Life Style & Travel

Protected: The Lowdown On Ground Cover

Of all the functions that the many and various plants in the garden serve, ground covers have the lowliest job description. Well, maybe it is just the lowest job; covering the ground. It is an important job though. Ground covers fill in the space between other desirable plants to obscure otherwise bare soil. They also control weeds. Some ground...

Our Colorful, Seeded Friend, The Kiwi

UNITED STATES—I am indeed a fan of tropical fruits like the mango, coconut, papaya, passion fruit and kiwi.  Yes, kiwi.  It was a staple fruit of mine growing up as a kid, perhaps because no one else liked it.  Well it appears now my nephew is a fan of the fruit as well, but there are reasons kiwis are...

Sweet Potato, Relative Of The Potato

UNITED STATES—For most of us when it comes to having a quick snack we go for the French fry which is composed of white potatoes, Idaho potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.  Not many of us think of the sweet potato as a substitute for the French fry, but it works.  The big difference between the potato and the sweet...

Not All Weeds Are Unwelcome

  Even the best tended gardens get weeds. Most weeds, particularly annual and perennial weeds, meet a quick demise by getting pulled out or sprayed with herbicide. A few shrub and tree weeds though, are sometimes allowed to mature into functional members of the landscape. Many sneak into the garden by growing within overgrown or otherwise concealing shrubbery, where they can...

Vegetable Gardening Is Still Cool

UNITED STATES—Last autumn, it was unpleasant to remove warm season vegetable plants to relinquish space for cool season vegetables, particularly since some still seemed to be productive. Now the cool weather that the cool season vegetables crave will soon be getting warmer. It is still too early for warm season vegetables, but it is time to get ready for...

The Carrot, My Orange Little Friend

UNITED STATES—If you were to ask me the best vegetable in the world nothing tops the carrot!  It’s a veggie that has a mix of fruit in it.  It’s a vibrant orange color that pops when you see it.  It’s shaped like an icicle and is a terrific treat for adults and kids. The carrot is a root vegetable. ...

My niece loves Reneesgarden.com!

Even after a few years of trying most of the seeds available from Renee's Garden Seed catalog, my niece still wants to grow them all every year. Sadly, her compact garden and landscape designer father who thinks he owns it can not accommodate all the seeds that she wants. She is therefore forced to limit selection to her favorites...

Prune now for roses later.

  Roses should be pruned before the end of winter. Here where winters are so mild, they can get pruned early. Just like most of the modern fruit trees that were bred over the past few centuries to produce unnaturally large and abundant fruit, almost all modern roses have been bred for unnaturally large flowers. Production of such large flowers takes...

Only arborists specialize in trees.

Just as most problems in landscapes are caused by maintenance gardeners hired to maintain the landscapes, many of the problems with trees are caused by those hired to fix such problems. Arboriculture, which is the horticulture of trees, really should be performed, or at least directed, by professional arborists. It is too specialized to expect it to be done...

Air layer overgrown houseplants.

Most of the favorite houseplants are grown for dense evergreen foliage. Stems of Chinese evergreen, anthuriums, bromeliads and most ferns should never be seen. Yet, there are many houseplants that grow like small trees or coarse vines. Various ficus, dracaenas and philodendrons can get too big for their situations if not pruned. Palms can not be pruned down, so...
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