Organic Gardening News

My Noisy Garden Is Good For My Health

Organic Gardening 2 - Mon, 2023-02-27 08:00

“Stop and smell the roses” is a familiar gardening metaphor meant to remind us that life is short, and we should make the time to enjoy it. What about the sounds of our gardens? Shouldn’t we also close our eyes and simply listen when we take a break in the garden? You may be surprised at what you hear. I was!

I Have a Noisy Garden

My vegetable garden sits at the back of our long, narrow, two acre lot. The two neighbors flanking each side of our property also have long lots with houses close to the road, like ours. Behind our collective properties are woods and farm fields. Naturally, one would think my garden would be a quiet, peaceful place to work.

Nothing could be further from the truth. When I close my eyes and listen, I’m amazed at how noisy my garden really is. It all begins with the rustling of leaves as the breeze passes through the woods. Did you know there was a name for this sound?

“Psithurism” comes from a Greek word which means whispering. Pronounced sith-err-iz-um, this word literally means the sound of the wind in the trees or the rustling of leaves. Yet on particularly breezy days, I’d hardly consider this sound a whisper. It’s more like a roar.

Next, I hear the sounds of the many species of birds that inhabit my yard and the nearby woods. I have to admit that the beautiful melodies of the native songbirds are quite enjoyable, but the fingernails-on-the-chalkboard screeching of the raptors can be a bit unsettling.

Finally, there’s the buzzing of the pollinators. From the honeybees that visit from my neighbor’s hives to the native wasps and hornets, I always stop and take notice when I hear these bugs. Luckily, I’m not allergic to bee stings, but they are quite painful, and I make every attempt to avoid these garden visitors.

Good Noise Vs. Bad Noise

As we listen to the sounds of our gardens, it’s easy to contemplate if there is such a thing as good and bad noise. Can some types of noise actually improve our health? Are other types of noise linked to medical conditions? According to scientific research, apparently there is a difference.

Traffic is the primary contributor of urban noise pollution. The constant hum of automobiles coupled with early morning trash pickup, street cleaning vehicles, and delivery trucks can cause an increase in urbanites’ anxiety and depression levels. This type of noise is also linked to higher incidents of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

On the other hand, scientists have found noises from nature reduce our sympathetic (fight-or-flight) response. It’s not our imagination that the rustling of tree leaves and the songs of native birds help us feel more relaxed. Research is indicating that these peaceful sounds may be physically altering the connections in our brain.

So apparently, my noisy garden is good for my health. Now, if only I could dispense with that other noise I hear when I’m in the garden. “What noise is that” you ask.

Oh, that would be the little voice in my head that’s constantly reminding me the garden needs weeded or watered, the veggies need harvesting, or that it’s time to plant next season’s crops. Geez, talk about stressful garden noise!

The post My Noisy Garden Is Good For My Health appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

Creative Ways To Keep Plants Warm

Organic Gardening 2 - Sun, 2023-02-26 08:00

Although I don’t grow vegetables currently, I still like to extend my garden’s growing season. I live and garden in Michigan, and the longer I can keep plants thriving and providing color and visual interest, the better. I have tried these creative methods for protecting plants and found them useful but best for small scale problems.

Old Sheets as Row Covers

I always felt bad about donating sheets to a thrift shop. I can’t imagine someone wants my ratty old sheets that my cat tore a hole in. I also don’t like the idea of throwing them away, but I found a second life for some of them.

As temperatures dip in Michigan in the fall we can still have sunny, pleasant days. It’s the nights that really put plants at risk. I have found that a couple of sheets held down by rocks or old bricks is often enough to keep them warm enough at night, at least for a little while.

As a side note, another way I get rid of old sheets as well as blankets and towels, is by donating to my local wildlife rescue center. They use them to line cages and create bedding for animals.

Radiant Heat from Indoors

When I want to keep my potted annuals for as long as possible in the fall, I keep an eye on the overnight temperatures. When it’s set to drop low but not so cold that they’ll freeze, I move the containers up against the sliding back door. I have a heat vent right inside at this spot and lose heat through the door. I let the plants soak it up on cold fall nights. The plants stay warm and some of that lost heat is put to good use.

