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Today's Idea
Our Herb SpiralOur Herb Spiral
By dave, July 26, 2014

In early 2012 we built an herb spiral and it has since become a cornerstone of our gardens. Allow me to take a moment to share with you how and why we built this amazingly useful garden structure.

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Announcing the ATP and Caladium Bulbs 4 Less Photo Contest!Announcing the ATP and Caladium Bulbs 4 Less Photo Contest!
By dave, July 25, 2014

Our friends at Caladium Bulbs 4 Less are sponsoring our very first photo contest at All Things Plants, and there are prizes to win! Do you have great photos of caladiums? Then enter them in our contest and win prizes along with the admiration of your peers!

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Beautiful Lamb's EarsBeautiful Lamb's Ears
By SongofJoy, July 25, 2014

One of my favorite foliage plants is the 'Silver Carpet' variety of Lamb's Ears (Stachys byzantina). It's tough and semi-drought-tolerant.

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Indoor Cactus Gardening 101Indoor Cactus Gardening 101
By kararenee, July 24, 2014

A beginner's guide to growing cacti and succulents indoors.

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ATP Podcast #65: Xeriscaping in the GardenATP Podcast #65: Xeriscaping in the Garden
By dave, July 23, 2014

We took last week off but we're back and ready to talk about gardening. It's Xeriscaping Week at ATP and today we're going to dive down deep into the topic of xeriscaping. What is xeriscaping? Is it only for desert regions? Is it something that you can put into practice in your own garden? Find out in today's episode of the ATP podcast!

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The Magic in YarrowThe Magic in Yarrow
By Sharon, July 22, 2014

There was magic, she said, in the plants we gathered from the mountain. Magic plants had three reasons for living: They gave us food, they gave us medicine, and they gave us beauty. She said yarrow was truly magic because it was also a plant that could live with very little water. To me, the very best part about yarrow was that it was so old it had a story to tell. That made it even more magical. I loved Aunt Bett's stories.

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Some of My Favorite Xeriscape Plants Are Real StinkersSome of My Favorite Xeriscape Plants Are Real Stinkers
By SongofJoy, July 21, 2014

I love stapeliads, especially Stapelia gigantea. Some people say the blooms emit a terrible odor. Others say they can't smell them at all.

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Landscape or XeriscapeLandscape or Xeriscape
By Sharon, July 20, 2014

A few years ago if you had asked me what I thought when I heard the word "Xeriscape," I would have immediately said "Cactus and rocks." How little I knew and how quickly my mind was forever changed.

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The ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic PlantsThe ATP Top 50 Xeriscapic Plants
By dave, July 19, 2014

Does xeriscapic mean boring and dry looking? Absolutely not! You'll never believe what beautiful blooms are available for the non-irrigated landscape. Come in and see.

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The newest comments to the plant database:
By gardengus on Jul 26, 2014 5:27 AM, concerning plant: Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Successfully grown from seed using the winter sown method.
produced white ''buttons'' 2nd year and is 4 ft tall and covered in blooms this (3rd) year

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By Weedwhacker on Jul 25, 2014 1:52 PM, concerning plant: Hot Pepper (Capsicum annuum 'Garden Salsa')

This is a hybrid, medium-hot pepper, about 8 inches long, that starts out green and turns red. Very productive in my northern garden, and one of the varieties I grow every year. Excellent for adding just a bit of heat to any dish -- I love to dice up both red and green peppers and add to sweet corn, for my own "Mexicorn." Also good raw in a salad. About 73 days to maturity.

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By chelle on Jul 25, 2014 9:12 AM, concerning plant: Signet Marigold (Tagetes erecta 'Lulu')

I haven't noticed many self-sown seedlings from last year's plants, but there is one growing in the fork of a tree stump at just about eye level. If it lives to bloom I'll post a picture. I guess this might be a good beginning indication that this plant needs very little sustained moisture and very little in the way of added nutrients.

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By chalyse on Jul 25, 2014 5:02 AM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Double Red Royal')

Vigor and Flower: Double Red Royal has performed well in the semi-shaded area of our 9b garden. The double bloom is fully formed from the first flower open, and two blooms will often open on different areas of one scape at the same time. The buds are almost as beautiful as the flowers in terms of garden interest and display. The spent flowers retain a lot of color and darken and curl nicely. Though not noted in the cultivar's registration, the petals have a thin white edge, the edge is somewhat serrated, and often has extra petal material often referred to as "angel wings." It was ranked as resistant to rust in 2001 by University of Arkansas testing, which means that less than 50% of the plant showed disease when exposed to rust.

Scape and Foliage: The scape is straight, sturdy and as thick as any Tet (though it is a Dip) and holds even two very substantially doubled flowers well at the same time. Though my pictures show an angled scape you'll notice the fan also leans out at an angle out from the crown (the fan lays somewhat diagonal to the ground), so the scape itself is straight out from that fan. At the apex of a clump, then, the scapes would be vertical. The foliage is wide and fairly well open toward flat, with a typical open-fan arrangement that is just loose enough to give some variation to the silhouette. Leaves are similarly classicaly arched with some occasional ruffle to them.

Fertility: Takes easily both ways with dips.

Overall an outstanding cultivar for zone 9b.

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By chalyse on Jul 24, 2014 12:03 AM, concerning plant: Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Highland Lord')

Vigor and Flower: Highland Lord started out as a healthy plant years ago in our gardens, but gradually lost vigor and dwindled down, along with other long, narrower-leaf daylilies that consistently under-perform in summer temps above 90-100 in our zone 9b. It did not increase over three years. Just not enough vigor in the leaves to support more gain than loss, and not an appropriate cultivar for use in a drought tolerant hybridization program. A real shame as it looks in photos like it would have a pleasing flower. Developmentally delayed bloomer at best, progenitor of downward spiraling at worst, it will be replaced with a wider leaf cultivar.

Scape and Foliage: The fans did not produced a scape during three years in 9b. The foliage is long and more upright than most, with few leaves. The aspect of each blade is somewhat tightly closed in a "V" rather than more open or flat.

A recommended alternative tet for 9b would include Party Popper which, though it unfortunately takes a year to stabilize color, has a fresh blend of red to pass on, and has proven to be a great garden performer and pod parent. For home display gardens, the dip Double Red Royal is a standout stand-in in 9b, and was tested at the University of Arkansas in 2001 where it was graded as resistant to rust (less than 50% of plant showing disease when exposed to rust). In shade, it displays closer to the purple end of the red spectrum here, but in full sun it is much closer to a deep medium red, and it has a hearty, velvety substance that is fairly sun fast.


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