Gardening Article Archive

Sustainable Landscape Design Using Herbaceous Plants

When it comes to landscape design many people often think of pretty flowers and lush green gardens. Though this is probably true in many cases, plants have a lot more to offer than just looking pretty. A thoughtful design utilizing herbaceous plants can make a site sustainable by providing habitat to animals, protecting water quality, increasing biodiversity, as well as adding social benefits like minimal maintenance and increased property value.

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Houseplants 101: 7 Reasons Your Houseplant is Not Thriving

So, you want to grow a house plant? Maybe you received a beautiful orchid as gift from a friend, or your mother-in-law has given you her beloved snake plant to take care of while she spends the winter in Florida. You may even be interested in growing a plant in your home purely for your own enjoyment. Whatever the reason, you are having doubts about your ability to care for this plant properly, as your past record is less than stellar. Remember what happened to the last plant that you tried to grow?

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Living Christmas Tree Alternatives

Living Christmas trees are not a new concept. Often this means buying a potted or balled and burlaped, normally hardy tree, from a local nursery, then bringing it into the home, right before Christmas to enjoy for a week or so before planting it out in the landscape. Of course there is usually a problem with that game plan because usually by the end of December the ground has already frozen here in the northern Great Plains.

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Best of the Trial Plants at McCrory Gardens for 2016

We have been trialing ornamental plants at McCrory Gardens for many years. I have been working primarily with the annual trials, including plants from the National Plant Trials Database, and All-American Selections trials programs. This year we had 105 different kinds of plants in the annuals trials but some were grown in different conditions for a total of 122 trials.

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Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree

Christmas tree lots are already beginning to spring up around the state and Thanksgiving marks the start of the Christmas tree season, with more than 30 million trees being sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Another 50 million homes use artificial trees either for convenience or environmental concerns. However, the traditional Christmas tree can be the environmental friendly way to celebrate the holidays.

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All-America Selections Announced for 2017

All-America Selections has just announced its winners for 2017, based on the trial results from this summer. All together eleven exciting new AAS Winners were selected. Each of the following varieties was trialed in North America by professional, independent, volunteer judges during one growing season. Each was trialed next to comparison varieties that are considered best-in-class among those currently on the market. Winners appropriate for our area included the following.

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Fall Color in the Flower Garden

The mild fall weather is giving everyone a chance to enjoy an extended and enhanced view of the fall color, not only from our trees but from herbaceous plants as well. Usually by now we have had a hard freeze or two that pretty much kills the foliage and often the stems of our flowers, but so far in many areas, the cold has not been that extreme. The result is a chance to see some of the fall leaf colors in our flower beds that ordinarily we do not get a chance to experience.

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