Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.
The ixora coccinea plant commonly known as scarlet jungle flame is an evergreen shrub that is native to Bangladesh, Thailand, Sir Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, and India. This garden beauty is a tropical-subtropical plant and is used widely in many landscapes and garden designs. Ixora’s are a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae.
Blue daze is a beautiful ornamental flower evergreen plant in the Convolvulaceae family and is native to Brazil and Paraguay, this tropical beauty can brighten up your spring and summer garden. The Evolvulus or the blue daze which is its common name grows to a height of 12 inches with a spread of 2-3 ft.
The geiger tree (Cordia sebestena) is a stunning plant that’s native to the Caribbean islands, and possibly the Florida Keys. This garden beauty thrives well in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The geiger tree is a hardy evergreen that produces dark green leaves that are stiff, growing 4-9- inches long, The flowers that this plant puts fort are even more stunning growing in clusters of yellow, orange, or white.
The magnolia is a beautiful broadleaf evergreen and is a large genus of about 210 flowering plant species in the subfamily Magnolioideae of the family Magnoliaceae. Magnolias are tropical-sub tropical plants and are native to The Caribbean, Central America, South America, eastern North America, and areas of southeastern Asia.
Silver buttonwood plant is also known as Conocarpus erectus and is a tropical evergreen that is native to Florida, South America, and the Caribbean. This garden beauty produces attractive grayish silky-velvety-soft leaves, the buttonwood habitats are Coastal Areas, Beach Dune, Marl Prairie, and Mangrove, the silver buttonwood plant can be grown as a tree or shrub and makes a great centerpiece, stand-alone plant, or specimen plant.
The golden dewdrop is a tropical to sub-tropical ornamental plant that can be grown as a shrub, this garden beauty is a flowering plant in the verbena family Verbenaceae and is native to Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. This showy evergreen produces shiny green- yellowish-golden color leaves with blue or white flowers.
The winter months have finally arrived, your once beautiful green lawn has lost its lusters as your grass turns a straw-yellow/brown color. This lawn discoloration is quite common during this time of the year for warm-season grass as it goes into a dormant state going to sleep taking its long winter rest until the warmer seasons arrive.
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to control, these pests are a nuisance living off the blood of humans and animals, their bites are known to cause allergic reactions that can be fatal. Bed bugs also cause itching and sleep deprivation, their bites that cause itching can lead to secondary infections such as lymphangitis, ecthyma, and impetigo. Other health-related issues from bed bug bites include a swollen tongue, fever, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, blisters, and flu-like or nauseous feelings.
When it comes to giving house plants the right amount of water there is a misconception and because of this misconception, many house plants are suffering at the hands of their owners. “I killed my houseplants or I don’t have a green thumb” I have heard these statements on many occasions from people who seem to have tried hard and as best as they could to keep their house plants alive but in the end they acknowledge defeat.
The winter months are finally here and what that means is a slowing down from working outdoors but this time of the year provides us a chance to focus on our garden tools as we give them that much-needed cleaning and rest from working hard during the spring, summer and fall months.
As the winter months, approaches does this spell doom and gloom for insects putting an end to their nuisance from invading our homes and gardens, or is it that even during this time of the year they show us just how adaptable they are. There are mixed views on this topic and while it is true that extreme cold conditions can reduce their population research has shown that insects are adaptive surviving the freezing winter chill burrowing into the soil, overwintering in mulch, leaf piles, and loose tree bark.
Fill your indoor living space this winter with beautiful flowers by forcing both your trees and shrubs to bloom, this technique will trick your spring trees and shrubs into thinking it’s spring even though it’s winter. Having that color pop as you connect with nature indoors is pretty amazing, forcing your indoor plants to produce flowers is a great way to get a jump start on the season especially during the winter months.
The presence of indoor or interior plants can bring such great changes as we connect with nature by bringing nature indoors, interior plants not only bring a beautiful change to our indoor environment but also provide or clean the air we breathe. The winter months however can present a challenge for many homeowners as they seek to keep their plants alive and healthy during this time of the year.
To ensure that your plants keep their luster and thrive during the cold season follow these simple steps that will give you much success.
