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Make a Terrarium: An Overview

Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, English doctor and botany enthusiast, first got the idea of encasing and growing plants in glass when he noticed a fern had sprouted in the soil of a sealed bottle he was using to rear moths.Watching the cycle of moisture condensing and rolling back down into the soil, he wondered if maintaining exotic specimen plants in a [...]

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Decorating with Tillandsia

Are you a gardener with small space woes?  Do you aspire to gardening greatness, but don’t have the best luck keeping your plants alive?  Or, are you just tired of the ordinary, and looking for something a little more exotic to add to your collection?You may want to look into a little genus called tillandsia.Actually, “little” is isn’t [...]

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How Weather Affects Flavor

Have you been trying the cantaloupes the year?  Man, it seems like no matter where they come from—farmer’s market, grocery store, home garden—the cantaloupes have been as buttery and sweet as you could possibly want them to be.And the blueberries and raspberries?  No tartness at all!Just the strong flavor of perfectly ripe berry.  This got us to thinking.  [...]

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Japanese Beetle Management

Insects, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and all of those little creatures that cause you to look down at your arm when you feel the tickle of tiny legs on your skin and send yourself into furious flappings and flailings—they have an important role in your garden, regardless of how weird (spiders), gross (large spiders), and upsetting (large spiders that are hairy [...]

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Mushroom Logs

It seems like our trees can’t catch a break. Here we are, in the middle of June, and we are still seeing some serious branch collapse and, here and there, entire trees tipping over, root ball and all—only this time, it’s due to the regular waves of heavy rain, wind, and thunderstorms putting pressure on old trees [...]

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Flower Pressing

Flower preservation, specifically flower pressing, is a practice dating back many centuries, even to ancient Egypt where, in the tombs of royalty, ritually significant pressed flowers and foliage have been found placed with the dead. Ancient Japanese civilization called this art oshibana, and even samurai warriors painstakingly created entire scenes using leaves and petals. The art of [...]

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Plant Spotlight: Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)

When it comes to houseplants, there is one specimen in our indoor jungle that is near and dear to our hearts. Well, not to say that all of our houseplants aren’t near and dear, but one in particular stands out for its stubborn refusal to let go despite trauma after trauma. During the most bitter winter we’ve [...]

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Suppressing Weeds

BarriersWeed control barriers are widely available at home improvement stores and nurseries. Installing a barrier in your garden beds will completely remove light from weed seeds, and will literally stand in the way of any sprouts poking up toward the surface. Commercially available weed fabrics and plastics are intended to be semi-permanent to permanent barriers, so they can’t be [...]

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Overwintering Tropicals

Where we live, it seems like the first sign of spring and summer’s arrival is all of the gigantic hanging baskets appearing on front porches. Being a pretty old city, many neighborhoods feature at least a few big beautiful Victorians and old farm houses with long spacious front porches—perfect for displaying lush hanging ferns, cascading ivy, waving petunias and [...]

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Garden Infusions

The best part of a meal at a nice Italian restaurant, especially when you show up hungry, is that basket of warm homemade bread. Come to think of it, it can also be the worst part of your meal, since when it comes out, you fall upon it like a ravenous beast, and end up having to [...]

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