WNPR

Connecticut Garden Journal

Don DeBold (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It's been a slow spring, but our flowering bulbs are finally are putting on a show. But it's a shame to do all the hard work of growing tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus only to have critters eat them. To avoid frustration, and excessive cursing, here's what to do.

Harold Litwiler (Flickr) / Creative Commons

I think my fascination with lupines started with Miss Rumphius in that classic children's story. This native wildflower grows 2- to 3-feet-tall in a wide variety of flower colors.

Henry Hemming / Creative Commons

Although we grow this plant as a perennial flower, it has other devious uses. During the siege of Kirrha in ancient Greece, the invading armies poisoned the city's water supply with crushed roots and leaves of this flower.

Kim Unertl / Creative Commons

Let's get a little wild with our greens. I'm going start with mache. My Swiss friend calls it lamb's lettuce because she remembers harvesting it, in early spring, in fields when lambs were born. Mache has a mild taste and is great with eggs.

tinatinatinatinatina (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It's the latest darling of the vegetable world. It's found in salads, sautées, chips, and even shakes. This cabbage family crop has been around for years, but now it's a rock star. We've always known it’s nutritious, but with newer varieties and some good PR, it's sexy, too!

Michael Levine-Clark (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This spring flowering bulb was first brought to Europe from its native Middle East in the 1500s. It was mostly grown for the fall blooming species used for making an expensive cooking spice. However, most gardeners know it for the early blooming varieties that herald spring. It's the crocus.

Corydalis incisa
mio-spr (Flickr) / Creative Commons

While we plant spring flowering bulbs to naturalize in our meadows and woods, there are some naturally occurring ones that you can just help along. Corydalis is a tuberous plant that forms a carpet-like, ground cover of pink or white blooms each spring.

Bob Nichols / U.S. Department of Agriculture

It's March and time to start thinking about tomatoes.

A display at the 2008 Connecticut Flower and Garden Show.
Selbe Lynn (Flickr) / Creative Commons

We're all hunger this time of year for color and fragrance. What better way to satisfy that desire than to go to a flower show?

isaac'licious (Flickr) / Creative Commons

I love growing ethnic vegetables such as the vining Italian trombocino squash or small, hot South American peppers. But when I say Asian greens, many gardeners think of Chinese cabbage and bok choy. But there are other unusual Asian greens that add spice and beauty to a meal. Here are some of my favorites.

Ashbridge Studios (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Ahh, the big floral holiday is almost upon us. Valentine's Day is one of the biggest flower-giving days of the year. It's estimated more than 250 million roses are sold on this day alone, traveling from as far away as Chile. And while roses are thought of as the go-to Valentine's Day flower, there are other blooms that make nice alternatives to the rose.

Miroslav Becvar (Flickr) / Creative Commons

We've all heard about the plight of our pollinating insects. Whether it be honey bee population crashes or concerns about native bees, pollinators are struggling with diseases, climate change, and habitat loss.

Sarah-Rose (Flickr) / Creative Commons

More and more gardeners are having to deal with shade in their yards from buildings and large trees. But shade doesn't mean the end of gardening. Here's some basics on shade gardening.

JR P (Flickr) / Creative Commons

With an already long feeling winter -- and it's still January -- it's a good time to plan your flower gardens. One design that everyone loves is the English cottage garden.

Cordelia (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This time of year we're all starved for color indoors. But there's one houseplant that can brighten up your day and is found in grocery stores to home centers.

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