Monday, March 29, 2010

Cymbalaria - A Delightful Discovery

Charming plants often grow in places where you least expect them, like wall crevices or under your feet.  Look carefully and you'll see what I mean.  This is certainly the case with Cymbalaria.  What a delightful discovery it is.

A genus of plants with about 10 species, Cymbalaria is native to southern Europe.  Perhaps you've noticed it while traveling.  It belongs to the Plantaginaceae family, which includes Anthirrinum (snapdragon), Chelone (turtlehead), Digitalis (foxglove), Penstemon (beardtongue), Plantago and such.  All of which have very interesting flower shapes.

Pronounced sim-bul-AR-ee-uh, it means "cymbal-like", referring to the rounded shape of the leaves.  The best known species are Cymbalaria muralis and Cymbalaria aequitrilobaC. muralis (pronounced mur-AH-liss) means "growing on walls."  The other, C. aequitriloba (pronounced ee-kwee-try-LOH-buh) means "with three equal lobes."  Common names within the genus include Pennywort, Kenilworth Ivy, Climbing Sailor, Coliseum Ivy, Ivy-leaf Toad-Flax and Devil's Ribbon.  Plant names, you see, can be very descriptive, yet leave you wanting to know more.

Cymbalaria grows very low, spreads rapidly and forms a dense carpet.  Height, not including flowers, is usually less than 2".  It spreads 8" or more, depending upon the species.  Small flowers, from white, pink to mauve are produced early to mid-summer, though the blooms may appear in other seasons as well.

Obviously, Cymbalaria is suitable as a ground cover, but it also does well in rock gardens, among stone walls, cascading over terraces, and as an under-planting in container gardens.  For those looking for a lawn-substitute, Cymbalaria aequitriloba is perfect; it tolerates foot traffic very well.  It also grows nicely around stepping stones.

Cymbalaria thrives in partial sun to shade, and in well-drained soils with pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.8.  Drought-tolerance is another of its virtues.  Hardiness varies by species.

Before you plant, take a soil sample to your local Cooperative Extension Service office for testing.  The results will specify any necessary soil amendments.

Prepare the planting bed by cultivating at least 6" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Compacted soil should be cultivated to 10" deep.  Compost may be incorporated into the soil.  Incorporate 10-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of no more 2 lbs. per 100 square feet into the top 4" to 6" of soil. Avoid synthetic fertilizers contacting any part of your plants.

Space the plants 8" to 15" apart. Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container.  Water the plants in the pots, then drain.  Place the plants into the holes and back-fill, watering as you go. Press soil around the root balls. Do not cover entirely the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 1" deep.

Plant Cymbalaria with other plants having similar cultural requirements.  Fertilize sparingly and allow soil to dry between watering.

Cymbalaria is a low-maintenance plant, having no serious pests or diseases.  The greatest causes of failure are watering too much or planting it in an environment that is not to its liking.

Though not well-known, Cymbalaria is a desirable addition to your garden.   Beside the garden path or tucked into stone walls, it will delight you and your garden visitors.

Return to Cymbalaria at goGardenNow.com.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Creeping Charlie Covers Ground


Glechoma (aka Creeping Charlie) does what ground covers do best; it covers ground.  Native to Europe and parts of Asia, Creeping Charlie was introduced to North America by early settlers who carried it with them for its usefulness.  It was described in the 2nd century A.D. for its medicinal properties and prescribed to reduce swelling.  Saxons used it for preserving and flavoring beer.  Even today, tea is brewed from the herb as a satisfying beverage and source of vitamin C.  Once imported to our shores, it took off, and can be found in nearly every region of the country.

(Being an inquisitive fellow, I often wonder why plants were named so.  In this case, who was Charlie?  Why does this plant bear his name?  And who, for that matter was creeping Jenny?  Suspicious characters, perhaps, whose given names remain infamous?)

