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Many techniques have been developed over the years to help ensure that potted plants survive winter. One of the simplest is to bring them indoors as this gardener intends to do for a second straight year.
This blacktail doe and fawn are steered away from these backyard gardens by some appealing-to-the-eye fencing in Langley, Wash. Many people are wildlife watchers and enjoy having them around but any species can become a nuisance in the garden. A variety of benign control and prevention techn…
Honeybees are irreplaceable as pollinators but you can somewhat offset their loss by attracting beetles, butterflies and moths, dragonflies, feral bees, bumblebees and wasps, among others.
To make green smoothies for variety, nutrition and flavor’s sake, include many herbs along with leafy green vegetables including kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard. They can be blended with fresh or frozen fruit and syrups to enrich the taste.
Blackberries are especially popular for adding beautiful colors and enriching flavors to blended drinks. Follow the harvest and work with whatever is ripening to flavor your nutrient-rich smoothies.
Chili peppers would be good additions to a beer recipe if used sparingly. Many vegetables such as pumpkins, squash, potatoes and chili peppers are popular adjuncts — used as supplements for or additions to hops to give beers their distinctive flavors, odors and colors.
Hop flowers are both ornamental and edible. Hops are an easy-to-grow perennial that greatly enhance a beer’s flavor when picked fresh.
A Cooper's Hawk, an uninvited visitor who arrived at a residence shortly after some songbirds responded to birdcall playback from a smartphone in Langley, Wash. These hawks frequently hunt smaller birds that flock to home feeders.
A crow arriving on a fence to join a number of others near a restaurant in Langley, Wash., responding in part to some smartphone playback. The prevalence of playback — playing recorded birdcalls on smartphones or other mobile devices — is increasing rapidly as their prices continue to fall. …
A woman prepares planting beds in her personal plot at the South Whidbey Tilth Community Garden near Freeland, Wash. Gardeners can reserve a 20-foot by 20-foot space for a $50 annual fee, and must use organic growing methods and materials. The gardeners can keep what they grow but are encour…
The South Whidbey Good Cheer Food Bank Garden near Langley, Wash. This communal garden run by the Good Cheer Food Bank and Thrift Stores made available more than 7,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to its clients last year. Volunteers make up the bulk of the work force.
Pears can be dried which concentrates their flavors and sweetness. Add more variety to the family table by including fruit in your canning, freezing or dehydrating mix.
Mason bee tunnels for nesting using bamboo bundles like this commercial variety hanging in a magnolia tree near Langley, Wash. To create an inviting habitat for leaf cutter and mason bees, add nesting sites to your yard to maximize the production of native bees.
Miniature daffodils in a pet cemetery that will need time to recharge for the next growing cycle. Small bulbs can make a big impact but they need six to eight weeks before pruning to rebuild their energy for the next flowering season. Don’t remove the unsightly leaves and stems too soon if y…
Tulips during spring. Spring flowering bulbs can be cut back after they bloom but premature pruning will see them return with fewer and smaller blossoms. That includes tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, alliums and specialty varieties.
Even the best garden planning can be second-rate if you don’t choose the right plant assortment. Garden centers with their vast collections of plant colors, sizes and shapes can be intimidating places for inexperienced buyers, so work from a list and ensure you’re buying only healthy plants.
Rizanino (Riz) Reyes, a horticulturist, gives a rose bush some last-minute pruning before putting it in the ground. Avoid plants that need to be pruned for anything beyond minor cosmetic touches.
A new home owner's pre-built Sunshine GardenHouse made from a kit that he added to his yard, to greatly extend the growing season in the cool coastal climate of Whidbey Island, in Langley, Wash. It’s being used for everything from seed starting and growing tomatoes and sweet corn to relaxing…
A Variegated slug on a property at a private residence in Langley, Wash. Slugs are ravenous plant eaters that leave behind slimy trails of destruction. Remove any debris that gives them a place to hide during the day, to prevent their pattern of coming out to feed at night.
This April 27, 2012 photo shows a snail on the property of a private residence in New Market, Va. Snails are more adapted to dry climates than slugs, because of their ability to find relief from the heat by withdrawing into their shells. Making your yard less hospitable to destructive snails…
In this June 19, 2013 photo, raspberries grow on the patio of a home near Langley, Wash. Raspberries are an easy-to-grow choice for containers. They can be placed near high traffic areas around the property, making for convenient and wholesome snacks.
A butterfly bush in New Market, Va. The butterfly bush is a pollinator-attracting, low-maintenance shrub that once established can tolerate weather extremes and gardener neglect. It is considered invasive in certain areas, though, so keep it from spreading by removing the spent flower heads …
Arborist chips, a back to nature mulch in Langley, Wash. Like many other organic materials, the chips help maintain soil moisture, prevent weeds from sprouting and keeps soil temperatures relatively constant around plants. They can rob soil of nitrogen, however, and fertilizer should be adde…
Several flats of potted, walk-on plants are laid out alongside the flagstones of a pathway in Langley, Wash. The plants are divided into several pieces before being placed in the ground, where they grow quickly into a single, weed-choking mat that adds color and contrast to the stones.