Use the Heat of the Sun

One year, when I still grew a small vegetable patch, I had some leftover weed fabric. My husband, in a vain attempt to manage weeds in our most overrun bed, tried weed barriers. It might have been successful to some degree—who knows? it could have been worse—but we ended up with some scraps left from the project.

The fabric is black to blend in with soil and mulch, but black also absorbs heat. I decided to try it as a way to trap more heat in the soil around my fall veggies. I do think it helped on sunny days when there was plenty of sunlight and heat to absorb.

Flower Pots, Buckets, etc…

I have seen some gardens in my neighborhood with white plastic containers bought specifically to cover plants and protect them from the cold. Looking at a garden center for such a product one year, I found they were kind of pricey. It also seemed wasteful because they were pretty flimsy.

It did give me an idea, though. I realized that any plastic container could work to cover plants on cold nights. I had some cracked terracotta pots destined for the landfill and old plastic containers that I just didn’t have another use for anymore. I also have plenty of buckets that I use for gardening chores. They are all perfectly serviceable as plant covers.

As for indoor plants, I tend to move pots around as winter sets in. Some don’t like being near a heater vent, for instance. Despite the heat, the air can be drying. Others like to stay back from chilly windows. It takes some trial and error to find what works best for each houseplant.

The post Creative Ways To Keep Plants Warm appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

And The Lemon Flower Is Sweet

Organic Gardening 2 - Sat, 2023-02-25 08:00

I have many bigger trees in my garden. I have bushier trees, taller trees, and even trees with more flowers on them. The primary fragrance I associate with my garden though is the unbelievably sweet citrus scent from my little Meyer lemon tree.

Meyer Lemon

I first learned about Meyer lemons decades ago when I wrote an article about container citrus trees. I included the Meyer lemon tree since it was ranked among the top three in the gardener poll I was describing. A cross between a lemon and an orange, the Meyer lemon fruit is bright yellow like a lemon but sweet enough to eat raw.

It wasn’t long after that when I came upon a sale of lemon trees in a local discount store. I went to see what they offered and there, wrapped in a cloud of citrus scent, I found a few tiny Meyer lemon seedings, less than a foot (31 cm.) tall. They were inexpensive, so I bought one and the rest is history.

Meyer Lemon Flowers

Like everyone else, I grew up singing about how the lemon tree is very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet. That did not prepare me for the amazing citrus scent of my little tree’s first blossom.

For its early years, I kept the tree in a sunny spot in my bedroom. I took good care of it, and it grew, outgrowing one pot and then another as the first year passed. Finally, the little plant developed a bud that took its time opening. One morning I woke up and the room was filled with the most beautiful fragrance, sweet indeed but still lemony. The Meyer lemon flower had bloomed.

Lemons in the Garden

In time, my little lemon tree grew up and was ready to move out of the house. I put a larger container in a sunny spot outdoors and transplanted the lemon tree into it. It rested for a few months, then began producing flowers again.

It’s been outside for years now and it blooms year-round. Walking through the garden, I always catch a whiff of the beautiful lemon flowers.

The post And The Lemon Flower Is Sweet appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

Brian Minter: Confused about plant pruning? Here's how to do it properly

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2023-02-24 11:00
Opinion: We need to be a little cautious about what and how we prune our plants back to prevent the loss of this year’s flowers.
Categories: Organic Gardening

Brian Minter: Confused about plant pruning? Here's how to do it properly

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2023-02-24 11:00
Opinion: We need to be a little cautious about what and how we prune our plants back to prevent the loss of this year’s flowers.
Categories: Organic Gardening

The Rewarding Battle Of Starting Seeds Indoors

Organic Gardening 2 - Fri, 2023-02-24 08:00

It’s nearing that time of year again. Soon enough there will be seed starting trays covering my kitchen table until it’s warm enough outdoors for them. There will also be trays of seedlings lining the shelves of my greenhouse, where they’ll be well protected from any late spring frosts. And that’s where they’ll stay until it’s time to transplant them in the garden.

