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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Posts Tagged ‘houseplants’

Spring Has FINALLY Come To Our Area ……..I think

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Tulips blooming in the spring

After a very cold, snow laden winter and a very chilly, wet spring (since March 21, the official beginning of spring), we finally have some sunny and warmer weather. What a beautiful day it is and even though the yard looks pretty bad still with all the winter debris still lying about, there is beginning to be some growth and even a few flowers.

The fruit trees are in bloom and the tulips are doing their thing, which is being gorgeous.

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Tulips from the garden






I look forward to a all that’s coming in the garden, perennials coming back up, blooms beginning to pop everywhere, little tiny fruit beginning to form on the apricot, apple, plum, peach and cherry trees. I guess most of all I look forward to just being in the garden, whether working or relaxing, just being there, instead of shut up in the house.

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Plants wintering over in the house.

Speaking of house, this week all the plants that had to winter over inside get to go back out and the house will return to normal. It is kind of nice have them around us when the winter is raging outside, but enough is enough and the house always seems so much larger after they are all returned to their outdoor places. They’ll be happier and we will too.

Houseplants For Deck and Patio

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Plants on deck


I think ALL PLACES look better with plants.

This includes patios and decks. Plants create a more welcoming atmosphere along with adding beauty and interest. Sometimes it’s hard to find potted plants or the deck or patio. You can do bedding plants, but if you want something larger, you almost need a shrub or a tree.

There are a lot of plants sold as houseplants that would do very well outside, in the right conditions. Unless you live in the tropics, most of them would have to come in for the winter, but then your house is beautiful all winter. See   Of course, you don’t have to have as many as we do…I just kind of get carried away.

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Young plum tree in large pot in early summer

There are plants that can get tall, and some are medium sized, so you’re not limited to the size of bedding plants or worrying that in a couple of years the shrub or tree is going to be way to big for your area.

Check out these 50 house plants to consider . Learn a little bit about the ones that appeal to you and then, head to Lowe’s or your local garden center and check out the varieties available there. As you check the information tags on each one, you’ll know if it needs shade or can tolerate some sunshine. You’ll know if it needs to be kept moist or can tolerate drying out between waterings.

Some of these plants are long lived and can be a good investment, both for your home or for your outside living areas.

50 Best House Plants

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House Plants

Since the cold winter weather has set in, the gardening activities have come to an end…or have they? If you have house plants, then you can keep your green thumbs working until spring and warm weather returns.

If you’re lucky enough to have large windows, which can provide lots of nice, bright, filtered light, then you can grow quite a few different plants, some will even flower in the house. If you need to though, you can arrange “grow lights” that provide the necessary light for plants to grow.

It is nice to have something green around you during the dreary winter months.

Early last December I wrote about houseplants and promised more information. See:

For information on growing house plants and a list of the 50 best house plants, as well as information on each one check out the “Container Gardening” tab at the top of the page. See

I’m sure you’ll recognize some of your favorites in the list and maybe some you haven’t tried before that you might like to grow.

If you found this post helpful, please consider clicking on the Google +1 button, and any of the other social media buttons as well. Thanks.

How to Grow Basil Through The Winter

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Potted Basil

I’ve just had a question come up about basil and if it will make it through the winter. Well that is a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ kind of deal.

Unless you live in the tropics, it won’t survive the winter outside. The first cold snap will turn it black. But…

bring it into your warm cozy home and it will do very well IF it has enough sunlight. Since all you need is a few leaves to flavor most dishes, this could be a great move on your part, to have basil at your finger tips all winter. Keeping it pinched back will keep it from getting too leggy and you’ll have basil to use. If it tends to keep getting leggy that is a very good indication it needs more light.

If you can get it through the winter then you will have a head start next spring because the roots will be ready to take off and grow and you’ll have mature basil much faster. Just a note about basil (and most other culinary herbs), keep the tops pinched out as it will make the plant fuller and keep it from blooming. You don’t want it to bloom but if it does just pinch them off.

Even if you have basil in a large planter you can still transplant it into a smaller container to bring in. If you plan to do that then go ahead and cut it back by about 1/3 so it will have time to recover before you transplant it. Be sure to get as many of the roots as possible as it will make it much easier for the plant to survive. Water it during the winter but be careful not to over-water. That is probably the number one cause of houseplants not thriving or not even living.

So give it a try, it will surely die outside in the cold, so what have you got to lose?

If you are unable to bring your basil in and want to harvest it before the cold gets it, here is a really good way to preserve that basil flavor in a way that will be convenient all during the year. You can make a large batch of pesto and freeze it in small (or tiny) ice cube trays. Then pop them out of the trays and put in zip bags and store in the freezer to use all winter long. Use it in salad dressings, on toasted French bread, or on cooked pasta. It’s a great way to enjoy your basil for a long time.

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by Eliza Osborn

Our Garden Gate
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