Rain Barrel Basics

The use of a rain barrel can help reduce pollution, improve water quality, conserve water, improve plant health and save money.


Watering plants from a rain barrel reduces the environmental pollution produced just in getting water flowing to and then from your garden tap. No need for electricity to pump it from a well or a municipality’s central location. […]

Hardscape Essentials: It takes more than plants to make a landscape

What is it?

Hardscape is not a catchy term for overly difficult gardening sites. It simply means the hard, durable parts of the landscape…the non-plant elements. Hardscaping elements are often chosen for function and directly or indirectly add beauty as well.  Hardscape can be used to: provide definition of different areas within a landscape, direct views and traffic, frame or screen views, provide shelter, ambience and ease of access, and create containment. […]

Back to Nature – Gardening with Eco and Time Friendly Native Plants

Native plants don’t need to be coddled, coaxed or coerced the way “foreigners” often do, making them easier on your schedule and eco-friendly too. Native plants conserve water and assist in rebuilding of depleted soils and greatly reduce the contamination of soil and groundwater by fertilizers and pesticides, as they are not dependant on these “supplements” for survival. They score additional eco and back-to-nature entertainment points, because they provide food and shelter for native critters.

Animals in My Dirt! Soil Bacteria Keep Things Healthy

Did you know that just one handful of soil contains more “animals” than all the people on earth?

Granted, these are little critters, but animals none the less. We are talking tiny bacteria, fungi, micro-algae, protozoa and a few bigger guys – nematodes, mites and earthworms. The most diverse society we have on planet Earth is right under our feet. This is not a boring, casual group like a book club.  Far from it! It is a rowdy collection of interdependent characters, caught up in life and death struggles that can be both tragic and heartening. Plant roots and seeds take part in the drama as secondary players. […]

A Hot and Juicy-Leaved Trend…. Mixed Succulent Containers

Have you seen them? They’re everywhere lately… flaunting their plump, fuzzy, pokey twisty or flat-leaved stuff…in shades of blues and greens, sometimes blushing with red, orange or purple. Cacti and their other succulent counterparts, showing off in simple to artsy containers, are truly a hot gardening trend. […]

Tomato and Pepper Types and Their Uses

Determinate or Indeterminate? Determinate varieties bear their entire crop at one time, making them a top choice for preserving. Indeterminate varieties have fruit ripening over an extended season, and are likelier to need growing supports such as stakes or cages. […]