WNPR

Connecticut Garden Journal

Credit Nathan Boltseridge / Creative Commons

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. 

Darren Swim commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Relic38 / Creative Commons

This common flower has been grown for thousands of years in China and Japan not only for its beauty, but for medicinal and culinary uses. A Chinese proverb says, "If you want to be happy for a lifetime, grow chrysanthemums."

Ivo Ivov flickr.com/photos/53421063@N02 / Creative Commons

While tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths get all the attention for spring flowering bulbs, lately I've been more interested in the small bulbs. 

Camilo Rueda López flickr.com/photos/kozumel / Creative Commons

Popcorn is not just that buttery, salty snack you buy at movie theaters. It's actually an ancient and nutritious grain.

Laura Nolte flickr.com/photos/laura_nolte / Creative Commons

Japanese anemones, or wind flowers, are actually native to China, but were frequently cultivated in Japanese gardens when European explorers first saw them in the 17th century. 

This fruit's botanical name means “food of the gods.” While most of us are familiar with the Asian versions we find in grocery stores in fall, there is a hardier American type too. The fruits ripen around the first frost into sweet, custardy orbs with a hint of clove. It can even be made into beer. What's this fruit? It's the persimmon.

Spirou42 / Creative Commons

This native fall blooming perennial flower was supposedly was named after the goddess Astraea, who cried for the dead on Earth killed in wars. 

George Bredehoft / Creative Commons

While admiring the tomato fruits in my garden recently, I stumbled upon some damage to the tops of the plants. They were defoliated, almost like a deer had mulched on them, and the fruit was chewed too. After closer inspection I came face-to-face with the tomato hornworm.

marcus_jb1973 / Creative Commons

An old saying about planting seeds goes, “One for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, and one to grow." I'd like to add, “One to save,” as well.

Jeff Kubina / Creative Commons

We've all seen this happen in summer. Your phlox, roses, bee balm, squash, and pumpkins are growing well, producing flowers and fruit.

Lucas Cobb / Creative Commons


Growing up in an Italian household, one of the treats of summer was my mom's olive oil laden fried sausage and pepper meals with fresh Italian bread.

Kristin Shoemaker / Creative Commons

When I was a kid, I would repeat this rhyme just for fun: “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” Little did I know I'd be cursing this rodent later on in life.

Keith Ewing / Creative Commons

Summer often means inconsistent weather. Hot, sunny days are followed by high humidity (or mugginess, as my mother likes to call it) and sometimes severe thunderstorms.

Helen Haden / Creative Commons

Some things aren't what they used to be. Take echinacea or purple coneflowers. This hardy, native Midwestern prairie plant has garnered much interest for being pollinator friendly and medicinal.

Brad Smith / Creative Commons

While I loved the Beatles growing up, I don't like this Fab Four in my veggie garden. 

Aznaturalist / Creative Commons

Plums are one of the first fruits domesticated by man and some, such as the beach plum, are natives. Beach plum is a tough bush early colonists found along the shores and is great for wildlife.

Andy Rogers

It's been hot out there and the tomatoes are growing fast! You'll have to keep up with your plants if you want to have a great harvest this season.

bbcamericangirl / Creative Commons

My mom loves roses, so I recently took her to Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. This is one of the first municipal rose gardens in the country.

Dwight Sipler / Creative Commons

There's a late spring blooming perennial flower that's been looking beautiful this year. It goes by a number of common names, such as mountain bluet, perennial bachelor's buttons, and corn flower. I know it mostly by its botanical name, Centaurea montana.

selbst fotografiert / Creative Commons

The National Weather Service predicted it's going to be a hotter than normal summer. While the heat might be hard on some people, if you're a melon grower, you'll love it.

BB and HH / Creative Commons

The story goes that during World War II, the English started using radar to detect Nazi bombers. 

Rafael Medina / Creative Commons

There's a lot of concern about pollinating insects and butterflies. As native populations dwindle, gardeners are rallying to support them.

mystuart / Creative Commons

We all know peonies for their audaciously large, colorful flowers. 

Bardia Photography / Creative Commons

Growing up in the shadow of my Italian grandparents’ farm, I have fond memories of my relatives wandering the fields in spring harvesting dandelion greens.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Ahh spring, the flowers are blooming, asparagus is growing, and, oh yes, the lawn needs mowing. 

John Winkelman / Creative Commons

I've got a question for you. The top ten vegetables grown by home gardeners really haven't changed much in the last 20 years, except for one new comer. Any ideas? Think spicy.

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