Spring Garden Tips
Sifting Through Garden Catalogs

Your mailbox and dining room table are overflowing with catalogs filled with pictures of beautiful flowers and scrumptious vegetables. With so many choices it can be a bit overwhelming – I can help.

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Garden CatalogsStart by flipping through the pages of various catalogs to gather ideas and inspiration. Narrow down your search by selecting plants suited to your climate and growing conditions. Quality catalogs will list the cold hardiness zone of trees, shrubs and perennials. Hardiness zones are based on the average minimum winter temperature. The lower the number the more cold tolerant the plant.

Some catalogs include heat hardiness as well. This number is based on the average number of days where temps are 86 degrees or warmer. These are the temperatures where some plants can stop blooming or suffer damage.

Read the plant description and select plants that match the light, soil and moisture in your garden. Look for disease resistant and low maintenance varieties whenever possible.

A bit more information: Look for award winning plants when reviewing the catalogs. The All America Selections Winners (AAS) are good choices for home gardeners. These plants are evaluated in test gardens across the country. Winners are selected on the basis of improved growth habit, flowering, pest resistance or some unique feature suited for the home garden.

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2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

Add season long interest to your garden with the 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year.

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2012 All-America Selection Winners

As the year winds down, it’s time to start thinking about next year’s garden. Consider adding a few of the All-America Selections Winners to your garden.

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2013 All-America Selections Vegetable Winners

Add flavor and variety to this year’s vegetable garden with the 2013 All-America Selections (AAS) Winners.

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2014 All-America Selections (AAS) Flower Winners

As you plan your gardens for 2014, be sure to include a few or all of the All-America Selection Flower Winners. They are tested throughout the U.S. and Canada and selected for their unique qualities and suitability for the home garden.

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2014 All-America Selections (AAS) Vegetable Winners

As you scour this year's catalogues be sure to watch for the 2014 All-America Selections Vegetable Winners.

Listen to... 2014 All-American...Vegetable

2015 AAS National Pepper Winners

Add a bit of heat, color and sweet flavor to your garden and meals with a few of the 2015 All-America Selections National pepper winners. These plants were selected for their unique flavor, improved productivity or ornamental appeal.

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2015 All-America Selections Squash Winners

Nutritious, tasty and of course prolific are three words that describe zucchini. Add a pretty twist to your garden with Bossa squash and other 2015 All-America Selections vegetable winners.

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2016 AAS Tomato Winners

Add a little zip, flare and fun to your meals with the 2016 All-America Selections tomato winners.

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2016 All-America Selections Winner: Strawberry Delizz

Whether gardening on a balcony or large suburban lot, you can enjoy the sweet flavor of homegrown Delizz strawberries.

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2016 Urban Tree of the Year - Musashino Zelkova

Looking for a tree to fill a narrow space in the landscape or provide needed screening? Consider the 2016 Urban Tree of the Year, Musashino zelkova.

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A Fall Beauty - Witchhazel

Witchhazel has long been used as a soothing rub for aching muscles, itchy bug bites and scrapes. This wonder compound is derived from the Witchhazel plant and can still be found in your local drugstore.

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A Few of the AAS Vegetable Winners

The catalogues are pouring in and many of us have started our list of new and favorite vegetables we want to add to our gardens. Consider growing a few of the 2015 All-America Selections winners.

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A Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

You can have a beautiful garden and still have time to relax and enjoy it.

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A Multi-Season Beauty - The Fringetree

Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus).

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A Prince in the Garden (Prince Charming Solomon's Seal)

Add beauty and a bit of fragrance to the shady spots in your landscape with Prince Charming Solomon’s seal.

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Add Color and Seasonal Beauty to Shrub Beds and Berms

Mix things up and add a bit of sparkle to your landscape this season.

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Add Fragrant Shrubs and Vines to the Landscape

When considering fragrance in the garden, roses, peonies, and phlox are some of the first plants that come to mind. Don't limit yourself, look for flowering trees, shrubs and vines that can liven up the landscape with their fragrance.

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Add Homes for the Birds to Your Landscape

Take a walk through your landscape and evaluate your plants for their year round beauty and habitat for the birds. The second week in February is “National Homes for the Birds” week and a great time to look for ways to provide food, shelter and water for our feathered friends.

