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					Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Oriental Greens
Author:                Sara Pitzer
Size:                  1/2 page
Status:                final

Asian Greens, with their exotic sounding names and interesting leaf shapes, are just unusual enough in
this country to attract attention and they are good enough to be worth growing, even if you never eat
anything more oriental than egg rolls. They are easy to grow, easy to cook in many ways besides
traditional oriental dishes, and good in salads, as well as served hot.

Oriental broccoli, sometimes called flower broccoli, is a fast growing relative of broccoli that is easier to
grow. Oriental broccoli grows in cool spring and fall weather and will come back after a first cutting. It is
good stir fried or lightly steamed.

Pak Choi (or bok choy) is familiar even in supermarkets these days, but what you find in a produce
department will never have the crispness and flavor of what you grow yourself. To have a continuous
supply of Pak Choi, make several plantings a few weeks apart (it matures in 45 days.) Pak choi is good in
stir-fry but also can be sautéed in butter or simmered in broth. It has a sweet flavor, not an old-cabbage

For salads, leaf type subspecies of brassica rapa are mild and tender. Such Japanese greens as Nibuna
and Kyona/mizuna and Komatsuna are easy to start and mature in about 40 days.

Your Growise Center will suggest other Asian greens suited to your area.

Their culture calls for sowing anytime from early spring into the middle of the summer and, in the south,
again in the fall. Seed should be covered 1/4 inch deep and plants spaced about an inch apart, then
thinned to 6 inches apart.

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Garden Guide Issue:           Summer '99

Article Title:         Good Garden Gadgets
Author:                Sara Pitzer
Size:                  1/2 page
Status:                final

Oh, sure, you could garden without them, with just a spade and a hoe, maybe, but why would you want to?
It's not just that today's garden gadgets are fun. They make gardening easier, improve the yield and solve
some pesky problems. Your Growise Center is full of gadgets for your garden. If you haven't tried them yet,
make this the year to turn gardening into a game.

Flower supports come in a variety of shapes and sizes and hold such plants as lilies and coreopsis upright
so you can appreciate their full beauty without stakes and strings. Similar supports, though much larger,
tomato cages will eliminate the need for staking, make the tomatoes easier to pick and increase your yield.

Also to spiff up your flower display, try a trellis. They come ready to be set up at the beginning or end of a
garden path or wherever you want to emphasize a special spot in the landscape. Consider using trellises
not only for vining plants such as clematis and morning glories but also for the popular old-time roses that
grow with long branches.

Edging devices of wood, stone or iron are a nice way to define beds of such low growing classics as hosta
and annual beds of flowers that grow into a mass like impatiens. And, a planting area delineated by edging
makes an effective herb garden.

Extend your garden pleasure into the night with low voltage garden path lights or solar path lights. Both are
safe and easy to install. Your Growise Center can advise you on the best choice for your particular garden.

Finally, don't overlook the value—and fun—of placing birdbaths, birdhouses and bird feeders right in your
vegetable garden and flowerbeds, in addition to the other places you've already established them in the
lawn. The birds will help control insects and turn even mundane tasks like weeding into time spent with
nature's music.

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Garden Guide Issue:          Summer '99

Article Title:        Turf Tips: Renewal
Author:               Nel Newman
Size:                 1/2 page
Status:               final

What’s happened to your green carpet of lawn out front? You fertilize and water and mow and it looks
worse every year. You use insecticides and fungicides as recommended, even apply a weed and feed
product sometimes, yet the lawn doesn’t thrive. Your problem may be thatch.

Get a feel for your lawn’s health--go barefooted to test for thatch, which builds up when lawn clippings,
roots, stolons, and rhizomes fail to compost themselves as your lawn grows. The result is a thick rug
between the soil surface and green grass. Thatch is a cozy environment for bugs and diseases, as well as
an umbrella that sheds rain and blocks the sun from reaching the turf. If the lawn feels squishy or springy
under your feet, grab a ruler to determine the extent of your problem. It's time to act if your thatch mat
measures more than one half inch deep.

Thatch, or cavex, rakes should have heavy blades that leer like a toothy crescent moon. By pulling the rake
toward you through the grass, you cut thatch loose. If your lawn is larger than three thousand square feet,
rent a thatching mower, also called a verticutter or vertimower.

To fill in blank spots after thatching, or to patch dead spots in the lawn, choose between seed, sod plugs,
or turf cuttings you’ve rooted. Newly seeded areas demand careful watering and can be very difficult to
establish on slopes or in rainy weather. Buy grass plugs or cut your own from purchased sod squares. Saw
through the sod mat with a serrated knife to make two square inch plugs. Your own cuttings will work best
in areas less than a foot square. Look for fertilizers formulated for new growth, and feed separately from
the rest of your lawn for the first year.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Water Gardens
Author:                Nel Newman
Size:                  1/2 page
Status:                final

Above ground is all the rage in water gardening! And why not, since everyone can appreciate the soothing
sound of water in the garden, but may not be ready or able to dig a pond to get it. Balcony and patio
gardeners, people with small spaces, those with small children to keep safe, and others not interested in
the upkeep of inground ponds will find pond pots appealing. For owners of traditional water gardens, whose
passion often knows no bounds, above ground offers another kind of water garden, designed especially to
be appreciated up close.