The genus, Glechoma, is a relative of mints in the Lamiaceae family.  It used to be included in the Nepeta genus, along with Catmint.  You'll see the family resemblance upon inspection.  Glechoma includes about 12 species, with G. hederacea being most common.  Glechoma (pronounced gle-KOH-muh) refers to its minty-fresh relatives.  Hederacea (pronounced hed-er-AY-see-uh) means "having to do with ivy."  Because it grows along the ground, setting down roots where the nodes touch the ground, it is sometimes called Ground Ivy.  Other common names include Gill-Over-The-Ground, Ale-hoof and Tun-hoof, all of which refer to the shape of the leaf and its use by brewers.  The foliage is evergreen, sometimes variegated, with scalloped edges.  Leaf size is about that of a cat's paw, so it is also known as Cat's Foot.  (Any plant having a long association with man is bound to be called lots of things.)  Flowers, produced mid-spring to mid-summer, are light blue.  Height is usually less than 4".

Glechoma grows very low, spreads very quickly, and forms a dense carpet.  Its growth habit might have earned it the name, Creeping Charlie.  But perhaps "creeping" isn't the correct word.  Runaway-Robin, another common name, may be more accurate.

I have often argued that a weed is simply a plant that is in the wrong place, or for which a person is ignorant of a use.  So glechoma is often considered to be a weed, and invasive at that.  As a medicinal herb may be anti-inflammatory, but for its detractors it's provocative.  For them I suggest that they exhibit some tolerance.  Either don't plant it, plant it in the right place, or brew it.  Live with it.

Glechoma, as you know by now, is an excellent ground cover.  (Who would want a ground cover that doesn't cover ground?)  It performs better in shade than most grasses.  It is more drought-tolerant than many grasses.  It tolerates foot traffic very well.  It doesn't require mowing.  It smells good when you tread on it.  So forget about the grass and grow glechoma.  More good news:  it's deer resistant!

It also looks great in hanging baskets, container gardens, and cascading over the edges of planters and terraces.  For collectors of herbs with historical or medicinal interest, it's a natural.

Glechoma thrives in full sun to full shade in well-drained soils with pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.8.  It is hardy in USDA climate zones 4 through 9.  That just about covers everything.

Before you plant, take a soil sample to your local Cooperative Extension Service office for testing.  The fee is nominal, but that's because you're already paying for their services with your tax dollars.  (Use it or lose it.)  The results will specify any necessary soil amendments.

Prepare the planting bed by cultivating at least 6" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Compacted soil should be cultivated to 10" deep.  Compost may be incorporated into the soil.  Incorporate 10-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of no more 2 lbs. per 100 square feet into the top 4" to 6" of soil. Avoid synthetic fertilizers contacting any part of your plants.

Space the plants 24" to 30" apart. (How economical is that?  Extremely so.) Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container.  Water the plants in the pots, then drain.  Place the plants into the holes and back-fill, watering as you go. Press soil around the root balls. Do not cover entirely the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 1" deep.

Plant glechoma with other plants having similar cultural requirements.  Fertilize sparingly and allow soil to dry between watering.

This is a low-maintenance plant, having no serious pests or diseases.  The greatest cause of failure is planting it in an environment that is not to its liking, but most are very much to its liking.

With all this in mind, you should know that glechoma will not take over your earth.  You are the boss.  Establish its limits.  Glechoma should work very well for you.

Return to Glechoma at goGardenNow.com.

Fascinating Brass Buttons


My grandmother kept jars of buttons of different materials and sizes in every conceivable color.  They fascinated me.  I would dump them out on her bed to examine them.  The brass buttons with their golden sheen and intricate designs interested me most.

Leptinella, a genus of plants native to parts of Oceania and South America, is as captivating.  The evergreen, fern-like foliage reminds me of designs on some brass buttons, but the button-like flowers may have also inspired the common name - Brass Buttons.

The genus belongs to the Asteraceae family, which includes Coreopsis, Cosmos, Echinacea, Rudbeckia and such.  The name, Leptinella, refers to the slender ovary of the flower - not something most people would take time to notice.

Leptinella grows very low, spreads rapidly and forms a dense carpet.  Height is usually less than 4".  It spreads to 15".  Small flowers are produced early to mid-summer.

