The Hard Truth about Rocks at the Bottom of Planting Containers

As we get our containers ready for planting our amazing annuals or that coveted tomato plant, conventional “wisdom” dictates we must first add an inch or so of gravel.  Problematic? You bet! Rocks in the bottom of containers do not contribute to better draining soils and healthier plants.  Instead, plant roots encounter saturated soils that…

Garden Gnome

Garden gnomes.  Are they cute or whimsical or just a waste of space?  I for one, think they are adorable and should grace any garden.  They have been around for centuries some literature date them back to the 1600’s but they didn’t hit mainstream until German 1800’s. Phillip Griebel popularized these mythical creatures in Germany…

Denver Botanical Garden

Hailed as one of the top 5 botanical gardens in the US and often referred to as an oases in the city, the Denver Botanical Garden is a must on your places to visit.  This week on the GROBigRed Blog we are talking about vacation destinations. I had the pleasure of visiting the Denver Botanical…

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.

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…

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. …

Outdoor Christmas Containers—Scrounging at its Finest!

  I love putting together outdoor holiday containers (except for the winter when we had so much snow that the container was soon buried and I didn’t see it again until the Spring thaw!) Collecting the materials is easy—I utilized my yard, roadside ditches and a windbreak to put together enough stems.  Altogether I collected…

False Christmas Cactus

Growing up my mom always called her Christmas cactus a Thanksgiving cactus because it would be in full flower by the end of November.  Being the good son, I never questioned Mom or try to correct her.  Twenty something years and a few advance degrees later, Mom was right.  The popular plant that’s now arriving…

Goofy Gorgeous Gourds

Along with pumpkins, corn shocks and mums, gourds are symbols of autumn.  Their quirky sizes, shapes, bumps, and lumps are fun and their color makes them terrific additions for fall décor. Gourds belong in the Cucurbitaceae family, which means they are related to cucumbers, zucchini, acorn squash, melons and pumpkins.  Gourd seeds can be directly…