Anything can form the basis of a pond pot, so long as it holds water. If you like the look of shallow reflecting
pools, try this: Fill a shallow dark blue bowl with water and place it in a grouping of plants to make the
simplest, soothing pond to reflect the sun and plants above. Basins, urns, and barrels as well as solid
plastic pots make excellent ponds for moving water, too, and setting them up is an easy, half-day project.

Choose the place you'd like to hear water gurgling and put your container there: all you need is a nearby
electric outlet to create a bubbling scene. To include a fountain, pick a spot in front of a sturdy backdrop
like a fence or wall to mount it. Either way, you're going to recirculate the container's water, an ecofriendly
way to use water even in dry years.

A submersible pump, plastic tubing, something to trickle through, and a few plants for camouflage will get
you started. Pumps are rated for their capacity and smaller ones tend to be quieter, so buy just what you
need. Put it in the container with enough tubing to reach over the top of the pond or to the fountain above.
Run the tube into a cluster of rocks, a spouted gargoyle, or even a whimsical watering can mounted in the
pond. Cover up the tube and electric wire with well-placed plants or rocks. Plug the pump in and adjust its
flow to suit you.

 Get a goldfish or two, but remember they grow to the size of their container, so don't overfeed. And never
replace more than one fourth the pot's capacity of water at one time.

Small hardy water lilies make a contained pond into a water garden; their beauty is unsurpassed. Other
plants to look for include dwarf lotus, floating water lettuce, and the oxygenator elodea.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Heat Up Summer With Hot Peppers
Author:                Lynn Hunt
Size:                  1 pg.
Status:                final

It’s difficult to forget your first accidental encounter with a habanero pepper. As soon as the little sliver of
fruit touched my tongue I spit it out, but it was already too late. My mouth was one raging inferno. I spent
the better part of the next hour sucking on ice cubes to no avail. I now know that the oil in chiles doesn’t
mix with water so I should’ve used milk, yogurt or bananas to put out the fire. Still, that eight-alarm
experience didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for one of summer's tastiest and most colorful treats: chile

An ancient plant becomes a new favorite

Hot peppers are warm-weather perennial shrubs in their native tropics, but are treated as annuals in most
gardens. Remains of peppers have been found at archeological sites that date back to 7000 B.C. They
may have been cultivated as far back as 2500 B.C. Christopher Columbus was among the first explorers to
introduce chiles to fascinated Europeans. Here in America, interest in ethnic dishes and the desire to tingle
our tastebuds has made these peppers the hottest thing in the garden, the kitchen and the market. In fact,
chile-rich salsas have now surpassed catsup as our most popular condiment.

The right pepper for your region

Although many grocery stores and specialty markets offer a variety of fresh and dried chiles, there is no
substitute for growing your own. Since they are true New World natives, hot peppers can be grown just
about anywhere their sweet cousins do well. The trick for northern gardeners is to select early maturing
varieties that will produce a harvest before frost. Anaheim chiles with their rich flavor are a good choice for
northern gardens. Poblanos are relatively mild and are ideal for stuffing and roasting. Spicy Thai Dragon
chiles are six times hotter than jalapenos and mature in about 68 days.

Red and yellow cayenne chiles make great seasonings and perfect garden plants for the central states.
The fiery, flavorful Serrano chiles are excellent for making fresh salsa as well spicing up vegetable and egg
dishes. As in the north, Poblano peppers are also dependable performers here.

The lucky gardeners in milder climates have a huge selection of peppers to choose from. Just keep in mind
that the hotter the climate, the hotter the pepper. Which means folks in the hot, dry southwestern states will
produce peppers that may shoot right off of the Scoville heat index. The most courageous chile lover will
probably want to try the Red Savina habanero, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest
chile pepper on earth. Those with less adventuresome tastebuds might prefer a member of the jalapeno
family -- they make super hot pepper jelly and stuffed chile poppers.

Chile culture

Chiles need full sun, good drainage and loamy soil that has been enriched with compost, aged manure and
bonemeal. Set young plants out in the spring at least two weeks after your last frost. Don't plant your
peppers near cantaloupes, cucumbers or tomatoes to avoid infection by tobacco mosaic disease. Water
plants well and give them a good feeding with a soluble fertilizer that is high in calcium nitrate. Chiles also
enjoy a dose of fish emulsion or liquid seaweed. Keep feeding monthly to insure a continuous, abundant
crop. You can harvest chiles when they are green or red as long as they are full-sized. Always cut peppers

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**CONTINUED: Heat Up Summer With Hot Peppers

instead of pulling them off the bush. Also, be sure to wear rubber gloves when handling chiles and never
rub your eyes.