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Add Pockets of Color in your Landscape

Now is a great time to plan for added color in your landscape.

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Add Spring Fragrance with Carolina Allspice

Add some fragrance to your spring garden with Carolina allspice (Calycanthus florida).

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All-Amerca Selections Winners are Good Plants for the Garden

All-America Selections has been helping gardeners grow award winning flowers and vegetables since 1932. This non-profit organization trials and evaluates plants for outstanding qualities suitable for the home garden.

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All-America Selection Vegetable Winners Add Flavor, Color and Texture to Gardens and Containers

Add color, texture and flavor to your edible and ornamental gardens with a few of the 2017 National All-America Selections winners.

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All-America Selections Flower Winners

Add some color to the garden with the 2015 All-American Selections flower winners.

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Amber Jubilee Ninebark

Looking for outstanding color and durability in your landscape? Consider adding one or more Amber Jubilee® ninebarks.

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Attractive Year Round Screening

How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor's house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.

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Big Tree - Giant Sequoia, the Earth's Most Massive Tree

Let's celebrate the beauty and majesty of trees. Each month I'll focus on a different Big Tree featured in the Davey Tree Expert Company's 2017 Calendar.

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Blueberries - National Blueberry Month

Celebrate National Blueberry month this July by planting a few of these ornamental and edible plants in your landscape.

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Budget Gardening

Walking into a garden center filled with beautiful new varieties of plants is a temptation many gardeners succumb to. You can include some of the cool new plants in your landscape even when your plant budget is limited or you are trying to make it go further.

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Cable and Bracing Damaged Trees

Can my tree be saved? I am often asked this question when a homeowner discusses a crack in a large branch or trunk of their tree. Some can be saved and the hazard minimized with the help of cables and braces.

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Camouflage Your Air Conditioner

Don’t let your air conditioner break the family budget or be an eye sore in your backyard. Try one of these affordable solutions to improve the view and keep your air conditioner running smoothly.

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Cankers (Sunken Discolored Areas) on Trees

The answer to your tree problem may lie just below the surface, of the bark that is.

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Caring for Bare Root Plants

You decided to save money or perhaps try something new and ordered bare root plants from a catalog or through the internet. Now you are wondering what to do with them once they arrive.

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Caring for Bare-Root Plants

So what do you do when those bare root perennials, shrubs, roses, or fruit plants you ordered arrive before you and your garden are ready or the weather is suitable for planting? Don’t despair you can preserve your investment with minimal effort.

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Celebrate Arbor Day

Celebrate Arbor Day by planting new trees or caring for your established ones in your landscape and community.

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Celebrate Arbor Day with a Walk Around the Block

Trees are an important part of the environment. They clean the air, reduce storm water run-off, cool our homes and shelter us from the wind and sun. Take time today to celebrate the trees in your neighborhood.

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Cilantro

Add some flavor and potassium to your family meals with a bit of homegrown cilantro.

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Containing Aggressive Plants

Mint, beebalm, and purple coneflower are garden favorites that often get out of hand. Tame these and other garden bullies with a few planting and maintenance strategies.

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Create a Collage from Old Catalogs and Garden Memorabilia

Don’t let outdated garden catalogs and magazines go to waste. Give them a second life by creating a colorful collage.

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Create a Seed Starting/Growing Chart

Get a jump on the growing season and save money by creating a growing chart.

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Create Planting Beds to Save Time and Your Trees

Reduce maintenance and improve your plants’ health by creating large planting beds around trees and shrubs.

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Deadheading Flowers for Maximum Beauty

Keep your flowers blooming longer and your garden tidier with a bit of deadheading.

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Deadheading Leggy Annuals and Perennials

Add new life to your summer landscape with a bit of deadheading, pinching and planting.

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Dealing with Floppy Perennials

Avoid floppy perennials and eliminate the need for staking with proper selection and care.

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Dealing with Small Seeds

Carrots, lettuce, begonia and other small seeds can be difficult to plant at the proper spacing. Reduce wasting seeds and time spent thinning seedlings.

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Dealing with Surface Roots

Avoid dulling your mower blades and more importantly damaging your trees by creatively dealing with the surface roots.