A War is Raging: Growing Seedlings Inside

Flats of herbs and veggies and flowers galore, at least the ones that don’t get directly sown into the garden, including some seed bombing here and there. Besides houseplants and the occasional vegetable regrowing project or herbs, that’s pretty much the only indoor gardening I do. I’d much rather be outside. It’s often difficult for me to grow anything inside for too long, aside from my trusty houseplants, but even those spend spring through fall outdoors. It’s not easy keeping my indoor environment just right.

When it comes to starting seeds indoors though (or anywhere really), there’s just something magical about it. While this, too, can be a battle, my anticipation and excitement heightens in seeing those first signs of germination, when tiny slivers of green slowly emerge from the soil. Like a little troop of soldiers popping up one by one from the trenches, many with their protective helmets still visible, I can’t help but smile. They’re readying themselves for battle, as each must fight to survive in the coming weeks.

Soon after, the little seedlings will begin to sprout their first leaves, getting taller and stronger with each passing day. Provided they’ve been given enough light and are rotated accordingly, the seedling soldiers greet me with full attention, standing upright and happy. There will be stragglers, of course. Those that haven’t quite performed as well as the others. Unfortunately, I’m the one tasked with letting them go, carefully plucking them from their unofficial ranks. “Sorry, guys! It’s nothing personal,” I say with a slight quiver in my voice. It’s hard not to get choked up or teary eyed. I tend to think of them like children in a way. But I know there is a war raging and I must suck it up in order to carry my little troops to victory in spring. Keeping seedlings alive in my house isn’t always easy.

Caring for Seedlings

I’m filled with hope knowing the great things yet to come. But there will no doubt be bad days along the way too. As I continue watching them grow, I’m well aware that just like parenting, it’s up to me to give them everything necessary to be strong and healthy enough to flourish. While I do my best to keep them fed, watered and warm, my heart aches each time a seedling soldier has fallen, usually a victim to damping off. As heartbreaking as it is, I must carry on and encourage the troops to do the same. “We will not surrender to defeat,” I tell them. My growing seedlings inside must make it to feel the warmth of spring outdoors, leaving their cramped indoor quarters behind for good. That is when their next battle will begin…

In the end, everyone will be rewarded. There will be herbs and veggies and flowers galore. I will grieve for those lost but honor their memory. They fought a good battle. Next year, I’ll go through it all again with a new troop of soldiers. And it all begins with starting seeds indoors.

The post The Rewarding Battle Of Starting Seeds Indoors appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

Plants With Personality

Organic Gardening 2 - Thu, 2023-02-23 08:00

Who can resist a little anthropomorphism? It seems to be human nature to assign our mannerisms to inanimate objects. That is probably why ships are deemed to be “her,” and our cars act out in very human ways at the wrong time. For us plant people, this trait is assigned to our beloved flora. It also probably explains why we sing and talk to our houseplants, just as we do to our pets. Adoration requires categorization in many instances, and for this reason, our plants have personalities.

Understanding Plants

If I’m being honest, I will say I have never considered my plant’s personalities. Now that the question has been raised, I can see I have some very “diva” type plants and some that are chill. Since each plant has its own specific needs and responses to various stimuli, they are very like people. Understanding plants starts with knowing what they need. Studying plants’ responses to the care they are given, and the site they are in, are crucial to knowing what the plant requires to flourish. Such studies are similar to how we interact with people, noting responses to our statements and actions to minimize difficulties.

For instance, my Christmas cactus. I am sure it is a female. She is very proper and timely. She never fails to know it is nearing the holidays and provides me with a dazzling flower display. She is quite stoic regarding her care, and really only wants water regularly. She is not a diva, but rather a stately, elderly lady of a time gone by. If she was a human, I could see her dressed in the bustle and corset of yesteryear. She would have old world manners and grace. She would never swear, as that is not ladylike.

