them. The southern edge of the Snowbelt can get freezing rain several times a year, while the Gulf Coast can get one once every few years.

...Read more

The Greener View: Christmas Gift Ideas

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Do you have a small fishbowl sitting around the house with a poor, dejected goldfish or betta swimming lazily in circles? The bowl is probably in need of cleaning, and chances are no one wants to do it. Well, now you can make that little fishbowl do some good. Back to the Roots wants to help every family experience the magic of growing their own...Read more

The Greener View: Winter Plant Greenhouses

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We live in an apartment and are five stories up. We have a balcony with several potted shrubs in large pots. We don't have room for them indoors. The weather started getting cold and windy, so we moved the pots against the wall. We built a plastic wall on the outside of the pots to stop the wind and help trap some of the apartment heat. It ...Read more


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