Gardener’s Glossary

Book Stack Gardener’s Glossary – Hardy:

Able to withstand year-round climatic conditions, including cold, without protection.

Source: The American Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Gardening, DK Publishing, New York, New York, 1993.

NOTE: We discussed the importance of this in this post


Drought-proof Your Garden by Design

Garden guy Drought-proofing your garden before the imposed need arises is a long-term step in sustainability that protects your investment of time and money in its design and establishment.

We experienced a major drought in our area this season! During our 14 years of living here, we have had droughts, but the southeast was hit so hard this year, the effect was further intensified. For the first time, watering restrictions were mandated in our area.

Fortunately, along with a major garden redesign early in the season, the majority of the plants added to our gardens this year were hardy perennials carefully selected to handle the heat and less watering-intensive.  We didn’t know there would be a drought, but planned a sustainable garden design. 

This is an important factor to keep in mind when designing or establishing a garden.

Also — remember that watering continues through the fall, as well.

Here are a series of articles on how to adapt your garden over the longterm to the normal, recurrent fluctuations in moisture through rain or snow, from Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Colorful Changes of Fall

Fall Arrgmt  Are you enjoying the changes of the season where you are? Oh, we are! I hope you are, too! The leaves in the surrounding wooded area, are hinting of the new season to come, with a changing hue. I must say, I delight even with the seasonal arrangement of the moment we have to celebrate this season – blushing mangoes, ripe avocadoes, fragrant, golden pineapple and red bananas! I realized as I was arranging – luscious, warm fall colors!

Further north from here, the leaves are making a colorful change – exciting! However, should you be heading to the Blue Ridge to enjoy our scenery, you may also see a phenomena. Unfortunately, the Southern Pine Beetle has struck our forests, and in addition to the lovely leaf colors, you will notice some dead cedars in the woodlands. (I’m so sorry!) Learn more about this devastating insect

Water-wise Gardening

Gar Path  Think Ecosystem & Permaculture = Save time + $ + water in your garden!

Permaculture — Use Little water, time & money in your garden design: Visit 2 gardens to see how they were designed to use very little water!

Waterwise Gardening – Hints & Tips “click on” your area (of the US) for region-specific hints and tips…

Good Stewardship: Herbal Preservation

scntd ger      The Herb Society of America has long been dedicated to the preservation of herbs through various established programs throughout its nearly 75-year history.

The annual useful plants seed exchange offers many not readily available through traditional sources.

Recently, due to donations made by collectors:

The Salvia collection at the

New Orleans
Botanical Garden
was reestablished.

The Lavender collection lost due to disease at the National
Garden is restored.

Gardening for Wildlife: Creating a Backyard Habitat

Bfly    Spring and Summer in Your Backyard


Maintaining your Backyard Wildlife Habitat throughout the year, keeps you busy in your garden, while keeping your yard attractive to wildlife, and active!



Based on the necessary provisions required to create a suitable environment attractive to wildlife, here is a checklist for maintaining your Habitat during the growing season:




Provide Food Sources:


A natural choice is to choose plants that provide natural foods such as fruits, seeds, nuts, and nectar, for backyard wildlife throughout the year. Native perennials and annuals provide nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are attracted to tubular-shaped, red flowers like bee balm, wild columbine, and native honeysuckles. Butterflies tend to prefer flat or clustered flowers, like purple coneflower, phlox, and zinnias.


Bird feeders supplement natural food provided by native plants. Special feeders provide nectar for hummingbirds during the summer, and into the fall. Every few days, change the nectar in hummingbird feeders, frequently in hot weather. Every time you refill them, Wash them thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse completely. Pay special attention to the feeder ports, as you wash these feeders, as they can easily get black mold on them, especially in hot weather.


 A variety of seeds (such as sunflower,
niger, safflower, and millet) should be provided for other birds year-round. Feed only as much food as your birds will eat in a day. Bird seed should be kept dry. Always be sure to remove any seed or fruit that is molded or spoiled. 


It’s important to keep feeders clean, to keep avian diseases from spreading. Keep feeders clean by washing them thoroughly every few weeks, using hot water, a mild soap, and rinsing thoroughly. Allow feeders to dry before refilling.


If you provide suet, use rendered suet or heat-resilient suet blocks. Reduce amount of suet offered during the hot weather months, as heat can make it turn rancid, thus unhealthy for birds, and can also stick to their feathers.





Provide a Water Source:


Wildlife needs water for drinking, bathing, and for some species, also for reproduction. Water can be supplied in a birdbath, a small pond, a recirculating waterfall, or simply in a shallow dish. If you have a natural pond, stream, or wetland on your property, preserve or restore it as these are excellent aquatic habitats.


A small pond set into the ground provides water for drinking, bathing, cover, and breeding areas for small fish, insects, amphibians, and reptiles.


Keep a watch on your birdbaths, and be sure to keep them fresh, clean water in them. The water should be changed daily. Every few days, empty the birdbath, scrub it with water and white vinegar solution or hot soapy water, using a stiff-bristled brush, and rinse.