Growing your edible foods provides you the opportunity to grow healthy while saving a few dollars this is an awesome way for the whole family to connect with nature during the winter months. Below we will be discussing how this is done.
A great way to extend the season is with greenhouse gardening, whether you’re growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, or some other type of plant species one thing for sure and that is with a greenhouse you can grow plants both for enjoyment and for food. Many homeowners are getting into greenhouse gardening because of the benefits that are involved.
Whether you’re growing flowers in your garden, from containers indoors, your porch or patio, or maybe a hanging basket one thing that we can all agree on is flowers can light up a garden or a room with their various colors, shape, sizes, textures, and fragrance. The presence of flowers has been known to change the atmosphere and moods of people from all walks of life. It’s no wonder why flowers have been used and are being used to brighten up that special someone’s day.
With the arrival of winter comes those chilly days and nights, the snow-covered ground and gardens seem to say it’s time to pack up those garden tools until the warmer weather arrives, or should we have to. Why stop what we love doing when we can extend the season by bringing nature indoors with a winter garden.
Protecting your landscapes and ensuring that your garden plants survive the harsh winter months is a great way to ensure the survival of your garden once the cold season passes. Many homeowners have made the mistake of not taking these steps which has caused them big time.
The winter months are fast approaching this time of the year can still be filled with fun activities for kids to enjoy in spite of those cold chilly days. One thing for sure however is this is the time of the year when children dress warmly from head to toe as they prepare for outdoor activities, but there are also indoor winter activities as well which can keep them busy being just as fulfilling as they exercise their brainpower.
The hibiscus plant rosa-Sinensis origin is unknown, but experts believe that these garden beauties were first cultivated in China, the pacific islands, and India. There are said to be more than 200 species of hibiscus worldwide, Each hibiscus plant varies in shape, size, and color. These tropical to sub-tropical perennial plants can be grown as a tree, shrubs, and even a hedge.
Sack gardening is a great way to grow in small spaces, this method of gardening is not new but has been around for some time. In fact, sack gardening was first introduced in 2008 because of a crisis that took place in Mathare, Kiambu, and Kibera slums. Because of food insecurity, a plan was put in place where this garden technique was brought to 22,109 households which helped more than 110,000 people.
Keeping written records of your garden is a great way to keep track of how your garden is performing, overtime a garden can become so cluttered that it can be disorganized and confusing. For example, you may sow seeds but not mark or indicate what you had sown and sow the seem seeds in another part of your garden when that was not your plan.
The fall months are just about over as we approach the winter with their long chilly days, this is the time of the year nature takes her long-awaited rest as snow-covered garden plants fall to sleep and flower blooms in their array of beautiful colors slowly fades. The good news however is that even during the winter months your garden can still display beautiful flower blooms giving you a colorful winter during the cold season.
A great way to grow your garden or to increase the number of plants is by propagation, this method of growing your garden is so simple but gives great results. The art of propagation will not only increase the number of plants but will also help to save your hard-earned dollars.
Caring for a baby chipmunk can be quite exciting, however, there is some work that’s involved to ensure that the baby chipmunk is getting what it needs not only to survive but to be healthy. If you should ever stumble upon a baby chipmunk the first question that should arise is where is its mother?
Thinking outside the box is a great way to stay ahead of the game which can increase your knowledge while helping you to save a few dollars. This creative thinking has sparked an interest as many persons are seeing the need to grow their own foods or to start an indoor edible garden. With an indoor edible garden, you can extend the season as you eat fresh during the winter months.
Raised bed gardens have been making waves in the garden world for some time now because of the many benefits this garden type offers. Two of the many benefits of constructing a raised garden is these gardens can fit into the smallest of spaces, even if you don’t have the space a raised bed garden can still work.
Another benefit of a raised bed garden is you can garden just about anywhere, even if your soil type is not ideal or the perfect fit installing a raised bed garden will make having a garden possible. Below we will be discussing more of these benefits but what we will be turning our attention to is installing an organic raised bed garden.
A raised bed garden can be of any shape, style, and size from the simples to the most complex, the photo to the right shows a simple but neat construction and installation of a raised bed garden.
