July 27th, 2014

VIDEO: Dozens Of Ill Keith Urban Fans Treated At Concert Near Boston



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July 26th, 2014

Helping a Languishing Maple Tree

 

TheGardenLady received the following question from Jean.

I live in a condo-type community and some of my yard is maintained by the management company. There is a maple tree that was planted about 8 years ago. It’s the third one in that spot because the first two died. After eight years, it doesn’t look much different than it did when they planted it. Every year, it hobbles along and the leaves turn before the surrounding trees, and fall off sooner. The bed it is planted in is sort of a high mound. It is watered with a sprinkle type irrigation system every few days. I haven’t fertilized it, and I’m not sure if the landscape company does. But I’m sure they treat it the same as everyone else’s trees. The other ones grow, and mine doesn’t. Do you have any suggestions?

You asked for some suggestions about the maple tree that does not look like it is thriving. I will give a few suggestions since it is difficult to give an accurate diagnosis without seeing the tree or at least some good photos of the tree.

First you did not mention if you checked to see if the tree has any visible diseases or pests that could cause problems. Maple trees, though hardy, do have some disease and pest problems. Check the tree carefully to see if you notice any problems. Some things to look for are on this website. I always recommend that you take some tree samples and photos to your nearest Master Gardener office or your state agricultural extension office for a diagnosis.
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July 22nd, 2014

How To Choose The Perfect Pond Location

Ponds are a great addition to any garden and there is something ever so peaceful about looking out over the garden to your pond. Location, however, is one of the biggest factors when deciding whether to get a pond in the garden. Here is a short list of things to consider when placing that perfect pond.

Low and Wet

Ideally a pond does not want to be situated in the lowest point of your garden or in a location that is always wet. Placing a pond in the lowest point will encourage run off from the rest of the garden to head straight to the pond. This is turn can silt up the pond increasing the amount of maintenance that is needed to keep the pond healthy.

Under Trees

Whilst placing a pond under trees looks amazing, the trees reflected elegantly in the water, it is not usually a good idea. Trees, particularly deciduous trees, have a tendency to drop things into a pond such as pine needles, leaves, nuts and berries. Whilst this can be combatted with netting, it has to be cleared away nearly daily to prevent silting up. Placing a pond under trees will increase the amount of maintenance that needs to be performed.

Partial Sun

Ponds need sunlight for at least half of the day to encourage any plants to grow. Plants such as water lilies thrive in the sun. However too much sun can cause algae to grow, so it is always advisable to have plenty of pond cover with water lilies in the water and grasses around the edges.

Power Cords and Amenities

It is important to know the layout of the garden, and where electrical wires and other amenities run. The last thing anyone wants to do is put a spade through a power cord whilst digging the pond. In addition nobody wants to have to dig up all their wires and re-route them through the garden!

Level Ground

Whilst building a pond on level ground is not the biggest factor in pond location, it is fairly important if you do not want to have to create waterfalls and cascades which require extra work with pond pumps. These are readily available from aquatics shops and online such as at Swell UK. In addition to this non-level ponds end up with very deep and very shallow water, which have to be carefully planted.

Easily Seen

Of course one of the key things to consider is the fact that the pond needs to be seen from the house. Not only does this mean any potential problems can be spotted and acted on but looking out over the garden and seeing the pond is usually a key driving force for getting one in the first place, so make sure the view is not restricted and enjoyment can be had by all!

This article was written by David Wharton.

May 22nd, 2014

Taking Care of Your Fig Tree in the Winter

TheGardenLady received this question from Cheryl on the post “Buying a Fig Tree in New Jersey“.

I have a 15 year old turkey fig tree that I started from shoots. Last year I could not keep up with the amount of fruit growing on the tree. This May there are no leaves on the tips of the branches. The branches are red, turning to a deep gray almost black, which is different from the natural color of the tree bark. The branches snap in half and are not pliable. I cut a large branch. Inside the branch it is hard yellow in color with a white center. Has my tree died from the cold winter freezing? I have never covered it in the past. Was this winter too much for the tree? Help!

It was a really harsh winter through much of the US. This winter my fig tree froze and died. I was so disappointed. I understand your feelings. I lost a number of shrubs this winter.

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April 28th, 2014

VIDEO: Metro’s ‘Phantom Planter’ strikes again

When part-time lawyer and artist Henry Docter planted flowers at the Dupont Circle Metro station, Washington’s transit agency ripped them out. Now, Docter is back with a visual message.

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April 9th, 2014

VIDEO: Photos of the Day – Garden of Europe From the Air

In today’s pictures, flower fields near Keukenhof Park are seen from above in the Netherlands, Syrian opposition fighters carry a wounded comrade in Aleppo, a competitor performs in the Pizza World Championship in Italy, and much more. Photo: Reuters

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April 4th, 2014

VIDEO: Cherry Blossoms: April 4 at Brookside Gardens

The cherry blossoms for which Washington is famous may be in the Tidal Basin—but pockets of cherry trees can be found all over. We’re bringing you a daily video portrait of cherry trees around the region—and asking you to share blossoms in your neighborhood with the hashtag #DCblooms.

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March 29th, 2014

VIDEO: Cherry Blossoms: March 29 in Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

The cherry blossoms for which Washington is famous may be in the Tidal Basin—but pockets of cherry trees can be found all over. We’re bringing you a daily video portrait of cherry trees around the region—and asking you to share blossoms in your neighborhood with the hashtag #DCblooms.

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March 28th, 2014

VIDEO: Organic Pest Control

Eggs make a nutritious breakfast – but don’t throw away the shells. Instead, you can turn them into homemade pest control. Let them dry out for a few days in a paper bag and then crush them up. Sprinkle them in your garden to get rid of beetles or slugs. The cracked shells are irritating for the pests to walk on and they’ll soon leave. Eggs aren’t the only food that can be used as organic pest control. Flies hate the smell of basil, so plant the herb by your door. At a summertime barbecue, you can get rid of mosquitos by putting sage or rosemary on the grill, as their smell acts as a natural repellant. Some people feel that these organic pest solutions are safer than the chemical alternatives. Many bug repellants, for example, contain a chemical called DEET, which the U.S. Army originally developed in the 1950s for use in jungle warfare. Although the government approves DEET for use in bug repellant, a 2009 study by a team of French scientists found that DEET may cause nervous system damage, and they recommended further research be done into DEET’s possible side effects. Organic foods can also double up as household cleaners, helping to avoid the use of chemicals like bleach and ammonia, which can irritate our skin, nose and eyes. Vinegar is a natural cleaner because of its high acidity. Pour a cup of white vinegar into a dishwasher and run it to help remove soap buildup. And you can use lemon juice and an old toothbrush to clean dirty tile grout. To ensure you have energy for all that cleaning, you’d better start your day with a nutritious breakfast…like scrambled eggs.

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February 28th, 2014

VIDEO: Orchid Show brightens NY winter

The 12th Annual Orchid Show blooms at the New York Botanical Garden, adding color and warmth to an icy Big Apple. Tara Cleary reports.

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