Rhododendrons

How to Easily Care for Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons

For years when I was growing up, my parents would move to a new house and inevitably plant an azalea or rhododendron bush. And inevitably, they would be stunted, die or not bloom properly.

My mom attributed this to the wrong quality soil, and I have since learned she was partially right. However, there are other things to consider depending on where you live. These bushes are gorgeous when healthy and in full-bloom. If you take care to plant them in the right soil and mixture of sun and shade, you can reap the benefits for many years.

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Green Roofs: A Garden on Your Roof

Green roofs in Monaco

Did you know that green roofs have been around for a long time? In some parts of the world they are making a comeback.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon – which was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world – was a terraced garden structure outside of modern-day Baghdad that used a complicated irrigation system.

Germany has become a green leader in Europe with green policies including green roofs. European homes have used sod as a roofing material for a long time for its benefits in helping to heat and cool a home.

In this United States, cities are starting to see the benefits of encouraging business and building owners to plant green roofs. For example, Chicago’s City Hall is a famous example of rooftop gardening. In addition, Chicago has started a citywide green roof initiative to try to do its part to help combat the effects of climate change.

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Field of lavender

The Amazing Properties of Lavender

Field of lavender

By now, most people are familiar with the smell of the lavender flower. It’s often dried and used in sachets – as well as reproduced by laundry detergent and cleaning product manufacturers – for its clean, fresh pungent scent. Add to this the rising popularity of essential oils and you have a pretty widespread basic knowledge of lavender and some of its properties.

Most people find lavender soothing and calming. Some people use it to get rid of a headache. However, lavender actually has some pretty amazing medical uses, which have been the subject of serious study.

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Venus flytrap

The Mysterious Venus Flytrap

Venus flytrap

The other day I saw a whole rack of Venus Flytraps – Dionaea muscipula – for sale at Aldi, of all places. I didn’t know anything about these plants other than what I had seen as a kid on a nature show, so it was all kind of fuzzy.

I was under the impression they were an endangered species, or especially rare. It was a huge surprise to see them for sale at the wholesale grocery chain. So, I snapped one up.

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Wildflower meadow

How to Grow a Wildflower Meadow

Wildflower Meadow

California poppy wildflower meadow at the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve

If you are an avid gardener, chances are good that you love the outdoors. I’m sure you don’t just love being on your knees with your hands in the dirt. Although that part is great, you probably love the sunshine and feel of the wind on your face; the sights and sounds of all that nature has to offer. The wonderful thing about nature is that it’s available to everyone simply by stepping out your front door.

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How to Prune Overgrown Rose Bushes

How to Prune Overgrown Rose Bushes

How to Prune Overgrown Rose Bushes

When we moved into our turn-of-the-century home, it was 20 degrees at the beginning of January, and the snow started to fall the next day. It wasn’t until early May that I started to notice the little overgrown garden planted on the south side of the house.

By mid June that year – we had a late spring – I was excited to find that I’d also inherited a turn-of-the-century little rose garden. There were two overgrown rose bushes that produced one flush each of light pink and burgundy roses, respectively. And man! They smelled amazing.

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