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. 

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.

James Gaither / Creative Commons

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. 

Uacescomm / Creative Commons

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. 

Daniela / Creative Commons

Those of us living inland tend to only think about the ocean in summer. But for those 23 million people living within a few miles of Long Island Sound in Connecticut and Long Island, the sea is a daily companion.

305 Seahill / Creative Commons

Happy St. Patricks Day. I was tempted to talk about shamrocks or green carnations, but instead I'm talking about another green plant that's more Italian than Irish. It's the globe artichoke. 

Jean Barrell / Creative Commons

Connecticut is one the leading states for rooting out invasive species and encouraging land owners to plant more natives. Native trees, shrubs, perennials, and ground covers are adapted to our changing climate, interwoven in the ecology of the forests and open lands -- and provide vital food, shelter, and nesting sites for insects, birds, and animals.

The Manic Macrographer / All Creative Commons

With the sudden change in weather going from snow storms to 70 degree temperatures, flowers are a bit confused. Although not spring yet, the warm spell pushed along some early flowering shrubs. And one of the earliest is the flowering quince. 

ThunderUPforever / Creative Commons

With winter here, it's nice to have some outdoor garden activities that result in beautiful flowers. One activity I like is forcing flowering branches of spring blooming trees and shrubs indoors. Not only do you get beautiful color weeks before the natural bloom time, you prune your plants too. 

Franco Folini / Creative Commons

This ancient vegetable hales from Southeast Asia. Laborers who built the pyramids in Egypt were paid with it. In Mexico a special night in December is dedicated to this veggie where they artistically carve the root. What vegetable is this? It's the radish. 

Sharon Dowdy / Creative Commons

Everyone loves flowering shrubs, such as lilacs and rhododendrons, but you may be wondering, how should I prune this thing? Pruning reduces the size and shape of your shrub, but you have to know when and how you do it.

Stanley Zimny / Creative Commons

As you drive around the state, you'll notice orchards are being pruned. You can start pruning apple trees anytime after the New Year, up until the flower buds start swelling. 

Alex "Skud" Bayley flickr.com/photos/alexsbayley / Creative Commons

Unless you have a greenhouse or hoop house, you're probably buying greens this time of year. It's good to support local growers, but you can grow nutritious greens right in your windowsill without an elaborate light system. 

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