April 2013 – Get Inspired

April 16th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Magazine Covers

Issue3_April2013

Lucie Arnaz Event

April 16th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Foundation News & Events

Arnez postcard frontFor those who missed a memorable night of entertainment with a Broadway icon last May, you have another opportunity.  Auburn Public Theater, Barbara Walsh, M&T Bank and The Cayuga Community College Foundation are presenting “An Evening with Lucie Arnaz.”

Barbara Walsh wanted to establish The Thommie Walsh Education Scholarship in memory of her late brother, Auburn legend, Thommie Walsh.  She called on Thommie’s long- time friend, nine-time Tony Winner Tommy Tune, to come to Auburn with his stage show “Steps in Time.”  It was so successful that the second event, starring Lucie Arnaz, is being planned for Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4, 2013 in the Irene A. Bisgrove Community Theater at Cayuga Community College’s Auburn campus.

Luci Arnaz photoMs. Arnaz is also a Broadway veteran and daughter of showbiz royalty, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball.  She will present a concert featuring new arrangements of favorite standards by Gershwin, Ellington, and Porter, as well as showstoppers from her Broadway career.  At the Friday performance she will be joined by the “Irish Tenor” Andy Cooney, a perennial audience favorite.

The Thommie Walsh Scholarship Fund, administered by The Cayuga Community College Foundation, was established to assist students who are looking for a career in theater.  Hopefully, one day, Auburn will have another “Shining Star.”

Jeff Hoffman, Executive Director of the CCC Foundation, is “honored the Walsh family has chosen the CCC Foundation to continue Thommie’s legacy.  The Walsh family puts their heart and soul into this event and we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it.”

For ticket information contact Auburn Public Theater at 315-253-6669, or visit their website, http://auburnpublictheater.org/events.php?eventID=245

Nostalgia Photos – April 2013

April 16th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Nostalgia Photos

Nostalgia Photos Editor’s Note:

We began providing nostalgia photos in the original format of Get Inspired e-magazine. They are being republished starting with the 50’s. Thanks to our new format, they will now remain available for viewing. Though the quality of many of the photos isn’t the best, we hope they will still bring you a smile and fond memory.

1956


1957


1958


1959

Post Graduate Survey

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in College News & Events

Ad for April 2013 Get Inspired

In the next few months you may receive a Post Graduate Survey in the mail. It is being distributed by CCC’s Director of Assessment. The survey is a tool that will be used to measure the value of the education you received at CCC. We hope you will take a few minutes to complete the survey.

Roots in the Finger Lakes: A Mosaic Mural Project

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in College News & Events

Mosiac 12The CCC Auburn campus is about to get a mosaic art installation. Alumni and members of the community are invited to participate or observe.

Art instructor Melissa Johnson and Professor Tom Casella received a Daniel C. Labeille Grant, administered by the Cayuga Community College Foundation. They were looking for a way to add to the launch and energy of the new School of Media Arts (SOMA). The grant is designed to bring an artist in residence to campus so students can benefit from discussions and lecture demonstrations with and by the visiting artist. This mosaic mural will create a focal point on the cement wall outside the window in the link between the main and tech buildings on the ground floor.

A group consisting of faculty and students of the CCC Studio Art and Design Program and CCC Art Club was formed. Jennifer Gandee, visiting artist and longtime adjunct in the art program is overseeing the project. The group began to think about a theme and decided to depict the various layers of earth behind the wall. They also thought that the image should include representation of the Finger Lakes. During the creative process, they discussed tree root systems, fossils, textures and colors. They realized how much the Finger Lakes look like tree roots, and the image was developed.

Mosiac 7The idea behind the project is to involve students and the larger community from design to installation. The artists will be working on the pieces Sundays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Art Studio, room M247 on CCC’s Auburn campus, April 14-18. Installation is scheduled for April 28 and May 5.

Interested persons can park in back of the College and enter through the main rear entrance. Individuals are welcome but not required to bring items needed for the project, including buckets, sponges, heavy-duty disposable gloves and paper respirator masks.

Daniel Labeille was a professor of theatre at the College from 1966 to 1983. Additionally, he was founding executive director of the Cayuga Community College Foundation from 1982 until his retirement in 1996.