It shouldn't surprise that Leptinella is suitable as a ground cover, but it also does well as an under-planting in container gardens.  For gardeners looking for a lawn-substitute, Leptinella is perfect; it tolerates foot traffic very well, as the accompanying photo demonstrates.  It also grows nicely around stepping stones.

Leptinella thrives in partial sun, and in fertile, well-drained to moist soils with pH ranging from 5.6 to 7.8.  Hardiness varies by species.

Before you plant, take a soil sample to your local Cooperative Extension Service office for testing.  The results will specify any soil amendments needed.

Prepare the planting bed by cultivating at least 6" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Compacted soil should be cultivated to 10" deep.  Compost may be incorporated into the soil.  Incorporate 10-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of no more 2 lbs. per 100 square feet into the top 4" to 6" of soil. Avoid synthetic fertilizers contacting any part of your plants.

Space the plants 12" to 15" apart. Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container.  Water the plants in the pots, then drain.  Place the plants into the holes and back-fill, watering as you go. Press soil around the root balls. Do not cover entirely the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 1" deep.

Plant Leptinella with other plants having similar cultural requirements.  Fertilize sparingly and allow soil to dry between watering.

Leptinella is a low-maintenance plant, having no serious pests or diseases.  The greatest cause of failure is planting it in an environment that is not to its liking.

Though not well-known, Leptinella is destined to become a favorite ground cover.  Try it.  I'm sure you'll agree.

Return to Leptinella at goGardenNow.com.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hiding Narcissus Foliage


Narcissus are among the most popular of fall bulbs.  Their cheerful trumpets announce the best of news:  spring is here!  So gardeners tuck them in pots and baskets, planters, bulb and perennial beds, naturalize them in woodlands and lawns.

But for narcissus to return year after year, the leaves must be allowed to remain until they dry in order to build up food reserves in the bulbs.  So unsightly foliage presents a bit of a problem.

If planted in the lawn, there's not much to be done other then let the grass grow until the narcissus leaves brown.  But the ingenious gardener can come up with other planting schemes to hide them.

Here are a few solutions I've observed:

Plant them in ground cover beds.  Liriope, for example, is a fine companion.   It benefits from mowing in late winter, removing worn foliage and allowing room for fresh leaves to sprout.  But if inter-planted with narcissus, the bulbs will sprout and flower before the liriope re-grows.  As the liriope foliage lengthens, it will cover the browning narcissus.

Inter-planting narcissus with daylilies achieves much the same.  The bulbs can also be tucked among pachysandra, vinca, hedera, iris and many other ground cover perennials.

Grow narcissus beneath deciduous shrubs.  Long before the shrubs leaf out, the narcissus will sprout and flower, benefiting from the sunlight allowed through the bare shrubs.  As the shrubs green, the narcissus leaves will be hidden.

Establish drifts of narcissus in natural beds beneath deciduous trees.  Last summer's leaves on the woodland floor make a lovely backdrop to narcissus' spring green.  When the narcissus are spent, they won't be noticeable among the leaf mulch.

Simple ideas such as these provide easy solutions to common aesthetic problems.

Return to goGardenNow.com.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Asiatic Jasmine

Asiatic Jasmine ( Trachelospermum asiaticum ), is a marvelous ground cover vine that is well-known throughout the South. Trachelospermum asiaticum means "rough seed from Asia", but it doesn't imply that the plant is without style. Evergreen, leathery leaves with a glossy sheen form a dense, luxurious blanket that adds a touch of class to the landscape.

The species is distantly related to plants such as Vinca, Mandevilla, Carissa, Oleander and Amsonia. Confederate Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) is a closer relative, and very similar in appearance, but Asiatic Jasmine differs from T. jasminoides by having smaller leaves, being shy to bloom and reluctant to climb.

Asiatic Jasmine is native to Korea and Japan, but is so popular in the southeastern U.S. that you might think it's from around here. In fact, there is a species, commonly called Climbing Dogbane (Trachelospermum difforme), which is native to the U.S.

It must be noted that Asiatic and Confederate jasmines are not among what some consider to be "true jasmine" of the genus Jasminum.