Then we have my Norfolk pine. This is a serious “dude.” He is not fussy about his care either, but hates change, such as moving him. I do move him for the holidays and decorate his arching stems. He responds by dropping some prickly foliage in protest. He never drops much, just enough to get his point across. If he were human, he might be a bit argumentative, belaboring his opinions in a rather annoying fashion. He would wear cowboy boots and drive a truck. He would not share my politics, which would be a bone of contention. He would mow the lawn without being asked, however.

In the diva category we have my orange tree and dwarf pomegranate. These ladies need fertilizer regularly. They will drop leaves when the air is too chill, or they are in a southern window. They are blowsy, charming, southern belles of the Gone with the Wind era. The orange has sweetly scented flowers, while the pomegranate has flamboyant fuchsia flowers that dangle from her branches.

Empathizing with Cacti

One would think I would personalize my cacti in some harsh manner, but perhaps because they are my favorite group of plants, I paint them with a gentle paintbrush. These uncomplaining plants never fail me. No matter if I forget to water and feed them, they carry on with steady grace. They would be the type of people who tell the truth no matter the consequences. They would grit their teeth and get on with it. They remind me of our pioneer forebears, whose dreams were only achieved through hardship, but persevered.

I have many in-home herbs and things like lettuce. I wouldn’t personalize these any more than you would anything you’re planning on eating. I pinch off their leaves regularly and eat them with gusto. Perhaps it is my personality that should be examined by my seeming disregard for these plants’ feelings. I do not coo to them, nor do I baby them. They are here as food, and I treat them as such. When their lives are over, I do not mourn… I simply compost.

This has been an interesting exercise personalizing my plants. I am going to give it more thought and consideration now that the subject has been broached. I’m still going to rip off basil leaves for my pasta and hack off my lettuce to make it come again. I’m not a monster, but if these plants have feelings, I pity them.

The post Plants With Personality appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

10 things to take in at the BC Home + Garden Show

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2023-02-22 09:09
Show manager Amber Beaton sees the show as resonating even more with consumers today
Categories: Organic Gardening

10 things to take in at the BC Home + Garden Show

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2023-02-22 09:09
Show manager Amber Beaton sees the show as resonating even more with consumers today
Categories: Organic Gardening

Which Is Better?

Organic Gardening 2 - Wed, 2023-02-22 08:00

When mulling the question of whether I prefer planting from seed or transplants, I have to think back on which I do the most, and that would be transplants. However, I also plant seeds. I think most people do both.

Growing Flowers From Seed

I try to start seeds indoors, but they usually don’t survive. They start to come up but usually succumb to damping off disease. I have more success by waiting till the last frost has passed and then planting into the ground. So, that has become my pattern. In May, or when I get around to it, I sprinkle my easy-to-grow annual seeds in the bed reserved for those flowers. It’s usually tall zinnias, Mexican sunflower (Tithonia), and two kinds of annual milkweed. Sometimes I add different seeds into the mix like marigolds or love lies bleeding. It’s always seeds that come up quickly and easily from seed. Most of them return from the previous year as I let the seeds mature and drop. So, it’s usually July before I see them pop up.

In another bed I started larkspur from transplants a couple years ago and let the blooms fade and seeds form. I shook the seeds into the bed when they were ripe and now the larkspur comes up on its own. I’ve also found that purple coneflower grows easily from seed, and I have taken several seed heads from one garden and laid them in another. Voila! The next year I had coneflower in a second bed.

Growing From Transplants

I love visiting all the garden centers in spring and picking out transplants. I’m not as eager to plant them as I am running out of space to plant. I need to start a new bed, but where? There are lots of underground cables in the yard that interfere with my gardening life.

I also enjoy buying transplants from online nurseries. I have my favorite online nurseries that I frequent. I particularly buy iris, hosta, daylily, hoya, and spring and summer flowering bulbs online. I will buy plants online that are hard to find locally as well.

I even buy vegetable transplants if I am going to try fruits or veggies. I have grown herbs and lettuce from seed because they are easy. I always grow parsley, fennel, and dill from seed each year for the black swallowtails. If the bounty gets eaten and I still have caterpillars, I dash to the local garden center to buy more transplants of parsley, fennel, and dill. If I start to run out of annual milkweed, I also head to the store for transplants. Sometimes it’s hard to find those in late summer but we have a country nursery that carries lots of plants for butterflies so I can usually find them there.