Greenhouse Yields Its First Crops

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in College News & Events

Preschool 3 094As reported in our spring/summer 2013 The Spartan, a High Tunnel greenhouse was constructed behind the library building on the CCC Auburn Campus in the fall of 2012.  It was put in as a demonstration garden in partnership with the Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency.  It serves as a demonstration site for education on food production as well as a community service project.  The food produced inside the greenhouse will be donated to the Calvary food Pantry in Auburn for distribution.

With spring upon us, the first crops are sprouting and being harvested.  Recently, children from the CCC Pre-school joined Michael Pastore and Audrey Mochel, who spear-headed the project, to help plant seeds.  Future plans are in the works to educate on viable ways to crow certain crops year-round.  Funding for the project was provided by Cayuga/Seneca Community Action Agency through a hunger relief grant from the Walmart Foundation.

New York Day and Gettysburg Trips On sale now!

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Alumni News & Events

Gettysburg 2013 2 trip Poster.indd


NYC Daytrip 2013 poster.indd

The Spartan– Spring Edition Highlights

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in College News & Events
Auburn/Cayuga CC Turns 60

Editor’s note:  In the spring/summer edition of The Spartan our lead story gave a brief history of the college’s first thirty years.  While researching facts for this article, we found many interesting stories.  Space was limited in the print edition, so we thought we would share the “uncut” version here.  Enjoy!

In Roman mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, doorways, endings and time.  He is generally portrayed as a two-faced god, though not in the negative sense.  He looks to the past and the future.   As we reach this milestone, it’s clear to see why references to “Janus” have been made so often in our college publications. 

To commemorate 60 years of Auburn/Cayuga Community College, this issue of “The Spartan” will look in both directions.  We will reflect on the formative years of our alma mater in this issue and will begin by looking back at the first 30 years to see how it all came to be.  The transition of our story will continue in the fall/winter edition where we will give you a comprehensive look forward to the past thirty years to here we are today as well as a look to our future. 

1953 was the year that would change the lives of many in central New York.  An indelible mark would be made in Auburn, one that would continue to grow and evolve for years to come.    We would like to share excerpts from “A History of Auburn Community College During Its Founding Period 1953-1959” written by ACC’s first dean, Albert Skinner.

The Pioneer Years

“The community college concept began to develop through the 1950s with increasing rapidity as the awareness of its tremendous potential became more and more apparent”.

Through the determined efforts of many individuals, i.e., the faculty members, president, dean, college trustees, education commissioners, and the executive dean of State University, Auburn Community College was ready to open in the fall of 1953 as had been planned.

Appointment of Staff – Our original “multi-taskers”

On July 7, 1953, Albert T. Skinner was appointed as dean of the college.  In addition to administrative duties, the position was to include a full teaching load for the first year and partial teaching thereafter until the college was large enough to justify a full administrative position.  Full authority was given the dean by the president, Charles G. Hetherington, to admit students, prepare initial programs of study, write the catalog, administer the academic program, and in general have full responsibility for the development of the college in all phases of activity except that of the budget.  This arrangement continued in effect for five years until the dean became president.

At this same time, John J. Syrjala, Warren M. Taylor and Wilbur T. Kent were appointed to teach English, science, and business courses, respectively, in the new college.  On July 28 appointments to the full-time instructional staff were completed with the approval of Norman F. Bourke for social science and Minerva C. Scott for secretarial science.

Preliminary Organization

On July 15, 1953, Dean Skinner arrived in Auburn from Plattsburg, New York, where he had been on the faculty of Champlain College.  For the first three weeks headquarters for the dean consisted of a desk in the Board of Education offices at city hall.  When the secretary, whose desk he was occupying, returned from vacation he was shifted to another.  It was a very trying situation, for in addition to the urgency for organizing effective material for news releases, interviewing prospective students, and writing a catalog, there was no secretarial help available until August 17.  Since time was short he did his own secretarial work for four weeks until the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of Minerva C. Scott to act as his secretary for the rest of the month.

