Happy New Year

2009 Already?

Everyone always says, where did the year go? I have been thinking back over this past year and all the great people I’ve met, the cities and places I’ve traveled to, and the way our country has changed. I’m very thankful for these experiences and in spite of all the gloomy things I hear everyday, I am looking forward to and very optimistic about this next year.

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Succulent plant

Winter Care of Succulents

Meredith asks, “I have succulent plants outside that do well in hot temperatures. How should I take care of them during the winter?”

The biggest threat to tender succulents is the combination of cold temperatures and wet soil. Read on to find out more.

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Christmas cactus blooming

Confessions of a Cactus Killer

My first Christmas cactus came from my mother, who got it from HER mother, who grew and tended it as far back as anyone can remember, and I killed it. Yes, that’s right, I killed the heirloom cactus, and I hang my head in shame.

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Red flower on Holiday Cactus

Caring for Holiday Cactus

Holiday cactus are easy to grow and often passed down through the generations. With holiday cactus, the question isn’t how to grow it, but how to make it bloom. By following these easy steps, you’ll have your plant blooming in time for the holidays.

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Cracks in soil.

Cracks in Dry Soil

Naser asks, “I have a problem with deep cracks forming in my lawn soil. They can be quite large, and I don’t know what to do.”

Large cracks form in soils that are high in clay. You need to amend the soil in order to correct the texture. Here are some recommendations.

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Woman standing on snowy road.

Another Day in Paradise

The first day of winter arrived with a roar here in Connecticut, dumping 14 inches of snow over two days. I’m not complaining though, I love cold weather and there’s nothing more beautiful than a thick blanket of fresh white snow. I love the way it softens the landscape, and covers up the bare, brown ground.

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Christmas arrangement on fireplace mantel.

To Tree or Not to Tree?

The last time I put up a Christmas tree, my cat, Houdini, was beside himself. If you have pets, I bet you already know what happened. It’s a dramatic story involving a spectacular illustration of the laws of gravity and physics, and it ends with me sweeping up shards of broken ornaments and tree needles at two in the morning, while he glared yellowly from the depths of a closet.

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Holly bush with red berries.

How to Grow Holly

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly” may be a traditional Christmas carol, but holly boughs have enjoyed a long symbolic history in other cultures as well. In the garden, hollies are a striking choice that provide year-round interest and serve as great foundation plantings or hedges. There are hundreds of varieties, ranging from tiny shrubs less than a foot tall to towering trees. Learn how to grow this versatile and elegant plant.

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