So, I think it comes down to what works best for me at the time and how long I want to wait for flowers or veggies. I have so many perennials that come back each year, so it’s no problem to wait a couple months for plants from seeds.

The post Which Is Better? appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

Terrariums: How to creatively introduce greenery into your home

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2023-02-21 14:59
Emma Terrell explains how to introduce natural elements into your space
Categories: Organic Gardening

Connecting with nature at home

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2023-02-21 14:59
How to creatively introduce greenery into your space
Categories: Organic Gardening

Connecting with nature at home

Organic Gardening - Tue, 2023-02-21 14:59
How to creatively introduce greenery into your space
Categories: Organic Gardening

The Seedy Side Of Town

Organic Gardening 2 - Tue, 2023-02-21 08:00

I love plant seeds! Probably a little too much. Vegetable seeds. Flower seeds. Herb seeds. Any seeds. I love them all! And I have many. So many, in fact (and I keep acquiring more), that finding a good place to store them can be tricky.

Seeds the Day

I don’t have a lot of space. Everything is normally crammed into whatever empty niche I can find or make use of. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not trashy looking or anything, and I’m not surrounded by piles of stuff floor to ceiling, but it’s cramped. My house isn’t that big. And when I do find a place to store items, there’s the issue of having to move around a bunch of things to find what I want, when I want. Never mind the fact that I’ve reached a point in my life where finding anything can be overwhelming, as I tend to forget the “safe places” I’ve put them. If you’ve ever watched a dog or cat chase its tail, then this is a pretty good description of me looking for something. I’ve literally spent hours (even days) walking around in circles trying to remember where I’ve put this or that. It’s not pretty! Add in jars or bags or envelopes filled with seeds for the garden and this soon becomes scary.

Seed Storage Made Simple

Enter the Seedy Side of Town… my creative answer to seed storage which works for me. It’s nothing more than a large 3-ring binder filled with archival sleeves that safely houses all my seed packets (or envelopes of seeds I harvested myself). I even have it neatly organized into specific categories like Fruit and Veggies, Flowers, and Herbs. Each seed category is also in alphabetical order, so I can find exactly what I want, when I want. And as each seed packet gets used, I’m able to keep track of what needs to be replaced. I also keep extra archival sleeves on hand for new additions. Best of all, my binder fits easily on a shelf in a darkened corner of my office where it can be found anytime. No more walking or running around in circles.

So why the “seedy side of town” moniker? It’s simply a quirky play on words coupled with the fact that it’s not the kind of place you’d expect to find plant seeds. I’m a writer after all, and an unusual one at that. I’m also a gardener that loves planting seeds (and obviously collecting them too). At the time of this writing, seed catalogs are filling my mailbox, enticing me to add more interesting plants to my ever-growing seed assortment. And I have to say I’m up for a good challenge, though there may need to be another seed-packed binder in my future – perhaps titled The Need for Seed.

The post The Seedy Side Of Town appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

Nina’s Hope House

Organic Gardening 2 - Mon, 2023-02-20 10:00

Learning about the Hope House program in the Austin region of Texas is an eye-opening and heartwarming experience. Nina’s Hope House is just one of the program’s residential group homes. Of the four, this one provides permanent housing and care for profoundly intellectually disabled adults. Hope Houses are safe havens with 24-hour supervision and living assistance for childhood through adulthood, with residents who live there “for as long as it takes.” Jared Sudekum is the HCS Director, a passionate, grateful and caring individual who loves creating environments that nurture, cheer and teach the special residents here.

A History of Compassion

In 1966 Ms. Rose McGarrigle relocated to Austin, Texas, her origins in pre-war Berlin. She recognized the desperate need for care and housing for children with severe physical and mental disabilities. Often victims of neglect and isolation, children in the Austin area were welcomed into her private home where she provided support, comfort and the necessities of daily life. Not all children had the means to get to her home, so Rose would pick them up in her red VW bus. In 1976 when her home was no longer large enough to house all her residents, with donated land and funding from the state of Texas, the first Hope House was constructed. Most of the adult residents at Hope House today were “Rose’s children” in 1967.

