Gardening With Tony

Pups Of A Horticultural Nature

pups
UNITED STATES—Pups of the most familiar type are canine. Most are puppies of domestic dogs. Some are foxes or wolves. A few are seals, otters or various other animals. Garden variety pups do not get much consideration though. They develop into new progeny of plants rather than animals. Unlike baby animal, they are genetically identical clones of their single...

Cover Ground With Ground Cover

cover
UNITED STATES—Within the outdoor rooms of home gardens, shade trees are ceilings, shrubs and hedges are walls, and turf and ground cover plants are floors. That is why the selection of plants for such purposes is as important as the selection of paint and carpet for indoors. Among ground cover plants, durable turf grasses for lawns are the most...

Utilitarian Garden Features Became Aesthetic

utilitarian
UNITED STATES—Gardening is fun. Furthermore, gardens are pretty. Some gardens also produce fruits and vegetables. Not very long ago, production of fruits and vegetables was more of a priority for more gardens. Some big gardens generated firewood and a bit of forage for livestock. Contemporary abundances allowed gardening to become more aesthetic than utilitarian. Such abundance may not seem so...

Mulch Retains Moisture And Insulates

mulch
UNITED STATES—Nature is smart. It should be. It has been operating efficiently since the beginning of time. That is certainly longer than anyone has been gardening in defiance of nature. Imported plants that need unnatural watering and soil amendment continue to benefit from nature. Some assets, such as weather, are direct from nature. Some, such as mulch, are copied. Summers...

Saturation Of Soil Distresses Roots

saturation
UNITED STATES—Saturation of the soil should be a rare problem within the local chaparral climates. Water is a limited resource. That is why plants that are not native or endemic to other chaparral or desert climates rely on supplemental irrigation. Many exotic species would not survive through the locally long and dry summers without it. Water is only sufficient...

Aquatic Plants Are All Wet

aquatic
UNITED STATES—Home gardens and landscapes should be compatible with their respective climates. For local chaparral climates, plants that do not need much watering through the long and dry summers are appropriate. Aquatic plants are the extreme opposite. They require regular replenishment of the ponds that they inhabit. Arid warmth increases their need for water. Aquatic plant can not be 'drought...

Toxic Plants In Home Gardens

toxic plants
UNITED STATES—Oleander that inhabits freeway medians is poisonous enough to be hazardous. Two tons of Buick cruising at 65 miles per hour past such oleander has more potential to be hazardous. The risk associated with toxic plants within freeway medians is as limited as their accessibility. Remarkably durable and resilient oleander is therefore quite practical. Realistically, established oleander is quite...

Perennial Plants Keep On Giving

perennial plants
UNITED STATES—Many popular annual bedding plants have potential to be perennial if they get a chance. Cyclamen commonly perform as a cool season annual, only until replacement with warm season annuals. However, after summer dormancy, their tubers can generate foliage and bloom again for several following winters. Replacement is just easier than maintenance. Real annuals complete their entire life cycles,...

Dog Days Of Summer Warmth

dog days of summer
UNITED STATES—Summer began more than a week ago. Subsequently, the dog days of summer continue from the third of July to the eleventh of August. These 40 dog days are the 20 days prior to and after the twenty-third of July. That is when the Sun aligns with Sirius, the Dog Star of the constellation of Canis Major, or...

Color Outside The Spectral Lines

color
UNITED STATES—Green is the most common floral color. It only seems to be rare amongst flowers because almost all green bloom relies on wind for pollination. Thus, neither color nor fragrance is useful to get the attention of pollinators. Actually, green flowers do not get much attention at all. They are easy to ignore in the wild, and generally...