Feelin’ Hot, Hot, HOT

By Ellen Azotea

It’s a gorgeous summer day, and the garden is calling. Perhaps the lawn mower and hedge trimmers are chiming in too. In my garden, I tend to jump right in without planning for what my body might need—my plants take top priority after all! But as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so let’s review some warm-weather gardening safety: 

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The Hum of the Hummingbird

By Carly Hatfield

The beloved Ruby-Throated Hummingbird will be back very soon to capture our attention for  yet another season. This small bird is a wonderful guest in any garden. Migrating to the south from October through April to escape the harsh winters, this bird is always a sign that favorable weather is on its way. One can provide a reliable food source and shelter for these small wonders with just a few steps.

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

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My First Peeks at the Woodland Garden

By Karen Fraizer

This winter I was assigned the task of taking care of the Woodland Garden here at Kingwood Center. We had a long-time gardener retire, that had been taking care of the Woodland Garden for many years. This gardener left me with a plant inventory, garden maps, and very detailed notes for this garden (Thanks Glenna). This winter and early spring, with everything covered in snow, it was difficult to get a vision of the garden. With spring slowly emerging I am surprised everyday by something new. First, it was just the outline of the walkways and the beds. Second, it was the benches and the stepping stones throughout the beds. Now, with spring officially here (fingers crossed), it has been so exciting to watch the spring bulbs popping up. The daffodils that are scattered throughout the garden mix well with the blooms of the hellebores.

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Upcoming Garden Trends

By Holly Van Keuren

It is very interesting what becomes trendy or popular, and why.  I am excited to work within an industry that has so much to offer to so many, and I truly feel that we humans benefit from our interactions with plants.  Looking ahead at the upcoming gardening season, I begin to wonder some if I will ever even get outside again, as winter drags on here in Ohio.  But as for trends, I have plenty of time to wonder about them from inside…what will this season bring?

Trend 1

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Special April Plants for Special Places

By Chuck Gleaves

As of the writing of this blog, spring has been so slow in coming I wonder if the plants I will be mentioning will be out, as they normally would, by the time this blog is posted. If they are not blooming yet they should be coming soon.

Most of our gardens are in regularly mulched and amended soils, high in organic matter, evenly moist, well drained and otherwise carefully crafted for luxurious growth for most of our favorite garden plants. There are, however, many plants that are better suited to specialized soils such as wet, dry, gravely, lean, acidic or alkaline. For mid to late April, four different plants come to mind that will be offering their best floral display and are grown in specialized sites.

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Fruit Tree Guild: Companion Planting

By Carly Hatfield

A Guild is a type of companion planting, taken from the techniques often used in permaculture gardening and utilized specifically in fruit tree production. These ideas and practices can be used to attract beneficial insects and pollinators, improve the soil profile, increase the fertile nutrients available to surrounding plants, and deter pests and disease issues. A customized guild can be implemented in every garden no matter the focus of harvest; whether it be fruits, vegetables or just a stunning colorful display garden.

Our Carriage House garden utilizes a fruit tree guild since we feature many fruit tree varieties that act as the focal point or anchor of our gardens such as Apple, Cherry, and Pear. Also a few varieties of fruiting bushes such as Blueberries and Raspberries and even a few varieties of Hazelnuts are featured in the carriage house garden. These specimens are as beautiful as they are functional and require some thoughtful observation to get the most out of them and their harvest.

Carriage House Garden

Carriage House Garden

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

By Karen Fraizer

recycle

Did you know that when you throw away an aluminum can it will still be there 500 years from now?! And, did you know that there is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled? Or that when you throw out a glass bottle it will take 4000 years or more, to decompose?! And, that the energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours? With all the statistics available, you should be scared into recycling.

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Gardening for the Birds

By Ellen Azotea

Providing for the needs of our feathered friends while improving our gardens is a wonderful way to combine two favorite hobbies: gardening and bird watching. A garden, ideally, should provide food, water, shelter (cover) and a place to raise young, but adding even just one of these elements will attract more birds to your yard.

A female house finch in the author’s garden

A female house finch in the author’s garden

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