Garden Phlox A Reliable Perennial Favorite

  It’s refreshing when a perennial doesn’t need pampering, coddling and coaxing to thrive. Many old-time perennials are low-maintenance and long-lived, as pioneer homesteaders had little free time to sweet-talk flowers into survival. Phlox paniculata is an old-fashioned perennial that’s enjoying fresh popularity. Phlox paniculata’s common names are simply garden phlox or tall phlox. (As…
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Pot Headspace Has Major Effect On Houseplants

I’ve noticed a common thread in houseplants that are doing poorly: their headspace is too great. ‘Headspace’ is the depth of space between the top of the potting soil and the rim of the pot. Now, not every houseplant with the proper headspace is guaranteed to thrive, but over the years I’ve notice that when…
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Best Plum Varieties For Backyard Gardeners

Growing fruit in our backyards is fun, especially when it tastes better than store-bought. Plums are a great example. Northern gardeners can grow tree-ripened plums that are sweet and juicy, and the small trees easily fit into homeyards. Plums are small-scale trees, only growing to an average of 15 feet high and wide, smaller than…
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The Quest For The Best Tomato

Tomatoes have long been America’s most-planted garden vegetable. But with a dizzying array of hundreds of named varieties, which are the best? For most of us, the top criteria for the “best” tomato is taste. And it must be decent size and ripening timely for our region. How should a tomato taste? That’s hard to…
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The Perennial Flower That Has Gas

All plants are unique, but some are very unique. Take, for example, the perennial flower that has gas. The flower stalks emit a flammable oil with vapors that can be ignited with a match, resulting in an ascending poof of flame. And that’s where it gets its common name – gas plant. But gas plant…
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