The James Street Building

The college was to be housed in the vacant elementary school on the corner of James and Orchard Streets.  To supplement these classroom facilities, the laboratories, gymnasium, auditorium, and mechanical drawing room at West High School were to be used.  Two science laboratories and shop facilities for electrical technology would be available at the high school each afternoon after one o’clock so that a very satisfactory laboratory schedule would be possible for college courses.

The main problem concerned itself with the elementary school which had been erected in 1885.  Each room and corridor was sadly in need of sanding and painting; the heating system was extremely inefficient and inadequate; the electrical system was outmoded and in need of complete rewiring; in fact the entire building was in extremely poor repair.

It was decided that the classroom needs of the college for the first year could be met by the use of the second floor only in the James Street School.  This would eliminate the necessity of attempting to completely renovate the building in the short time remaining and allow a better cleaning job to be done in the area to be used.  The second floor was in fairly good condition by the time the college opened in the fall.

However, the first floor presented a very different appearance.  The classrooms were crammed with chairs, tables, and desks; the wide corridor with playground slides, sand boxes, old victrolas, and busts of national heroes; in fact, this first floor seemed to contain all the old equipment that had accumulated since 1895.

The playground area was to be used for parking.  During that first year of operation before this was blacktopped, the mud at times became as real a challenge to students and faculty as preparing a lesson for the next day.

On July 9, 1953, the Citizen-Advertiser announcement that the Auburn Business School operated by Wilbur T. Kent officially would discontinue operations in August due to inadequate enrollment.  As a result, Hetherington was able later to purchase virtually all of the equipment necessary for the college secretarial courses from Kent for less than $2,500.

First Academic Year, 1953-1954

On Monday morning, September 14, 1953, the students began to formally enroll in the new institution.  Registration was scheduled for the first three days of the week with testing and orientation sessions to be held on Thursday and Friday (as reported in the “Citizen-Adviser”, September 19, 1953).  A former kindergarten room, painted a brilliant pink and located on the first floor, had been designated as the registration area.  Old wooden tables and heavy captain’s chairs (both formerly the property of Kent’s Business School) furnished the room.  By modern standards it was not a very inspiring approach to higher education, yet faculty and students seemed aware that regardless of the condition of the physical plant the new institution would be, in fact, a true college by virtue of their academic efforts in the classroom.

College records show that fifty-three student completed registration procedures that first day.  During the next two days a total of 16 more signed up for full-time classes which were to begin on Monday September 21, at 9:00 in the morning.

On Thursday and Friday mornings, September 17 and 18, these 69 students were given a series of tests which were to be used for guidance purposes by the faculty members.

Early Enrollment

The original enrollment of 69 full-time students in 1953 had increased to 386 by the fall of 1959.  Twenty-four counties were represented in the student body by September 1959.

To keep pace with the increase in enrollments the number of faculty members on a full-time basis had reached a total of twenty-three.

A Record Making College

Auburn Community College was the first unit of the State University of New York to be created in its entirety after SUNY was established in 1948.  The establishment of all other SUNY community colleges between 1948 and 1953 was in each case a legal transaction; the institutions were already established and there was simply a change in the sponsorship.  The college at Auburn was started from scratch; faculty, curriculum, physical plant, equipment, and supplies had to be procured and the student body recruited all in the space of a few short months.

Phone-a-Thon Thank You

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Alumni News & Events

ThankYou

So many of you have given generously to your college in a number of ways.  You have sent us financial gifts in response to the 2012-2013 Annual Alumni Appeal — “Growth and Change are on the Horizon.”  You have endowed student scholarships, a number of you have provided for the CCC Foundation in your will.  You have volunteered your time and talents in promoting your Alumni Association and your alma mater.

It’s hard to believe that in this age of ever-changing phone communication, our annual March Phone-a-Thon continues to succeed.  We had two wonderful CCC students who reached out to many of you during our telephone appeal, and in May they joined our ranks as alumni.

Kayla Murray, scheduled to graduate next month, and Zachariah Cuipylo.

On their behalf, as well as our own, we would like to thank you all for your support—past, present and future.

Louise Wilson, Director of Alumni Affairs
Jeffrey Hoffman, Executive Director CCC Foundation
Mary Kriever, Alumni Assistant & Phone-a-Thon Coordinator

In Case you Missed it!

