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. 

Sonny Abesamis flickr.com/photos/enerva / Creative Commons

With the holidays behind us, gardeners are often looking for ways to keep their hands in the dirt. One old-fashioned growing technique is making a comeback and is worth trying, especially with kids.

Patrizia / Creative Commons

“I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Yes, dreaming seems like the best we'll be able to do this Christmas.

A white Christmas in Connecticut normally has about a 50/50 chance of occurring, with less chance along the shore and more a likely chance in the Northwest hills. But this winter the chance is nil, and it won't even be cold! 

scrappy annie flickr.com/photos/14903992@N08/15723002693 / Creative Commons

Ho, ho, ho, it's time for holiday gift buying. Yes, let's talk about special gifts you can give the gardener in your family. If you're stuck for ideas, I've got a few to share. Are you listening, Santa?

Chris Coomber / Creative Commons

I was visiting my brother in Goshen recently. We were looking at the majestic blue spruce trees in his backyard that he planted as Christmas trees years ago, when his kids were younger.

They've created a backdrop for privacy, and have cherished memories for him and his kids.

Maja Dumat flickr.com/photos/blumenbiene/11692859806 / Creative Commons

This flower is named after a shepherdess who had unrequited love for a gardener.

Benjamin Chun flickr.com/photos/benchun / Creative Commons

The holidays are coming up quickly and as we entertain family and friends, it's great to have a colorful centerpiece for the table. While traditional cornucopias are nice, this year consider creating a living succulent centerpiece.

Kathleen Waters Photography flickr.com/photos/kathleenwaters / Creative Commons

As we try to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, laws now mandate the recycling of plastics, paper, and yard products such as leaves and grass clippings.

Composting is one the best ways to reuse grass clippings and leaves to benefit your plants. But we should also be composting food scraps from the kitchen as well.

tracy benjamin / Creative Commons

The Grandpa Tucker poem below pretty much sums up how many people feel about Brussels sprouts.

Eric Hunt flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/28907735 / Creative Commons

With the emphasis on pumpkins, apples, and chrysanthemums at this time of year, it's easy to forget those subtropical bulbs that have faded with the cold weather. 

Susy Morris / Creative Commons

Being an Italian-American from Waterbury, Connecticut who likes to cook, I eat a lot of garlic. Luckily for me, growing garlic is almost as easy as eating it. 

Shandi-lee Cox flickr.com/photos/shandilee/8983279962 / Creative Commons

Fall is not only for pumpkins, corn stalks, and colorful leaves. It's also bulb planting time. 

Frenchtowner / Creative Commons

Pumpkins line farm stands and garden centers along with mums and corn stalks this time of year. Soon, that age-old tradition of pumpkin carving will happen, but did you know the first Jack-o’-Lantern was actually a turnip?

Dan Perkins flickr.com/photos/31110281@N08 / Creative Commons

Everyone is talking about native shrubs these days as we try to wean ourselves away from invasives, such as burning bush and Japanese barberry, which have been used for years as landscape plants. But it’s not enough to simply plant a native and hope for the best. 

Curtis Swartzentruber flickr.com/photos/skills0/7248620938 / Creative Commons

Fall is an excellent time for soil building and one of the ways I keep my soil healthy is by growing cover crops.

TANAKA Juuyoh flickr.com/photos/tanaka_juuyoh/6443984075 / Creative Commons

Some annual flowers just knock your socks off with their beauty. I remember a few years ago wandering through a greenhouse at White Flower Farm and being bowled over by their display of tuberous begonias. The flowers were perfect in a rainbow of colors with single and double flower shapes and some were even fragrant.

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