1. What’s the difference between a daffodil and a narcissus?

    Answer: There is no difference. The two words are synonyms. Narcissus is the botanical name for daffodils, just as ilex is for hollies. Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus, and its use is recommended by the American Daffodil Society at all times other than in scientific writing. In some parts of the country, any yellow daffodil is called a jonquil, usually incorrectl…Read More

  2. Why do leaves change color in the fall?

    "Why do leaves change color in the fall?" If you've got a questioning child around, you may hear that often. But it's not really a child's question. Scientists have done much study on the question--and they still don't have all the answers. However, they do have most of them. As most people know, the green in our plants is caused by chlorophyll, which plants use to make manufacture sugars for thei…Read More

  3. Ornamental Grasses

    One of the challenges many gardeners face is how to add texture and interest to the landscape. One of the best ways to do this is by adding ornamental grasses to your garden. They have a natural fountainous growing habit and many produce beautiful flower blooms that will light up any garden. Ornamental grasses are incredibly low maintenance, grow quickly, and are naturally disease and insect resis…Read More

  4. Getting the Most From Cut Flowers

    An arrangement of fresh flowers will brighten a room, bringing the beauty of nature indoors. Picking fresh flowers that you have grown yourself is one of the delights of gardening, but whether you are picking your own flowers or buying cut flowers, you will want to do all you can to get the most from your arrangement. Picking Flowers When picking flowers from your garden, do so early in the mornin…Read More

  5. Summer Plant Care

    By Jenny Peterson It's June and all those plants you painstakingly put in the ground are going strong! They're adding vibrancy and early-summer color to your garden, but are you afraid things will go downhill once the really hot weather hits? In most places in the United States, the weather is warm in June, but the days will get even hotter as the summer progresses. I won't lie to you-summer does …Read More

  6. Top Five Gardening Mistakes

    By Jenny Peterson Here are some of the most common mistakes gardeners make, and how to avoid them. Although most everyone in my family gardens, this is kind of a first-generation activity. My father loved to work in the yard, but didn't really tinker in the garden, so we kids didn't grow up learning about best gardening practices from him. Most of what I know is from trial and error, which is the …Read More

  7. Tomato Blossom-End Rot

    Tomato blossom-end rot is a disorder caused by calcium deficiency. The disorder can be aggravated by the application of too much nitrogen fertilizer to tomato plants. Blossom-end rot appears as a round, brown sunken area on the end of the tomato fruit opposite the stem. As a fruit ripens the area turns dry and leathery. The disorder often appears after a period of rapid growth followed by dry cond…Read More

  8. Harvesting Winter Squash

    By Charlie Nardozzi As late summer rolls around, those large vines of winter squash are starting to reveal their prizes. Hopefully, the fruits have been sizing up all summer, and now is the time to give a peek and see how the harvest looks. Knowing when and how to harvest your winter squash is important. If you harvest too early, the fruits won't be fully ripe and may not have the flavor you crave…Read More

  9. Scrumptious Apple Frittatas

    By Jenny Peterson Autumn ushers in an entire season of comfort food-warm stews, breads fresh from the oven, and harvest fruits and vegetables. Simple but savory meals allow us to gather around a table with family and friends, enjoying conversation rather than cooking and cleaning up. With many apple varieties coming into season, it's a perfect time to try a one-dish apple frittata. Here's one reci…Read More

  10. Creating a Pumpkin Topiary

    By Jenny Peterson Sometimes a gardener needs a quick, simple project in the garden to feel accomplished. Call it instant gratification if you will, but so many garden activities force you to take such a long-term approach (planting bulbs for next spring, amending the soil, starting seeds) that it's immensely satisfying to start and complete a project within an hour. And now that harvest time is up…Read More