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Arts & Leisure / The Whistling Gardener

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Gardening myths and old wives' tales

I have been employed on and off in the horticultural industry since I was 14 (which is an incredible 56 years ago) and during that time I think I have heard just about every conceivable crazy idea...

 

Focus on the garden, not the weather

April is a tortuous month for me. While it is clear that spring has arrived in the garden, the weather still feels like winter with only an occasional sunny day here and there to try and cram in all t...

 

Organic gardening for the beginner

Lets flashback to the late 60’s and early 70’s… I was so heavy into the organic gardening movement that I tried to convince my wife to name our first born either Mulch for a boy or Compostina...

 

Some interesting facts about dirt

The world has changed from when I was a child. Today, it seems like we are obsessed with cleanliness. Nobody wants to get their hands dirty. Nitrile gloves and hand sanitizers are standard fare...

 

Tree Frogs - Yet another sign of spring

After having so much fun last week talking about Robins, I thought, let’s explore tree frogs. After all, what could go wrong? Turns out there are a lot of interesting facts about these amphibians....

 

There are many signs of spring

One of the many signs of spring, besides the annoying ritual of "springing ahead" with our clocks, is the return of flocks of American robins. While I saw a couple of pairs back in February, it was ju...

 

Getting back into the swing of things

Winter is over as far as I am concerned. I mowed my lawn this week for the first time, and for me, that makes it official. I am totally psyched to get back in the swing of things, especially since Jan...

 

How plants go through 'change of life'

Considering that it is still pretty darn cold out there, I thought it might be interesting to digress a bit and talk about how some plants go through the "change of life" as they grow up into adult pl...

 

How do plants survive freezes?

This recent spate of freezing temperatures has got me thinking about how some plants in my garden seem to be unfazed while others turn to mush. I find it fascinating that the flowers on my witch...

 

More things to do in February

Considering all the rain that we have received lately, it is probably safe to assume that most of us have not completed the tasks I wrote about last week. I managed to hoe out some of my shot weed...

 

February To-Do List for gardeners

Okay folks, it's time to get serious about gardening again. Like I mentioned last time, it feels to me like we are going to have an early spring (unless it continues to rain like crazy and it stays...

 

This is your last chance to goof off

Like last week, I am giving you permission to lay low and take it easy for the rest of this month, but watch out! Based on what is happening in my garden, I am going to predict that we will have an...

 

What's happening at the garden center

January is typically a slow month in the garden and since I don’t have a long list of chores for you to accomplish this month I thought it might be enlightening to share a little information on...

 

Houseplants are all the rage (again)

Houseplants are all the rage (again). That's right, back in the late 60's and early 70's everyone was decorating their homes and apartments with all sorts of foliage plants and even making macramé...

 

What are your plans for the new year?

A new gardening season is upon us and with it comes an opportunity to review what worked and what failed in our gardens in 2017. More importantly, now is our chance to dream big and make plans for an...

 

What every gardener wants for Christmas

You've seen the ads this time of year, every car dealer is running them nonstop. You can't escape them. It's the one where it's Christmas morning and out in the driveway is a brand new car with a gian...

 

The December To-Do List for gardeners

I always feel bad sending out a list of chores this month. Somehow it feels like we should be taking this month off and for the most part we probably can, but just in case you didn’t finish the tasks you should have accomplished in November, here...

 

Buying a 'real' Christmas tree is a natural choice

As gardeners, the concept of “going natural” is nothing new. Whatever our reasons, whenever practical we tend to shy away from synthetics and instead choose products that are natural. In the case...

 

Evergreen perennials for winter interest

Two weeks ago I shared with you several shrubs that caught my eye as candidates for livening up the garden for winter and at that time I promised to follow up with a column on evergreen perennials tha...

 

Giving thanks for the garden

I think that if you asked any gardener what it was about gardening that they were the most thankful for, the overwhelming response would be the pleasure they receive from spending time in their garden...

 

Keeping the garden interesting in the winter

As the last of the fall color fades and our perennials melt to the ground, one would think that about all we would have to look forward to would be a bunch of sticks and dull evergreens. In reality,...

 

The November To-Do List

Before I bombard you with an endless list of chores for this month I want to make sure you take the time to appreciate this fall. It has been one of the finest I can remember. We can thank the warm...

 

Fall is a magical time in the garden

As we move into the holidays I am keenly aware that it gets harder and harder for me to motivate you to play in the garden. I get it. You have been moving hoses around all summer, mowing the lawn ever...

 

Fall is just another blooming season

There are lots of reasons why we are drawn to different plants. Most often it is because we like their flowers. We purposefully design our gardens to allow us to incorporate as many different colors...

 

So, how do I prune my hydrangea?

Pruning blooming shrubs shouldn't be complicated! Generally speaking, if they bloom early in the spring before new foliage appears, we should prune them right after they finish blooming so they have...

 

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