Looking forward to 2015 Garden Trends

As all of the din, excitement and exhaustion from Christmas winds down (though technically there are still several of the 12 days of Christmas left to go), we turn our attention to the next year. As the old Welsh Christmas/Yule/New Year carol exclaims, “fast away the old year passes … hail the new, ye lads and lasses!” Of course, the end of the year means … Continue reading Looking forward to 2015 Garden Trends

Onions deserve a little respect

Let’s face it: When it comes to crops for the vegetable garden, onions are one of the least sexy things you can grow. Garlic, it seems, is the most vivacious and interesting member of the allium family. Nobody gets excited about the lowly onion like they do their heirloom tomatoes or half-runner beans. There aren’t boards on Pinterest dedicated to favorite onion recipes or pretty … Continue reading Onions deserve a little respect

Extending the garden season

Even though the temperature may be quickly dropping, even as the fall colors illuminate the mountains, and even as chrysanthemums pop up on front porches and in gardens, there’s still plenty of life left in the vegetable. To keep your garden growing into the fall and winter, just remember that you need to use protection. Using season extension techniques, it can be possible to add … Continue reading Extending the garden season

Tropical oasis created in W.Va.

About a month or so ago, I took a call from a guy named Johnny Carter, wanting me to come see his garden. He insisted that his backyard garden would be interesting enough to feature in my newspaper column. With some doubts, I promised that we would connect in late August, when my schedule was less hectic and his garden was “at its peak.” Of … Continue reading Tropical oasis created in W.Va.

Keep garden fertility in balance

Here in the middle of the growing season, most plants have been chugging along long enough to show wear and tear and the ravages of their advanced ages. Bug holes are worn like badges of honor in the fight against invading pests. Leaf spots show evidence of continued battles with persistent fungi and bacteria. At this point in the season, lots of calls start coming … Continue reading Keep garden fertility in balance

Plan ahead to preserve the harvest

Eating fresh produce from the garden is truly one of the pleasures of the season. Fresh salads, tomatoes, peppers and onions highlight the summer table. I can still remember the first big Sunday dinner of the summer at my grandparents’ house — a table full of nothing but corn on the cob, green beans cooked with new potatoes (with, of course, some form of pork), … Continue reading Plan ahead to preserve the harvest

Container gardening brightens small spaces

If you take a look around any garden center the week leading up to Mother’s Day, you’ll see lots of flowers and plants flying off the shelves in preparation to be given as gifts to dear old Mom. Roses are a common gift, but so are container plants and hanging baskets. Container gardening is more popular than ever, thanks in part to recent garden trends … Continue reading Container gardening brightens small spaces

Composting turns trash into garden treasure

You’ve heard me extoll the virtues of composting before. It is, afterall, a win-win situation; you reduce the amount of waste going from your kitchen and garden into the landfill and you get a wonderful soil amendment in the process. It is the gardener’s equivalent of Jed Clampett’s black gold – but while it is valuable in the garden, it won’t get you a Beverly … Continue reading Composting turns trash into garden treasure

Sometimes its OK to play with your food

Gardeners tend to see the world around them in two different ways, either as a landscape or as a practical/utilitarian food-producing spot. Some gardeners only enjoy landscape gardening, growing roses, shrubs and perennials that provide beauty. Other gardeners only grow vegetables and fruit, seeing produce as the ultimate goal of gardening. Even those gardeners who do both still treat their landscape and food gardens discretely, … Continue reading Sometimes its OK to play with your food

Homemade Beverage Production is Growing

One of the hottest new trends in gardening is beverage gardens. This trend includes options for the health-conscious (growing your own teas and ingredients for juices and smoothies), the DIY crowd (growing ingredients for homemade sodas) and those who enjoy an intoxicating beverage or three (ingredients to brew or flavor homemade alcoholic beverages). There are lots of things you can grow to drink instead of … Continue reading Homemade Beverage Production is Growing