TheGardenLady Wishes You A Happy New Year!

Flower Fireworks by gamaree

This Garden Lady would like to wish you all a very Happy, Healthy 2011 and a year of Great Gardening!

Thank You to all who read these columns and to those of you who subscribe to TheGardenLady blog. Also, a thank you to those who sent in questions, comments and even poems. I look forward to hearing from more of you over the Next Year. We would love getting more of your comments, plant and garden photos and your personal gardening tips.

To All of You around the world, Happy New Year.


Botanical Gardens

Festival of Lights at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden by Kim Yeoh

The weather outdoors might be frightful but the Botanical Gardens in this country and in Canada are warm and welcoming. If you are looking for something to do with your friends, beau or family this Christmas season, don’t forget to check out the Botanical Gardens to see what displays they have. Many have spectacular shows- some with both flowers indoors and lights outdoors. Videos of two of last year’s Botanical Garden shows are on this post and a few other Botanical Gardens Christmas extravaganzas are listed here. And remember if you are going abroad this holiday season, there are beautiful decorations that you may be lucky enough to get to see.

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA Chirstmas Show through Jan 9, 2011 (see here) Continue reading “Botanical Gardens”

Buying a Fig Tree in New Jersey

the fig tree’s begun to bud by Toni F.

TheGardenLady received this question from Sarah.

I was thinking about getting my brother a fig plant for Christmas. There is a plant store online, which has a retail store in CT,  that was advertised in Better Homes & Gardens for it’s fig plants –  However, they ship in an insulated box, express, which makes shipping costs more than the plant.  Do you know any place in NJ that would have a fig plant to buy?

Logees seems to be a good company to purchase exotic plants and I have ordered plants from them.

Continue reading “Buying a Fig Tree in New Jersey”

Great Gardening Books

Are you thinking of giving a gardening book as a gift this season?  Or are you asking Santa for a gardening book for yourself? There are some excellent books for people of all ages and all levels of gardening experience. Here is a list of some of the publishing houses that have published  gardening books that TheGardenLady recommends.  Check around for the best prices after you have chosen the books you want. The prices listed on their site might not be the cheapest price on the market.

DK Publishing House is one of my favorite publishers of books in general and has an incredibly good selection of books on plants and gardening.  I think that any gardener might want the “ RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” or the American version “AHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” (AHS stands for American Horticultural Society whereas  RHS stands for the Royal Horticultural Society).

Continue reading “Great Gardening Books”

Gardening Tools

Old garden rake used as a tool rack by ozhaggishead

People who enjoy gardening might enjoy receiving a gift of good quality gardening tools. Or you might want to treat yourself to some quality tools like pruning shears or a folding saw. Where does one shop to be assured of a quality product that won’t fall apart after a few years of use?

on the potting bench by Daisy’s Little Cottage

Well, many years ago a horticulturist told me about Florian gardening products.  So that is what TheGardenLady bought. Florian manufactures their products in the US. This is an American company that manufactures in the states. I like to buy Made in America products whenever I can. Florian gives a life-time guarantee for their products. This is also something greatly appreciated. And every year Florian has a booth at the Philadelphia Flower Show where they sharpen your tools free of charge. TheGardenLady and friends take our shears to the show every year where they are sharpened- no questions asked. I have their ratchet type hand pruner that is easy to use and makes a nice cut. TheGardenLady has no vested interest in telling you this. I just like to rave about a good product.

Continue reading “Gardening Tools”

Dealing with Deer with Fences

Deer Jumping Fence by F-Stop Philm

If you are unlucky enough to live in an area where there are many wild deer, you are probably having problems with the deer eating your trees and plants.  You might also worry because deer carry so many Lyme ticks.

The most common deer is the white-tailed deer-Odocoileus virginianus, also referred to as the Virginia deer or the whitetail. This medium-sized deer is native to all but five of the states in the United States. Its territory spreads north through the southern regions of Canada in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario as well as south through Mexico, Central and South America as far as Peru. The white-tailed deer has also been introduced to some countries in Europe and New Zealand.

Continue reading “Dealing with Deer with Fences”

Gardening-Related Odd Jobs

Putting up Christmas lights by dmswart

I know that this is a Garden blog, but TheGardenLady thought that at this time of the year there might be a need to earn a few extra dollars. This is a time to do something extra special for someone and for yourself. So this column will be a few suggestions, related to gardening- of course, that might bring in some extra money or might work into a full time job for you and will help people in your neighborhood.

Continue reading “Gardening-Related Odd Jobs”

How to Use the Internet to Find Gardening Information

macterrarium by aur2899

If you wish to do gardening, plant or insect and pest research on your own, TheGardenLady wants to suggest a few ways to get the best, most up to date information on line.

The first is to check out what the extension offices have written on your subject of interest. When Googling up your topic, add the word extension at the end of the word/s you type in the search space and you will get a list of papers put out by various Agricultural extensions at different universities. For example, do you have skunks making a nest in your basement window wells? A friend did and contacted me about what she should do. I told her to call small animal control in her town. However, if you want to see what else might be recommended or if skunks don’t interest you but you are interested in rose care, type in Skunk extension or rose care extension and a list of papers from university researchers on the topic of your interest will appear.

Continue reading “How to Use the Internet to Find Gardening Information”

Christmas Tree Candles and Zimsterne Cookies

Christmas Tree Candles 2009 by steveluscher

One of the most wonderful Christmas trees that I have ever had the good fortune to see, I saw when I was first married. I won’t tell you how many years ago. My husband had recently finished graduate school and I had two small children. We lived in an apartment complex where an international community of graduate students lived. One of the couples was from Switzerland who lived near us had two little children. When Christmas time came the wife told me that she was getting all the decorations from Switzerland. But most important, she had asked her parents in Switzerland to send her all the handmade Christmas decorations and the special candle holders and candles that were used to decorate a Christmas tree in Switzerland. And she told me that when the tree was decorated she would invite me and my family to see her tree.

Continue reading “Christmas Tree Candles and Zimsterne Cookies”

The Master Gardener Program

Master Gardener pull up by Garden Organic

TheGardenLady has often suggested that when you, the readers, need your soil tested or if you have horticultural, gardening or insect problems you should call of go to your local Master Gardener Organization or to your Extension Office. I am sure that many readers know about this excellent program, but in case there are some readers who wonder what TheGardenLady is writing about, TheGardenLady thought that it might be interesting to have a column devoted to the Master Gardener Program.

First let me tell you something about why the program started. In the 1970s there had been such a rapid urban growth in the US, with so many new homeowners interested in home gardens and plants that County Extension Agents who helped farmers were overwhelmed with questions. The County Extension Agents couldn’t really help all these new amateur gardeners and professional nurseries and farmers, too. So someone in Seattle, Washington came up with the idea of training volunteers in horticulture. In exchange for the training those trained must commit to a certain number of volunteer hours to help the County Extension office solve home owners’ horticulture, plant and gardening problems thus freeing the extension agents to work with those professionals in the plant business, farmers or nurseries as well as having the time to do more research.

Continue reading “The Master Gardener Program”