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Design Strategies for a Low Maintenance Landscape

A thoughtful plan or a few changes in your current design can help reduce your workload and improve the beauty of your landscape.

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Design with Maintenance in Mind

Reduce your maintenance and increase the beauty of your perennial garden with proper design.

Plants are dynamic, always growing and changing requiring some care. But a good design can help minimize maintenance while creating a beautiful garden you'll enjoy for years to come.

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Diagnosing Tree Problems

We've all seen seemingly healthy trees fail. Once the tree is removed, a hollow center reveals the cause of this tree failure.

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Dig, Divide and Mulitply Perennials

Overcrowded, poor flowering and floppy perennials can be invigorated with a shovel and a bit of your time and energy.

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Dividing Spring and Summer Blooming Perennials

Late summer through early fall is a great time to dig and divide overgrown spring and summer blooming perennials.

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DIY Tree Watering Device

Be sure to keep your most expensive living landscape investment thriving for years to come. Properly water and mulch your trees for their health and longevity.

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Don't Move Firewood

Cooler air and the crackle of burning wood mean fall for many. But don’t destroy the forest by moving firewood. Instead use wood from local sources.

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Don't Top That Tree

Stop – don’t top that tree. Instead, make sure it is properly pruned for years of health, beauty, and enjoyment in your landscape.

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Drought Care for Trees

Don’t forget the trees, even old established ones, when extended dry periods and droughts move in.

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Eco-friendly Perennial Garden Weed Control

So it seems your perennial garden is filled with more weeds than flowers. Now is a great time to reclaim your garden by getting the weeds under control.

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Eliminate Floppy Perennials

Flopping perennials can ruin the beauty and enjoyment of your garden. Take note and prevent future problems with a bit of proactive care.

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Fall Care for Perennials - Let Them Stand

Let ‘em stand for winter - perennials that is - for a healthier more floriferous garden next year.

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Fall Color: How Leaves Change Color in Fall

The brilliant fall color in our landscapes is a magical transformation that happens each year. And the science behind it all is just as intriguing.

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Fall Flowers on Forsythia and Other Spring Bloomers

A forsythia bloom in fall? It’s not as unusual as you think.

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Fall Webworm

As you drive through your community in late summer or fall you may spot webby nests in the branches of apple, ash, birch, cherry, sycamore, walnut and willow. These are the home of the North American native fall webworm.

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Faster Results with Trees and Shrubs

It's hard to imagine and even harder to wait for that stick of a tree or small potted shrub to grow into a much larger and beautiful addition to the landscape. But we can help speed up the process.

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Forever Pink Phlox

Add color to your late spring garden with Forever Pink Phlox.

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Garden Apps - National Garden Bureau

Paging through garden catalogs, looking at new varieties and old favorites while dreaming of the season ahead is a long-standing tradition with gardeners. And all the new garden planning websites and apps can help us turn these beautiful visions into reality.

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Garden Journal

Make this the year you finally start and keep a gardening journal. Keeping records of your successes, failures, pest problems and weather will help you grow a healthy, beautiful and productive garden in a more eco-friendly manner.

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Garden Planning: Frost Dates and Frost-Free Growing Days

Grab the calendar, your garden plans and take a look at your area’s climate history before you start planting.

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Gardening on a Budget

We are all looking for ways to make our dollars go further. And that includes landscaping and gardening projects.

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Goldenrod, a Fall Favorite

One of the last flowers of fall, the goldenrod, adds color to landscapes across North America.

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Green Thumb Award Winner Biomarkers

It’s that time of year when your mailbox or inbox is filled with garden catalogs. Take advantage of the beautiful pictures and great ideas to help plan additions and changes to this year’s garden.

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Grow a Pollinator Friendly Garden

Give nature and your garden a helping hand this season by creating a pollinator-friendly landscape.

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Increase Winter Survival of Trees

High winds, flooding, ice and snow are weather issues gardeners and their trees confront each winter. Keeping trees healthy and properly pruned can prevent storm damage.

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Landscape for Fall Color

Mums are the traditional fall flower – but don’t stop there. You can find plenty of plants to add to your landscape’s fall display.

