What Grass Should I Plant In My Region?

lawngrasszonemap What Grass Should I Plant In My Region?Unsure what grass to plant in your area of the United States?  The type of seed you select does matter, and knowing which choice to make can make a huge difference in the success of your lawn over the course of several seasons.

The folks over at Hancock Seed Company have great resources, and maps of all the regions of the USA, and can match your specific area with the best grass.  Find your best turf seed, or a list of grasses that will thrive in your area.  Follow the link above and get a better idea of what will work in your yard!

Container Gardening Idea; Dusty Miller, Pansies, Gaillardia, Petunias and Violas

IMG 2517 Container Gardening Idea; Dusty Miller, Pansies, Gaillardia, Petunias and Violas

I was at the garden center the other day with a friend and saw this adorable container garden filled with a mixture of spring and summer flowers.  I think this would make a cheerful display on the deck or front porch, and it’s ingredients are all garden center staples you can find easily at your local big box store.

If you want to create your own reproduction here’s what you need: Dusty Miller, Pansies, Violas, Petunias, and Gaillardia.

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They Aren’t That Mute

Mute Swans have more vocalizations than you might think.  Aside from their snorts, and grunts, and hisses of displeasure, they have a squeal that they let out if they are upset about something, or startled.  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it’s really more of a “Squonk” than a squeal, and adequately covers their displeasure.

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Irises For Water Gardens


IMG 2624 Irises For Water Gardens

Irises are the perfect water garden plants for the novice pond owner, and thrive to the point of over abundance in almost any water garden!  Here is a list of some of my favorite Irises for water gardens, all of these are great places to begin when filling a pond.

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Native To Know: Cardinal Flower, Lobelia Cardinalis

Cardinal Flower1 Native To Know: Cardinal Flower, Lobelia Cardinalis

Photo Courtesy of: BigDan


The Cardinal Flower is a bright, brassy North American native plant that grows up to 3 or 4 feet tall, and sports spiked torches of blood red blossoms!  In the last several years this Lobelia has gained popularity in garden centers, and home landscaping, but it’s use around the house can go much farther than just as the back row of a wildflower bed.

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Check Me Out On Planet Green!

2090207379 33f1c04801 b Check Me Out On Planet Green!

Photo Courtesy of: pasotraspaso


I had the privilege of working with writer Virginia Sole-Smith of Planet Green this week to put together a few articles about common garden problems. This week’s tip tackled watering.  When to water, How to water, Why in God’s name do I have to water….You get the idea.

Virginia’s got a very engaging style of writing, and tackles the topic of struggling with her first yard with humor, and charm. I can absolutely relate to her, and I bet you will too!  If you aren’t already reading her articles, make sure to start, and while you’re at it why not start with our article “The City Girl’s Guide to Country Gardening Lesson 6: Watering.”

Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea ‘Fort McNair’

IMG 2577 1024x768 Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea ‘Fort McNair’

This Red Horse Chestnut is a tree that would not necessarily have occurred in nature, but this gorgeous cultivar brings together the best of both of it’s parents, the Buckeye, and the Horse Chestnut.

Buckeye and Horse Chestnut trees are in the same family, and they both share a similar leaf pattern and flower type, but with the cross from the Buckeye Asculus pavia, and the Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum, a bright 5-8 inch pink or red flower is produced with trademark yellow throats.  I particularly like this flowering variety because the flowers have such a tropical look to them, and because the ‘Fort McNair’ variety was created nearby in DC!

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Enchanting Woodland Birdhouses; A Book Review

Enchanting Woodland Birdhouses Enchanting Woodland Birdhouses; A Book Review

Crafty moods happen, at least to me, and when they come I make a beeline to the nearest DIY book section and start my hunt.  Lucinda Claire Macy’s book Enchanting Woodland Birdhouses Enchanting Woodland Birdhouses; A Book Review is a book for crafters interested in theme specific, storybook style birdhouses.  The book details complete instructions on how to build multiple unique style houses that are beautiful, functional, and one of a kind.

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Free Container Designs From Better Homes and Gardens

ss 100422941 Free Container Designs From Better Homes and Gardens

You don’t have to have a green thumb or endless container garden know-how to create an impressive pot of blooms, all you have to know is the right place to look for inspiration! Better Homes and Gardens website is a great place to start looking for ideas when you hit a mental roadblock.  They have a rotating slide show of 30 recipes for beautiful container gardens ready for your perusal, with names and labels on each plant to help you.  The recipes feature plants that are tried and true, and that work well together in a container garden. The pictures can be printed out and taken with you to the garden center for easy matching, or a rough idea of what textures and heights to mix together.

Next time you need an idea or two check out their site for a little inspiration, I know I do!

How To Identify A Praying Mantis Egg Case

IMG 2668 1024x768 How To Identify A Praying Mantis Egg Case

If you find a styrofoam-like bundle that looks like this on one of your plants you should count yourself lucky! This little garden find is the hardened egg case of a female Mantid.

Hallmarks of a Mantid Egg Case:

  • Firm spongy texture
  • Clearly visible layers
  • What looks like a seam running down the side of the case
  • A clearly round, or completely oval shape with tapered edges
  • The case is found attached to the stem of a flower, shrub or tree

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