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in In Case You Missed It
Heidi L. Huddleston Cross ’97, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWOCN, originally run in the spring/summer edition of The Spartan 2012

Heidi L. Huddleston Cross ’97, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, CWOCN, originally run in the spring/summer edition of The Spartan 2012

What an interesting life alumna Heidi Huddleston Cross ’97 has led!  From her childhood living in Salzburg, Austria (and having a few cameo shots in the Sound of Music as she doubled for the Brigitte Von Trapp character), to finding her life’s passion in nursing, to her mission work in South Sudan, her life reads like a captivating story.  Heidi’s comments make it easier to understand why she is such a success:  “It sounds corny, but I really believe that I was born to do exactly what I do, and CCC provided the portal and the means to do it!”

After graduating summa cum laude from CCC, Cross earned her bachelor’s in Nursing magna cum laude from Syracuse University; a master’s in Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Certificate from SUNY Upstate Medical University; and her WOCN (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse) Certificate at Wicks Educational Associates in Pennsylvania.  Heidi currently works at Upstate University Hospital as Nurse Practitioner in inpatient and outpatient wound and ostomy nursing.  In addition, she is a Nurse Practitioner with CNY Surgical Physicians at the Community General Wound Care Center.  Heidi also maintains Central New York’s only Ostomy Support Group.  Recently, she has branched out to legal nursing and does chart review for attorneys.

Cross is currently chair of the WOCN Certification Board Exam Committee and serves on several other committees.  She has been a presenter at national and regional conferences and done contract work with PESI (a provider of high-quality continuing education for health care professionals), lecturing nationally on wound and ostomy care.  And, she has found time to be published in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing.

Last June at the WOCN Society’s annual conference, Heidi was honored with the 2011 WOC Nurse Great Comebacks Award for “her dedication to patients and her many achievements in ostomy care… a nurse who regularly goes the extra mile to help patients achieve a full recovery and live a healthier life.”  She also received a Presidential Award from the WOCN Certification Board that year.

In 2010, Cross was the winner of the first annual WOCN Certification Board Scholarship to the Nurse in Washington Internship (NIWI), an annual project of the Nursing Organizations Alliance designed to inform nurses about the legislative process.  (She received a scholarship again in 2011.)  She was recipient of a WOCN Society Members’ Research Grant in 2010.  In 2009, the honor society of nursing, Sigma Theta Tau, Omicron Alpha Chapter, presented her with the Community Mentor Award.  Heidi was chosen as the 2008 Nurse of the Year by the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA).

In 2009 Heidi traveled with an upstate NY medical team to Southern Sudan on a 10-day mission to teach wound care to physicians and nurses at the Duk Payuel Lost Boys Clinic.  While there she assisted a 6-foot-6-inch Sudanese R.N. in teaching wound care, whom she described as “very interested, wonderful and hardworking” and stated that they “made quite a pair.”  This very remote village is reachable only by bush plane, and although the area is undergoing turmoil between warring tribes, her husband is heading there in February to help build a nutrition center.  Don Cross, an engineer at Nucor Steel in Auburn, is one of the volunteers who over the years have helped build the Duk Lost Boys Clinic, a 4,000-square-foot medical center.

From her fascinating childhood, growing up with a father who was a professional opera singer (appearing in Camelot with Richard Burton and Julie Andrews on Broadway), to her remarkable career choices and mission work, Heidi Cross shows no signs of slowing down.  She and her husband live in Skaneateles, NY, where they raised their four children, and have five “wonderful and beautiful” grandchildren.

Some final thoughts from this alumna:  “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to CCC for providing the education and superb preparation for an exciting career.  I feel so blessed to be in a career that I love.”

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle

iStock-4787386_herbs-on-kitchen-windowsill_s4x3_lg

Suggested Herbs

basil (‘Purple Ruffles’ or ‘Dani’)
sage
oregano
common thyme
sweet marjoram
lavender
rosemary
parsley
chives
cilantro

Pick a Location

Pick the location for your herb garden. An ideal location would be a few steps from your kitchen, but any spot that gets about six hours of sun a day is good. If you have space in front of a kitchen window, plant the herbs in small containers for an indoor garden.