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Layering

Create a new plant from your favorite heirloom vine or shrub with layering. Try using this method with raspberries, climbing roses, forsythia, and jasmine.

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Leap Year - An Extra Day to Garden!

Make the most of this extra day during leap year and do something you enjoy. And for many of us that involves a garden.

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Lesser-Used Perennials

Liven up your landscape by including a few of the lesser used perennials.

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Light Up the Landscape with Holiday Lights

So you decided to brighten the winter landscape with a few lights.

Listen to Winter Landscape...

Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees

Put away the saw and enjoy the beauty of your mature evergreen.

Listen to Limbing Up (pruning lower branches) Trees...

Lime Tree, Birth Tree for March 11-20

If you were born between March 11th and 20th your birth tree is the Lime tree. You are said to be intelligent, hard working, hate fights and stress and can be jealous, but extremely loyal.

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Long Blooming and Repeat Blooming Shrubs

Don’t sacrifice beauty for function when you can have both. Select long blooming shrubs that can screen bad views, create barriers and serve as the framework or a focal point in your landscape.

Listen to Repeat Blooming Shrubs...

Long-Blooming Perennials

Get the most from every square inch of your landscape by including long blooming perennials.

Listen to Long-Blooming Perennials...

Low Maintenance - Big Impact Perennials

Don’t let a lack of time, energy or space stop you from growing perennials. Instead select and grow low maintenance plants with big impact.

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Low Maintenance Pest-free Ginkgo biloba Tree

Good for your memory and beautiful in the landscape, consider planting a ginkgo tree for years of enjoyment.

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Make Gardening a Family Affair

Take advantage of weekends, holidays and school vacations to get the children in your life involved with vegetable gardening.

Listen to Planting a Vegetable Garden...

Managing and Enjoying Reseeding Perennials

More is often considered better, except when it comes to unwanted seedlings. Self seeding perennials mean lots of free plants to move to other gardens in the landscape, but sometimes it just means more unwanted plants to control.

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Managing Plants the Outgrew their Space

So, that small tree or shrub outgrew the ideal space where it was planted. Now what? It's time to decide whether to prune, move or sacrifice the plant and start over with something more suitable.

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Managing Self-seeding Perennials

Self-seeding perennials can be considered a gift or curse. Put these plants to work for you in your garden.

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Managing Snow and Ice Damage on Trees and Shrubs

Heavy snow and ice can wreak havoc on our landscapes. Proper handling of storm damaged plants can help minimize long-term damage.

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Mark the Spot to Protect Perennials

X may not mark the spot in the garden – but bulbs, plant markers or standing stems sure can help guide your cleanup efforts next spring.

Balloon flower, butterfly weed and swamp mallow are a few of the plants that emerge late in the spring. This makes it easy to accidently weed them out during spring clean-up.

Listen to Protecting Perennials...

Masking Declining Bulb Foliage

Tired of looking at the fading foliage of early season bloomers? Mask the ugliness of these declining leaves and increase the beauty of your landscape this season.

Listen to Bulb Foliage...

Monitor and Adjust Tree Care

Improve the health and longevity of your trees and shrubs with a bit of preventative care.

Listen to Tree Care...

Narrow (Columnar) Trees for Any Size Landscape

Don’t let a lack of space keep you from growing trees in your landscape. Consider planting columnar trees in containers and narrow spaces.

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National Acorn Squash Day

Bake it, broil it, microwave it or stuff it– acorn squash that is. And if you didn't grow your own, visit the Farmer's Market and buy it.

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National Bird Day - Time to Plan a Bird Garden

Bird watching and gardening go hand in hand. Celebrate National Bird Day, January 5th, by taking a moment to stop and observe the birds visiting your garden.

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New Year's Resolution Garden

The holidays are filled with lots of delicious foods and sweets. But now is the time to resolve to grow your own vegetables and eat healthier in the New Year.

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November 12 -21 Birth Tree: The Chestnut

If you were born between November 12th and the 21st, your birth tree is the Chestnut.

Listen to...November 12 -21 Birth Tree: The Chestnut

Overwintering Container Planters

Trees, shrubs and perennials are great for container gardens. But as winter approaches we need to provide a bit of care to help them through the winter.