Growing an Organic garden is a great way to grow your foods in a healthy way while saving a few dollars that can add up over time. Organic gardens involve growing food crops without the use of harmful pesticides or synthetic fertilizers (man-made). On a wider scale, organic farms use these seem methods in crop growing along with raising livestock, organic practices only use methods that are natural.
The question has been asked, can you grow Duranta from cuttings? the answer to that question is Yes. The golden Duranta or golden Dewdrop is a tropical to sub-tropical plant or ornamental shrub which includes about 30 species.
The golden Duranta or golden dewdrop is a perennial plant that’s cultivated in many tropical and sub-tropical gardens, there are some 30 species of this ornamental beauty, the golden Duranta is native to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, this broadleaf evergreen shrub can be grown as a hedge or a specimen or stand-alone plant.
The world of gardening provides many opportunities to express oneself by letting our imagination run wild as we embark upon an adventure with those creative style or work which is our signature. There are no set rules except for the basic or the foundation in which to build, from there we are free to let those creative juices flow.
For many of us, the approaching winter months can put a damper on spending time in our gardens, the good news however is we can still do what we love even during the winter months by extending the season with these garden tips that are simple but have proven to give good results.
The red fountain grass is my favorite out of fountain grasses, this garden beauty is also viewed by some as purple fountain grass. The red fountain grass is widely used on many landscape and garden projects for its showy flowers and red foliage, this ornamental plant is native to the middle East, Africa, and southeast Asia.
There are said to be 31 species of ornamental grasses, I have worked with many of them on garden projects and have never been disappointed. What I love about ornamental grasses is once they reach maturity they are drought-tolerant, these low-maintenance plants are easy to care for and will go to work for you.
In our last article, we discussed how to successfully propagate the Mandevilla plant from seeds, if you haven’t read it as yet here is the link. Growing Mandevilla from seeds, in this post however we will be taking a look at successfully propagating Mandevilla from cuttings. The Mandevilla plant as we know is a tropical to subtropical beauty that produces an abundance of flowers that grows on a vine.
The Mandevilla is a genus of tropical and subtropical flowering vines in the family Apocynaceae, these plant species are native to South America, Central America, West Indies, and the Southwestern United States. Many species are said to also originate from the forest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Mandevilla plant grows as a vine producing an abundance of flowers.
Constructing a garden is truly a work of art and what I love most is the different ways in which to create amazing designs, while there are no set rules to gardening except following the basics you are free to let your imagination run wild as you not only create that dream garden but a garden that will capture the hearts of many to enjoy.
The comma butterfly is a butterfly that has a very unique wing pattern that I believe can get the attention of just about anyone, it is so cool to visit your garden and find them taking up residence. I believe that a garden where butterflies are present causes that garden to really come alive with their many activities and especially if children are around this makes the experience more rewarding providing hours of fun for them.
The eastern comma butterfly is a North American butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, subfamily Nymphalinae, this butterfly can be identified by its orange-brown color and dark markings along with a large white mark along its back towards its rear end. Their color makes them inconspicuous to predators camouflaging among other plants. These butterflies are common throughout England and Wales, Ireland, and Southern Scotland.
The black swallowtail butterfly is beautiful and can be seen gracing many urban gardens with their presence these butterflies are active between late April and early June so if your hobby is studying butterflies in their natural habitat then this time of the year is when you should watch out for them.
Though they have a short life span they do leave their mark that is unforgettable, below we will be discussing some amazing fun facts as we enter the world of the black swallowtail butterfly.
The eastern black swallowtail butterfly can be found throughout southern Canada, most of the eastern and mid-western United States, west to the Rocky Mountains, southwest into Arizona, and northern Mexico. This butterfly has two generations a year, the first group of butterflies emerges between late April and early June.
The western tiger swallowtail butterfly is native to western North America, this butterfly is commonly seen in woodlands, sagelands, meadows, near streams, and rivers, parks, suburbs, gardens, oases, canyons, creeks, roadsides, and wooded suburbs. These butterflies are very active and love sunny locations.
Our gardens and landscapes are teeming with all sorts of insects whether they be garden insect pests or beneficial insects, what we don’t want is to mistake these insects that are of great benefit for the bad guys. Have you ever moved through your garden area and stumbled upon insects especially the weird-looking ones wondering what they were? In this article, however, we will be discussing such insects known as the eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar and how to identify them.
