Magazine for Northwest Arkansas

Lawn & Garden

Try Dwarf Conifers For A Vertical Element

If you have the planting beds down but still seem to be missing something, it is probably some more dramatic vertical elements than your perennials are giving you. Fine Gardening has an article on the subject by Melinda Myers and it is quite comprehensive.

As I began reading it, I was thinking that I wasn't a candidate for these diminutive conifers because I already had a Juniperis virginiana and a large Arborvitae in the front yard. I was mistaken. Ms. Myers points out that you can use the junior models as kind of a vertical layer on your way from the bedding plants to the big boys - the anchors. It is all quite compelling. Read the article HERE.

More Than Good Looks

Flowering shrubs, when strategically placed, can be visually stunning when appearing tucked along one's garden path, but wait - there's more. Let's not forget about fragrance! Well,  Fine Gardening , in an article by Danielle Ferguson, discusses 12 of the most lovely and odoriferous! Click here for the article and happy smelling.


I have lived in Northwest Arkansas for 16 years and I have not seen a scorpion, but they're here.  I doublre-checked with the University Of Arkansas Arthropod Museum. The variety we have to contend with here is the Striped Bark Scorpion. They love to hang out in the garden where other insects (meals) are. That means when you are working in the garden, you are at risk for a painful encounter. Gardening Know How has an article by Bonnie L. Grant that offers suggestions on how to get rid of them. Read it here.

Toads Eat Bugs!

 Toads are a lot more ecologically friendly for insect control than high-powered pesticides.  There are things that you can do to encourage their presence. Organic Life gives you the inside scoop in this article by Molly Marquand. Click here to go there.

Plants Mosquitoes Hate

Mosquitoes can be a huge problem  when trying to enjoy your outdoor living space, but they can be very dangerous, too. They are infamous for transmitting diseases like malaria and others. We usually think of things like DEET repellents and citronella oil in candles or tiki torches to keep them at bay, but there is another way. Organic Life just posted "8 Plants That Repel Mosiquitoes Naturally," by Christopher Michel.  We are going to try it. WE let you know how it works. You can find the article HERE.

Very Sweet Potatos

Until I was about fifteen, I think the only sweet potato manifestation I was aware of was the candied yam, which, of course, made its

 appearance at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't think I ever ate them as I had to have plenty of room for cornbread dressing. I didn't know there was another way to prepare them. That's when my grandfather - we called him Pappy - Served me a baked sweet potato. Wow! This food did not benefit from marshmallows and a casserole dish. It just needed an ample supply of butter. Now, of course, sweet potato fries are all the rage.

I sure didn't know about growing, curing, and storing them. I am going to try this this year. Here is a fascinating article by Jean Nick in Organic Life @organiclifemag. CLICK HERE TO READ IT.

Need Help Planting Anything?

The folks at "How To Plant," aren't playing around. They really do mean anything. They have vegetables and fruits. They have flower and shrubs. They do organic and otherwise. This is now one of my very favorite sites. Give it a look HERE.

More On Amaryllis

When I posted "Winter-Blooming Amaryllis, I really didn't realize how big a deal it is. Amaryllis is the star of the show at the Philadelphia Flower Show, March 11-19 '17. I should say as a Dallas Cowboys fan, I was pleased to find out Philly may be redeemable. The other big shows are Keukenhof -The Netherlands , March 23 though May 21, Castle Bijgaard - Belgium, April 7 to May 5, and others again in Belgium and the UK.  CLICK HERE FOR MORE

I haven't lived at my current residence very long, so I am busy planning the landscape. Amaryllis will have a place in my landscape.

Chemicals or Organic?

You know, when I was a young man, a few decades ago, we didn't give a passing thought about using heavy-duty chemical insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers in our garden and on our lawn. For one thing, that was really all there was, at least as far as we knew. I am sure their was some organic gardeners out there somewhere, but most of us just didn't know it was a thing, if you know what I mean.

Now, fast forward to today. I think that most everyone is aware of the impact those compounds had on some things. For example, when I was a child in Dallas, we could go out to the hedges out front and always come up with a horned frog - or horny toad -as we called them. By the time I was ten years old, they were gone. I guess most of us can remember similar situations and, in retrospect, it does give one some perspective. Ground water is my biggest concern. To the chemical companies credit (they may not have had any choice), the lawn chemicals they make now break down in to their harmless parts almost immediately.

While it is somewhat unlikely that you will catch me down at the organic grocery store anytime soon, I can tell you this: I do not want to open the tap and end up with a tumbler full of Malathion.

I saw this on Twitter today and thought it worth sharing. It is Top 7 Tips For Organic Gardening Success, by Lynn Baessler and featured in Gardening Know How. She posted it today, so it's still warm. Click HERE.

 A Fascinating Video On Permaculture

I was familiar with the word "Permaculture," and had a vague notion of its meaning. It is truly fascinating. This has nothing to do with being a vegan or vegetarian, as these techniques are for plants and farm animals. This video was shot in Brazil on location at a permaculture farm. I think everybody can get something out of it. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

Boston & Ozarks Magazine

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