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Panicle Hydrangeas

Brown thumb? No worries, brown and green thumb gardeners alike can have success growing panicle hydrangeas, the hardiest and most adaptable of the hydrangeas.

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Pass-along Plants

Whether you are sharing a piece of a favorite plant, a bit of family history, or a shared memory, pass-along plants have long been a part of the gardening tradition.

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Peeling and Cracking Bark on Trees

Cracks on tree trunks and peeling bark may indicate there are problems with your tree's health.

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Planning a Flower Garden

Put old garden catalogues to work as you plan your flower gardens this year.

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Plant a Tree for Arbor Day

One of the biggest plant investments you make for your landscape is your trees. Help insure their longevity by planting them right.

Start with a call to 811 at least three days before digging in. This free service will mark the location of all underground wires. This one call can save you money and even your life.

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Plant a Tree for Mother's Day

Give mom the gift that keeps giving for generations to come – a tree. And don't worry if there is no room in your backyard – donate a tree to your local botanical garden, community or American Forest.

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Plant a Tree in Honor of a Veteran

Honor a veteran by planting a tree now or donating to one of many tree planting programs. This living tribute honors the veteran while improving the environment for current and future generations.

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Plant and Grow a Sound Barrier

Tired of hearing the drone of passing traffic? I have a beautiful and effective solution. Plant a sound barrier of shrubs, trees and evergreens.

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Planting Shrubs

Use shrubs in the landscape for extra color, a bit of privacy and year round beauty.

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Pollinator-friendly 2017 All-America Selections National Flower Winners

Brighten your garden and containers and bring in the pollinators with these 2017 All-American Selections national flower winners.

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Preparing Perennials for Winter

Procrastination is a good thing when it comes to cleaning up your landscape in fall.

Listen to Preparing Perennials for Winter...

Preventing Girdling Roots

Increase the health and longevity of your trees by reducing the risk of girdling roots.

These roots encircle the trunk and interfere with the flow of water, nutrients and food reserves between the roots and the leaves.

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Propagate Trees and Shrubs with Semi-Hardwood Cuttings

Expand your collection of trees and shrubs with semi-hardwood cuttings.

"Listten to... Propagate Trees

Propagating New Plants from Root Cuttings

Expand your oriental poppy planting this summer. These poppies, butterfly weed, gas plants and other fleshy rooted perennials can be started from just a piece of the root.

Listen to . . . Propagating New Plants from Root Cuttings

Prune Shrubs with a Purpose

Stop! Don't reach for those pruners without a plan in mind.

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Pruning Fruit Trees

Increase your harvest with proper pruning.

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Pruning Perennials

Tame those unruly perennials with a little early season pruning.

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Pruning Potentilla, Spireas and Other Summer Blooming Shrubs

Tame those floppy potentilla and spirea and bring other overgrown summer flowering shrubs down to size in late winter through early spring.

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Pruning Spring Flowering Shrubs

Late spring is the time to bring overgrown lilacs, forsythia and other spring blooming shrubs down to size.

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Pruning Trees: Large Branches

Late winter after the coldest weather has passed through early spring before growth begins is a great time to prune trees. Make proper cuts to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

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Pruning Young Trees

Winter is often the time we break out the pruners and start shaping trees and shrubs. Before making that first cut, be sure you are pruning with a purpose in mind.

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Purple Leaf Shrubs

Add a bit of season long color to your landscape with purple leafed shrubs.

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Red and White Oaks

Winter is a great time to appreciate the majesty and beauty of oak trees. Many of these long-lived large trees have endured centuries of challenging weather and the expansion of urban development.

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Redbud Tree a Four Season Beauty

Beautiful reddish purple buds line the branches and trunks of the picturesque redbud tree. As the temperatures warm the buds burst into rosy pink or magenta blooms. And this is just the beginning of this tree’s beauty.

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Renovating Overgrown Shrubs

Quickly tame overgrown shrubs with renovation pruning in late winter or early spring.

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Reviving a Flower Garden

Don’t panic if your spring garden lacks the vim and vigor the past. You can improve the health and beauty of your garden without starting over.