Vinca minor (periwinkle or creeping myrtle), a commonly used groundcover, that prefers rich, moist soil but can tolerate poor, dry conditions and sunny exposures. This bed is growing alongside a house foundation near Langley, Wash. Beware its aggressiveness, however, and restrict its use to …
A mobile phone displaying Burpee Home Gardens online-based software for horticulture. Burpee Home Gardens has introduced two mobile Web tools, not apps, that make smartphones into just another a gardening tool. One provides online tutoring via a continuing series of texts or email notes whil…
A garden where the gardener found a creative way to showcase a flower bed using a bed frame. There are no how-to lists or shortcuts but a touch of whimsey often is a component of Slow Gardening. It's emphasizing the process over the product.
The front entry of this home has more eye appeal after the lawn was reclaimed using shrubs, trees, flowering perennials and a walkway rather than turf grass, in Langley, Wash. A heavy mulch cover helps minimize weeds.
The lawn remains the centerpiece in this yard but was greatly downsized and shaped by a landscaped perimeter consisting of furniture, statuary and a variety of perennials, in Langley, Wash. Less mowing, less watering and fewer chemicals was the result. It attracts more wildlife, too.
Ingredients for tomato sauce at a field trial nursery in Ventura, Calif. Almost 70 percent of all home canners are growing herbs -- second only to tomatoes -- with about one-third drying or freezing them for later use. Herbs are popular for flavoring sauces, soups, meats, vinegars, oils, but…
Chives growing in a kitchen garden near Langley, Washington. Home canners are growing and preserving herbs at an increasing rate each year, with basil as the most popular followed by chives, cilantro and dill. All are great for adding flavor to foods without using much, if any, salt.
A "Crooked Coop" in Clinton, Wash. that is reminiscent of a fairy tale house of Dr. Seuss. Designer chicken coops are becoming a new kind of yard art and many poultry raisers are being upfront about it -- using the outbuildings as extensions of their homes. A chicken coop can be anything fro…
A moveable chicken coop sold by Williams-Sonoma is built on wheels which makes it easy to maneuver around a lawn providing fresh grass for the small, foraging flock, in Langley, Wash. It's a good way to fertilize, too.
Primroses and daffodils sprucing up a simple window box on an outbuilding display at a recent Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. Window boxes make practical raised bed gardens — easy to reach from inside or out. It only takes a few shallow-rooted plants to provide window dressing f…
A Bloody Mary with garden supplied swizzle sticks. Botanicals can be used to ferment, distill, mix and decorate alcoholic beverages. Many plants, best if grown organically, like spearmint (mint julep), olives (martini), carrots and celery (Bloody Mary) can be used as garnishes in cocktails.
Rainscaping features can be expensive and complicated or simple and cheap, like this rain barrel capturing water from a downspout on a rural home in northern Belgium. The gardener simply dips a spray can into the surplus when she wants to water her plants.
Parents new to gardening often ask how they can get their children interested in the activity. Industry reps usually suggest growing plants that have multiple uses, flavors or fragrances, such as pumpkins, strawberries, sunflowers, radishes and marigolds, along with others.
Many vegetables get woodier, less succulent and lose some of their sweetness as they grow more mature. Some, however, like new potatoes, radishes, baby carrots, zucchini, miniature cucumbers, spring peas, turnips and beets offer up their best flavors while young.
Don't be in a rush to repair or replace snow-or ice-covered trees, as most will spring back after a thaw, like these weighted-down trees that did not suffer any lasting damage.
A Rosa rugosa (beach rose) flourishes in sandy, salt spray-laden soil on Whidbey Island near Coupeville, Washington.
Cool wave pansies tolerate several light frosts and go dormant after a hard frost. Their colors intensify in the cold and they bloom even in the snow, and recover in early spring.
Gasoline-powered equipment that is likely to be stored a month or more needs some looking after if it's to be ready when the weather warms again. Preventive maintenance also extends its service life.
This resident placed a bouquet of fresh cut flowers next to a rural mailbox near Langley, Wash. The flowers were cut from the garden in the background.
The dew-fresh bouquets sold at this roadside stand will last as long as a week when placed in water.
Planting seeds is a cheap way to fill flowerbeds and herbal containers while prices continue to climb.
A red clover is shown in a yard in New Market, Va. With rounded, purple-red flowers and variegated leaves, they are healthy to eat in salads, as cooked greens, made into flour or blended as a tea. This long-blooming plant pops up most everywhere and is rich in protein.
A cottage garden at Fordhook Farm in Doylestown, Pa. Hand weeding is one of the most demanding chores in gardening, but it doesn't have to be that way.
In mid-January, EarthBox began shipping half-sized "Junior" self-watering gardening containers that are designed to produce greens and herbs outside on fire escapes, patios and deck railings or inside from kitchen windowsills.
Tulip bulbs are used for an ornamental purpose in a private garden near Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
The Hortus Bulborum, a museum garden in Limmen Village, The Netherlands, is the only museum garden in the world where you can find over 3,700 different tulips, hyacinth, daffodil and other bulb cultivars in bloom. Some of the tulips date from 1595.
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