Foliage is about 1" to 2" long. Insignificant star-shaped flowers are about 1" diameter, white to pale yellow. Variegated-leaf forms exist. Mature height as a ground cover is only 6", but vines may extend to 24" when prostrate. If Asiatic Jasmine does take the notion to climb, the vines my grow to 72" or more.

Asiatic Jasmine is cold-hardy in USDA climate zones 7 through 9. It is perfect for full, but will grow in partial- to full shade. Deep shade is not recommended. Plant in average, well-drained soil with pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.8. Plants are drought tolerant when established, and heat-loving.

It's very effective as a ground cover in small to large areas. If grown near a walkway, occasional edging will keep it very neat. Otherwise, maintenance needs are few. Deer won't eat it, and you shouldn't either. The milky sap will irritate sensitive tissue, so keep it out of your eyes and nose.

Prepare the planting bed for Trachelospermum asiaticum by cultivating at least 6" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Compacted soil should be cultivated to 12" deep. Compost may be incorporated into the soil. Fertilizer may be used. If you choose to do so, incorporate 5-10-15 fertilizer at a rate of no more 2 lbs. per 100 square feet into the top 4" to 6" of soil. Avoid synthetic fertilizers contacting any part of your plants.

Plant container-grown jasmine at 18" to 24" spacing. Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container. Place the plants into the holes and back-fill, watering as you go. Press soil around the roots. Do not cover the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed.

Smaller, bare root plants may be spaced 8" to 15" apart. Plant only as deeply as they were previously grown. A slight change in stem color and texture should be visible, indicating the planting depth. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 2" deep.

Asiatic Jasmine is one of my favorite ground cover vines. Rich foliage color, glossy sheen and low-maintenance needs make it very popular with many other southern gardeners, as well.

Return to Asiatic Jasmine ( Trachelospermum ) at goGardenNow.com.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Is Companion Planting?

Companion planting is a gardening practice that operates on the idea that certain plants benefit one another when grown in close proximity.  The benefits can be one or several, and they fall into the following categories:

Distraction - Some plants are so attractive to certain pests that they draw the pests away from another crop.  The crop that is desirable to the pests is planted as a diversion and considered expendable so that the crop desired by the gardener is left alone.  It's like throwing ears of dried corn on the ground to keep squirrels out of your bird-feeders.

Suppression - Certain plants produce chemicals that repel pests, so they are planted in close proximity to desirable primary crops to ward off intruders.  This is like surrounding your home with an electric fence or poison ivy.

Symbiosis - Some species benefit mutually by the presence of another.  Interplanting pole beans and corn is a traditional example.   Beans fix nitrogen in the soil that benefits corn.  Corn provides support for the beans to grow upon.  It's kind of like a good marriage.

Nursing - Stronger plants may provide some protection to younger, sensitive crops until they can manage for themselves.  Here in the south, homeowners often plant annual rye grass along with centipede grass seed.  The rye grass germinates very quickly and provides some cover and erosion control until the centipede seed germinates several days or weeks later.

Physical Interaction - The physical characteristics of certain species may be mutually beneficial.  For example, tall-growing species may benefit from cooler soil temperatures provided by low-growing species growing below, while the low-growing plants benefit from the shade of the taller.

Diversity - Perhaps you've noticed while driving through farmland fields sown in strips of alternating crops.  Some farmers have learned that planting many acres of a single crop (called mono-cropping) presents pests with a huge, highly-visible target.  More diverse cropping can attract fewer pests.  The same principle holds true in your garden.

Refuge - Crop-eating pests are generally gluttonous creatures and thoughtless, "whose end is perdition, whose god is the belly."  (Philippians 3:19)  Too intent on the next meal, they aren't very mindful of dangers that may lurk.  Beneficial insects devour crop-eaters, and they lurk.  (That's why we call them "beneficial"; if they were bigger than we, they would be called something else.)  By growing plants nearby that provide habitat and hiding places to beneficials, the crop-eaters may meet their doom.

