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 Connecticut Public Radio at 3:04 pm. 

Jim, the Photographer / Creative Commons

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? 

Courtney McGough / Creative Commons

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.

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. 

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