• 2016: Year of the Allium
    Ornamental alliums have so many good things going for them that it’s a wonder they’re not more widely planted. But alliums are definitely on the rise. They seem to be popping up everywhere: in gardening books and magazines, on Pinterest boards, and in public and private gardens across the country. Most allium flowers have a long, leafless stalk topped with a globe-like bloom that’s made up of a cluster of individual florets. Like exclamation points, alliums stand out from other plants, adding emphasis and excitement wherever they’re grown.
  • 2016: Year of the Begonia
    Begonias, an easy to grow tropical plant, is ideal for garden beds, flower pots and hanging baskets. With over 1,700 different species, gardeners can find the perfect flower, leaf or form for every outdoor or indoor need.
  • 2016: Year of the Delphinium
    Delphinium is a perennial favorite as the tall spikes of blue flowers in the background of a stately English or cottage garden. The modern delphinium flower may be a single or double rosette in popular blue or red, pink, white, violet and yellow. Many of the flowers have white or black centers known as “bees.”
  • 2016: Year of the Carrot
    Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables to grow in home gardens - and for good reason. Carrots are delicious, nutritious, versatile, and with just a little bit of know-how, this root crop is easy to grow!
 
2016: Year of the Year of the Allium

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2016: Year of the Year of the Begonia

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2016: Year of the Delphinium

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2016: Year of the Carrot

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We Challenge You...Plant for Pollinators!

 

 Did you know pollinators are responsible for one in every three bites of  food we eat each day?

 The health of many pollinator populations is in decline but despite this  news, we still depend on their activity for our  food and the well-being of  our landscapes. 

 

Install any nectar or pollen producing plan in your garden or yard, on your patio or balcony, then register your pollinator-friendly garden at this collaborative share site

 

Bee one of a million who care about the plight of our pollinators. #polliNATION.

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National Garden Bureau Accepting Applications for Therapeutic Garden Grants

 

National Garden Bureau, in an ongoing effort to raise awareness of horticulture and support the benefits of gardening (#growingforfutures), will grant $5,000 this fall to be split among three therapeutic gardens in North America.

After fundraising for a vocational therapeutic garden in Chicago in 2014 then granting thousands of dollars to three therapeutic gardens in 2015, the National Garden Bureau (NGB) is again supporting gardens that promote the health and healing powers of human interaction with plants. Beginning this month, NGB will begin accepting applications from therapeutic gardens that meet the following set of criteria:
  1.  Have a defined program using the garden to further particular goals for participants lead by a qualified leader. Examples include horticultural therapy, occupational, physical, vocational or rehabilitation therapy in a garden setting or using gardening to promote positive social relationships within a community.
  2. Offer a nature experience/interface for population served, including, but not limited to veterans, special-needs children or young adults, the elderly and/or those recuperating from specific injuries or addictions.
  3. Be used for job-training, skill-building, or food growing for at-risk youth, veterans, or the elderly.
  4. Involve a large number of gardeners, clients, patients, visitors or students on a monthly basis.
From all the applications received, a group of horticulture therapy experts will narrow all applications down to three finalists. Those three finalists will then be asked to submit a one-minute video that will be posted on www.ngb.org. All involved parties will solicit feedback from the public, using Social Media, to vote on the garden they wish to receive the grants. The top vote-getter will receive $3,000, second and third place will receive $1,000 each.
 
The panel of experts to determine the three garden finalists are:
  • Patty Cassidy, Registered Horticultural Therapist, American Horticultural Therapy Association board member and secretary
  • Barbara Kreski, Director, Horticultural Therapy Services, Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Julie Tracy, President, Julie+Michael Tracy Family Foundation/Growing Solutions Farm
  • Heather Kibble, President, National Garden Bureau, Home Garden Vegetables Division Manager, Sakata Seed America
To apply, therapeutic garden applicants should determine that they meet the criteria as outlined in this downloadable document and then complete this application and submit it to the NGB office by the deadline of July 1, 2016.
 
“Now that we are in our third year of supporting therapeutic gardening efforts, we feel that we have a lot of traction and are able to bring more awareness to the many gardens throughout North America that are being created to help people rehabilitate from difficult situations.  We encourage any and all groups who have a therapeutic gardening program to participate for the chance to win money to support their worthwhile projects.” states Heather Kibble, National Garden Bureau President.
 
According to the American Horticultural Therapy Association, horticultural therapy (HT) is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the "Father of American Psychiatry," was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.
 
HT techniques are employed to assist participants to learn new skills or regain those that are lost. A therapeutic garden is a plant-dominated environment purposefully designed to facilitate interaction with the healing elements of nature. There are many sub-types of therapeutic gardens including healing gardens, enabling gardens, rehabilitation gardens, and restorative gardens.
 
For more information about this project or the National Garden Bureau, visit: www.ngb.org and follow #growingforfutures on Social Media. 
  • Eggplant Patio Baby F1 AAS 2014 Regional Winner

    Patio Baby is a very early and highly productive eggplant with a compact habit, making it a great choice for containers or in the garden. Deep purple, egg-shaped fruit should be harvested at baby size-2 to 3 inches, and are delicious roasted or in dips and salads. Thornless leaves and calyxes allow for painless harvesting and makes Patio Baby child-friendly, too. Plants will continue to produce fruit throughout the entire season.    

  • Viola Gem™ Lilac Antique

    Viola Gem Lilac Antique is a unique color in a sea of viola colors. Gem does well in cold conditions and will also withstand those sudden bursts of heat which can occur in spring. Gem Lilac Antique blooms prolifically providing welcome color in late fall and early spring. Great in containers, baskets and in the garden.

  • Verbena 'Enduro Purple'

    'Enduro' verbena stays in flower longer in the heat and tolerates Powdery Mildew. It is hardy in the landscape to the low teens for extended enjoyment summer through fall. New from Ball FloraPlant.

  • Penstemon ‘Miss Moneypenny’

    Vivid scarlet flowers with a white throat are held high on long purple stems. The bright 1 to 2 inch tubular shaped flowers cluster along the tall stems rising from the shiny deep green plants. The upright plants reach 15 to 25 inches tall with a compact spread of 8 to 10 inches. Grow this long flowering perennial plant (Zones 7-11) in full to part sun. Heat, cold and rain tolerant plants will bloom 100 days from sowing seed.

  • Gaillardia 'Punch Bowl'  F1

    Your eyes will go "wow" when they alight on these large splashy pink and lavender blooms with frilly white edges. The hardy, easy-to-grow 16" plants flower from June right through September in well-drained soil. The bushy, full-bodied plants light up a border with dazzling color.

 

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