WNPR

Connecticut Garden Journal

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Connecticut Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Charlie focuses on a topic relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests, and more. Learn more about Charlie at gardeningwithcharlie.com, or reach him at cnardozzi124@gmail.com.

Hear Connecticut Garden Journal on Thursday afternoons on WNPR at 3:04 pm. 

Sergey G / Creative Commons

This pest is native to the Southwest United States but has spread and become a worldwide problem for anyone growing potatoes. It's the Colorado potato beetle. 

Baker County Tourism / Creative Commons

We think of peaches as a special summer treat from Georgia or New Jersey, but they were originally grown in China and can be grown in Connecticut. 

FarOutFlora / Creative Commons

This stately perennial has white, pink, blue, or purple flower buds that ancient Greeks called delphis or dolphin. They thought the flower buds resemble Flipper. We know theses plants as delphiniums.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Although I grew up in Waterbury with a big veggie garden in the backyard, my first foray into gardening as an adult was in a community garden. 

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After a hesitant start to summer, I think it's finally here. That's good news for watermelon lovers. Watermelons, like all melons, love the heat. So far it's been a slow start to summer, but luckily these cucurbits grow fast under the right conditions.

Kazuya Yokoyama / Creative Commons

We know this Mediterranean herb more for its scent and medicinal uses than for its culinary attributes. Its Latin name means "to wash," which refers to its use in baths, beds, and clothing. The oil has been used medicinally as a disinfectant, antiseptic, and to soothe migraines. This herb also adds a slightly sweet flavor to breads, soups, salads, and desserts. We know it as lavender.

Field Outdoor Spaces / Creative Commons

It's Memorial Day weekend. Time to get planting. When you're selecting flowers for containers, it can get overwhelming. When you walk into a garden center, the flower choices and colors can bowl you over. Where to start? 

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What do you do with a vegetable that looks like a spaceship? Kohlrabi isn't the prettiest veggie on the block, but it sure is easy to grow and surprisingly tasty and versatile in the kitchen.

Katrina J Houdek / Creative Commons

Although we think of this spring flowering shrub as quintessential New England, it hales from Eastern Europe and Asia. It's fragrant, beautiful and a sure sign of spring. It's the lilac. 

Katie Hetrick UC Davis / Creative Commons

Many gardeners want to grow their own food. Homegrown produce is fresher, safer, and healthier. But many gardeners don't want to sacrifice the beauty of their yard by removing flowers or shrubs to plant edibles. The solution is foodscaping.

Gardening Solutions / Creative Commons

One of the biggest trends in the last 20 years in vegetable gardening has been the expanded use of raised beds. It's not a new idea, but it seems everyone is embracing a raised bed to grow better tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, and many other crops.

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I love the common name of the tree Chionanthus viginicus. Old Man's Beard is a good description of the white flowers that bloom in May and June. It's one of the later leaving-out and blooming spring shrubs and trees. 

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Some people love this root, while others loathe it. It's probably because the root contains the chemical geosmin, which gives it an earthy smell. 

F. D. Richards / Creative Commons

There are symbolic flowers for many holidays we celebrate: Poinsettias for Christmas, shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day, and lilies for Easter. 

Richard BH / Creative Commons

Back in colonial days, when someone died in winter, they had to store the body until the ground thawed in spring. 

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