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Killer Plants: Ghastly Beauties

Killer Plants: Ghastly Beauties

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 | 0 comments

Ghouls and Goblins won’t kill you. But these killer plants could.

Many of the garden plants we grow for ornamental reasons got their vibrant, exotic colors as nature’s way of saying “Warning—Poison!” While most of these are innocuous enough sitting in pots or in the garden, if ingested they could cause illness of varying severity, and sometimes even death.

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One of the numerous negative ecological effects of urban development is a higher rate of soil erosion. Forests naturally hold on to soil with their roots. Trees slow the fall of raindrops to keep them from disrupting the soil. The natural bumps and hillocks in the landscape break up the flow of water, giving it more opportunity to be absorbed by plant roots and filtered through the soil before it winds its way into creeks, streams, and rivers.

These natural soil-defense mechanisms do not exist in developed land, where rain falls on rooftops, asphalt, and flat lawns covered in relatively sparse, shallow-rooted plants.

All this means that on developed land, wind and rain carries off much more top soil, dumping it into storm drains and into the water table. This not only degrades the soil quality, but also dumps soil into the local water supply, along with oils and often-toxic pollutants.

For the sustained health of your garden and your community, you should try and minimize erosion and runoff as much as possible with careful garden design. Where downspouts empty onto your yard or where storm waters flow through it, you should take every effort to absorb and filter this water. A well-designed garden will capture water effectively, keeping plant roots moist much longer while also holding on to the soil’s nutrients and keeping pollution out of the local water table.

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Hydrangeas have become very popular cut flowers due to their bold presence, attractive colors, and versatility—they can be used in fresh-cut arrangements or dried as everlastings. Out of all the types of Hydrangeas, lacecaps are really the only ones that don’t dry very well.

We have put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your cutflower Hydrangeas, including how to keep them fresh as long as possible as well as how to dry them for use long after the season has passed.

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The Types of Hydrangea Plants

Posted on Aug 15, 2008 | 0 comments

For many years now Hydrangea have been one of the most popular perennials in American gardens.  The variety of these shrubs that is available is quite impressive. Far from being just the one-colored puffballs that you remember from your grandmother’s garden.  There are 23 species, but of these only five are widely available in the US.  The five that are available represent a great variety of flowering perennials, with an option that is right for almost any American gardener.

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