Why we like getting burned

The powerful compound capsaicin gives chiles their heat. A scale called the Scoville heat index rates the
burning power of various peppers. The bell pepper is rated at 0, cayenne boasts 35,000 heat units and the
Red Savina habanero hits the top of the chart at between 350,000 and 500,000 units. Why would anyone
want to put something that hot in their mouth? The answer is that the 'burn' signals the brain to release
endorphins, a natural opiate. Humans, dogs, chimpanzees, goats --even chickens-- grow to like this
pain/pleasure roller coaster. So next time you see a chicken munching on a habanero, don't think she's
cuckoo. She's just having some hot fun in the summertime.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Double Your Pleasure with Buddleia
Author:                Lynn Hunt
Size:                  1 pg.
Status:                final

I like to think that for every bad trick Mother Nature plays on us we are rewarded with something good. It's
true we have to put up with pests like Japanese beetles for several weeks during the summer, but at the
same time we get butterflies. Not a bad trade-off. Especially when you consider we also get to enjoy the
pleasures of the spectacular plants that attract the bright little jewels, such as the graceful, colorful

Buddleia davidi is probably the most familiar and widely grown of the “butterfly bushes.” With it’s long,
arching branches and densely packed clusters of fragrant flowers, this buddleia is an excellent choice for
the mixed border or mass plantings. Impatient gardeners should note that butterfly bushes are late starters.
The velvety gray-green leaves don't appear until after most other shrubs have leafed out, and the parade of
blooms may not start until summer. However the show is definitely worth the wait. In fact, once buddleia
gets going, it can grow up to eight feet tall in one season and will bloom until frost.

Buddleia was named to honor an English clergyman, Adam Buddle, who studied and wrote about mosses
and grasses. Pere David, a French missionary, was the first Westerner to discover the plant in the
highlands of west and central China. Seeds sent to the Kew Gardens in England in 1896 eventually
produced shrubs that became the rage among British gardeners. In its native land buddleia is known as
summer lilac. Legends hold that thickets of the vigorous shrub with the eye-catching flower spikes once
provided shelter for wild leopards.

Here, buddleias are havens for butterflies. About 700 species of butterflies currently exist in North America,
however only 63 are common. Sadly, urban sprawl and increasing use of pesticides are pushing many
butterflies to the brink of extinction. Tall shrubs like buddleia can double as windscreens and safe areas
where butterflies can roost. You may see brilliantly marked males perched on branches watching for an
attractive female to flit by.

In addition to offering a safe haven for butterflies, buddleias provide the flower nectar that is their main
source of food. In fact, buddleia is by far the most popular butterfly snack bar. They will choose its nectar in
preference to any other plant. Butterfly bushes are also a favorite of hummingbirds, particularly the ruby-
throated variety.

Along with planting buddleia, you can do a few other things to help butterflies thrive in your garden. For
example, they must warm their wings before they can fly and perform best when their body temperature is
between 85 and 100 degrees. Adding flat stones to a sunny area near the buddleias will give them a place
to land and bask. Although you may often see butterflies at the birdbath, they prefer drinking from dirty
puddles -- something in the mud restores vital nutrients. If you don’t want to allow a mud puddle to form in
your garden, set out a shallow saucer filled with dirt and keep it wet.

Now that you know how important buddleia is to butterflies, you'll want to make sure your plants remain as
healthy as possible. The butterfly bush grows in Zones 5 - 10 and will do well in most any locale from the
city to the seaside. In areas where winters are severe, the shrub may be killed to the ground, however, it
will grow back from the roots in spring. In milder climates, the plants can either be cut back to the ground to
encourage more flowering or allowed to form a woody shrub. A good rule of thumb is to prune when the
daffodils are in bloom.

Buddleia prefers full sun and well-drained soil that has been enriched with peat moss or compost. When
blooms start to fade, deadhead to promote more flowering. Keep an eye out for the buddleiaís major pest

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**CONTINUED: Double Your Pleasure with Buddleia

problem—spider mites. Fertilize again in August to encourage a showy fall display. Then sit back and enjoy
the double treat of seeing beautiful spikes of buddleia blooms come alive with butterflies.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Keep Critters Out of the Garden
Author:                Lynn Hunt
Size:                  back cover
Status:                final

They may look innocent. They may even look cute. But when bunnies, deer, raccoons, dogs, and other
pests damage your plants, you may want to wring their furry necks. Of course there is no totally foolproof
way to keep animals out of the garden. Experts recommend erecting a six-foot tall fence trimmed at the
bottom with chicken wire that's firmly planted six inches into the ground. An electric fence is better yet. But
for those who don't want to go the fencing route, there are some natural ways to keep critters at bay.

Deer can defoliate a garden in one evening; however, deterring their destructive visits isn’t easy. One thing
is sure, deer don't like walking through thorny bushes. A hedge of Rugosa roses, holly or other prickly
plants may discourage them. Ask your Growise expert for a recommendation. You can also try using plants
that deer dislike, including buddleia, boxwood, peonies, pine and daffodils. As for repellents, the new
protein-based sprays have been quite successful. Wood ashes are another traditional remedy.

Every year those “wascally wabbits” chomp on my rose bushes, then stare at me defiantly as if challenging
me to do something about it. I’ve tried just about everything including dried blood, human hair and bone
meal without much success. Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening recommends powdered
phosphate rock, wood ashes and moth crystals. Small cages of chicken wire around young plants and hot
pepper spray (1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot sauce mixed with one gallon of water) have worked well
in my garden.

