Glyphosate is a Dangerous Herbicide

Glyphosate Injury by Arkansas Rice

Planning your garden for the spring? Planning to use herbicides to kill weeds in your garden? If you are considering any chemical for your garden, think twice about it and think hard about the safety. If you think that any ”Pesticide is safe” that is sold in the stores, think again. More and more evidence seems to say that this is a myth.  See here.

Weed by dan mogford

They newest scientific evidence coming out is that one of the most extensively used herbicides in the history of agriculture, glyphosate, is dangerous. This “systemic herbicide can have extensive unintended effects on nutruient efficiency and disease severity, thereby threatening its agricultural sustainability.”  See here.

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Companion Planting or Underplanting

companion planting at Heligan, Cornwall by RoseBridger

As the snow sits on the lawn, TheGardenLady is sure that her readers are dreaming of the day the bulbs start pushing up their leaves.  This is a sure sign that the flowers will soon open signaling spring. This spring I am looking forward to hyacinths and tulips and other bulbs, because last fall I planted so many more bulbs.

One of the concerns when planting bulbs is the leaves after the flowers have died. We now know that it is important to NEVER cut the leaves after flowering so that the bulb will get the nutrition needed for next year’s flowering. And we now know that we should not tie the leaves in a bundle- a method that was used to make the leaves more controlled looking after bloom time. So what should one do with the unsightly leaves until they completely die back later in the season?

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Gardening Catalogs

Torture by Sun Dogs & Daylilies

It is that time of year when garden catalogs start coming in the mail. I think gardeners have a problem; at least this gardener does. There are so many plants that I lust to own that I can’t read a seed catalog or go to a plant nursery and not find another plant that I want to add to my garden. So in spite of all the plants in my garden, I am definitely ordering more from some of the catalogs I have received. And some of the catalogs are giving half off the price of the order as an added allure.

But now the problem is where can I find space to plant.  Most flowering plants want sun. But I have a lot of trees. My dream is to get rid of as much lawn as possible and just fill the yard with flowers. But then I have deer… and rabbits…. Oh well, one has to dream and add to the garden.

If you are not receiving any catalogs, you can always go on line. But if you like to receive catalogs in your mailbox like I do, so that you can go over and over the items at leisure, there are many free catalogs that you can order and have mailed to you. Just remember to share your unwanted catalogs with friends and family when you have finished reading them.

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Amsonia: 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year

Arkansas Amsonia In Spring by deepintheforestcat

In my garden I grow a plant that I love called Amsonia. l am also flattered that so many people who pass – even those driving by- my garden stop to ask the name of the plant when it is in flower. One woman, a friend who is a member of the local Master Gardening Assoc., even stopped to ask me what it was and where I bought it. I had bought my plant at Russell Gardens Wholesale. Because I was planning another trip there when she asked, I offered to purchase an Amsonia for her.

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RIP: H. Clifton Russell, founder of Russell Gardens Wholsale

H. Clifton Russell

TheGardenLady has constantly recommended that readers shop for plants at Russell Gardens Wholesale both for their great plants and their great prices.

Sadly, this is to inform readers that the man who started this business has passed away. There will be a memorial for H. Clifton Russell this Sat. To read the obituary and to see the time of the memorial service check out today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

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Best New Plants of 2011

Livin’ Easyâ„¢ 1996 AARS Winner

This is the time of year that the best new plants of the New Year are being announced: shrubs, trees annuals, perennials and vegetables. There is plenty of time to read about the plants to see if any will fit into your garden.

The Yellow Rose by AllHarts

All American Rose Selections has announced the 2011 roses of the year.  See here.  I love yellow roses so I was so pleased to see that one of the roses is yellow (see here) and if you want to see the names and types of all the AARS winners see here. 

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The Jewish Holiday of Tu B’Shevat – The New Year for Trees

Today is “Tu Be Shvat” The New Year for Tree in the Jewish Calendar by Ari Hahn

Today is a holiday that is celebrated by Jewish people around the world and especially in Israel. The holiday is The New Year for Trees, called Tu B’ Shevat.

