On a previous entry I wrote about the practice of gluing fake flowers on cacti . If you're not aware of it cacti and succulents growers glue straw flowers on cacti when they aren't blooming in order to increase sales of these plants. Those pink, green, red and blue flowers you see growing on cactus in the big box stores are indeed fake. The most common cactus that you'll encounter decorated with the the straw flowers is one that is referred to as "Fairy Castle Cactus."
I hate my lawn. It has never been much, just your average postage-size ubran lot's attempt at a lawn. The reason I hate it so much is because as a kid I was the one responsible for planting sod every couple of years. We did it every couple of years because my parents never understood the concept of preparing the soil so that a healthy lawn could be established. I was the one who was charged with turning over our heavy clay soil in the spring and then laying down the sod that would look good for a year or two before it became patchy or was overpowered by crabgrass.
I received an e-mail from Greencorps Chicago asking local community gardeners to register their community gardens on the American Community Garden Association map. While this e-mail was circulated locally it isn't exclusive to community gardens in the Chicago area. The American Community Garden Association is actually a bi-national organization with members throughout the United States and Canada.
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It is the time of year when store shelves are stocked with Christmas cactus plants so people can decorate their homes with them during the holidays. About the same time that they start appearing on store shelves questions on how to make your Christmas cactus bloom start appearing on gardening forums and in the Home & Garden section of newspapers. I've already seen a few Christmas cactus owners posing questions on gardening forums I frequent. What amazes me is the lengths people go through to get a Christmas cactus to bloom.
I have a friend who, like me, has a soft spot for unusual plants. In particular we both appreciate carnivorous plants and grew up fascinated by the most popular of them all-The Venus Flytrap. The thing is that my friend regularly kills his Venus Flytraps through improper care. The most common plant related question he asks is "Why is my Venus Flytrap dying?" My response is usually something along the lines of "It isn't dying, you're killing it!"
Argyroderma is a genus of plants in the Aizoaceae family that sometimes go by the name of "living rocks" or "stone Plants." These succulent plants are native to South Africa and are popular among cacti and succulent plant growers for their unique shapes and colorful flowers. What appeals to most people is the fact that the plants will often resembles stones or other geological features of the land they are native too. The plants evolved to look like stones and rocks in order to evade detection and consumption by animals.
I spent today planting some Black Parrot Tulip bulbs I bought from Sprout Home a garden center in Chicago. After my visit there I wrote a review of the garden center on my Garden Rate And Review (this template available read below) blog giving my impression of the garden center and plants they offer.
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There isn't much blooming in my garden right now but my 'Cypress Vine' is still going strong. In the garden this year I planted this flowering vine in two spots where it could climb and flower and provide a little bit of privacy. If you've been here before you may already have seen the red 'Cypress Vine' flower on this gardening blog, but the pink and white flowers have just started to put on their display. Ipomoea quamoclit is the botanical name for 'Cypress Vine.' The more common name is often also assigned, incorrectly, to 'Cardinal Climber.'
If you write about your garden on Blogger you may have noticed below the dashboard that Blogger highlighted a few blogs that were powered by Blogger that participated in Blog Action Day. It didn't escape my attention that there weren't any garden blogs in the list.
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While most other blogs that are participating in Blog Action Day post about ways you can help the environment by lessening your carbon footprint I'd like to write about something a little different. Most of the time when I'm selecting plants for my garden I don't really think about the negative effect I could be having on the environment.
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Elephant ear plants are herbaceous plants in zone 8 and above. In gardening zones that are colder they are treated as annuals and the corms lifted out of the ground and stored in a cool dry location like the basement of a home. Many gardeners grow these plants because the large foliage, that resemble the ears of an Elephant, help create a garden with a tropical feel.
The photo of this garden wasn't taken in Florida it was taken on the west side of Chicago and you're eyes are not deceiving you those are Bromeliads and Crotons planted in the ground. From time to time I have the opportunity to pass by this home and I aways have to chuckle at the plant selection I find planted in the raised bed.
Have you ever found something useful on my gardening blog? Maybe the answer on how to do something or information on a plant or seed or just really liked one of my photographs. Perhaps after that particular visit you wished you could buy me a cup of coffee...well... I don't drink coffee but I do believe in charity.
at 11:38 PM
It's a weekend like any other and like many people across the country I'm walking into the greenhouse of the local Home Depot. I'm there to see if any new cacti and succulents plants have arrived. I'm hoping to reach them before they are either over or under watered to death by the staff. To get good plants at most of these big box garden centers you have to get there the moment they are unpacked. Before I walk into the greenhouse I can see an unusual number of people crowding around the shelfs.