Raccoons love sweet corn but don’t like moth crystals or small bowls of ammonia spread between
cornrows. Dogs supposedly run from a tea made with water and cigar butts. Moles are offended by castor
oil and red pepper. Cats actually may be the best deterrent for moles. So how do you discourage kitty from
your flowers? Scatter citrus peels throughout your beds. Then cross your fingers and hope.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Go With Ground Covers
Author:                Carole McCray
Size:                  1 pg.
Status:                final

Looking for the answer as to what will grow where you have tried a lawn or what to plant on a shaded slope
too steep to mow? The solution is to go with ground covers to help solve common landscaping problems.
Ground covers can frame a flower garden, cover a bank, and even prevent soil erosion. Many ground
covers bear flowers, which are a lovely addition to a blanket of leaf foliage. They hug and hold the soil,
come in dozens of hardy varieties for deep shade to full sun in rich or poor soil. Fast to spread and fill in
quickly, ground covers are low maintenance and quite resistant to diseases and pests. With different
textures and shapes, ground covers present an attractive alternative for solving a landscaping problem and
can create interest where only a lawn now exists.

In Sun or Shade on Slopes

Purple winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei 'colorata') roots well, spreads rapidly to form dense 6" mat, and
this trailing vine is excellent for erosion control. Leaves turn burgundy in fall and winter. Zones 5-10.

Creeping lilyturf (Liriope spicata) bears pale lavender flower spikes on grassy, fountain-like foliage; it
reaches 12" high. Tolerates drought and most soils. Zones 4-10.

Most sandwort or Irish moss (Arenaria verna) resembles moss when not blooming. Tiny white flowers
appear above mat; shallow roots needs moist, well-drained soil. Zones 2-10.

In Full Sun

Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans) is an outstanding low grower planted as self-contained edging around
entryways or patios; prefers enriched, moist soil. In spring, lilac flower spikes rise to 4"; leaves turn
burgundy-bronze in the fall. Green Ajuga sends forth-blue spikes in spring. Zones 4-9.

Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) likes well-drained soil; plant phlox for vibrant carpets of pink, white violet,
or red flowers in early spring. This hardy spreader is excellent in front of a perennial border, planted on a
slope, or cascading over a wall. Zones 3-9.

Evergreen Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) grows to a foot tall with small white flower clusters and shiny,
dark green foliage; makes a handsome cover in small, well-drained areas. Along a walkway, my candytuft
blooms in the spring. Zones 3-9.

Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum) spreads its creeping stems quickly to set a hardy cover for a
large area with a sea of mini-white flowers in summer. Plant does best in well-drained soil, including
desert, mountain, or coastal regions; can reach to 24", and if it appears scraggly, cut back. Zones 2-10.

In Damp Shade

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) requires rich, moist, well-drained soil. Growth for beautiful, deep green,
kidney-shaped foliage, its blooms in spring are violet-brown hidden under glossy leaves. Listed as a
wildflower, too, it grows to 8" and can be dried and used as flavoring. Zones 4-10.

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**CONTINUED: Go With Ground Covers

Hay-Scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobular) is a fragrant cover with lavy leaflets that thrives in moist soil
high in peat or leaf mold. Our surrounding woods shade the ferns where they mature to 20" in a natural
setting. Zones 3-8.

Lungwort (Pulmonaria) with a height of 12" is good under shrubs or along a shaded path. Blue lungwort (P.
angustifolia) blooms in clusters of pink, trumpet-shaped flowers then changing to blue. Different cultivars
have white, yellow, and salmon flowers. Zones 3-8.

In Dry Shade

Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria) is one of my favorite old-fashioned, perfumed plants. Planted along a
walkway or under shrubs, its waxy, white bells weep gracefully. The sweet lily likes rich, well-drained soil.
Zones 2-8.

Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) has fragrant, spoke-like leaves, tiny, white flower clusters, and likes
acid soil. My plants form a lovely spring border about 8" high in a perennial garden. Zones 4-10.

Plantain Lily (Hosta) is a clump-forming, landscaping mainstay with heights from 8" to 2' and makes an
excellent border plant and complements shade-tolerant daylilies (Hemerocallis). Zones 3-9 for Hosta; 3-10
for Hemerocallis.

You might need salt-tolerant ground covers, like Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus) that requires full sun
and is zoned 3-9, or for full sun or partial shade, Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon) is hardy in zones 7-10. Moist,
poorly drained sites can be planted with Bleeding Heart (Dicentra) or Variegated Japanese Sweetflag
(Acorus gramineus), a good bog plant for zones 6-9.

Consult the Growise experts for additional information on planting and maintaining ground covers. Grow
the right ground cover, and your garden will not grow wrong.

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Garden Guide Issue:           Summer '99

Article Title:        Steeped in Tradition - An Herb Tea Garden
Author:               Carole McCray
Size:                 1 pg.
Status:               final

When summer temperatures reach a high note, I take a respite from garden chores and sip herbal iced tea
in the shade of an apple tree or on the sun porch. Refreshing summer teas and soothing winter brews are
easily made from fresh or dried herbs.