Companion planting requires some planning.  First, the gardener needs to know which plants make good companions; not all do.  Beans, for example, don't get along with onions, but tomatos and onions cooperate.  (Beans finally reconcile with onions in the pot, along with marjoram, lemon juice, olive oil and a dash of salt.)

Other important considerations include growing seasons, germination rates, and harvest times.

It's beyond the scope of this article to address those issues.  I'll probably write more in the future.

You can learn more now by visiting out the following web sites:

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Cornell University Gardening Resources

There are many other resources, but these are well-respected and should suffice.  Companion planting will introduce you to a new way of gardening that can result in better yields, healthier living, and a lot of pleasure.

Return to goGardenNow.com.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Snapshots Of Spring Gardens

 
Having spent far too much time at my computer trying to overcome "writer's block", I grabbed my camera and headed out for a walk.  Though my writing didn't improve, I gained a feeling of vitality that comes from sight, sound, touch, a cold face and runny nose.

(Perhaps a cup of verbena tea would have helped with the "block.")

Follow me to enjoy scenes from that early spring day.

  
Return to goGardenNow.com.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Veronica


A woman of Jerusalem pitied Jesus as he carried his cross to crucifixion, stepped forward and wiped his face with a cloth.  Blood and sweat stained his likeness upon the napkin.  Thus, according to legend, was Christ's true image (vera eikon) preserved.  Other stories identify the woman as Berenike, possibly the woman Jesus healed of a bloody hemorrhage.  It is claimed that Berenike, for some inexplicable reason, carried the cloth to the bedside of the ailing Roman Emperor Tiberius, and cured him with it.  (Tiberius, very unpopular, was later assassinated by smothering.)

Somehow the name, Veronica, evolved from vera eikon or "Berenike" and was bestowed upon the celebrated lady.  Much later, the name was given to an herb.  I have no idea why.  Maybe the plant was discovered on Shrove Tuesday or on July 12, when St. Veronica is remembered.  Perhaps the name was given in honor of the botanist's daughter or wife.

Quite possibly the name was bestowed upon the plant because a very common species native to Europe and western Asia, Veronica officinalis, has been used medicinally to alleviate coughing.  An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica, by William Lewis (c. 1791) records that the herb was used to treat "disorders of the breast both catarrhous and ulcerous, and for purifying the blood and humours."  The use may have preceded the name and inspired the appellation.  I expect we shall never know.

Veronica is a genus of about 500 species native to the Old World as well as the New in both hemispheres.

Depending on the species, Veronica may be hardy from USDA climate zones 3 through 9.  Plant in well-drained soil with exposure to full sun.  Recommended pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.8.

Height varies, but most grow less than 12" tall.  They are excellent for ground cover, perennial borders, rock gardens, container gardens and terraces.  Some are drought-tolerant.  Veronica attracts butterflies, too.  Deer and rabbits tend to leave most species alone.

Prepare the planting bed for Veronica by cultivating at least 6" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Compacted soil should be cultivated to 8" deep. Compost may be incorporated into the soil. Synthetic fertilizers may be used. To best determine your soil's needs, take a soil sample to your nearby Cooperative Extension Service office for testing for a small fee.

Container-grown Veronica can be planted any time you have a trowel handy, but will require monitoring of soil moisture levels during hot weather to avoid plant stress.  Take care not to water too much.  Let soil dry between waterings.

Space plants 12" to 24" apart. Keep in mind that my spacing recommendations are approximate. Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container. Place the plants into the holes and back-fill.  Press soil around the roots. Do not cover the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 2" to 4" deep. Irrigate thoroughly.

Maintenance is minimal. Veronica plants have few pest and disease problems, but they aren't immune. The best preventative is to maintain vigorous plants in a healthy environment.  Over-watering can be the death of them.

Whether you collect plants for beauty, their history, attractiveness to butterflies or herbal properties, Veronica should be included in your garden.  With so many species to consider, it's likely that you can find one just right for you.

Return to Veronica at goGardenNow.com.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Verbena On The Mind


Sometimes you come upon plants which are astonishingly interwoven in the fabric of human culture.  The genus, Verbena, is one of them.  The name itself intrigues enough to arouse curiosity.  Verbena is sometimes called Vervain.

