April 21st, 2015

Finding Mirabilis Jalapa

TheGardenLady received this question from Chitra.

I love to grow plants and enjoy every moment.  I love mirabilis jalapa, the vibrant colors, but I couldn’t get the seeds and plants to buy in New Delhi.Please let me know the names and contact numbers of places to buy the seeds or plants.

Mirabilis Jalapa is a pretty, fragrant flower with the common name in the US of Marvel of Peru because it was said to have originally come from Peru. It is sometimes called the four o’clock flower because it supposedly opens at 4 o’clock on sunny days.

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April 16th, 2015

Garden Freebies

Who doesn’t like freebies?. Did you know that your garden can get some really good freebies?.

For example, do you compost? The garbage you have left over that is uneaten or that rots should never be discarded. It should be composted. By composting you are creating the best soil that will give back nutrients to the earth. In fact, you might be fined if you don’t compost this garbage. One city has already started forbidding the tossing out of food. Seattle has a garbage law that will fine residents if they do throw it out. (see here) So save your non-meat scraps, save your mowed lawn clippings, save your raked leaves and compost everything for FREE soil that is the best soil you can have in your garden.

Or save the seeds from vegetables and fruits you might have bought to eat. Many, not all, will grow in your garden. Directions on how to do this is in the video. These seeds are FREE.

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April 14th, 2015

VIDEO: How to Make Vegetable Noodles (Without a Spiralizer)

While everyone loves a good pasta, filling up on a ton of carbs isn’t what we’re always going for. Thankfully, there are a lot of healthy and tasty alternatives in the form of vegetables, and we’re here to show you how you can eat pasta without any guilt. And while the spiralizer is a great invention, it’s something most people don’t own, so we’re going to show a few different ways to achieve the same noodle with various kitchen appliances.

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April 8th, 2015

VIDEO: How To Plant A Terrarium

Want to know how to plant a terrarium? Here are the details and materials needed to get that gorgeous, lush terrarium on your bookshelf or coffee table!

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April 7th, 2015

VIDEO: Can Certain Foods Improve Eyesight?

Is it true that certain foods, like carrots, can keep the eye doctor away? WSJ contributor Heidi Mitchell and Dr. Emily Chew discuss. Photo: AP

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April 3rd, 2015

Unusual vegetables for 2015

As catalogs keep coming to the mailbox to be read and as this GardenLady scans the Internet for new and interesting plants for 2015, I thought it might be fun to write about some exciting and unusual vegetables to be considered for this summer’s gardens.

The most unusual plant I have seen this year is a tomato/potato plant called “Ketchup ‘n’ Fries”  or “Tom Tato” (see here). These plants grow cherry tomatoes on top and white potatoes underground on the same plant so that if you have limited space to grow vegetables or you want to grow one plant in a pot on your deck, this is the perfect plant.

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March 30th, 2015

Be Wary of Goutweed, a Garden Invader

TheGardenLady received this comment from Julie:

We bought our house in Port Perry, On in 2012 and immediately removed an eyesore of a “pond”, but then were left with an area of 12’x16′ of dense Goutweed. We tilled and removed plants & roots about two times that year. The following spring we continued the same process another two times before we were able to plant grass on the area. This plant is a nightmare to deal with! I have no idea why the previous owner “loved” this plant so much?! We now need to dig up the front garden as it has completely taken over that area as well along with it spreading into the ceder hedges.

Sorry to read your email about the Goutweed on your new property. It is a letter of warning to anyone buying plants to be wary of invasive plants because of how difficult it is to eradicate them. Read this.

Goutweed has numerous other common names including ground elder, herb gerard, bishop’s weed, snow-in-the-mountain, also sometimes called English masterwort, or wild masterwort and its Latin name is Aegopodium podagraria,

Goutweed is listed as an invasive plant in the US and Canada. See here. The definition of an invasive plant is any plant tending to spread prolifically and undesirably or harmfully. No one should plant anything that is listed as invasive. TheGardenLady doesn’t understand why stores that sell seeds and plants still sell any seeds or plants that the government lists as invasive. Responsible nurseries should know about the plants and seeds they sell to be able to tell you if you might have a problem with the plant. So ask questions when you buy a plant or seeds. Many of the plants that have become invasive were brought to the United States or other countries for ornamental purposes or for agricultural use, not knowing they would become invasive or problematic for gardeners.

But since there are lists of most invasive problem plants, there should be a law against selling them. Knowledgeable gardeners know how difficult it is to get rid of these invasives. If you are a novice gardener, please contact your local native plant society or state Department of Natural Resources to find out which plants are invasive in your area.

March 25th, 2015

How to Make a Butterfly Garden

Have you ever wanted to make your own butterfly garden, but didn’t know where to start? Or had so much trouble finding plant information for your region that it just didn’t seem worth it? What’s the difference between nectar flowers and host plants? What is a “butterfly puddle” and why do you need it? Is a butterfly bush really the best way to attract butterflies to your yard?

Butterfly gardens can be intimidating, but they don’t need to be.

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March 20th, 2015

Butterflies Need YOUR Help

Everyone knows about the plight of butterflies, especially the Monarch butterfly. Did you know that the Monarch butterfly population has dwindled by over 90%?

How would you like to Help Save the Monarch Butterfly by Becoming a Butterfly Hero? By pledging to be a butterfly hero, you could win a trip for 4 to Disney World. To learn all about how to become a Butterfly Hero go to the National Wildlife Federation website.

Please help save these beautiful butterflies and get all your family and friends to help, too. If enough people become butterfly heroes perhaps we will see the beautiful Monarchs filling our gardens, yards and parks, etc. once again.

March 17th, 2015

VIDEO: 3 Tips To Make Flowers Last Longer

Extend the life of your blooms with these easy tricks

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