Gardening Tips

Cold tolerant desert plants: agave in the snow

Top Cold Tolerant Desert Plants

Cold Tolerant Desert Plants: agave in the snow

Hardy agave plant covered in snow

Did you know that some desert plants can survive in cold climates?

Months ago, in my cold and rainy Michigan town, I was shocked to discover a neighbor had a cactus bed apparently thriving on the street side of their house.

Could this possibly be cactus, I wondered? It certainly looked like cactus: spiny lobes, low-growing. I couldn’t imagine how this desert plant would survive here, much less thrive and look very healthy. After all, in the not-so-distant past in this state, we’ve had winter temperatures of 10-30 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.

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Cold Hardy Container Plants for Fall and Winter

Cold Hardy Container Plants for Fall and Winter

Container plants: sedum

I love learning about new plants, don’t you? It seems like, no matter what plant you choose to learn about, someone, somewhere has tried it in a new location or made it do something new. The beautiful thing about plants in human hands is that there will never be an end to the combinations that are possible. Plants do new things all the time and people continue to surprise me with their creativity.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about new things to do with container plants on my front porch. It would be nice to have something that can transition to cold weather so I don’t have to be digging in cold soil once the frost sets in. Here in Michigan, you never know when that will be. We could have snowy weather from October through May. Or we could have fairly warm weather straight through December.

9 Container Plants for Fall and Winter

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3 Top Benefits of Terrace Gardening

Rice fields terrace gardening at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam.

Rice fields terrace gardening at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam.

My family and I drove through Iowa one summer on our way to Colorado. I have to say that Iowa might be our nation’s best-kept secret. Of course, it’s not a secret to everyone. It was just a secret to me.

I should have remembered the movie, Field of Dreams. The beauty of the rolling hills and farms was inspiring. I felt like I was in the shire depicted by J.R.R. Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings series.

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Mother and daughter gardening

5 Reasons Gardening is Good for Your Health

Reasons why gardening is good for your health

If you’ve caught the gardening bug, you may know instinctively that this activity is especially good for your health. It seems that gardeners have known this for centuries – maybe even longer.

Maybe it’s in our DNA. Human beings were made to live outdoors and commune with nature as much as any wild animal. Scientific studies are showing that we can find evidence for what gardeners have always known was true. If you want to be healthy, take care of the earth!

The opposite of this is showing its ugly face in our national health crisis. Numerous documentaries have shown how our current practices are making us ill:

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Aloe vera plant - easy care plant

7 Easy Care Plants for Home Decor – Gardening Tips

Aloe vera easy care plants

Aloe vera plant

Have you thought about what you might bring inside to add interest and warmth to your house as we head into cold weather?

You may be interested in a certain look for a specific corner of your room. If you are an HGTV fan, you may have seen designers pairing different types of potted plants for indoor décor. What plants should you consider?

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Impatiens shade-loving plants

21 Shade-loving Plants to Inspire – Gardening Tips

Impatiens shade-loving plants

Impatiens walleriana

Are you fed-up with trying to coax life out of your sun-loving plants in a less-than-desirable location? Do you love the trees in your yard but wish you could have the colorful garden your sunny neighbors seem to grow effortlessly?

It might be that you need to embrace your shade and grow something different. Don’t try to fight nature. Instead, dig into these unusual and marvelous shade-loving plants to find inspiration for those tough spots in your yard.

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Tulip ‘Queen of Night’

10 Black Flowers and Plants to Add Mystery and Dimension to Your Garden

Black flowers - Aeonium Arboreum (Zwartkop)

Aeonium Arboreum (Zwartkop)

One of the most interesting new trends in gardening this year is the addition of black flowers and plants many people are making to their gardens.

Whether you love the Gothic allure of black, deep red and deep purple flowers and foliage, or you love the contrast and dimension black adds to anything visual, these are just a few of the many black plants in the world. They are as diverse and lovely as the colorful plants in the same family. Who knows? This could be the best way to liven up your garden!

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Morning glory climbing plants

Top 10 Most Beautiful Climbing Plants for Your Garden

Climbing plants - morning glory

Gardening can be one of the most rewarding and one of the most time-consuming jobs. For the most part, at-home gardeners do it for the love of nature and the improvement of their homes.

This is especially true when you are trying to coax a vine up onto your brick walls or to cover an old fence with a gorgeous climbing plant. Climbing plants can give your whole yard, or house an organic and inviting feel, like stepping into a green room. They can also hide a broken-down fence or add charm to a brick exterior that seems too austere.

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