Verbena is a genus of about 250 annual and perennial species native to the Americas.  Two are native to Europe and the Mediterranean region.  The name means "sacred foliage", and one of the Old World species, Common Verbena (Verbena officinalis), is most fabled.  Common Verbena is now widely naturalized elsewhere.  Its potent medicinal properties undoubtedly led to its association with the supernatural.

It's used most commonly in the form of herbal tea to treat nervousness and insomnia.  Because of its ability to calm the mind, it has been used to alleviate "writer's block".  (I could use some now.)  Foliage is pleasingly fragrant.  William Faulkner wrote of it in The Odor of Verbena.  (I've wondered whether sipping too much verbena tea might have influenced his sentence style.)

Some American Indians used it to "create god within" and induce prophetic dreams.  Medieval legend held that the leaves were used as a poultice to staunch the wounds of Christ.  Verbena also figures in ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology.

As with most medicinal herbs, verbena has its dangers and should not be used without consulting a physician.

Depending on the species, verbena may be hardy from USDA climate zones 3 through 11.  Plant in well-drained soil with exposure to full sun.  Recommended pH ranges from 6.5 to 7.8; to err on the side of alkalinity is best.

Growth height varies.  Low-profile species are excellent for ground cover, rock gardens, container gardens, hanging baskets and terraces.  Taller species are excellent for perennial gardens, cutting and flower-arranging.  Verbena attracts butterflies, too.

Prepare the planting bed for verbena by cultivating at least 6" deep, removing all traces of weeds. Compacted soil should be cultivated to 8" deep. Composted manure may be incorporated into the soil. Synthetic fertilizers may be used. To best determine your soil's needs, take a soil sample to your nearby Cooperative Extension office for testing for a small fee.

Container-grown verbena can be planted any time you have a trowel handy, but will require monitoring of soil moisture levels during hot weather to avoid plant stress.  Take care not to water too much.  Let soil dry between waterings.

Space plants 12" to 24" apart. Keep in mind that my spacing recommendations are approximate. Dig planting holes into the cultivated soil a little less deep than the depth of the growing container. Place the plants into the holes and back-fill.  Press soil around the roots. Do not cover the root balls with soil. The tops should be slightly exposed. Add a top-dressing of mulch around the plants, not on top of them, about 2" to 4" deep. Irrigate thoroughly.

Maintenance is minimal. Verbena plants have few pest and disease problems, but they aren't immune. Spider mites can cause problems during dry weather, but the little critters hate water. So overhead irrigation discourages them.  Nematodes can attack stems. Removal and destruction of the infected portion is effective. Mildew can infect in areas with poor air circulation during cooler, wetter weather. Sulfur spray is a good treatment. Keep in mind that remedial sprays do not restore damaged tissue; they only stop the progress of the problem. The best preventative is to maintain vigorous plants in a healthy environment.

Ground cover verbena plants benefit from mowing.  Yes...mowing.  Set your mower at 4" height or greater and trim vigorous plants to maintain a dense appearance.  Waiting until they look weak and leggy will not produce good results.

Whether you collect plants for beauty, their history, attractiveness to butterflies, cutting or herbal properties, verbena should be in your garden.  With so many species to consider, it's likely that you can find one just right for you.  I highly recommend it.

Return to Verbena at goGardenNow.com.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Results of Garden Poll Ending 3 March, 2010

Our community poll at goGardenNow.com which ended on 3 March, 2010 asked the question, "What do you plan to do as soon as warm weather arrives?"

8% of respondents said, "Lay out in the sun."
92% of respondents said, "Work in the garden."

Walking, bike riding, picnicking and staying somewhere cool were not attractive options.  I shouldn't be surprised since gardeners are the ones most likely to respond to our polls.

For us, spring is a time of hope and new beginnings.  We don't just dream about it; we make it happen.  So as soon as the sun comes out and weather warms, we'll don the gloves, grab a trowel and get started.

To participate in our current community poll, go to goGardenNow.com.  You'll find the poll in the right-hand column on any catalog page.  Hope to hear from you soon!