Gardening With Tony

Toxic Plants Are Diversely Enigmatic

toxic
UNITED STATES—There is no single reason for toxic plants to be as potentially dangerous as some of them are. They are toxic by various means, and to various degrees. Some actually seem to be incidentally toxic. Many are intentionally and justifiably toxic. A few live in home gardens and landscapes. Of these, a few surprisingly produce safely edible fruits...

Humidity Is The Other Weather

humidity
UNITED STATES—It is difficult to always ignore the weather. Regardless of how pleasant it typically is here, it sometimes gets warm or cool. It occasionally gets hot or cold. Rain is wet and perhaps messy. A breeze is comforting while the weather is warm. Strong wind can be damaging. However, humidity is one major component of local weather that...

Perennial Plants Perform For Years

perennial
UNITED STATES—'Perennial' is a simple adjective that describes something that last for more than a single year. Horticulturally, it is not this simple. After all, every plant that is not an 'annual,' which completes its entire life cycle within only one year, is technically a 'perennial.' Those that develop lignified (woody) parts instead conform to such categories as tree,...

Variegation And Other Foliar Color

variegation
UNITED STATES—Foliar color is not limited to autumn. Some deciduous plants display colorful foliage from spring to autumn. Then, some of these change color for autumn. Some evergreen plants display colorful foliage through the year. Variegation of foliage can be more colorful than associated bloom. So can unvariegated bronze, purple, red, yellow, blue or gray foliage. All sorts of plants...

Succulents For Better Or Worse

succulents
UNITED STATES—Succulents, both old and new, have been something of a fad for quite a while now. There are certainly many reasons for them to be popular. They add bold form, texture and color to the garden. Most adapt excellently to container gardening. Many types are resistant to pathogens. Succulents are generally easy to maintain and equally as easy...

Roots Prefer To Roam Freely

roots
UNITED STATES—Roots are innately mysterious. They consume much of the resources that plants require. They stabilize the stems above them. Few plants can survive without them. Yet, roots are very secretive about their work. Almost all are invisibly subterranean. Consequently, they get minimal consideration. A lack of consideration is a root cause of many root problems. Every plant species has...

Shearing Can Not Fix Everything

shearing
UNITED STATES—Mowers are for mowing lawns and shallow ground cover. Blowers are for blowing debris from pavement, decking and other flat surfaces. The names of these tools suggest these particular functions. Those of us who use such tools tend to be aware of their limitations. Why are simple concepts of shearing and the associated tools so difficult to understand? 'Mow,...

Sunlight Is Becoming A Commodity

sunlight
UNITED STATES—Shade trees no longer get the appreciations that they deserve. Only half a century ago, they were important components of suburban landscapes. Big deciduous trees shaded broad lawns and sprawling roofs during the warmth of summer. They defoliated to let warming sunlight through during winter. Now, modern architecture would not accommodate them. Sunlight has not changed. Human interaction with...

Layer To Propagate Favorite Plants

layer
UNITED STATES—Ivy is creepy. It creeps everywhere. As it does so, it extends roots into or onto whatever it creeps over. Not only does it do this to climb, but it also does this to propagate. It literally roots as it goes, to function more as a swarm of countless small plants instead of a single big plant. A...

Limb Failure Of Spontaneous Nature

limb failure
UNITED STATES—Winter storms sometimes break limbs or topple trees. Such damage is no surprise during winter because that is when almost all windy weather happens here. Early storms during autumn might be more damaging because deciduous trees are less aerodynamic prior to defoliation. Nonetheless, falling trees and limb failure typically associate with wind. That is why spontaneous limb failure is...
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