Golden Trowel Award from LawnStarter

Golden Trowel Award from LawnStarter

I am so happy to share this with our readers! MissSmartyPlants has been named with some of the Top Gardening Blogs as one to follow!  Do you follow other gardening blogs? This list includes some really great writers and gardeners. Enjoy the full list of top gardening blogs here. There are thousands of incredible bloggers who share stories, photos and knowledge about gardening and sustainable living. LawnStarter’s editorial team scoured the internet to put together a list of winners for LawnStarter’s Top Gardening Blogs of 2016, taking into account blog posts and other online activity during the year. Winners were judged on their reputation on Google, influence and popularity in social media, and quality and consistency of posts. So without further ado, in no particular order, allow us to announce the winners of our first-ever Golden Trowel Award.… Read Full Post
Best Winter Flowers for Florida Gardens

Best Winter Flowers for Florida Gardens

What beautiful weather!  Now is the time to enjoy the outdoors and get some flowers planted for the winter months. Not sure what to plant? Here are my top five best winter flowers for Florida gardens:   Geraniums: Large balls of flowers held high make this one of the most catching of our best winter flowers. These are easy to see from a distance, so areas like the mailbox or front yard are great places to plant. Plant geraniums now and they will last well into May. Sweet Alyssum: These flowers will fill the air with their soft, sweet fragrance. Reaching just 6” tall, alyssum work great in containers or in the front of a flower bed. Although flowers are small, about the size of a pencil eraser, there are so many it will look like a patch of white.… Read Full Post
Assassin Bugs

Assassin Bugs

I have to admit, assassin bugs are one of those insects I’ve known about, but haven’t seen myself. I don’t think I would have even known what they looked like if it wasn’t for “David Rogers’ Big Bugs” coming to Leu Gardens. All of the sudden I was learning about assassin bugs and helping to install a 7 foot long sculpture of this true bug. Introduction to Assassin Bugs True bug?  Well yes, not all insects are actually “bugs.” Arizona State explains it this way: The key difference between true bugs and other insects is their mouth parts. True bugs suck. That’s right, the true bugs have specialized mouth parts used to suck juices. Mostly they suck fluids from plants, but there are some true bugs, like bed bugs, that feed on animals.… Read Full Post
Gardening for Your Health

Gardening for Your Health

It is easy to think of gardening and yard work as a task specifically for beautifying your home, but have you considered it as a way to grow a healthier you? Gardening promotes the physical activity that many of us are missing in our lives without requiring a gym membership. After the recent tragedies in Orlando I found myself at a loss. The only thing I wanted to do was be outside working in our yard. For me, gardening for your health means the mental benefits of gardening far outweigh any other type of relaxation. As I call it, “putzing” around the garden puts me at ease and allows me to find some calm that is often missing. I don’t accomplish a whole heck of a lot, but it lets me slow down.… Read Full Post
Creating a succulent container garden display 

Creating a succulent container garden display 

As part of the Great Yard Renovation of 2016 we created a special succulent container garden display area in our front yard. This was really the part of our landscape design plan about which I was most unsure. But I realize there are times when we all need to step out of our comfort zone (i.e. hedges and groundcovers) and try something new. This project is certainly that. In my mind this achieved several goals: – It cleared all (yes, all!) of my potted plants off our our back deck. This pretty much sold Mike on the whole thing. – It actually gives the succulents better growing conditions. Our front yard is much sunnier than the back. I make the argument that I have to keep these because of the presentations I give on growing succulents in Florida.… Read Full Post
Removing Viburnum odoratissimum

Removing Viburnum odoratissimum

Finally getting around to removing this huge tree from my yard is making me very happy. Removing viburnum might be one of my best gardening moments. Okay, probably not really, but it is still a good feeling. I consider viburnum to be my nemesis.   Finally getting around to removing this huge tree from my yard is making me very happy. Removing viburnum might be one of my best gardening moments. Okay, probably not really, but it is still a good feeling. I consider viburnum to be my nemesis.You may be thinking to yourself, “why would someone find so much pleasure in removing viburnum from their yard?” A very good question indeed. The University of Florida’s publication on Viburnum odoratissimum states, “Often used as a screen or clipped hedge, its dense, spreading, evergreen habit makes Sweet Viburnum suitable for use as a small tree, reaching 25 to 30 feet tall and wide at maturity, with a dense, multibranched, rounded canopy.”  I just don’t have room for a plant this big!… Read Full...
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