Raised Beds Around Trees—A Good Idea??

Recently, I received an update from a favorite how-to site, which included directions for building a raised bed around a tree. This unfortunate practice leads to many dead trees, often years down the road when the tree owner no longer mentally connects the tree dying with the creation of the raised bed. Case in point,…

How Much?

How much water should I give my houseplant?  Simple.  You water until it comes out of the bottom of the pot.  We often get asked to quantify the amount that is needed.  Does it need to be a cup (8 oz.), a few tablespoons, or a gallon?  Every container is different in size and the…

Mistletoe: Norse legend leads to Christmas kisses

Even though it is a symbol of love and even peace, mistletoe is truly a parasite … and poisonous. It has been celebrated and even worshipped for centuries, and still has a “naughty but nice” place in holiday celebrations.

Crosnes—The Tubers That Look Like Beetle Larvae!

Master Gardener Glen brought me some crosnes, which he grows and harvests. What are crosnes and why would anyone eat them? The crosne, pronounced “crone” or “crow-sn” is a member of the mint family, Stachys affinis, and produces these neat little segmented tubers resembling beetle larvae. Crosnes are native to China and Japan but take…

Witchhazel

What is your favorite late fall flowering tree?  Or what is your favorite mid-winter flowering shrub?  If you didn’t think common witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) let me introduce the two of you.  Witchhazel (sometimes seen as witch hazel) is a small tree or large shrub that can be either multi stem or single trunk reaching between…

The Dirt on Dirt

So what is it with dirt anyway?  Dirt, otherwise known as soil, is either greatly loved by gardeners or the source of endless complaints. In recognition of World Soil Day, let’s tip our hats to this much maligned, often disrespected, contributor to plant growth. One clear thing about soil—if it’s a healthy soil, then there…

Dutch Amaryllis

Two weeks ago I shed some light on telling the difference between the Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus (you should check it out).  This week we are diving deeper into the holiday favorites and talking about Hippeastrum. Yes you are probably scratching your head and wondering why you haven’t heard of Hippeastrum.  Trust me you have. …