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Edible Gardening

The Buzz on Bees & Bug Killers

The Buzz on Bees & Bug Killers

Every year the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA) holds the “Green & Growin’” Conference & Trade Show in Greensboro.  Nurserymen, Landscapers & Educators may attend 3 days of classes plus a 2-day trade show.  For those 2 days the Greensboro Coliseum is filled with trees, colorful shrubbery, tropicals, perennials, ground covers, bulbs, nursery pots, giant tractors, pruning tools and more. I LOVE going! Besides being surrounded by hunky guys, I come away with valuable information, new ideas, and new sources of the coolest plants.  Best of all, I meet...

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Blueberries, Events & more

Blueberries, Events & more

Fall is starting to show its colors and is sure to be a beautiful one!  Even now in the garden I am picking up falling Chestnuts (OK, it’s really Jim) and watching my Japanese Persimmons as they ripen to the perfect shade of orange. My American Persimmons are attracting a lot of attention too.  These two babies didn’t seem to mind posing for me so long as they could find sweet mushy persimmons upon which to dine. Japanese-American chestnut trees are bread to be resistant to the chestnut blight that devastated our huge American chestnuts in the early 1900s.  If you want Chestnuts,...

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Why Plants Die

Why Plants Die

You have given them the perfect soil, sited your plant in the “right” amount of sun/shade, watered appropriately ... and three months later your beautiful green plant is as brown as toast.  What happened?!  The funny thing is that plants often have the same symptoms whether you over watered or under watered, or if they were sick or just in too much sun.  There are many ways to diagnose the problem, but sometimes even the best gardeners do not always know. The first thing I always check is the soil.  Is it too wet or too dry? Are other plants around the new ones struggling too? Test your...

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How Dirt makes You Happy

How Dirt makes You Happy

I first read the research in 2007’s Discover Magazine:  “Is Dirt the New Prozac?” http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/raw-data-is-dirt-the-new-prozac   Then here it was again in 2014: “Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy” http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm This goes in the category of “You can’t make this stuff up”.  The story reads:  Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has, indeed, been found...

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Overachiever

Overachiever

Can I just say it? From graduating high school at age 16 to retiring from my sales career at age 48, I have always been in a hurry to “get it done”.  This is not necessarily a good thing, as other things seem to be overlooked as my projects get underway.  So it has been this year as my writing has fallen short.  Nevertheless, this year’s projects have been fun and rewarding (photos below) and I hope you may find some inspiration in them too. A new wall as a backdrop to the cutting garden.  It totally brightened up a dark gloomy wall of Leyland cypress!   A new garden...

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Yummy Winter Greens

Yummy Winter Greens

It is my time to say goodbye to the Christmas cookies, get back on the treadmill and back to Jazzercise.  It is not as bad as it sounds really.  I enjoy grazing on all the green stuff from the garden!  I am also committed to staying strong so I can pursue my passion for as long as possible.  There is no denying that gardening takes a LOT of energy! So I headed out to the garden this afternoon in pursuit of leafy greens. It is truly amazing what is still looking good after yesterday’s 10 degree low here in Summerfield, NC.  Check out the beautiful COLLARDS and KALE!   The Kale was actually...

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Arrangements that Chase the Winter Blues

It is a quiet time again in my garden as summer perennials are cut back, trees and shrubs have lost their leaves and even the last asters are gone.  This is the season that my reliable favorites really stand out. Evergreens like Chindo Viburnum with its super glossy deep green leaves, Yoshino Cryptomeria with its drapey tassles tipped with tiny straw colored buds, the variegated Osmanthus that looks like a white-leafed holly, and my tall Nandina domestica or “Heavenly Bamboo” with its heavy clusters of red berries, “Gold mop’ Cryptomerias that provide bright yellow color right through...

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Sept 2, 2013

Sept 2, 2013

Even as I pulled up my last pitiful tomato and squash plants, I was rejoicing that my usual “fall” crops are already coming up beautifully.  Already the broccoli, kale, collards, turnips, lettuce and arugula are gorgeous in this mild, wet end of summer.  My figs, raspberries, eggplant and peppers are still producing well too. Perhaps this won't go down as the summer of bugs and mildew after all! The butterflies have been amazingly abundant, and perhaps just as interesting is what has attracted them. They have flocked to the native plants like purple Ironweed and Joe Pye.   Popular...

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Master Gardener Newsletter & Gardening Gala

Master Gardener Newsletter & Gardening Gala

Our Guilford County Agricultural Extension Agent, Karen Neill, sends out a monthly newsletter with excellent horticultural tips and advice.  The July issue is attached below and subscriptions are available to anyone who requests it.   You can get your own sent to your inbox monthly by emailing Karen at kcneill@ncsu.edu.      Click Here to open the July issue:  GGG_July_15_ 2013 Perhaps the most important news is the Master Gardener’s 12th Annual Gardening Gala and Seminar scheduled for Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:30 am - 4:00 pm.   It is one of my very favorite events of the year. Held...

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“Say it with Flowers” (plus handy Garden Tips)

“Say it with Flowers” (plus handy Garden Tips)

With the humidity and precipitation making the Piedmont Triad feel like a tropical rainforest, I have to admit that I’d rather be at the beach or in the mountains –  except that I cannot miss the the glorious flowers blooming all over my garden!  Many of them are blooming later than usual, but my hope is that they will be fabulous longer into the fall without burning out in our usual heat. My Course #5, the Cut Flower Workshop is such a fun event that I have decided to open it to new students.  The date is Saturday, August 10th,  9am to noon.  The course fee is  $40.  We will...

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