In one of my articles, we discussed the biology of the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly and how you can create a natural habitat for them in your home garden, however, we will be looking at some fun facts about this butterfly that have caught the attention of so many people. The eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly is very beautiful and will fill your garden with its many colors as they move about collecting nectar. Here are the fun facts that you will find to be very interesting.
Creating a flower garden that is picture-perfect requires some know-how, there is just something about a beautiful flower garden design that gives a good restful feeling. It has been proven medically that exposing patience to a flower garden scenery helped or sped up the healing process. It’s no wonder why many homeowners have taken on personal projects investing in a home garden. In this article, however, we will be discussing when to plant perennial flowers.
Papilio glaucus the eastern swallowtail butterfly is native to eastern North America and is said to be the largest butterfly in this region. Their habitat includes meadows, nearby streams, deciduous woods, forest edges, open sunny upland fields, woodlands, river valleys, waterways, parks, and residential gardens.
The male eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly can be identified by its light yellow and black colored pattern, the female is of a deeper yellow color with black patterns. The female also has blue and orange color markings near the tail end.
What I find to be rather interesting is the friendship between humans and animals and while it’s ok to befriend domestic animals such as a dog or a cat it is startling to see how some have taken it to a whole other level in bonding with wild animals such as lions, tigers, bears, and other dangerous animals that live in the wild and while this article is not geared towards these animals we will be looking at another animal that many persons have come to love and befriend and while it may seem all right in seeking to win the trust and affections of wild rabbits caution should be taken to avoid one being injured. Remember no matter how cute and cuddly these rabbits are they are still wild.
Connecting with nature outdoors is a great way in helping to promote our ecosystem, gardening is a privilege that allows us to embark upon such ventures as we do our part in using many gardening methods not only to create the garden of choice but also to provide a home, food source and shelter for wildlife.
Among the many visitors that come to our gardens besides wildlife are pollinators and beneficial insects however, there are other visitors that are not welcome (garden insect pests) which can cause much damage turning a dream garden into a nightmare these uninvited guests must be dealt with right away to avoid their destruction.
Growing food in small spaces has sparked interest especially since the pandemic (Covid-19), many persons are now removing part of their flower gardens for this purpose and then there are those that are gardening for the first time making use of whatever available spot they can find to start a vegetable garden. Never has there been a time since 1800 that people are finding ways to sustain themselves by growing their own foods.
During 1800 in the old English days British peasants installed gardens around their homes planting fruits, vegetables, herbs along with flowering plants, beehives, and livestock that provided food for their families. This method of gardening was called cottage gardens, cottage gardens were crowded with plants. In other words, these peasants made the most out of the little space they had ensuring every bit was utilized because they knew their survival depended on it.
A lemon tree is a tropical sub-tropical plant that grows in humid regions and belongs to the rue family (Rutaceae), there are some 30 species of these evergreen trees that are grown worldwide. Some countries however not only grow lemons commercially but in mass production, some of these countries are Isreal, Greece, Turkey, Belize, Lebanon, Chile, Italy, Cyprus, Morocco, California, and other Mediterranean regions.
Lemons have a unique taste like no other that will give some of your food and drink recipes that wow. The zesty taste of lemons will excite your taste buds. As for me, I love using this fruit in salads, baked meats, and other meat recipes even adding a few drops to herbal teas is quite nice.
Lemons trees are popular for growing in outdoor gardens or containers, however, we will be giving this a bit of a twist as we discuss how to grow these trees indoors. This method of growing lemon trees indoors is not new but is enjoyed by many, so for more on how this is done let’s take a closer look as we continue reading.
Growing and caring for a lemon tree is a great way in having a constant supply of this citrus, while it requires some know-how growing a lemon tree is so easy. To be able to grow a lemon tree of your own is such a rewarding experience, it gives such a great feeling as your lemon tree produces an abundance of lemons to be enjoyed by you even sharing your harvest with families and friends.
Lemons have a unique flavor, many drinks and food recipes that include lemons have a zesty taste. But what journey do lemons take before it reaches our kitchen counters to flavors those dishes and drinks that we love so much? Continue reading to find out how simple it is in planting a lemon tree.