|March 6, 2008 10:04 - Minimalism, Frangrant Roses And Landscape Design
Eco-friendly gardening is is a phrase that is heard with increasing frequency these days and this is the underlying theme at this year's Philadelphia Flower show. The emphasis is on "minimalism and all things green". "For the back yard, think native and noninvasive plants that require less water and chemical fertilizers; for the dining table, think structure and simplicity. Customers are seeking more environmentally friendly choices, and they've become more design conscious from trend-spotting magazines and Web sites, according to floral designer Peter Couture. Growers also are trying to cut back on pesticide use and florists are steering away from plastic containers".
Continuing the environmental theme Dr William Johnson discusses new concepts in landscape design. Although "the basic techniques of gardening today are not that much different from those our great grandparents used. Still, technology and the age of communication are definitely changing the way we live, work and garden" is how he opens his piece. Outdoor living, accessories and interactive garden features are all covered before he moves on to the green techniques of saving water and avoiding pesticides. Read more..
What is the best fragrant rose variety? "Choosing the rose with the best fragrance is impossible because fragrance is a matter of personal preference" says Charlie Nardozzi. He then lists his favorites ranging from a hybrid tea to a floribunda and includes several old-fashioned rose varieties. "Try at least one of these jewels in your garden this spring" he advises. Read more..
March 20, 2008 10:51 - Spring, Raised Beds And Bokashi
Today is the first day of Spring. In the words of the poet Gerald Manley Hopkins "NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—". So where should we concentrate our efforts as soon as the conditions are right. "What better thing to create than a new asparagus bed" is the suggestion from Pat Biggerstaff. A vegetable that you plant once and then reap the harvest for up to twenty-five years sounds almost too good to be true. And so it proved for me since, despite several attempts, I was never able to establish an asparagus bed in one of my former gardens. As a result I have never tried again, but apparently the plants will thrive as long as the bed is in full sun with free draining soil. Read more..
"Last year I made my first raised bed. Everyone tells me I can plant a lot earlier in this bed than in the ground. Is this true? And how much earlier? And why?" Barbara Barger is answering reader's questions and yes, you can plant earlier, some two to three weeks on average. She also discusses robins and what to do with ancient geraniums. She ends with some Spring proverbs which I must remember to add to my collection. Read more..
Bokashi is a composting technique that I had not come across before I read this article by Ann Lovejoy. This simple composting system developed in Japan allows you to recycle all non-liquid food scraps, including dairy and meat. The food waste is broken down by a process of fermentation followed by conventional composting and only takes four to six weeks. Read more..
"Hanging your plants by their toes seems to be an idea with legs" is how Valerie Sudol describes the practice of upside-down growing. Hanging containers with the plants growing from the base rather than the top is the new fashion for tomatoes. This keeps the crop off the ground and away from slugs and other nasties. You can see a picture of a container in my entry for 26 February. Read more..