The quiet winter garden offers little in the way of floral color until the bashful wee hellebores sneak out their silken buds. With little fanfare, the leaves emerge in autumn as everything else fades away.
When December becomes icy and dark, the garden may go to sleep for the winter, but my kitchen window showcases the flurry of activity around our row of bird feeders.
One of the easiest ways for me to figure out what to give to another gardener during the holiday season is to know what I would like myself. Some of my favorite tools and gadgets, plus projects from my own wish list, are combined with Julie’s professional additions. Whether you are looking for a small gift for a neighbor or a major wow item for your sweetie, Julie and I would like to offer some ideas.
Thanks to busy plant breeders, black has arrived as the new 'in' color for landscape design. The range of horticultural offerings has grown so significantly in recent years that it now needs to be added to our garden wish lists.
Ornamental pepper ‘Black Pearl’ is an easy annual.
Petunia ‘Black Velvet’ is sweetly fragrant.
The simplest fountains include only a waterproof container and pump. Add water and power for instant effect. Go one step farther by adding a float valve, a device that tops up the water automatically by operating a valve on a garden hose. Last month’s column provided simple instructions for a small self-contained water feature.
Water Features in the Home Garden (Part 1 of 2)
Potted plants soften the edges of hardscape, mute street noise, and create a lush, colorful backdrop. One of the beauties of container gardening is that plants may be moved around to find the ‘best’ spot for their culture.
Dwarf Blue Vates Curly Kale
Red 'Juliet' and orange 'Sun Sugar' tomatoes, and rosemary 'Arp'
Most of us now know that the migratory monarchs are in danger. A December 2013 census confirms the smallest population ever in the overwintering forests of central Mexico. Only seven small colonies were located, with coverage of 0.67 hectares, compared to more than 18 hectares of wintering adults measured in 1996. This drop is precipitous and disastrous for the species. According to monarch specialist Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch in Kansas, the current rate of decline will result in monarchs losing genetic viability in only a year or two. Monarchs are symbolic of all pollinators, including honeybees and native moths, which also are suffering from environmental change and serious population decreases.
The tall, green Asclepias hirtella grows in solitary clumps in the prairies of Missouri.
An over-wintering monarch butterfly takes a rest in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Michoacán, Mexico.
Part of the joy of gardening is the daily surprise. Sometimes, conditions conspire to make a garden look tired and worn, such as extreme summer heat compounded by drought. Those days, while disappointing, must be endured. However, on other occasions, gardeners may draw a lucky had when strange combinations of conditions bring about splendid moments. This year, for example, the long, cold soil temperatures slowed down the early varieties of spring bulbs; then good moisture and warm sun brought out the late-season kinds right on schedule. After the winter of death, we needed a break.
Keith Price, Amanda McNelley, Raven Akram, Alana May
The common name African daisy has been applied to almost every plant in the aster family that has come to horticulture from South Africa. The name has been used for Gerbera, Osteospermum, Arctotis and Dimorphotheca interchangeably, so we should think of it more as descriptive of a large group of plants, not one single genus. With this broad linguistic sweep, we gain hundreds of lively and colorful groundcovers and tender shrubs wonderfully adapted to our Missouri summer gardens. Visit any nursery or garden center today, and you will meet many of these excellent South African selections.
I have to admit I've been curious about this film. As an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, I thought to myself that it must drive these animators nuts to create something so precious, only to be trampled by the Goliath that is Disney. Nothing against Frozen, it’s a delightful film, but this is art.
After this brutally frigid winter, with sub-zero temperatures for days on end and weeks filled with ice and snow, our treasured, tender gardens have taken a really hard beating.
Pinnacle Entertainment has appointed WARD SHAW as VP and GM of River City Casino & Hotel. Shaw most recently worked as GM of Tropicana Evansville in Indiana.
Moneta Group welcomes communications manager EMILY BARLEAN to its team. Barlean’s work history includes working as senior corporate communications specialist and social media manger at Concordia Publishing House.
From Mercy Skilled Nursing � Dave Lane, Sheria Raven, Dave Cummings, Ginny Moseley, Pam Guth, Rachel Little
Escape the cold, hard winter with a leisurely stroll in a lush, tropical garden! This year’s Missouri Botanical Garden Orchid Show is inspired by the Brazilian gardens designed by landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.