Prepare the Area for Planting

Prepare the area for planting by loosening the soil. If the soil is compacted or consists of heavy clay, improve drainage by adding some compost, peat moss or coarse sand. Work the material into the top foot of soil before you plant. Tip: Plant early in the morning or late in the afternoon to prevent the transplants from wilting in the midday sun.

Dig Planting Holes

Because you are starting herbs from bedding plants and not seeds, you will need to create larger planting holes. Dig each hole to about twice the width of the root ball of the new plant.

Add Plants to Soil

Space the bedding plants about 18 inches apart to give them room to spread out and grow. Tip: Place taller herbs, like sage, rosemary and marjoram, toward the back of the garden, and place parsley and cilantro at the front.

TS-89710345_kitchen-herb-garden-sage-label_s3x4_lgLabel Herbs

Add labels to each of your freshly planted herbs to make them easy to identify when cooking.

Surround With Flowering Plants

For accents of color in your herb garden, add flowering plants like zinnias and salvia. Tip: Plant perennials on one side and annuals on the other for easier replanting next year.

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Water Regularly

Give the new transplants plenty of water. Once established, make sure your herbs get an inch of water each week throughout the growing season.

TS-sb10062327as-001_kitchen-herb-garden-cutting-plants_s3x4_lgHarvest Mature Herbs

Begin harvesting from the herbs as soon as they are mature, but take only a little bit each time you harvest. If you remove more than a third of the plant at one time, it takes longer to recover and produce new foliage. To promote branching, keep the tops of the plants pinched back in early summer. With judicious picking, most herbs can be harvested for several months. Tip: Fresh herbs taste best when harvested in the morning. Also, herbs are most flavorful if harvested before they bloom.

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14 Easy-to-Grow Plants to Put in the Ground This Spring

April 15th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle
Learn about several plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.

Lacecap Hydrangea

dgar113_hydrangea_lgDeciduous shrub with pink or blue flowers (depending upon soil pH).

Height: 4-5 feet; Width: 4-5 feet
Moist, but well-drained soil
Plant in light to partial shade; prune after flowering in summer.
Hardy in USDA zones 6-9:
Zone 6: Plant in spring or very early fall; apply mulch after first hard frost; plant in light shade with protection from afternoon sun; plant may fail to bloom after hard late frosts; water regularly in dry spells during growing season.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; apply mulch in fall; plant in light to partial shade with protection from afternoon sun; blooming may decrease after hard late frosts; water regularly in dry spells during growing season.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; plant in partial shade with protection from afternoon sun; water regularly in dry spells during growing season.
Zone 9: Plant in early fall; plant in partial shade with protection from afternoon sun; water regularly in dry spells during growing season.


Thundercloud Plum

dgar113_thundercloudplum_lgDeciduous tree with purple foliage and single pink flowers before the leaves.

Plant in rich, but well-drained soil; prune if needed after flowering
Plant in full sun
Water regularly until established; fertilize in spring
Susceptible to a host of diseases and pests
Height: 15-30 feet; Width: 15-25 feet
Hardy in USDA zones (4)5-8:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; may be marginally hardy in this zone.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.


Knockout Rose

dgar113_knockoutrose_lgDeciduous shrub rose with 3-inch cherry red flowers from late April through frost.

Plant in rich, but well-drained soil; prune down to 12-18″ in late winter
Plant in full sun
Water regularly until established; fertilize in spring
Extremely disease resistant variety
Height: 3-4 feet; Width: 3-4 feet
Hardy in USDA zones 4-9:
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; protect the crown with mulch or snow in harsh winter weather.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 7: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.


Stella D’Oro Daylily

dgar113_daylily_lgBright yellow flowers in spring through summer; repeat blooming in early fall.

Remove spent flower stalks to encourage continuous blooming
Plant in full sun to light shade
Prune back after first frost; divide and fertilize in spring
Plant in fertile, moist but well-drained soil; drought tolerant once established
Height: 12 inches Width: 18 inches
Hardy in zones 3-10:
Zone 3: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; protect from salt; pull mulch back in spring; may be marginally hardy in this zone.
Zone 4: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; protect from salt; pull mulch back in spring.
Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; protect from salt; pull mulch back in spring.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in spring.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in spring.
Zone 8: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in spring.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in spring.
Zone 10: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in spring.


