Gardening With Tony

New Canes Replace Old Canes

UNITED STATES—Heavenly bamboo, or simply 'nandina,' is one of those many plants that almost never performs like it should. The intricately lacy foliage is so appealing while plants are young, and changes color with the seasons. The red berries can be comparable to those of holly. Unfortunately, healthy plants grow and then ultimately get shorn into globs of disfigured...

It Will Soon Be Time For Cool Season Vegetables

UNITED STATES—From the time they get planted in early spring, tomato plants are expected to perform a bit better than they did earlier in the season. They start out with only a few early tomatoes, but quickly become prolific. Production continues to increase as the plants grow all through summer . . . until now. Newer leaves on top...

Mature Trees Need Professional Help

UNITED STATES—Arborists are horticulturists who are specialized with the horticulture of trees, which is known as arboriculture. In urban gardening, they are not as familiar as gardeners who mow lawns and tend to the annuals, perennials and shrubbery that are close to the ground; but they should be. The trees that arborists maintain are the most significant features in...

Fruit For Jellin’ Like A Melon

UNITED STATES—Jelly and jam made from garden grown fruit affords more prestigious bragging rights than merely growing the fruit. Using unusual or disregarded fruit makes it even more interesting. It is not too much work, but involves a different kind of creativity. So many of us who are proficient in the garden are not so proficient in the kitchen. Apricot,...

Summer Flowers Make The Cut

UNITED STATES—It would seem obvious that there would be more flowers to cut to bring into the home during summer than there would be in winter. A quick tour through the garden might prove otherwise. Much of the color in the garden this late in summer is provided by flowers that fade quickly, or small flowers of shrubby plants...

Watering Trees Is Still Important

UNITED STATES—All the optimistic predictions of a rainy winter do not help with the drought yet. Nice warm weather only makes the garden even drier. Many of us have let our lawns dry out, maybe with plans to replace them later. Some have decided to replace lawn with artificial turf, hardscape or other landscape features. The problem with this is...

Some Trees Are All Bark

UNITED STATES—Flowers provide color and texture. So does foliage. What is less often considered is that the bark of many trees and large shrubbery can be aesthetically appealing as well. Bark is usually thought of merely as something to cover up the trunks and limbs of the plants that provide all the colorful and textural flowers and foliage. Coral bark...

Two Birds With Many Stones

UNITED STATES—Fads are not necessarily bad ideas. Some evolve out of good ideas. Others are recycled old ideas that worked. The current popularity of stone, gravel and artificial 'dry creek beds' is probably the result of the drought. Yet, they were becoming popular before the drought. This is not their first time around either. They were popular through the...

Some Edible Plants Start Out Toxic

UNITED STATES—Early American settlers from Europe had a lot to learn about the plants of North America. After their first harsh winter without much food, many were eager to eat the first fresh greens of spring, which was sometimes the very poisonous jimson weed. Those who were not lethally poisoned right away might have hallucinated and told their friends...

Ponds Cannot Conserve Water

UNITED STATES—During a drought, there really is no way to use less water in a garden pond. Aquatic plants cannot survive without adequate water; not to mention fish. Pumps that circulate water must stay submerged to operate properly, and to not get damaged by operating without water. Some degree of water needs to be added regularly to compensate for...
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