Provide Protective Cover:


Include some evergreen trees and shrubs in your backyard habitat, to provide protective cover from weather and predators year-round. Choices that provide food as well, include: juniper, hollies, and oaks.


Deciduous trees and shrubs offer effective summer cover for both nesting and protective cover.


Rock, log, and mulch piles offer cover. Small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects and other small animals make homes in these structures.


Provide cover and a source of seeds, by leaving dead flower heads and grass stalks standing. Collect fallen branches and add to a brush pile.




Sustainable Gardening Practices ~ During the Growing Season:


By choosing native plants suited to the site conditions, little maintenance, chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or additional watering will be necessary for the plants to thrive. This creates a healthy habitat for you, your family, and the wildlife your backyard habitat, while saving you money and maintenance time. Try to avoid, or at least minimize the use of chemicals; try natural and organic solutions.




Provide Places to Raise Young:


Understanding the habits of the backyard wildlife helps in providing a suitable habitat:


Evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs provide nesting areas for birds.


Dead and dying trees (“snags”) provide nesting places for owls, flying squirrels, and other cavity-nesters.


Rabbits, shrews, mice, snakes, and salamanders lay their eggs or raise young under the boughs of plants, as well as in rock, log, or mulch piles.


Nest boxes are preferred by bluebirds, chickadees, wrens, and purple martins.


Aquatic animals like frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies, and many insects, deposit their eggs in ponds, vernal pools, and wetlands.


Butterflies require “host” plants as food sources for butterflies during the larval (caterpillar) stage. Generally, butterflies lay their eggs on host plants preferred by the caterpillar.

Native Plant Conservation through Reducing Invasive Plant Spread

Dandelion      A Voluntary Code of Conduct for the Gardening Public is endorsed by the Herb Society of America, as a means of creating awareness for the impact invasive plants can have not only on our own gardens but in our regional ecosystems.

How can we as responsible gardeners and good stewards of the earth help?

Here’s how:

Determine which plant species are invasive in your area through research.

Buy only non-invasive species when you acquire plants.

Do not trade plants with other gardeners if you know they are invasive plant species.

Help promote a community awareness program for invasive plant species through botanical gardens, nurseries, other gardeners, the media.

For More Information:

Invaders Database System

Plant Conservation Alliance’s US Plant List 

Invasive Plants Threaten Our Ecosystem

Dandelion   While we’re on the subject of conservation, did you know that sometimes what we do not plant is actually better for the environment? This flies in the face of “replanting” for a greener earth, to be sure. Surprising as it may seem, plant selection – choosing non-invasive species for your garden can truly impact the world. Here’s how…


Gloria McClure, Herb Society of America Botany and Horticulture Chair in the current issue of the HSA newsletter, warns that the “promise of horticulture depends upon you and me.” Talk about a far-reaching global effect from a grassroots level! “One of the largest threats to native plants (and that includes native herbs) and their communities is invasive species. In fact their toll on the environment is second only to habitat destruction.”


What this means is that certain species of plants are invasive or have negative impact on conservation in the native ecosystems of some regions, but not all.


Learn more here:

Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Avoid Plant Invasion

Center for Plant Conservation

Earth Day

Rugosa       EARTH DAY History and Informational Resources

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  

So God created man in his own image,
       in the image of God he created him;
       male and female he created them. 

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.  

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

~ Genesis 1: 26-31

                                                             EARTH DAY 


First observed internationally on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was to amplify the necessity for conservation of the world’s natural resources. Initially held on March 21, as a student event on college campuses, Earth Day has evolved into a major educational and media event. Environmentalists point out environmental problems, and solutions which may slow and possibly reverse these situations.


Beginning in 1962, the concept of Earth Day was developing, with the encouragement of Senator Gaylord Nelson, who is credited as its founder. He attempted to persuade President Kennedy to go on a national conservation tour, which resulted in a 5-day, 11-state tour, beginning in September, 1963, and served to spark the event.


The ultimate goals of Earth Day were to draw attention to environmental issues, and to place them squarely on the nation’s political agenda. Due to grassroots level support, this day was established. First held in 1970, Earth Day helped to alert people of the dangers of pollution, increase awareness of environmental concerns, and understanding the concept of ecology, thus development of the environmental movement.


Things We All Can do to Re-Leaf the Earth:

Educate our Children

Discover and Learn –

Audubon Society

Bring Nature to Life – Guide to more than 5,500 species!

Natural History Organizations

Smithsonian Museums & Research Centers: Smithsonian Ecology and Environment

Environmental Health Concerns:

Environmental Protection Agency

National Institute ofEnvironmental Health Sciences

Help Keep Our Earth Green – Plant!

“How tos” of Gardening for Wildlife in Your Backyard!

More Gardening Adventures with Children

Help Keep the Earth Green – Get Involved!

National Arbor Day Foundation

National Wildlife Foundation

Have fun – Enjoy the Earth’s Splendors and Add to Them!

National Park Service

Visit Seussville – Help the Lorax save the Trees!

Adopt a Rainforest Animal – for your website – an eco-wise gift!