Florida French Lace Weigela

dgar113_frenchlaceweigela_lgDeciduous shrub with dark green foliage with lime-green margin and deep red flowers.

Best foliage color is in full sun
Plant in rich, but well-drained soil
Water regularly until established; fertilize in spring; prune after flowering if needed
Height: 4-6 feet; Width: 4 feet
Hardy in USDA zones (4)5-8(9):
Zone 4: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; avoid contact with salt; may be marginally hardy in this zone.
Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch heavily after first hard frost to prevent winter heaving; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 7: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 8: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall.
Zone 9: Plant in early fall; plant in full sun; mulch in fall; may languish in this warmer climate.


Gingko Craig Hosta

dgar113_gingkocraighosta_lgSmall hosta with vivid green leaves with a white edge and purple flowers in summer.

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil
Plant in partial to full shade for all zones
Prune back foliage after frost; fertilize and divide if needed in spring
Height: 10 inches; Width: 10-12 inches
Hardy in USDA zones 3-9:
Zone 3: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 4: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or fall; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 7: Plant in spring or fall; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; divide in fall or as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 8: Plant in spring or fall; mulch lightly in the fall; pull back mulch in early spring; divide in fall or as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.
Zone 9: Plant in spring or fall; mulch lightly in the fall; pull back mulch in early spring; divide in fall or as new growth appears in early spring; protect from deer in prone areas.


New Guinea Impatiens

dgar113_newguineaimpatiens_lgClump forming annual grown for its flowers in a variety of colors.

Plant in rich, moist but well-drained soil
Plant in light to partial shade; can tolerate some sun in cooler zones
Height: 8-10 inches; Width: 10-12 inches
Annual in zones 2-9
Hardy in USDA zones 10-11:
Zones 2-9: Plant outside or in containers after danger of frost has passed; plant in light to partial shade; water freely during growing season; pinch to increase bushiness; fertilize monthly while outdoors; discard plants after frost; will sometimes reseed.
Zones 9-11: Plant in spring; plant in light to partial shade; water freely during growing season; pinch to increase bushiness; fertilize monthly while outdoors; will sometimes reseed.


Blue Sage

dgar113_bluesage_lgTender perennial often grown as an annual for its blue-purple flowers in summer.

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil
Plant in full sun
Drought tolerant; attracts butterflies
Height: 20-24 inches; Width: 10-12 inches
Annual in zones 2-7
Hardy in USDA zones 8-10:
Zones 2-7: Plant after danger of frost has passed; fertilize monthly during the growing season; water when dry; discard plants after hard frost.
Zones 8-10: Plant in spring; fertilize monthly during the growing season; water when dry; prune back in fall.


Kristi Chrysanthemum

dgar113_kristichrysanthemum_lgClump forming perennial grown for its attractive foliage and flowers in the fall.

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil; fertilize in spring
Plant in full sun
Pinch back buds in spring to encourage bushiness; water when dry
Avoid excessive winter moisture
Height: 16-18 inches; Width: 16-24 inches
Hardy in USDA zones 5-9:
Zone 5: Plant in spring to prevent winter heaving; mulch heavily after first hard frost; avoid contact with salt; pull back mulch in early spring; fertilize when new growth appears.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; fertilize when new growth appears in early spring.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; mulch after first hard frost; pull back mulch in early spring; fertilize when new growth appears in early spring.
Zone 8: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in early spring; fertilize when new growth appears in early spring.
Zone 9: Plant in spring; mulch in fall; pull back mulch in early spring; fertilize when new growth appears in early spring.


Large-cupped Daffodil

dgar113_largecuppeddaffodil_lgPerennial bulb grown for its large flowers with yellow petals and orange-yellow centers.

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil; fertilize in spring
Plant in full sun to light shade
Prune back foliage when yellow in fall; divide in fall or spring
Avoid excessive winter moisture
Height: 16-18 inches; Width: 8-12 inches, clump forming
Hardy in USDA zones 4-8:
Zone 4: Plant dormant bulbs in fall at least 3-5 inches deep; plant in full sun; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant dormant bulbs in fall at least 3-5 inches deep; plant in full sun; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant dormant bulbs in fall at least 3-5 inches deep; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring.
Zone 7: Plant dormant bulbs in fall at least 3-5 inches deep; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring.
Zone 8: Plant dormant bulbs in fall at least 3-5 inches deep; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring.


