Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

How? With April Garden Tips from the New York Botanical Garden, of course!
Daffodil Hill at the New York Botanical Garden
You will notice the link takes you to gardening tips for May. This is not an error; it is a function of the differing geographic climates of these United States. As the NYBG tells us,
These gardening tips are applicable for the southeastern New York region - USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6a and 6b ... If you live in a more southerly plant hardiness zone, you can start gardening earlier in the season ...
We opined on the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones here, but the short of it is that we are in a 'more southerly plant hardiness zone,' generally zones 7-8 depending on your location. Hence, April in Virginia and North Carolina will approximate May in New York. So, feel free to use these helpful garden tips with indiscrete abandon - if that is your wont.

And while you're on their site, check out some of the NYBG landscape photos. Here are just a few of their 50(!) marvelous collections of flowers and gardens:
Daylilly Walk
Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden

Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden

Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pest Control

I don't know about you, but around my place it's like an alarm clock has gone off. Seemingly in one morning, everything started moving. Most of it's good - flowers, buds, leaves, birds, cicadas - and some of it's just irritating - weeds here and there.

But then there are the pests. They seem to have proliferated like rabbits, without the cute. Here is a graphic of some common garden pests:
Nice, huh? Fortunately, Fine Gardening has an epic article identifying some 12 primary pests and nuisances and how to control them (actually, 11 primary pests and 1 paean to the ant). It ranges from raccoons to the usual suspects, mosquitoes, and includes molds and fungus gnats as well.

The article is in the form of a slide show, so be sure to click the 'read more' links for all the details. At this time of year, it is well worth your time to get up to speed on dealing with these seasonal persecutors.
This is not a pest, it is a pest of pests, the common Yellow Garden Spider.
Be gentle with this one and it will eat some of your problems right up.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Arbor Day Anon! - and Other Matters

Of all the wonders of nature, a tree in summer is perhaps the most remarkable; with the possible exception of a moose singing "Embraceable You" in spats.

~Woody Allen
And the best way to insure you have a tree in summer is to plant one. How to insure your moose will sing is another question altogether.

Which is to bring to your attention that today, somewhere, it's probably Arbor Day. Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1872 at the urging of one J. Sterling Morton, but soon thereafter the concept of a special day to celebrate the planting of trees swept the country. It is observed on different days in different states, roughly coinciding with the optimum times to plant a tree in our climatologically diverse country. If you live in Florida or Louisiana, then you've missed it; they both celebrated the A-Day in January. So too for all of us with National Arbor Day, which came and went on March 29th.

But in Virginia and North Carolina, Arbor Day is coming up, on the 12th and 26th of this month respectively. This is right in our neighborhood and leaves us plenty of time to get moving.

As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is now. So get planting. Perhaps a yard full of trees bursting in springtime will be just the thing that gets your moose to sing.
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