Herb plants have a connection to the past. When the British government taxed tea for export to the New
World, the colonists turned to herbs to make tea.

A Six-Step Plan

1. Choose a site—Locate your tea garden in a well-drained spot where it receives six to eight hours of full
sun. A site with a west, south, or southwestern exposure is idea.
2. Preparation—Rid the site of all weed and grass roots. Using a rototiller or spade, loosen the soil to a
depth of 12 inches, removing small stones, weeds, and other debris. Rake the area clean.
3. Know the soil—Herbs prefer soil with a pH factor between 7.0 and 7.5. A soil test kit will determine
soil's acidity or alkalinity. Test results will recommend how soil can be corrected.
4. Planting—Set out plants once danger of frost has passed. Avoid planting during the hottest part of the
day. Place plant in the hole with the top of the roots just below ground level. Add some bone meal, and
pack soil gently around the plant. Water well, and keep plants moist until they are well established.
5. Caring for your plants—Mulch in between herb plants with grass clippings, straw, or peat moss to retard
weeds. A light compost in the summer helps fertilize herbs and retain moisture. Over-fertilizing robs herbs
of their fragrance and flavor. Add compost in the fall; cover with straw to prevent winter heaving.
6. Using and harvesting—Pick fresh leaves and flowers to make tea; it encourages fuller plants. Pick
leaves frugally from young plants. Prune back established plants about half the amount of the current
season's growth for healthy plants.

To harvest herbs, choose a dry day before noontime when the sun is least intense so essential oils in the
leaves are not lost. Hang in bunches with blossoms end down to dry in a dark, dry, well-ventilated place.
When herbs feel crisp, strip leaves and flowers from stems. Fill glass jars with dried herbs, label, and store
in cool, dry cupboard.

Tea garden plants

MINT (Mentha) is a rapid spreader which needs contained. Peppermint and spearmint are refreshing
flavors; apple, orange, pineapple, and pennyroyal are other mint scents.

SCENTED GERANIUMS (Pelargonium) offer spicy, rose-scented, or fruit-like fragrant leaves. I move
these tender perennials in for winter and like the fresh or dried leaves mingled with "short tea."

LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) is a hardy perennial whose lemon-scented foliage and tiny white flowers
attract bees. It makes an invigorating tea and is said to soothe a cold.
BEE BALM, BERGAMOT (Monarda didyman) belongs to the mint family and produce pink, purple, or
scarlet flowers. Also, known as Oswego Tea, it grew rampant as a weed in Oswego Country, New York

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**CONTINUED: Grow a Perennial Herb Tea Garden

State. Colonists used it as a tea substitute. Its scent resembles that of the tiny, bitter, Italian bergamot

ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a tender perennial in northern regions where it winters indoors.
Rosemay's pungent, ginger-like scent gives tea a taste to savor alone, or sweeten with honey.

HYSSOP (Hyssopus officinalis) another member of the mints, has aromatic, licorice-scented leaves which
produce a bitter, minty tea. Summer through frost, it grows purple plumes.

SAGE (Salvia officinalis) has soft, gray-green leaves and spiky, lavender flowers. Sage's balsamic flavor
and cinnamon make a tasty tea.

Experiment. Combine different herbs for tea. Try orange or lemon peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves in
tea. Add herb flowers and leaves to "store tea." Some combinations are spice-scented geranium and
whole cloves; orange mint and orange peel; rosemary, sage, and lemon peel.

Visit your Growise Center to find perennial herb plants with your favorite fragrances and flavors for a tea
garden. Grow an herb tea garden, and you are linked to the past of patriots' protest and ingenuity, with
herbs steeped in teapots today.


Allow 1 teaspoon of dried herb or 1 tablespoon of fresh herb to 1 cup of water. Warm teapot by adding
boiling water; rinse pot and place herbs in teapot. Pour boiling water over the herbs. Steep in teapot for 5 to
10 minutes; tea steeped longer will have a bitter taste. For stronger flavor, add more herbs rather than
oversteeping the tea. Use only a china, glass, ceramic, enamel, or porcelain teapot for brewing herb
leaves and flowers. Metal interferes with quality and flavor of tea.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99

Article Title:         Tropicals-In Every Climate!
Author:                Nel Newman
Size:                  1 pg.
Status:                final

Tropical plants belong on every deck, patio, and sun porch. These fast growing, bold textured beauties set
a sunny mood that welcomes your guests to summer's outdoor lifestyle. Choose from these popular
favorites, or grow them all and make your deck a tropical paradise.

Green and grand: palm trees and fatsia japonica

Even where light is limited by trees or structures, use these glossy green leaves to brighten things up.
Parlors, sagos, and other popular palms grow slowly, so buy a big one to be the centerpiece of your
collection. Grow these on the dry side, watering only when the top inch of soil feels dry to your touch.
Fertilize four times each year with a slow release formula. Fatsia japonica offers a profusion of avocado-
colored, maple-shaped leaves that swell to a foot across as they turn dark green. Fatsia drinks heavily, so
add more peat moss to its soil mix. You won’t have to water as often.

