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December 22, 2014

Home & Garden

There is beauty in a winter garden, if you know where to look

Gardeners love winter — though perhaps not the days coined the “polar vortex” because of the cold of 2013. The winter season, however, has a very special allure to those who cherish the world of plants.

  • icon Updated: December 14

More stories

Sunday 11/23/2014
Protecting plants from winter’s blast
Updated: November 23, 2014 - 10:30 am

Fall in Alabama means temperatures in the 70s one day, in the 30s the next. It is the lower temperatures that bring questions about protecting landscape plants from those cold winter blasts (even though it’s not winter … yet).

Friday 11/07/2014
The garden in winter: Blooms to brighten up the cold, gray days ahead
Posted: November 07, 2014

Admirers gush over the spring garden and use adjectives like “gorgeous” to describe masses of blooming azaleas and dogwoods. The connoisseurs of fall’s vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow swear that autumn’s beauty is unparalleled.

Saturday 10/11/2014
ON GARDENING: Plan now for strawberries
Posted: October 11, 2014

October is a great time to start a strawberry patch. Strawberries established in the fall have a much higher yield the following season.

Friday 10/03/2014
Outside the box: Fall colors don't have to be red, yellow and orange
Posted: October 03, 2014

When most gardeners visit a nursery with the notion of adding fall color to their landscape, they will look for foliage in glorious shades of red, orange or yellow. Japanese maples with flaming colors and names like ‘October Glory’ come to mind.

Muscadines aren't like the grapes from the store
Posted: October 03, 2014

Perhaps nothing is more evocative of the South and summer than the noble muscadine. No Southern child’s right of passage is complete until one of these tough-skinned grapes is plucked from the vine and its innards squeezed mouthward.

On Gardening: Those funny webs in trees? Webworms
Updated: October 04, 2014 - 11:14 am

This time of year, you’ve probably seen webbing in trees, while driving down the side of the road or in your own landscape. This webbing announces the presence of fall webworms.

Saturday 09/13/2014
ON GARDENING: Gardening all-stars to appear at Alexander City event
Posted: September 13, 2014

I am excited to announce an upcoming event for October — to quote my favorite TV character, Barney Fife: "Something big! Real big! Big! Big big!"

ON GARDENING: Cilantro a great addition to the winter garden
Posted: September 13, 2014

Transitioning to cool-season vegetables in the garden is one of the more enjoyable chores of summer.  It is a lot more pleasant to work in the garden in October than in July, for sure.

Saturday 08/30/2014
Muster up to battle fall armyworms
Posted: August 30, 2014

Fall armyworms are once again chomping across Alabama. Armyworms feed on a wide variety of grasses but prefer bermudagrass, where they are a major pest. Damage to lawns may start as early as July and can continue until frost.

Sunday 08/24/2014
It’s time to save the bees
Posted: August 24, 2014

Although the bees have no idea of the importance of their activities, the gardener knows that when the bees spread the pollen, they help ensure that the plant will produce fruit and seeds, and ultimately set the stage for a successful crop, whether it be blueberries, almonds or squash.

Tough plants: Alabama expert to speak on best bets for Southern gardens
Updated: August 25, 2014 - 8:02 am

As the dog days of summer limp into fall, the heat seems to have beaten the beauty out of even the toughest plants.

Saturday 08/16/2014
ON GARDENING: The right way to whack weeds
Updated: August 16, 2014 - 11:22 pm

One of the most difficult chores for landowners and homeowners is controlling unwanted weeds and brush. The constant mowing, trimming, pulling and spraying is an aggravating battle, especially during the summer months.

Sunday 08/10/2014
Tips for plants that can’t stand the heat
Posted: August 10, 2014

A lot of lawns, landscapes and gardens are showing the symptoms of heat and water stress right about now. My rain gauge has been empty for a couple of weeks — the 14 drops we received a week ago evaporated before hitting the ground. Often it is when we notice these symptoms that we start watering or maybe fertilizing the plants more to “perk them up.”

Saturday 08/02/2014
Posted: August 02, 2014

It’s a patio, a shed, a fire pit and a shady place to relax on summer weekends in the backyard. But more importantly, it might just save their lives.

They're here... Crazy ant sighting in South Alabama
Posted: August 02, 2014

Meet the tawny crazy ant — so named because they run around in crazy patterns. There has recently been a confirmed sighting of the tawny crazy ant in Mobile County, the first confirmed sighting in Alabama.

Sunday 07/27/2014
IN BLOOM: Colorful plants for a scorching summer
Updated: August 28, 2014 - 7:26 pm

During the scorching days of summer, gardeners may notice their once-picturesque beds have become faded, dried-out husks. J&M Plants in Anniston may have just the thing to get your yard back to the colorful collage it once was.

When she’s not tending children, this Anniston pediatrician tends plants
Updated: July 29, 2014 - 4:57 pm

In the home of Igor and Tatiana Bidikov, the dining room table is conspicuously missing a centerpiece. It doesn’t need a centerpiece, says Tatiana; the gardens seen through the window are centerpiece enough. She’s right. The landscape outside is a glorious panorama of perennials, shrubs, trees and artwork.

Saturday 07/19/2014
Get rid of flies buzzing around the fruit bowl
Posted: July 19, 2014

The kitchen is one of the busiest places in the house about now.   Home-grown tomatoes line the countertops, waiting to be eaten or canned, but those veggies can also bring unwanted visitors — fruit flies.  

Saturday 07/12/2014
Foraging for the elusive chanterelle in the woods of Calhoun County
Updated: July 13, 2014 - 2:42 am

A culinary adventure began for three Jacksonville residents early one July morning, where a rutted, grassy trail dead-ended into a common stand of woods in Calhoun County.

Water works: Tips for irrigating thirsty lawns and gardens
Posted: July 12, 2014

Spoiled by the abundant spring rainfall, roots are more shallow than usual, which could be a problem if plants get thirsty. Irrigation may be their only chance for survival.

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