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Garden Ramblings, Issue #029
January 15, 2007
January 2007

Monthly Musings on the Garden Scene

If you prefer, you can view this month's issue online where you can also subscribe if this copy has been forwarded to you by a friend.

If you are reading the text version you will need to go online to see the videos. ***********************************************************

In this issue:

- Letter from the Editor
- Roses Galore
- How To Be A Greener Gardener
- A Poinsettia for Christmas?
- Special Offers
- Tailpiece



Welcome to the January issue of Garden Ramblings and a belated Happy New Year to you.

As I write this the sun is shining from a clear blue sky but today is definitely not a typical January day. January is noted for its dull and dreary days with constant rain and storms, and so to bring some cheer I have replaced the Flower of the Month spot with a video of roses in full bloom.

With all the concerns about global warming the first article looks at ways that you can garden in a greener way. Then our guest article gives some tips on caring for poinsettias so that they can flower again next christmas.

As usual there is a Special Offers section with all the bargains that I've managed to find.

If you want to keep up with all the news in the gardening world, you can read my blog Garden Supplies News.

Enjoy the issue.



Roses Galore



How To Be A Greener Gardener

New Year is a time for resolutions and with the ever growing concern over global warming, perhaps this year trying to garden in a greener manner could be our small contribution to saving the planet. Three areas where you can make a difference are composting, saving water and pest control.

Composting your garden waste has the double benefit of saving the energy required to haul it away and, at the same time, of providing you with useful material to improve your garden soil and feed your plants. Don't overlook your kitchen waste which should also be added to the compost heap. If you are put off by the thought of smelly containers waiting to be emptied, you can now buy a Kitchen Compost Crock icon with a carbon filter in the lid which keeps the smells at bay.

Saving water is another area that has many benefits for the gardener. Not only will you cut down on your water bills, but your plants will prefer the pure rain water to the processed commodity that comes from the mains. Rain barrels come in a variety of sizes and if green plastic does not appeal then you could choose a traditional oak barrel with iron hoops. Gardener's Supply Company icon has a good selection.

Of course the best way of saving water is to grow those plants that can thrive without constant watering. The conventional wisdom is that you should grow plants and flowers that are native to your location since they are likely to be more successful that exotic specimens that require more care and attention. If, in addition, you concentrate on drought-resistant varieties, you will save yourself much time and effort in watering and use less water overall.

The third approach to greener gardening is concerned with pest control. The idea here is to avoid the use of pesticides as much as possible and to encourage the natural predators to do the job for you. Set up bird feeders to attract birds to your garden and they will help to control the aphids. A garden pond will provide a home for frogs and toads who just love to eat all those slugs and snails.

This article has touched on just three ways that a change in your gardening habits can lead to cost savings and reduced energy use which will result in a benefit for you and for the wider world. New year resolutions are all too often forgotten as soon as they have been made, but if yours is to garden in a greener way in 2007, you will receive constant pleasant reminders as you see the benefits of your new approach.


A Poinsettia for Christmas - Is Yours Doomed or Will it Get a Second Chance?

Guest Author: Elisabeth Mcgill

No other plants spell Christmas as much as Poinsettias do. Right around Thanksgiving they appear in every store that handles plants and millions are purchased to decorate homes and businesses. Even though there are nowadays other colors and strangely formed bracts available, it must have been the showy, bright red and green leaves, called bracts, that have turned the Poinsettia into a favorite of the Christmas season.

The Poinsettias that are sold for the Holidays are mostly grown in greenhouses where moisture and hours of daylight can be controlled. Once the plants go to market, growing conditions are not quite so ideal. Poinsettias like moist soil but no standing water, they like sunshine and don't like sudden temperature changes or drafts. Not having those conditions often causes a rapid decline and the leaves fall prematurely. At that point probably most Poinsettia plants are doomed and go into the trash.

If you took better care of your Poinsettia and nursed it along into early spring, when the leaves fall naturally , you might be ready to give it a second chance. Cut the stems back to two buds, reduce watering to a minimum, stop fertilizing and store in a cool spot until late spring.

When there is no more danger of frost, set the pot in light shade outdoors. By July you can resume fertilizing and might consider repotting into a larger pot. In August you can cut the stems back to just three leaves per shoot to make the plant bushier. If you live in a milder climate, your poinsettia might survive outside in a sheltered spot, otherwise, when there is any danger of frost, you should bring the plant inside.

Since the bracts only turn color when the plant experiences long nights, it should be in the dark from 5 pm to 8 am the next day for ten weeks, starting in late September. If you follow that schedule you should have your Poinsettia bloom again by Christmas.

Find a pretty planter to repot your Poinsettia or a plant stand to display it Find more home and garden decor here For a ventless, no installation, no chimey required gel fuel fireplace go to

Article Source:

Special Offers

Dutch Gardens are featuring "Dependable Daylilies" on their home page, but click the "Holiday Sale" and you will find plenty of bargains.

Dutch Gardens, Inc.

Last month its was 60% but this month you can save up to 70% on over 120 items at Gardener's Supply Company. Look for the "After Holiday Sale" towards the bottom of the left hand menu.

Nature Hills Nursery is a new name in this section, but if you're looking for a large selection of plants with everything from trees to packets of seeds as well as tools and equipment, then click the banner to see what they have to offer.



A Floral Chorus!


Please feel free to pass on this newsletter to your gardening friends. Do let me have your feedback and suggestions to: [email protected]

That's all until next month but in the meantime you can always look at my Blog Garden Supplies News

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