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Root Pruning for Transplanting Success

Increase your success when transplanting trees and shrubs with root pruning.

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Rose of Sharon (Althea Bush)

Add some summer and fall color to your shrub borders and mixed gardens with a traditional favorite the Rose of Sharon shrub.

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Seed Swap for Savings and Fun

The last Saturday of January is National Seed swap day. So gather your gardening friends, seeds and catalogs and throw a garden party.

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Shrubs Made for the Shade

Add structure and a year round framework to your shady landscape with shrubs.

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Shrubs That Attract Birds

Birds can add color and motion to your landscape year round. Planting shrubs that provide food and shelter is an easy and affordable way to bring birds into your backyard.

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Snowberry

What a great time of year to talk about an old time favorite shrub, the snowberry. You may recognize this plant by its white snowball like fruit.

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Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs Blooming in Fall

Don't worry if your forsythia, lilacs or azaleas are sprouting a few flowers in fall. You can blame it on the weather not your green thumb.

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Stating Trees and Shrubs from Hardwood Cuttings

It's all in the timing – when trying to start trees and shrubs from a cutting.

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Stop Topping Trees

Topping trees is bad for the look and health of your trees and landscape. Plus, it increases maintenance and the risk of tree failure.

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Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

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Stretch Your Plant Budget

Stretch your planting budget with each plant you buy.

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Take a Pass on the Tree Trunk Wrap

Skip the tree trunk wrap when planting and caring for your trees.

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The Edible and Ornamental Chokeberry (Aronia)

Though chokeberry is not an appetizing name, this four season beauty is making a big impact in edible and ornamental gardens.

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Think Twice Before Staking Newly Planted Trees

Break out the shovel and get busy planting. Fall is a great time to plant trees. The soil is warm and the air is cool, reducing transplant shock.

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Time to Evaluate and Plan for Changes in the Garden

Stop and take a few minutes to evaluate the success, challenges and failures of the past growing season. Investing time now can save you additional time, money and frustration in next season's garden.

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Tips for Proper Tree Planting

Fall is a great time to plant trees. Follow these important planting tips to insure the health and longevity of your plants.

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Transplanting Shrubs

Moving trees and shrubs can be tricky and heavy work. Make the move in spring before growth begins or in fall as the plants go dormant for greatest success.

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Tree and Shrub Growth Rates

Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogs and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.

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Tree Problems

Cracks in tree trunks, stunted leaf growth and thin canopies are all signs your tree is struggling. Diagnosing the cause of the symptoms is the first step in improving your tree’s health.

Listen to... Tree Problems

Trees and Shrubs for the Winter Landscape

Walk off some of those holiday calories and gather ideas for your garden. Look for trees and shrubs that provide interesting form, bark and texture in the winter.

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Unshearing Sheared Evergreens

Tired of constant pruning or need a change from those green gumdrops, hockey pucks and meatballs? With a bit of time and patience you can convert these back to their natural beauty.

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Value of Trees

Plant a tree and improve your mood, save money and improve the environment.

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Verticillium Wilt

Sudden wilting and death of individual branches of maples, redbuds and other susceptible trees may mean verticillium wilt has infected the plant.

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Vines and Groundcovers for Fall Interest

Add a bit of color and fragrance to your fall garden with groundcovers and vines.

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Walnut, Birth Tree for October 24 - November 11

If you were born between October 24th and November 11 your birth tree is the walnut. It represents intellect, passion and confidence.

Listen to...Walnut, Birth Tree for October 24 - November 11

Watch for and Prevent Borers on Trees and Shrubs

Extreme heat and cold, droughts and floods can leave our plants stressed and more susceptible to damaging borers.

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Water Trees for their Health and Longevity

Save energy, care for new trees, and conserve water in one easy step.

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Watering Tips for New Trees

Save time, energy, and conserve water while caring for your new trees.

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What's New: 2011 All-America Selections Winners (AAS)

Get your garden off to a winning start by including a few All-America Selections winners in this year’s garden.

Listen to All America Winners...

Winter Care for Unplanted Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Fall plant sales and all those tempting new varieties have many of us buying more plants than we have time or space to plant. Protect them over the winter and reduce your workload by heeling them in until you have time to find a permanent spot in your garden.

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