Monthly Archives January 2014

January Planning

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By Rochelle Greayer

It’s January, Are you in planning mode? Yeah, me too.

I’m planning windbreaks and barriers, berry gardens, possibly some new trees too, and the completion of my patio and arbor.

You might remember this post about black slats from last summer (you know where I was all talk about getting the arbor over the patio done – but then it didn’t get done….well this time I mean it). I mean it so much I am planning the containers that will sit at the base of all those gorgeous black stained posts and slats (Note: My optimism about the completion of this is overflowing now that we have decided to hire a carpenter to finish the job rather than doing it ourselves – sometimes you just have to be realistic).

As I plan out the pots and accessories, I am so tempted to add a strong...

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By (Matt Mattus)

This weekend Joe and I attended the Massachusetts Orchid Society’s annual orchid show, held at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Orchid Society, it’s a popular show ( as orchid shows tend to be), and it is show that we have attended many times, even thought it falls just as we are trying to pack our own greenhouse for the winter ( or fixing glass which broke during a windstorm this week!), or when we are busiest with fall garden clean up like raking leaves. That said, there is ALWAYS time to go look at orchids, and to buy new ones. I mean, mini-complex Paph’s – Where have you been all of my life?
Even though it may seem that orchids are everywhere now, the real serious orchid grower remains a rare commodity, ye...
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Foolproof Shade Plants For Dimly Lit Areas

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By Stuart Robinson

What’s not to like about shade plants? Those dimly lit areas of our gardens, that rarely see daylight, can often be the hardest to landscape. But you needn’t throw up your garden gloves in frustration – well not yet, anyway.

While moulds, fungi and lichens grow rampantly in these much maligned garden zones there are plants which desire a shaded area just as much – if not more. Take a trek through a rainforest sometime and observe the under-story plants that cheerily settle for an existence devoid of natural light. It’s as though illumination were the arch-enemy of these floral specimens and lurking within the partial darkness was the obvious defense.

Gorgeous Forget-Me-Knots Thriving as Shade Plants – Lee Edwin Coursey

Yet, with all this adaptation forming their...

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By (Simon Eade)

Image credit – BS Thurner Hof
The Camellia genus contains some of the most beautiful of all flowering trees and shrubs, they also hold some of the most coveted. And why wouldn’t they be? They are evergreen, the majority of which are as tough as old boots, and they are more lime tolerant that the equivalent Rhododendron. But that isn’t even half the story, it is the incredibly beautiful flowers that make this plant a world class show stopper!
Image credit – Kowloonese

As we know, Camellias come in a huge range of species and cultivars so finding the exact species or variety you desire can be difficult. To make matters worse they can be expensive to purchase, especially if you plan to grow a reasonable selection.

Of course there is anot...

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THE CHRISTMAS ROSE – Helleborus niger

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By (Simon Eade)

The Christmas rose is a plant that comes with its fair share of confusion. While it does flower around the Christmas period, it is not a true rose – although I do accept that the flower shape is representative of a wild rose. Be that is at may, Hellebores are actually from the buttercup family – Ranunculaceae.

There is an old legend surrounding the Helleborus niger which appears to be the responsible for to reinforcing its ‘Christmas’ association. It is said that it sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem.

However, there is a second, more down to earth story that secured it name in English culture...

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