Scotch Heather

dgar113_scotchheather_lgLow-growing evergreen shrub with white, pink or purple flowers in late summer.

Plant in moist, but-well drained soil; fertilize in spring
Plant in full sun
Height: 4-20 inches (depending upon cultivar); Width: 30 inches
Hardy in USDA zones 4-7:
Zone 4: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring or early fall; plant in full sun; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring.
Zone 7: Plant in fall; plant in full sun; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; plants may struggle in this zone.


Tickseed

dgar113_tickseed_lgHerbaceous perennial grown for its cheery yellow flowers in spring and summer.

Plant in well-drained soil; tolerant of poor soils
Plant in full sun to partial shade
Deadhead to neaten appearance and prevent unwanted seedlings; divide in spring
Height: 24 inches; Width: 18 inches
Hardy in USDA zones 4-9:
Zone 4: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 5: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to light shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring; avoid contact with salt.
Zone 6: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring.
Zone 7: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch after first hard frost; pull mulch back in the spring.
Zone 8: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in the spring.
Zone 9: Plant in spring; plant in full sun to partial shade; mulch in fall; pull mulch back in the spring.


Gable Azaleas Rhododendron

dgar113_gableazalea_lgEvergreen known for its impressive flowering.

Roots grow near the surface. Plant no more than 12 inches deep
Deep planting keeps the roots from getting the air they need.
Grow 2 to 4 feet tall in four to six years and have 1-inch shiny leaves
bear great numbers of 2-inch blossoms in the spring.
keep the roots cool and moist with a permanent 2- to 3-inch mulch of wood chips, oak leaves, chunky peat moss or other light organic material.
Do not stimulate fast growth because it produces long weak stems and few flowers.
For maximum flower production, pinch off faded flowers or the seed capsules that follow.
Hardy to Zone 7
Zone 1-7: Best planted in early spring when the soil is no longer frozen or early fall when the plant is dormant and not stressed. Plant in partial sun; plant in moist-well-drained soil. Protect from frost and avoid contact with salt.

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Garden Primer: Perennials vs Annuals

April 12th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle

What’s the difference between “Annuals” and “Perennials” in gardening?

Easy!

An annual is a plant that lives out it’s entire life cycle in one season.

A perennial is a plant that lives for multiple seasons.

For example-the marigolds most of us planted in primary school as kids (remember planting marigolds in cut off school milk cartons?) are annuals.  You plant the seed, it grows, it flowers, the flowers turn into seed pods and eventually the plant dies. One season.

Daffodils on the other hand are perennials.  You plant the bulbs once and then every year a daffodil sprouts up from that bulb in the same place.

Now on to the confusing stuff! (there always seems to be confusing stuff doesn’t there?)

1.  There are plants that in their native conditions are perennials but which we grow as annuals because our climate is too harsh for them.  For an extreme example-all pepper plants are annuals in the US, but some varieties are perennial if grown in the tropics.  For a more mundane example-the herb sage is perennial in the more southern parts of the US, but in the north where I live the cold of winter kills the plant and it acts as a annual, needing to be replanted every year.

2.  Some varieties of plants are what they refer to as “self seeding”.   The seeds of these types of annuals fall to the ground and grow the next year without any help from you.  These can act somewhat like perennials, coming back most years in more or less the same spot.  They are not true perennials however since it is a completely new seed and new plant, not a continuation of an old one.  The Marigolds I mentioned above can self seed very easily.

3.  There is a third category of plants called “Biennials”.  That means that the plant grows the first year, dies back, then the second year it starts growing and at that point flowers and produces seed.  There are things that we grow as if they are annuals (and they get referred to as annuals) because the part we want to eat is the first year growth.  An example of this is a carrot.  We refer to them as annuals, but if you leave them in the ground the second year they will produce a flower stalk (at which point the root isn’t any good to eat quality wise).  It’s important to know which plants are biennials if you are going to practice seed saving, otherwise I wouldn’t worry about it.

note:  most of the vegetables that we plant in our gardens are either annuals or perennials that act as annuals.