The Gardens

The Hope House facilities’ adjacent gardens have been resurfaced with fresh soil and are planted with crops that can thrive in this warm region. This is not a region where pumpkins or sweet corn can thrive, but local nurseries donate a range of vegetable plants and flowers. Many of the residents are able to hold a watering hose and pick vegetables; some can sow seeds. At harvest time, residents are often surprised at the tasty and colorful tomatoes and cucumbers that they’ve watered over the weeks. All is organic, the seeds are collected, and the produce goes, primarily, to the residents. Jared is a great fan of the shishito peppers. There is also a particular interest in growing luffa, which provides tactile stimulation when residents peel it, play with it and paint it.

The gardens give the residents creative things to see and do, and they enjoy the bright colors. Jared has also created a successful herb garden and a flourishing butterfly garden, including esperanza, columbine, milkweed and bluebonnets. Jared has also planted pomegranates and trees and foresees chickens and rabbits on the property soon.

Rose’s Dreams Come True

The Hope House residential facilities now consist of four group homes – three in operation at this writing and a fourth underway. The new building will be used initially for the emergency placement of kids and will eventually be turned into a day care and commercial kitchen. The kitchen will allow the program to prepare and sell what they raise in the gardens. Building, painting and labor is all done on a volunteer basis and much of the materials needed are donated by the community and neighboring agencies. The program does a bit of fund raising through sales of some of the residents’ artwork at the local market.

By next summer the resident population here is expected to grow to 28. They will be at capacity around 45. Jared says there is such a need here, and in this time it’s difficult to hire staff. Most of Hope Houses’ residents have Medicaid or Medicare, but it takes a village to operate a program like this, and Jared Sudekum’s selfless energy and compassion is exactly what’s needed in a setting like this one. Rose McGarrigle’s last words were a request that her “children” be cared for.

You can donate to Hope House in many ways. They maintain an Amazon wishlist of supplies and household items necessary to keep things running smoothly.

Every year, Gardening Know How awards $1,000 to 20 different, hand-picked garden projects across the United States and Canada. If your community or school garden has a growing, unmet need for more soil, seeds, fertilizers, building materials, or even just help getting the word out about your program, we’re ready and willing to help you meet those needs. As community gardens and school gardening programs spring up all over, we’re happy to do our part to help. Click here to learn more about how to apply to the GKH Sponsorship.

Interested in learning more about school or community gardens? Visit our Community Gardening for Everyone page today.

The post Nina’s Hope House appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

High Yield Flowers For The Home Cutting Garden

Organic Gardening 2 - Sun, 2023-02-19 08:00

Over the years, my cut flower garden has grown to encompass nearly every bit of usable space within my small backyard. Though there are several species of plants that I would like to grow, there simply isn’t always enough ground to do so. It is for this reason that I frequently emphasize the importance of cut-and-come-again flowers, and those which bloom throughout the entirety of the summer season.

My Favorite Flowers

At the height of any given summer growing season, visitors to my garden are likely to find only five or six different types of flowers. While I often daydream of flower beds filled with a wide variety of plant species, the simple truth remains that I rely heavily on several “core” types instead. These types have proven themselves to be dependable, repeat bloomers with excellent vigor and long vase lives.

Popular Cut Flowers

Among my favorite cut-and-come-again flowers are zinnias. Easy to grow from seed, zinnias thrive throughout my hot and humid summers with very little supplemental water or special care. They are also available in a wide range of colors. In my own cutting patch, I enjoy the process of breeding and selecting my own new zinnia hybrids. Over the years, I have worked diligently to grow and multiply many of my own crosses. This has resulted in new varieties and colors that are truly unique to my own growing space.

