Outside bin eats pretty much EVERYTHING.

Outside bin eats pretty much EVERYTHING.




Guide to Planting and Growing Grapes

Ever wonder how to grow grapes whether it be to make your own homemade wine or just to have a healthy snack for your kids? Well, here are some helpful tips to help you do just that.

A Primer on the Hellebores

There are few perennials that can rival the seasonal interest of Hellebores… often called Christmas or Lenten Rose. These staples of the winter garden are among the most coveted of garden plants by those who know them, yet they are still relatively unknown outside of plant enthusiast circles. Because they don’t flower quickly from seed and often finish flowering before most folks visit garden centers, hellebores are rarely found at the lower end mass merchants.

Cultivation of Hardy Orchids

Hardy orchids require a period of cold winter vernalization, but the roots do not like to freeze and thaw repeatedly. Place 4-6 inches of leaves or pine needles on the bed after the first hard freeze to insulate and even out the temperature swings. Make sure to remove it the following spring.

Propagation of Hardy Orchids

There are several techniques for propagating hardy orchids. Dividing the clumps: Cypripedium, Bletilla, Calanthe, and Cymbidium will all form clumps if they are happy. The clumps should be carefully dug so as to not damage the very fragile fleshy roots.

Hardy Orchid Species Part I: Bletilla Ochracea and Other Bletilla

In climates where they are winter hardy, Bletilla ochracea is the best hardy orchid to start with because they are very adaptable to a wide range of environments. The genus contains 8 species that are native to Asia. Three species, the pink flowered Bletilla formosana, the yellow flowered Bletilla ochracea and rose-purple flowered Bletilla striata are common in horticulture.

The Cold Hardy Palm: How Winter Hardiness Works

We have compiled this report on the cold hardy palm from both our experiences and those of others around the country. Our hardiness classifications are probably a bit conservative, but be wary of wild claims of palm hardiness beyond these zones. Even a Zone 7 palm will survive a winter in Zone 5 if the temperatures don’t drop below Zone 7 temperatures (0 degrees F).

Hardy Orchid Species Part II: Calanthe Orchids

Calanthe is a large genus with over 150 species. They are widely distributed from tropical Africa to tropical and subtropical Asia, the Pacific islands and Australia. Only 6 species are used in temperate gardens.

Hardy Orchids III: Spiranthes and Wintergreen Orchids

Our series on hardy orchids continues with the genus Spiranthes and a class of orchids called the wintergreen hardy orchids. The genus Spiranthes is commonly called Lady’s Tresses, which refers to its braid-like spiral of small flowers. It is a genus of around 30 species that has a worldwide distribution in the northern hemisphere.

Frosch Hybrid Cypripedium (Lady Slipper) Orchids

The German orchid hybridizer Werner Frosch has produces some of the easiest Cypripedium to grow. His hybrids are more vigorous and adaptable than many of the wild species that he uses as parents. He is able to bring the best traits of each species into the mix and create hybrids with blended traits.

Hardy Palms: Propagation And Transplanting

Hardy Palms are typically propagated by seed, although some palms, such as needle palms, can be propagated by divisions. Divisions are best taken and replanted early in the growing season. Palm seed typically store very poorly and therefore should be planted as fresh as possible.

Hardy Palms: The Windmill Palms in Genus Trachycarpus

Trachycarpus is a group of 8-9 species of trunked palms known as the windmill palms due to their wide rounded leaf. They are native primarily to Asia. They range from the dwarf Trachycarpus nanus at 3′ to Trachycarpus fortunei, which can top out at 40′.

Hardy Orchids V: The Best of the Rest

We conclude our series on hardy orchids by looking at two more groups that are rarely used, and by considering hardy orchids that may not be so hardy after all. Very rare hardy orchids. Some orchids are nearly impossible to find in the western world. We have collected a few of these over the years and have established them in our gardens.

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