Sweet to smell: citrus and sweet olive

Grow these two small trees on a sunny warm patio and when they bloom, open the window and let the
fragrance drift indoors. Citrus, especially lemons and kumquats, adapt readily to container culture. Tip
prune each year as you make preparations for overwinters. Cut out branches that fail to bloom for two
years to new growth coming for future flowers. Sweet olive (Osmanthus fragrans) is an old fashioned
evergreen with perfumey flowers in cool weather. Whitefly can be a problem on both; use a light oil spray in
winter or an insecticidal soap with pyrethrin to control the population.

Tropic’s grand dames: hibiscus and ferns

With just these two plants, your deck positively screams, “Tropical holiday!” Shiny leaves and trumpet
shaped flowers cover hibiscus, and the popular treeform adds height to your container garden. Take
cuttings of hibiscus frequently to keep growth compact; root them in sand and compost. Boston Fluffy
Ruffle, or Fishtail, all our favorite ferns can look rough after a season or so; invigorate by cutting back. Trim
nearly all the top off, split the rootball in half, and score on four sides. Soak in fish emulsion before

Flowers and fruit: cannas and bananas

On a warm July evening, you'd swear you can hear these plants growing. Look for dwarf cannas for faster
flowers, but don’t miss larger ones, especially Tropicana, a bawdy babe with clown-striped leaves. If leaves
don't uncurl like they should, suspect canna leaf rollers and dust with diatomaceous earth or sevin dust.
Banana plants reach for the sky; give them a large pot in a big spot to grow. Water both these plants daily
in hot weather and fertilize at least once a month.

Vigorous vines: mandevilla and sweet potatoes
Vines deliver tropical texture with waxy leafed mandevilla and sharply serrated ornamental sweet potato,
Blackie. Mandevilla needs a trellis, and its bright pink flowers look great against redwood lath. Blackie, and
the chartreuse Marguerite, can spill down the wall from baskets or crawl over any open space. Both plants
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**CONTINUED: Container Plants: Tropicals

will benefit from a systemic insecticide at the first sign of trouble, as their appealing succulence can make
for fast growing insect infestations.

When autumn’s chill threatens the tender tropicals, make a nest for them in a sunny room, heated garage,
or utility room if you don't have a greenhouse. All it takes to keep them happy is temperatures above forty
degrees, and enough light to read a newspaper by. The more light and warmth you can provide above that,
the more water and fertilizer they'll need to support more active growth. If you want to add light, consider
putting a growlight bulb in a nearby lamp. Or add a two lamp florescent fixture, one a cool white type, the
other a daylight spectrum. For additional heat, you can use bales of hay around a cluster of pots, small
electric heaters, or incandescent lights. Put a thermometer among your plants.

Pick a pot that suits your style

Clay pots: great to look at, best to use if you like to water frequently.
Plastic pots: durable and colorful, use these if you're likely to forget watering for several days each week.
Reservoir pots: add water to reservoir only as needed, great for travelers.

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Garden Guide Issue:           Summer '99

Article Title:        Landscaping With Garden Rooms
Author:               Nel Newman
Size:                 1 pg.
Status:               final

When someone first says “garden room” to you, what comes to mind? If you’re like me, it’s an English
garden where hedges surround a patio and often obscure the view. But that’s simple American prejudice
talking: a variety of garden rooms readily find their place in our gardens from coast to coast.

Garden room: an area defined by plants or hardscape separated from the house and other parts of the
garden but connected to it in some way. This last is most important: if the “room” stands alone, it’s
something else.

The effect of a garden room is dynamic: when a small back yard includes a secluded nook, the whole place
seems larger. To take a large space and plant a series of rooms brings intimacy to the landscape. Irony or
magic, both are true.

Great designs, pictures, and plans can help you create garden rooms, but they all come down to three
basic ideas: the enclosed space, the walls around it, and the way back to the house. You can begin with
any of the three elements, but stay aware of the view to be concealed or revealed and adjust them to
please your eye. Follow the natural path that flows from your backdoor out to the area where the kids
swingset used to be. Stand there and look back at the house, then lay out a circular flowerbed with a three
foot gap on one side as an entrance. Plant the bed like a border that faces the inside of the circle: tall
evergreen plants fronted by perennials and a strip of short annuals. Add a bench, sit down, and relax.

Say the neighbors build a nice, big addition, and the solid wall makes a lousy view. Use that wall as the
bottom of a U-shaped completed by lattice trellises or bamboo baffles. Then, finish the room with an arch
flanked by short shrubs. A blank wall becomes an intimate garden room framed by its walls and arch.

Some of the nicest garden rooms happen by serendipity: a grove of trees in the sideyard becomes hard to
mow, so you plant beds all around beneath them. Or the shady place behind the garage is the coolest in
summer, so the glider goes there, and the path to the clothesline is nearby, so you make a bed alongside
it. Soon a garden room evolves from the space already nearly enclosed by happenstance.

