Author Archives: kingwood

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

Breathing Room

By Doug Schuster

There have been many studies of the benefits of having houseplants, including improved emotional state and stress levels, enhancing aesthetics of your space, improved healing time, and air purifying. All plants in some way contribute to air purification, but some are better than others. There was a study done by Dr. Vadoud Niri, a researcher at OSWEGO State University of New York, which studied popular houseplants and their ability to absorb VOC’s. VOC’s are volatile organic compounds; these include trichloroethylene, xylene, formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzene, these VOC’s are commonly present in your home or office from paints, furniture, office equipment, and cleaning supplies.

bromeliad-potted-indoor-plants

Continue reading

Winter Pruning

By Mark Hoover

Winter can prove to be a challenging time for gardeners who dream of long, warm, sunny days in the garden. Though we’ve had some long stretches of cold snowy weather, spring is coming. That also means the spring rush is coming. Days of trying to check off that never-ending list of spring garden tasks will soon be upon us. In the meantime, slightly warmer winter days are a good time to get out in the garden and assess the pruning that needs to be done. Often, winter pruning can get overlooked but it’s a very important and simple task that can take your garden to the next level.

cornus kousa clean cut

cornus kousa clean cut

Continue reading

Have you ever wondered how Ducks and Peafowl survive the winter?

By Shawn McClain

Have you ever wondered how ducks and peafowl survive the winter? Maybe you have asked about Kingwood’s ducks and peafowl. You probably have heard us say “they are quite hearty to this climate and we assist them with shelter and high protein food through the winter months.” The heartiness of these interesting birds came to light this past winter when an old Kingwood newsletter surfaced.  In this newsletter, the birds were mentioned and explained how their arteries and body temperature aid them in cold weather.

duckpond

Continue reading