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Gardeners and their Gardens

Digging into Dirt:   What Kind Is It?

As much as I appreciate the precision of the classification system for research, there are only a few soil types that we really need to know and understand in order to be successful in our own yards. Those four main soil types are sand, silt and clay which, when the previous three are mixed together, form the fourth type, loam. Each has a different texture, different characteristics and often different colors.

A Season for Everything

One of my neighbors stopped by a few weeks ago to comment on our yard. “Seeing all the flowers in bloom,” she said, “made her feel like spring was right around the corner.” I have to admit that as much as I appreciated and understood her intent, her compliment made me cringe inside. You see, she was seeing my snowdrops, daffodils and crocus all in bloom at the same time. Yes, it made for a color-filled late February bed, but they should have been blooming in succession; that’s what Mother Nature intended.

Take A Break -- You Deserve It

This roller coaster of a winter has been a nightmare for gardeners here in mid-Missouri. One day, the thermometer reads 16 below zero and you are spreading ice melt so that the mail carrier can make it up the driveway to the mail slot. Then, a mere four days later, it is a balmy 58 degrees and you’re in the yard seriously thinking about getting a jump on your spring gardening chores. Before you begin pulling weeds, spading the garden, doing some trimming or raking up those piles of dead leaves, I have a piece of advice for you. DON’T. Just don’t. The urge to get in some early gardening chores can backfire on you.  At its worst, jumping the landscaping gun can cause real harm to your landscape, or at the very least, you could wind up having to repeat what you’ve already done. Neither is a particularly pleasant outcome. 

 

Instead of a Rose Bouquet, Give a Rose Garden

When we were first married, my husband would either send or bring me a beautiful bouquet of long stemmed red roses for Valentine’s Day. As much as I loved them, I always felt just a little guilty to have them. We didn’t have a whole lot of money back then,the flowers were expensive and I knew that they wouldn’t last long. Throughout the years, his gifts changed from roses to cards and chocolate.  I love chocolate, but this year I am strongly hinting that we go back to long stemmed roses. Instead of a bouquet though, I would love to have a rose garden installed right next to our bedroom window. Imagine waking each day to watch dew glistening on the rose petals and drifting off to sleep every night wrapped in the sweet, subtle fragrance of roses. Lovely.

What's In Store For 2023

January is the month of trends. Just for fun, I googled Trends 2023 and came up with 4,330, 000,000 responses in 58 seconds. There were trends in fashion, in hairstyles, in make-up, in business, technology,real estate, housing design, interior design, food, wine, entertainment…the list went on and on. Twelve clicks later, I found what I was initially looking for, trends in Horticulture. Since there were still 6 million individual pages to peruse, I decided to pick just the top five and see what they had to say. 

Taking a Sneak Peak At Summer 2023

This year, I’ve decided to get some expert advice on Seasonal Color plantings. Jo Ann Prieto, Embassy’s Horticulturist and Seasonal Color Manager, took time to walk me through some of the basics of planning and planting  sensational seasonal color beds. I especially wanted to spend time talking with Jo Ann because in the 6 ½ years she has been with Embassy Landscape Group, she has transformed their seasonal color department from a “yes, we can add a few annuals” operation to one of the most creative and well respected in the Kansas City area. Whether she’s designing for one of Kansas City’s premier commercial properties or for a private residence, Jo Ann strives for excellence. 

Dos and Don'ts of Winter

One of the problems with winter garden maintenance is that many best practices are often dependent on location, weather conditions and plant species. While this makes it difficult to provide hard and fast rules for everyone, there are a few wintertime maintenance dos and don’ts that hold true regardless of where you live.  To help the newer gardeners this winter, we’ve put together a short list of some important winter do's and don'ts.

Perfect Winter Pots

 

Creating winter planters can seem like a daunting task to those of us who are not design gifted by nature. Luckily, there are some basic principles that can help the most non-creative of us put together a spectacular outdoor display that ushers in the holidays and with just a few minor adjustments now and then can bring cheer to the long winter months.