Dahlias are yet another flower crop on which I have come to rely. Technically grown from tubers, dahlias are planted in the spring, as soon as the soil has warmed and all chance of frost has passed. Much like zinnias, frequent cutting will cause dahlia plants to produce masses of new blooms. As there are thousands of named varieties available to gardeners, saving and dividing the tubers has been invaluable in my own quest to continue growing my own plant stock. Dahlias can also be hand pollinated to produce seed. Dahlia plants grown from seed do not produce blooms similar to the parent. Therefore, the results of the breeding process can be both fun and exciting.

Other valuable members of my backyard cut flower garden include annuals like amaranth, marigolds, cosmos, and tithonia; as well as some perennial plants. Small plantings of free-flowering perennials can be found scattered throughout the yard. Flower beds include various cultivars of aster, rudbeckia, and echinacea.

The post High Yield Flowers For The Home Cutting Garden appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

My Grandmother’s Flowers

Organic Gardening 2 - Sat, 2023-02-18 08:00

Perhaps it’s because I’m a gardener, but plants and flowers evoke special memories for me. Orange trumpet creeper vines (Campsis radicans) are one such flower. When I see them, I think of my grandmother. These vivid orange flowers that bloom in brilliant clusters take me back to the simpler days of my childhood.

Trumpet Flowers

As one of 23 grandchildren, one would think I wouldn’t have been much more than a number to my grandmother. Yet this special lady took the time to know each one of her many grandchildren.

When my family visited on Sundays, there was always a bag of my favorite potato chips waiting on the counter and occasionally a toy would be hiding on the shelf that seemed to belong to me. It was on these Sundays in the summer that we would sit on my grandmother’s front porch swing and talk.

I remember the front porch spanned the width of her house and along one side grew a huge trumpet flower vine. It always seemed to be in bloom. As we sat swinging on those hot summer evenings, my grandmother would face these flowers.

As I think back, I believe the trumpet vine’s attractiveness to pollinators was the reason she grew this particular flower. Each week, my grandmother would relay tales of the butterflies and hummingbirds which fed upon the sweet nectar in the flowers.

I also remember my grandmother warning me to stay away from the trumpet flowers. This plant is highly toxic and simply touching it can cause a rash. However, the main reason was the bright orange flowers were especially attractive to wasps.

Why I Don’t Grow Trumpet Vines

As much as I adore orange trumpet creeper flowers, I don’t grow them. Like many other native flowers, these vines are well-adapted to my home state of Ohio. They are seldom bothered by pests and disease.

Trumpet vines are also tolerant of many soil conditions. They thrive in partly shaded areas as well as full sun and are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. These vigorous vines prefer support, but their aerial roots can cause damage to houses, roofs, and brick walls – a trait which likely didn’t elude my garden-savvy grandmother.

Unfortunately, these plants are also well known for their fast growth and multiple methods of propagation. Without the natural competition from other plants, a trumpet flower vine can become quite aggressive in the garden setting.

To keep these vines in check, regular pruning of orange trumpet creeper is a must. It’s obvious my grandmother had the dedication and talent to maintain a trumpet creeper vine. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit these traits.

Thus, I prefer to enjoy this delightful flower from afar. And whenever I spot those bright orange trumpet creeper flowers, it takes me back to that porch swing and those hot summer nights with my grandmother.

The post My Grandmother’s Flowers appeared first on Gardening Know How's Blog.

Categories: Organic Gardening

Brian Minter: A multisensory design approach makes a major difference in both indoor, outdoor spaces

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2023-02-17 12:00
Ground-breaking in the world of landscape architecture, Multisensory Landscape Design is something all designers should think about incorporating into their work.
Categories: Organic Gardening

Brian Minter: A multisensory design approach makes a major difference in both indoor, outdoor spaces

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2023-02-17 12:00
Ground-breaking in the world of landscape architecture, Multisensory Landscape Design is something all designers should think about incorporating into their work.
Categories: Organic Gardening

Brian Minter: A multisensory design approach makes a major difference in both indoor, outdoor spaces

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2023-02-17 12:00
Ground-breaking in the world of landscape architecture, Multisensory Landscape Design is something all designers should think about incorporating into their work.
Categories: Organic Gardening


RMC facebook RMC twitter
Scroll to Top