2016 April Garden Gardening Update

If you're a gardener (and if you're reading this you probably are!) spring time excites you like no other season. April is a great month to get in the garden and get some work done but always remember to take a few moments to appreciate what's growing! Here's a quick rundown of a little of what is growing in my April garden in Tennessee. The Yoshino Cherry trees were spectacular this year! We had a storm this week that blew all the petals everywhere and it appeared like someone had a wedding in our backyard. The flowers only last a little while but they were amazing while they painted our yard in color. My red buckeye tree is just beginning blooming. This native plant is a hummingbird magnet and it's coming out just in time for the little birds to enjoy. My hops vine ('Cascade') is coming back nicely. It's…

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Annual Herb Sale presented by The Herb Society of Nashville

Every year the The Herb Society of Nashville holds an herb sale open to the public. This year the herb sale will be on April 16, 2016 at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Check out the information below from their press release for more details! The Press Release: The Herb Society of Nashville will hold its Annual Herb Sale on Saturday, April 16, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena Building. The Annual Herb Sale is open to the public and admission is free (except for a $5.00 parking fee to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds) and will feature the sale of rare varieties of annual and perennial herbs, as well as all culinary herbs.  Credit and debit cards will be accepted. For more information, visit www.herbsocietynashville.org or contact Rhonda Galligan at rhonda.galligan@gmail.com or by phone 931-224-8947. Featuring: •Heirloom Vegetables •Rare Varieties of Annual and Perennial Herbs…

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Tough Plants – Salvia nemorosa

While the winter is still in gear I thought it might be helpful to begin reviewing some of the toughest plants I have grown over the years. I've grown a lot of them (and killed a few of them along the way). In my garden it has to be a tough plant to survive over the years. Today I'm going to mention one of my all time garden favorite perennials: salvia. I'm not talking about the annual salvia that a lot of folks use as a bedding plant. I'm talking about the Salvia nemorosas of the world. The 'May Night' salvias, the 'Caradonna Salvia', or the 'East Friesland' salvias are the toughest salvias I have grown. All three of these salvia varieties have been planted in my garden and all three have survived neglect, transplanting, drought, rabbits, and deer. Let me be clear here, I don't take care of my…

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Winter Garden Plants

When you look out at your garden in the winter what do you see? Is it dull and drab with little or no interest? Or does it have something in it that pops and makes your garden standout in the neighborhood? What might be the difference between that boring winter landscape and the awesome winter garden is the plants. Winter garden plants can add a lot of impact to your landscape. Plants with berries, green foliage, or interest stems add the element of winter interest to the garden. What winter garden plants should you add for maximum impact? I'll detail a few options for you. Winter Garden Plants Holly - for the foliage and berries. For the purposes of this post we can talk about two main types of holly deciduous and evergreen. Both are great for winter color but are significantly different this time of year. Evergreen hollies like…

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Why I Let Cilantro Bolt and You Should Too

Cilantro is one of our family's favorite herbs to grow. We use it in cooking various dishes and always include it in our guacamole. In the garden it tends to be very short lived in the heat of the summer. Cilantro is very heat sensitive and will produce flowers very fast when the temperatures get warm. When a plant begins to flower is called bolting but in the case of this herb it's not a bad thing. There are lots of great reasons to let your cilantro bolt. Cilantro produces small tiny clusters of white to pink flowers that are very ornamental. While that might be a great reason in itself to let cilantro flower cilantro also attracts small bees and pollinators to the garden. It's also never bothered by deer or rabbits so it makes a great plant to keep next to garden areas that may have issues with…

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5 Herbs for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is coming up next week and soon those turkeys will be filling our homes with the savory scents of a delicious dinner to be enjoyed among friends and family (and perhaps a nap to follow).  A lot of preparation goes into preparing that perfect Thanksgiving dinner and this being a gardening blog we aren't talking turkey here but rather - herbs!  So for today's Friday Five post let's visit five herbs that will help make your Thanksgiving Dinner delicious! 5 Herbs for Thanksgiving Dinner! Rosemary Our family uses rosemary around our house all the time.  Our favorite dish for rosemary also contains another garden favorite - potatoes! We roast the potatoes with onions, garlic, and a little olive oil in the oven until the potatoes are tender.  The exact makeup of the roasted potato dish varies depending on what potatoes we have around whether red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or a combination…

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5 Heucheras and How They Perform

Over the years I've accumulated quite a few heucheras for my garden.  Heucheras or coral bells are becoming more and more popular as a wide array of unique cultivars continue to come on the market.  You might even think that heucheras are relatively new to the horticultural world when in fact they've been tinkered with by horticulturalists since the late 1800's.  Heucheras are native to North America and can be found naturally from the west coast to the east coast.  Heucheras thrive in rock gardens and in dry shade where other plants might not be so happy.  Heuchera breeders are working on developing more sun tolerant heucheras as well as heucheras with larger flowers. As a general note I'm fascinated with them.  Foliage colors range from green to amber to brown to purple while the bell shaped flowers general stay between a mid range pink to white in color. Today…

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5 Herbs You Should Grow In Your Garden! (Friday Fives)

I couldn't imagine my garden without herbs.  Whether for making tea, dinner, or a myriad of other uses herbs are an essential part of my garden.  Some of the herbs in my garden I use as companion plants in addition to their culinary uses.  Herbs are awesome and you should grow them if you aren't already.  What herbs do I grow in my garden?  I'm glad you asked because today for the Friday Fives I'll share with you five of my favorite herbs.  Please note though that these do well in my zone 6b-7 garden and may not perform the same where you are! 5 Herbs You Should Growing In Your Garden!   My then 2 year old daughter (now 4) examining the basil harvest! My number one herb, and perhaps my most favorite of all, is basil!  We use basil in pesto, tomato sauces, on bruschetta, and in many…

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Amazing Ajuga (reptans)

Some plants just really know how to grow! Take this Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed) that I planted in my corner shade garden area last fall for instance. I had one plant that I divided into two and planted on either side of a large stepping stone. Those two plants have now become all those that you see in the picture below. To me that's just amazing! Ajuga makes a great groundcover for shady areas. You can help ajuga along by propagating more of it through division but that really isn't necessary unless you want the purple and green variegated groundcover to spread in a new location. It's a tough groundcover and doesn't seem bothered by poor watering conditions. Ajuga is great for a little color in the shade or a living mulch underneath shrubs and trees. It fills in thick and doesn't allow for many weeds to poke through. Keep in…

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Garden Shed – April Video Update!

This is the first video update from the garden shed. Hopefully I'll be able to add more videos to The Home Garden over time include how-to's and mini-garden tours! I hope you enjoy the look inside my messy construction and plant filled shed. Please be forgiving, as always it is a work in progress!This video was made with my Sony HDRCX130 HD Video Camera!

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