The Dan Nature Preserve in December by Dara

Date Palm Phoenix dactylifera by Dara

The name Tu B’ Shevat tells people that this New Year of the Trees is celebrated on the 15th (Tu) day of the Hebrew month called Shevat. It comes on different dates in the Western calendar but always around Jan. or Feb. when spring starts in Israel. The holiday is very old, the oldest description of the celebration was said to be written in the 16th century.

Pomegranite Punica granatum by Dara

Some people plant trees on this day.

Cactus with prickly pear fruit or sabra fruit Opuntia ficus-Indica by Dara

Another custom is to eat a new fruit on this day: a fruit which one has not eaten that entire season. Some people eat fruits from the Seven Species of plants described in the Bible as being abundant in the land of Israel. The Seven Species are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey) (Deut. 8:8) Because Tu in Hebrew means 15, some people say one should eat 15 fruits that day. Other fruits some have added to the list of fruits to be eaten include citrons, apples, pears, carobs, almonds and walnuts.

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Great Gardening Book: Thoughtful Gardening by Robin Lane Fox

This winter has been a great time to curl up with a good book on gardening. I hope Santa Claus or whomever brought you good garden books to read in preparation for your own spring gardening.

For this year’s holidays, my daughter-in-law’s brother gave me the book “Thoughtful Gardening” by Robin Lane Fox. I had not heard about this book and when I saw that it was a book written by a British gardener about British gardens, my first thought was maybe I should exchange it. But I love to read and the more I looked through the book, the more interesting it seemed; especially since the President of the New York Botanical Garden and one of my favorite garden book writers, Penelope Hobhouse, highly recommended “Thoughtful Gardening.”

I am so delighted to have received this fantastic book of 80 essays on gardens and flowering plants. A book that is not only interesting to read once, but one that is a fantastic source of information to own. If TheGardenLady’s British readers have not read “Thoughtful Gardening”, I especially recommend your reading it.

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Where to Buy Galanthus Nivalis (SnowDrops)

Snowdrops – Galanthus nivalis by Süleyman

TheGardenLady received this question from Charlene.

Do you happen to have any blooming or budding Galanthus Nivalis that you could sell me? I live in California.  If not, any suggestions?

Galanthus Nivalis or the Common SnowDrops is a charming flower in gardens that have winters. They need the coldness of winter to produce flowers. This earliest blooming flower is not quite in bloom or budding in the East Coast of the United States because we have been blanketed with snow and there is more snow predicted. But towards the end of winter, the beginning of spring, they will poke through.

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More Thoughts about an Eco-Friendly Christmas

turnips by ted_major

TheGardenLady received these comments, from  Donna and one lady who did not give her name .

I too noted that real trees are more eco-friendly. It appears there is a lot more information on this subject being presented each day. I am always glad to find more support for the real trees. My friend is a Christmas tree grower and has been telling me this for years. Love the trees you found too. So clever. (Donna)

Unfortunately I had a very un eco-friendly Christmas this year, artificial tree (which is at least six years old), but the worst bit for me was that I had to buy all the vegetables for the Dinner this is the first time I can remember that we have had to do this. The vegetable plot we have normally provides all we need but this year due to the unusual weather I was not able to harvest anything so had to resort to shop bought produce which was not very tasty either. (Anonymous)

TheGardenLady loves to hear from her readers.  I was especially  interested in the comments about having an eco-friendly Christmas.

I appreciate the comment from Donna who enjoyed the Christmas photos and TheGardenLady’s support of real trees. Thank you.

I was saddened to read that one lady was unhappy this Christmas because she felt that hers was not an eco-friendly holiday because she did not have a real tree, but used her 6 year old plastic one. And she was unhappy because her vegetable patch was covered with snow so that she had to buy vegetables. I imagine that she lives in a part of the UK where snow is unusual.

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