Author Archive

The Garden Path: Visiting the Flower Show

A stroll down the Seine, rooftop gardens and cafes, Victorian glamour, and Moulin Rouge cabarets are all part of this year’s experience at the Philadelphia Flower Show. The theme is “Springtime in Paris,” so prepare yourself for romance, edible gardens, artistic flourishes, and plenty of roses, lavender, and lilacs. Some people approach the Flower Show like going to ...

 
 

The Garden Path: Winter Threats to the Garden

Top 10 Winter Threats to the Garden 1. Severe Cold Climate change doesn’t just mean warming; it means weather extremes. An unusually mild winter might easily be followed by a winter with record lows. Gardening zones were created to provide a guideline for whether a particular plant will survive in the intended area. But when the weather doesn’t comply with these ...

 

The Lovely Bones

This is the time of year when the colorful veil of the garden drops, leaving the “bones”: the underlying structure that gives the garden substance year-round. The bones of a garden provide support in the summer, but become crucial in the winter, when they are bared for all to see. They give geometry to your yard—lines, angles, and curves—that create an eye-pleasing ...

 

Dead leaves, black gold, and a dollop of lasagna

If you are throwing away leaves, you might as well be throwing away money. Shredded leaf mulch is the best way to retain moisture, prevent evaporation, and enrich your soil. This year, instead of throwing away your leaves and then having to buy compost and mulch next year, let them turn your soil into black gold. People treat dead leaves like toxic waste, removing ...

 

The Garden Path: Those stinkin’ stink bugs

The annoying dive bombers you have been battling are called brown marmorated stink bugs. This irritating insect was accidentally introduced into eastern Pennsylvania a number of years ago from China. Stink bugs get inside houses through tiny cracks and crevices, looking for a warm place to spend the winter. If you step on one in an enclosed area (which I’m not ...

 

The Garden Path: Grateful deadheading

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to prolong summer? Well, you can—at least in the garden. Flowers are part of a plant’s normal lifecycle of growing, flowering, producing seed, and dying. For annuals, this happens all in one season. Other plants may produce seed and die back for the winter, but return next spring. However, once a plant begins to produce seed it stops ...

 

The Garden Path:Fighting weeds the smart way

Weeds are sometimes described as “plants in the wrong place” or “plants whose virtues have yet to be discovered.” But for we who labor over our plantings, fighting a day-to-day battle with these enemies, it’s no laughing matter. Weeds cost gardeners time, money, and effort. Ask for help at a box store, and they’ll sell you a bottle. But before you go that route, here ...

 

The Garden Path:Grow your own bird food

Sure, it’s easy to buy birdseed at the store, but there’s an even easier way to attract birds. In nature, birds eat more than seed; they eat insects, nuts, and fruit. By planting the right trees and shrubs, you can provide birds with months of food, and enjoy watching them in your yard. Start by using native plants. Plants and animals evolve together in a given area, ...

 

The Garden Path: The Virtue of Untidiness

As Master Gardeners, we are often asked for advice, and one of my favorite bits of wisdom to impart is “Don’t be too tidy!” Nature isn’t tidy. Walk through the woods and you’ll see leaves scattered around, an occasional stump or downed tree, flowers left to go to seed, and other evidence that the cycle of life continues, not in spite of, but because of, a relaxed ...

 

The Garden Path: No room for a vegetable garden? Yes there is.

We are lucky to have an abundance of farmers markets and other sources for local produce in our area, but it can be a lot of fun to grow your own vegetables and it can make good economic sense as well. Here are two novel ways to bring vegetable gardening into your life. Edibles in the landscape If you went to the Philadelphia Flower Show, you may have noticed that ...

 

The Garden Path: Are you an over-permissive gardener?

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