Cate’s Garden Pruning Shears Review

August 25th, 2015

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Cates Garden is a family-owned business that designs and tests all of their products, like these pruning shears.Click To Enlarge

Cate’s Garden is a family-owned business that designs and tests all of their products, like these pruning shears.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Do you know a gardener who would turn down the chance to try two new pairs of pruning shears for free? Neither do I!

That’s why I responded quickly to the offer from Cate’s Garden to use the company’s 8-inch anvil ratchet pruning shears and 8-inch bypass pruners in my garden and write a candid review.

Cate’s Garden is a… Continue reading..

Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

August 23rd, 2015

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This ancient Live Oak Allee is underplanted with a sea of colorful caladiums.Click To Enlarge

This ancient Live Oak Allee is underplanted with a sea of colorful caladiums.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Just back from a short family vacation in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. While there, besides enjoying local produce and eating my fill of grits (in every way possible) and fried green tomatoes, I made a return visit to Brookgreen Gardens. If you are ever going to South Carolina, or just passing through, make this garden a stop on your list of places to visit. Besides wonderful gardens and ancient… Continue reading..

Small Winter Squash for Small-Space Gardens

August 18th, 2015

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Honey Nut baby butternut squashes will look like their full-size cousins when mature, but will measure only 4-5 inches long and weigh around one pound.Click To Enlarge

‘Honey Nut’ baby butternut squashes will look like their full-size cousins when mature, but will measure only 4-5 inches long and weigh around one pound.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Last gardening season I was delighted to be able to harvest a full-size, ripe and ready spaghetti squash. As in one spaghetti squash. There just isn’t enough room in my small-space vegetable garden to grow as many winter squash plants as I’d like, even if I… Continue reading..

Small Winter Squash for Small-Space Gardens

August 18th, 2015

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Honey Nut baby butternut squashes will look like their full-size cousins when mature, but will measure only 4-5 inches long and weigh around one pound.Click To Enlarge

‘Honey Nut’ baby butternut squashes will look like their full-size cousins when mature, but will measure only 4-5 inches long and weigh around one pound.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Last gardening season I was delighted to be able to harvest a full-size, ripe and ready spaghetti squash. As in one spaghetti squash. There just isn’t enough room in my small-space vegetable garden to grow as many winter squash plants as I’d like, even if I… Continue reading..

Summer Gardening in the Ozarks

August 12th, 2015

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Flags flying over red amaranth and the Kitchen Garden at the Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View, Arkansas. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

Flags flying over red amaranth and the Kitchen Garden at the Ozark Folk Center, Mountain View, Arkansas. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

It’s hot down here in the Ozarks–really hot and humid–with temps mostly in the high 90s everyday. There has been a good bit of rain, though gardens are thirsty and some are parched if they haven’t been watered. However, there is still a… Continue reading..

Try This Edible Ornamental Basket

August 10th, 2015

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Plant a hanging basket thats almost completely edible from its foliage to its flowers and fruit.Click To Enlarge

Plant a hanging basket that’s almost completely edible from its foliage to its flowers and fruit.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

For the last several summers I’ve turned an ordinary hanging flower basket into something that is as edible as it’s beautiful. Last year I planted a cherry tomato with dill and two kinds of colorful flowers.

This year I decided to include plants with edible fruits, flowers and foliage.

I started the seeds from a packet of Litt’l Bites Windowbox Cherry

Purslane in the Kitchen

July 27th, 2015

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Just-harvested purslane ready to be rough chopped and added to tzatziki or wilted along with other garden greens. Click To Enlarge

Just-harvested purslane ready to be rough chopped and added to tzatziki or wilted along with other garden greens.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Last week, I wrote about purslane and the benefit of having it in one’s garden. For those of you new to Portulaca oleracea, here are a few easy recipe ideas using purslane.

Remember when harvesting purslane that it is a succulent and the leaves wilt rather quickly after cutting. Try keeping them out of direct sunlight after cutting… Continue reading..

Fish Peppers are Edible and Ornamental

July 29th, 2015

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The Fish hot pepper plant is so attractive it can be planted in an ornamental flower garden.Click To Enlarge

The ‘Fish’ hot pepper plant is so attractive it can be planted in an ornamental flower garden.

Photo: Jodi Torpey

Every summer I fill my container vegetable garden with plenty of new-to-me pepper varieties. Some are sweet bell peppers, but the majority are hot chile peppers because I’ll never stop searching for the new must-have favorite.

To attain that status, a chile pepper plant has to provide more than tasty peppers with just the right amount of heat. It has to… Continue reading..

Winter Days, Travels and Comfort Food

January 20th, 2014

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Here is a brumous view of snow weighing down the bamboo.Click To Enlarge

Here is a brumous view of snow weighing down the bamboo.

Winter Days, Travels and Comfort Food

My gardener friend John Forti, from New England, recently posted the following word on Facebook; it is one with which I was not familiar:

brumous(adjective) of grey skies and winter days; filled with heavy clouds or fog; relating to winter or cold, sunless weather.

What a great word! It is certainly a good description of what many of us in the U.S. are experiencing as winter weather (other than y’all down South