If nothing in your garden inspires you to say, “That's where the garden room goes,” don’t fret. Draw a line in
the grass and build around it. A good place to begin is one-third the distance from your back door to the
rear property line and one-third its length. Plant an oval hedgerow and put a gate in the center facing the
house. Choose plants that can tolerate annual pruning to keep them thick, and buy the largest specimens
you can. As you plant the room, its concealed view becomes a destination reached through the gate.

Like potato chips, a single garden room often leads to another. Your garden rooms can empty into one
another, or open onto a path that winds throughout the property. Use hedges, walls, baffles, even tree
alleys to separate the lawn into places to sit, eat, swing, entertain, or grow theme gardens. Imagine
rounding the corner of a hedgerow at dusk to see a collection of plants with white flowers glowing. Or
stepping through a low gate into a cutting garden, its summer flowers begging for a vase.

If laying out the whole yard seems too large a project, start small by adapting the existing space. To a patio
or deck, add an overhead arbor that creates intimately shaded space all summer. Where a blank wall
dominates, build a pergola in front of it surrounded by evergreens. Add a seating area and enjoy the quiet
oasis within the dense branches.

Garden rooms enhance the indoor-outdoor relationship that flows between your house and garden. The
view from the window looking out is as important as the framed view you see from the glider looking in.
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**CONTINUED: Garden Rooms

By dividing that view into garden rooms, you make more to look at, more places to garden, and more
reason to go out and see what’s behind the garden wall.

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Garden Guide Issue:            Summer '99 CANADA

Article Title:         Flowers Forever
Author:                Gerry Oliver
Size:                  1 pg.
Status:                final

During the summer months, we relish the bright colors of blooming flowers and shrubs. It is a wonderful
time of year! When fall and winter arrive, however, we often resort to something artificial to fill the void.
With some advance planning, we can enjoy those shapes and colors of summer all year long, with easy-to-
grow everlastings and dried flowers. Everlastings are flowers that when dried, retain their shape and color,
often for several years.

Both annuals and perennials are grown for everlasting arrangements. Some of the most popular include:
acrolinium; Bells of Ireland; cockscomb; Cupid's dart; sea holly (Eryngium); globe amaranth (Gomphrena);
Immortelle (Xeranthemum); pearl grass (Briza maxima); starflower (Scabiosa); statice; strawflower
(Helichrysum); teasel and everlasting seed can be purchased from mail-order seed companies, either in a
mix or as individual varieties. Many garden centers or greenhouses sell transplants in spring—check at
your nearest Growise Center.

Collecting and Drying the Flowers

The plant material should be collected just before the yellow center of the flower is visible. Make sure the
flowers are unblemished when picked. The best time is after the morning dew has lifted but before
the day gets hot! Remove some of the lower foliage.

There are three methods of drying flowers - air drying, with the use of desiccants, or in the microwave. For
air drying flowers, the room should be warm (above 50F/10C), well ventilated, dark as possible and dust
free. The drying time depends on the thickness of the stems and the number of plants being processed.

Hanging the plants to dry is an ancient technique and best for everlastings. Secure several stems with a
rubber band and hang them upside down. Tighten the bands as the stems dry. Stiff-stemmed flowers
can be dried upright: Cover the mouth of a 40-ounce juice can with a piece of chicken wire and, without
crowding, insert the stems through the holes.

 Silica gel is the desiccant most often used for flower drying. The flowers will hold their shape and have
better color, especially trumpet and bell-shaped flowers. Supplies needed include boxes with air-tight
lids (various shapes and sizes), floral wire (various sizes) and silica gel, which can be purchased in hobby
and craft shops.

The plants should be unblemished and just opening when harvested. First, wrap the stems with floral wire.
Place at least a one-inch thickness of silica gel in the bottom of the storage box and lay the stem on top.
The gel is carefully poured into and around the petals. At least one inch of gel is needed around each
flower head.

Plants that dry well in silica gel include: aster; bleeding heart; buttercup; Canterbury bells; carnation;
clematis, columbine; crocus; dahlia; daisy; delphinium; hollyhock; larkspur; lavender; Nigella; pansy;
peony; poppy; rose; tulip; veronica; violet; wildflower and zinnia.

The microwave is a great tool for drying plants. It retains the color and shape of the plants better than any
other method, and instead of having flowers drying for weeks at a time, they are ready to use in an hour.
There is a bit of experimentation required to figure out the exact drying time for each style of microwave
and the different types of plants.

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**CONTINUED: Flowers Forever

Pick only a few plants at a time as you have to dry them one by one. Put some silica gel in a microwavable
container, to a depth of two inches, and heat for one minute on high power. Place the flower or leaf
on the gel and cover it gently with more silica gel. Place in the microwave for one minute, on high power.
Remove the container and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. Check to see if the flower is dry, and if
not, return it to the microwave for a second time. Repeat the procedure.

To store dried flowers, wrap small bundles of the plants in tissue or newspaper and carefully store in
boxes. A small packet of silica gel in the box will absorb any moisture that gets in. The best place to store
them is in a warm, dry room, with good air exchange; however, avoid placing the boxes near a heat source.
With proper storage, the flowers will look as good as the day they were gathered in that sunny, warm,
summer garden not that long ago.

words -- 720

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Garden Guide Issue:               Summer '99

Article Title:           Ear to the Ground
Author:                  Susan Bartow
Size:                    1 pg.
Status:                  final

   The heat of summer. The hot days of summer are here, and time in your garden is crucial. All over North
America it is important to be sure your plants and shrubs have the proper soil, get enough water, and are not crowded
by unwanted weeds. Take some time this summer for lawn and garden maintenance. You‟ll find the work is well
worth it.

