The New River Valley Master Gardener training program begins this Tuesday with a potluck, held at a special time. Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-4:00 p.m., but this first meeting will be at 6:00 p.m.
Here’s a new interesting plant grafting! Territorial Seed Company has released a grafted tomato/potato plant, called ‘Ketchup ‘n’ Fries’™.
It's gorgeous outside today, so naturally I'm thinking of spring.
African violets are special to me. They were my mother's favorite houseplant and I think of her every time they bloom.
Almost two years ago, I wrote an article about orchids, in which I confessed my intimidation at growing them. As research for the article, I spoke to Art Chadwick of Chadwick & Son Orchids in Richmond, who assured me that they weren't that difficult to grow. He said the next step after learning to care for the plant was to attempt to achieve an annual rebloom, and once you were successful at getting a plant to rebloom, you'd be hooked.
If you’ve always wanted to become a Master Gardener, maybe this is the year. Some local offices are now accepting applications, with programs beginning in February. Other offices begin classes in fall.
Bedford Extension Master Gardeners and the Virginia Cooperative Extension are holding a free presentation on fruit tree pruning, this Thursday, January 29 in Troutville.
Yesterday's article discussed when, and when not, to repot houseplants. Here are the instructions for how to repot.
Need a winter gardening fix? Consider repotting your houseplants.
If you're growing an air plant, fertilizing is not really necessary, but it will result in faster growth, better flowers and more pups. The key, though, will be to fertilize correctly, which for an air plant means to fertilize very lightly.
Hahn Horticulture is holding one of its free lunchtime learning garden walks and talks tomorrow, and this talk gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with their new Garden Director, Robert McDuffie.
The Hahn Horticulture Garden is partnering with Historic Smithfield Plantation to offer a garden lecture by Peter Hatch, Director of Garden and Grounds at Monticello.
Air plants will flower only once. Once the flower has dried up, it's recommended that you remove the old petal and cut off the flower stalk, as this promotes pupping. Pupping is the term given to the production of new plants.
If water is the most important need for an air plant, the right light is second.
I spoke to someone a couple of days ago, who told me she used to have an air plant, but had killed it. Sure enough, the problem was that she never watered it.
If you enjoyed Saturday’s article on air plants, you might enjoy hearing about how one person used tiny air plants as unique wedding favors.
Air plants are for crafty gardeners, those with brown thumbs, or those who just like keeping up on the latest plant trends.
The annual Greater Roanoke Valley Home and Garden Show happens this weekend at the Berglund Center. Two exhibit halls are packed with inspiration for a beautiful home and garden.
The plants in your garden and landscaping can also be those that are thought to attract good luck.
Bamboo has long been known as the Chinese symbol for strength, due to its fast growth and resilience. Lucky bamboo, which is actually a member of the dracaena family and not bamboo at all, is given as a gift of good fortune as it looks like bamboo, but is much easier to grow as a houseplant. A gift of lucky bamboo symbolizes the wish for a strong life filled with prosperity.
If you enjoy watching birds during the winter, the Discovery Center has a workshop for you.
2015 is a few hours old now. Have you made any gardening resolutions?
Have you ever wondered why some plants get imbued with certain meanings? Over the centuries, there have been plants that symbolized happiness, health, wisdom, love, wealth, peace, purity and good fortune. Sometimes the reason is rather obvious and sometimes it seems to defy explanation.
Yesterday’s article on lucky plants referenced several plants as “lucky” when grown in accordance with Feng Shui design. But, there is another component to attracting luck.
Need some luck for the New Year? Consider growing one of these plants.
Now that the holidays are heading to a close, it’s time to consider removal of the holiday greenery. When is the proper time?
We have been doing serious research about adding hollies to our landscape for many reasons, not least of which is how well they co-exist with deer. In fact, if you need to create a good deer-resistant hedge for an area of your yard, hollies are often the recommended plant choice.
Today is the Winter Solstice and Yule, so why not bring a little bit of nature into your home in celebration? Florists and interior designers widely use “naturals” in decorating, and so can you.
Gardeners may wonder how two unrelated evergreen plants like holly and ivy became so closely entwined for the holidays. Like many other aspects of Christmas, you have to look to pagan traditions to figure out the answer.
Although it’s the female holly that produces berries, most holly cultivars require a male holly in the vicinity for fruit production to occur. And, for the most berries to be produced, the best pollinator is a male of the same species. However, that doesn’t really mean that you have to have a male pollinator for every single different type of holly in your landscape.
Hollies that require both male and female plants to set fruit are termed dioecious. Female hollies that do not require a male to set fruit are called parthenocarpic. Even though a parthenocarpic plant does not require a male to set fruit, it’s been observed that parthenocarpic cultivars have a heavier fruit set when a flowering male holly is in the vicinity.
For centuries, holly has had a traditional connection to Christmas and winter celebrations. Many believed that holly’s ability to stay green throughout the winter meant that it had magical properties.
No shrub is linked more with the winter holidays than holly. Beyond holiday decorating, hollies make a wonderful addition to the landscape, providing color during cold winter months.
Gift giving season is here. I like to look at plants I grow as potential gifts to give.
From my email, it seems like a lot of readers share my love of, and fascination with, holiday cactus, and the misnaming of Christmas cactus.
If you’re growing a holiday cactus, here’s how the year unfolds for your plant.
If you have a Thanksgiving or Christmas cactus and have had problems getting the plant to rebloom year after year, the likely solution lies in providing the correct light and temperature.
Our family has an excursion planned tomorrow to get our Christmas tree. It amuses me how this ritual has changed since moving to Virginia.
T’is the season for making wreaths!
Saturday’s article on holiday cacti talked about the leaves being the key to correct plant identification. Now, maybe you don’t care which plant you’re growing, but, if you’re like me, you do.
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a mention of a plant called a Thanksgiving cactus, something I’d never heard of. That led to some research, which, in turn, led to an examination of my own Christmas cactus, a plant I’ve been growing for over 15 years.
Here’s another hostess gift idea, in time for the holidays.
Been invited to someone’s home for the holidays this week? If you’re looking for a gardening-related hostess gift, potted herbs are always nice, particularly if you’re visiting the home of someone who likes to cook.
For those of you who are interested in becoming Master Gardeners, the New River Valley Master Gardener Training Program is now accepting applications for the 2015 class.
Last winter’s brutal cold cost us a favorite rose bush. I have to admit that I’m not always the best about taking the time to provide some protection for the cold for shrubs. I prefer plants that thrive on their own without my help, but I really did like this rose and was very sorry to lose it.
In Saturday’s article on the Junior Master Gardener program, I recommended the JMG website, which is good for any kid interested in gardening, even if they aren't serious enough to enter JMG.
Two free events are happening today, November 17, at the Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs.
Yesterday’s article about the Junior Master Gardener program contained references to several organizations. Here are the links if you’d like to learn more.
Check out today’s article to learn more about the Junior Master Gardener program, a horticulture and science education program based on the Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program for adults.
John William Castle, Jr., 87, of Moneta and former resident of Staten Island, N.Y. died Thursday, March 26, 2015.
Mary Miller Sizemore, 88, of Salem, passed away Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Graveside Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens. Arrangements by John M. Oakey & Son in Salem, 540-389-5441.
Maxie Leon Young, 72, of Austinville, passed away Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Funeral Services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2015, at Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel, Hillsville, Va., 276-728-2041.
Benjamin David (Benny) Fuller, 54, of Glade Hill, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at his home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Loney C. Fuller and Emma Lee Mitchell Fuller also; one brother, Donald Ray "Bongo" Fuller.