Yard Butler HT-2EZ 2-Wheeled Garden Hose Truck Review

Yard Butler

The Yard Butler HT-2EZ Garden Hose Truck is one of those products that you either love, or hate. First off, when compared to a plastic garden hose reel, the Yard Butler is definitely an improvement, but, if you do a lot of hose work in your garden, you may want to get something just another notch better. For light duty …

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Planning a Vegetable Garden

vegetable garden

Gardening can be one of the most rewarding activities you will ever do. It can also be the most time consuming. It doesn’t matter if your garden is big or small, or if you plant it raised beds or in plant pots – you have to start with a plan. Now that you have an idea of how climate, space, …

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Comprehensive Vegetable Garden Guide

Planted pottery

Whether you’re a new or experienced gardener, there’s only one thing you should be concerned about: the health of your plants. Now, many of the factors to a plant’s health are within your control – but not all of them. There are some factors that you’ll have to work with, and not all of them are pleasant. The main factors …

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Making Trellises For Climbing Plants

squash on trellis

Trellises are a great addition to any garden. They are both functional and beautiful. In addition, trellises help keep vines healthy by allowing them to grow above the ground, away from the moisture of the soil. Many varieties of creeping vegetables thrive well on trellises. The gardener, however, must ensure that a trellis is sturdy enough to support heavier vegetables …

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Garden Trellises Add Support in Style

Garden Trellis

Used to grow everything from grapes, to beans, to flowers, to purely ornamental vines, garden trellises expand your garden up off the ground and into the air. Garden trellises can be free standing or attached to a fence, wall or building. Although many plant supports are called trellises, a real trellis exists solely to support a vertically-growing plant and to …

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Garden Obelisks

Garden Obelisk

Beneficial for urban gardeners who want to save space, the use of garden obelisks is an ideal way to grow vining crops in the vegetable garden. Plant a dozen pole beans around the base of an obelisk and watch the vines twine around it as they reach for the sky. Grow melons on taller garden obelisks, their perfectly shaped, unblemished …

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Hardy Magnolias for Northern Gardens


“Leonard Messel” hardy magnolia in bloom. Magnolia trees conjure up images of genteel southern plantations and live oak draped with Spanish moss. Many northern gardeners aren’t aware of the several hardy varieties of magnolia that will grow and thrive as far north as USDA Zone 4. I wasn’t aware of this until I saw a potted magnolia seedling (pictured at …

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Lilac Bushes Perfume the Air in Northern Cities

Lilac Bushes

The lilacs are blooming. All over the city their sweet fragrance permeates the air. Everywhere you look their delicate lilac-colored flowers light up individual lawn specimens or hedgerows of this hardy bush. The brief, two-week period that lilacs bloom every spring almost makes up for freezing winter weather. Almost. Lilacs are classified as Syringa vulgaris and are reliably hardy in …

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Lily of the Valley: Groundcover for Shade

wild lily

Lily of the valley is one of the many sweet-scented, spring-blooming flowers. Its Latin name, convallaria majalis, is derived from the Latin convallis, “valley” and majalis, “May-flowering.” It’s the official birth flower for the month of May. I happened upon a patch of the less common pink ones (convallaria majalis Rosea) and stopped to take their picture. The gardener saw …

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Morel Season is Finally Here

morel mushroom

Morels are the elusive wild mushroom that appears in spring in woodlands from Maine, south to the northern areas of the deep south, west to northern Texas and Oklahoma, and north to Minnesota with a few outposts in the Dakotas. If you’ve never tasted a morel, it’s hard to understand the earnest obsession morel hunters have with finding these wild …

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Spring Flowering Bridal Wreath Bush

Bridal Wreath

Bridal wreath, or spirea, is a spring flowering shrub that has been planted in cities all over the world. They grow well in almost any soil and once established, tolerate drought and neglect. Their delicate white flowers on graceful branches bloom dependably every spring. Plant spring blooming bridal wreath in partial shade. Prune lightly right after the flowers fade. They …

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Rhubarb Is Old Fashioned Spring Favorite


For most of recorded history, rhubarb was only used medicinally. Native to China, it is thought that Marco Polo brought rhubarb back from his travels there. Rheum rhabarbarum wasn’t used as a food source until the late 1700’s. Its first recorded mention is as a pie plant. Rhubarb was planted extensively by pioneers in the United States and descendants of …

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Snow Peas are Ancient Spring Vegetable

snow peas

One of my earliest memories is of picking fresh peas out in the garden, then removing them from the pod and eating them raw. Those were the traditional English Garden peas that my mother grew. I’ve never grown English peas; I choose to use the space to grow Oriental Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas. This past winter while organizing …

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Vinca Minor Brightens Up Shady Spots

Vinca Minor

Vinca minor is one of the rare plants whose Latin name is used as its common name. Also called creeping Myrtle or periwinkle, vinca is an evergreen perennial ground cover. It blooms in spring with charming purple flowers that cover the plant. Vinca is native to northern and central Europe and is hardy in USDA Zones 3 to 9. In …

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Abandoned Rose Keeps Growing

rose garden

Roses, well known to need copious amounts of water and attentive care, are growing in an abandoned, fenced parking lot. What’s amazing to me is that we just had the third driest spring in our area since weather record keeping began over a hundred years ago. Last fall a fast food restaurant in the neighborhood mysteriously closed in the middle …

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