Summer is also the perfect time to add new plants to your garden. Stop by your local Growise Center today, and see
what new perennials and annuals they‟re offering this year.

Herb gardening. Planting herbs in your garden is getting more and more popular. At Renck’s Landscaping and
Garden Center in Hamilton, Ohio, they have expanded their line of herbs this year. According to Joyce Renck,
“Herbs are easy to grow and their beauty and fragrance add so much to the garden. The flowers and foliage release
their perfume all season long. It‟s often hard to resist touching them while walking through your garden.”

In addition to their beauty and fragrance in the garden, herbs can be used in a variety of ways: to flavor meat, tea, or
bread, as fragrance in bouquets, and for medicinal value. “They can be cut all summer while they are at their peak
flavor,” says Joyce. “Then as fall approaches, you can harvest your plants for winter use. Store dried herbs in tight
jars, out of the light, or freeze them in plastic bags.”

Garden art. “There is a trend among many of our customers to collect decorative items to add to their gardens.
Items such as Victorian gazing balls, sundials, statuary, plaques, designer pots, garden stakes, and other outdoor
accents are being used to add interest to a dull corner or area”, reports Joyce. “Adding a plaque or wall pocket planter
can jazz up a fence or create a welcome near a patio door. These accessories can be whimsical or a classic design to
fit into any garden setting.”

Watering your landscape. Joyce recommends that you test your soil for moisture, and water all your plants
accordingly. All plants in your landscape need at least 1” of water per week. “A simple way to test the soil is to dig
down 6”; if the soil is dry, it‟s time to water. Be sure to let water soak into the soil with slow steady watering for one
or two hours.” This ensures moisture gets to the root systems of your plants. Joyce also suggests using a good layer
of mulch to help retain the moisture in your landscape and gardens.

New shrubs this summer. Joyce highly recommends two new shrubs this year at Renck‟s Landscaping and Garden
Center: „Pink Diamond‟ Hydrangea and „Wine and Roses‟ Weigela. “Both are outstanding flowering shrubs that will
knock your socks off,” reports Joyce. The „Pink Diamond‟ Hydrangea has large pink flowers that are good for
cutting. And, the „Wine and Roses‟ Weigela has rosy pink flowers with dark burgundy foliage.

Think trees. In Central Point, Oregon, Tim Elbert, Owner of Four Seasons Nursery, suggests that his customers
think about planting trees in their landscape. This year he recommends the Crimson Spire Oak and the Pacific Sunset
Maple. “The Crimson Spire Oak is a tear-drop shaped tree that grows about 40‟ tall. Its excellent red fall color makes
it a beautiful choice for a street planting, or to accent the corner of your house. The Pacific Sunset Maple is very
hardy, and is draught resistant. It sports beautiful red, orange, and yellow fall colors, and grows to about 30‟ tall. It is
a fast growing tree which is good for front yards, near streets, and sidewalks.”

Three summer stages. Tim recommends that his customers break the summer into three stages. For early summer
he suggests focusing on lawn fertilizing with slow release nitrogen, planting shrubs, and pruning spring flowering
shrubs as needed. For mid-summer Tim suggests planting shade trees in areas that will benefit you the most. “Shade
trees are a great addition to kid play areas, near driveways, and outside windows.” In late summer, Tim recommends
his customers start planning and preparing for fall vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

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**CONTINUED: Ear to the Ground

Hydroponic gardening. According to Tim, Hydroponic vegetable and flower growing is becoming increasingly
popular. “It‟s an excellent choice for areas where water is in low supply. These units recirculate the nutrient
solutions and require changing only once per month. I recommend this option for gardeners with little space. They
are available in many sizes and easily fit on decks or patios. Hydroponic gardening is also a great way for the
disabled or elderly to garden. There is no need for watering or weeding, or other such upkeep.”

Remember, your Growise Center has all the expertise to help you plan and implement the best possible lawn and
garden given your particular needs.

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                                        Author Blurbs

Lynn Hunt:

      Lynn Hunt, whose obsession is roses, writes and gardens overlooking Fishing Creek on the
      Eastern Shore of Maryland.


      Lynn Hunt writes for newspapers, magazines and television when not tending to her rose
      garden in Woolford, Maryland.

Carole McCray:

      Carole McCray lives and gardens in the scenic Laurel Highlands of Southwestern

Nel Newman:

      Nel Newman is a garden writer, horticulturist, and radio talk show host in Jackson,

Ruth Foster

      Ruth S. Foster is a certified arborist and a professional landscape consultant in

Sara Pitzer:

      Sara Pitzer lives, writes and gardens in a small farming community in the Piedmont area of
      North Carolina.

Gerry Oliver

      Gerry Oliver is a commercial grower and gardening columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press.

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