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Growing Tomatoes: Try These Gardening Tips

April 12th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle

Tomato Types: What to Grow?

April 12th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle

potted_tomatoTomatoes come in about every color from white to purple, pink, yellow, orange, mottled, or, yes, striped. (No polka-dots.) Commonly grown varieties include Beefsteak, Big Boy, Brandywine and Boxcar Willie, to touch only on the Bs. Other cultivars include the suggestively named Mortgage Lifter, an heirloom variety popular during the 30s, and Purple Haze, a large cherry tomato derived from Cherokee Purple, Brandywine and Black Cherry. How to decide what to plant?

When you choose what type of tomatoes you want to grow in your garden, you’ll probably base your decision on at least three criteria: personal preferences (for shape, size, and use), disease resistance, and climate. (Hint: a good plant for someone in Arizona probably isn’t ideal for Maine.) Then, you’ll need to decide how many tomatoes to plant, and finally, assuming that you’re not starting from seeds, you’ll need guidelines for selecting seedlings from amongst dozens competing for your attention.

This is a lot of information, so we’ve put together a quickie version.

1) Overview: the quick and the dirty
If you’re just starting out, we’d recommend that you experiment with at least three different tomato varieties. That way, you can see what they are like to grow and what tastes best.

Here’s the quickest way to get started:

  • Go to a reputable nursery or greenhouse near you at the beginning of the growing season. You may find precisely what you need at an over-hyped box store garden outlet, but your chances of speaking with someone knowledgeable go up if you go to a real nursery or gardening store. So do your chances of bringing home disease-free seedlings.
  • Get someone who works there to tell you about the tomatoes they sell. Be sure to share any pertinent information about your own needs and garden (and gardening) limitations. Buy several likely candidates (a few more than you’ll need, since one or two always keel over or fade away for no clear reason.) Then proceed to the How to Plant Tomatoes page.

2. Tomato Basics: Determinate/ Indeterminate, Heirloom/ Hybrid
If you’re new to the world of tomato gardening, and a nursery worker blithely recommends over her shoulder that you select a determinate hybrid, you may feel even more helpless than you did before you asked the question. It helps to know a little about tomatoes, how they grow, and how they’re categorized, so that the language on the back of seed packets or coming out of a gardener’s mouth doesn’t seem like pure gobbledygook. Here, then, is an introduction to two of the most basic distinctions: determinate vs. indeterminate, and heirloom vs. hybrid.

Determinate/ Indeterminate: Determinate tomatoes bloom and set fruit all at once and then decline. Their blossoms grow at the ends of shoots, thus stopping growth and determining their length. These varieties are usually compact plants which require no pruning and little staking, the exception being “vigorous” determinates, which produce such large fruit that they do need support.

Indeterminate tomatoes are in it for the long haul. They continue to grow and to produce tomatoes throughout the summer, because the flowers grow along the vines rather than at the ends. Since they don’t come to a determined point but grow until stopped by cold weather or a pair of clippers (hence their name), they generally need to be supported or pruned.

Heirloom/Hybrid
Just about any tomato outside the wild varieties remaining in Central and South America has been bred — its pollination and reproduction controlled — to promote certain specific qualities. The difference between hybrid and heirloom varieties lies in how recently the variety has been crossed with others, and therefore how reliably their seeds will reproduce the plant on which they grow.

Heirloom tomatoes were developed over many years and many generations, by the old-fashioned method of growing tomatoes from seeds with desirable qualities, keeping the seedlings that retain those desired qualities and tossing those that don’t. Gradually, the line was refined; more and more of the seeds produced plants with the desired characteristics, until finally aberrant and undesirable qualities were bred out of the strain.

One of the keys to heirlooms is that they have been developed through open-pollination over many years. Their key, defining qualities are therefore encoded in dominant genes, which will win out over competing, cross-pollinated, varieties, at least for a while. If you’re growing them beside other types, cross-pollination will eventually lead to changes in seeds, but seeds from heirloom plants, grown in relative isolation from other types, will breed true.

How old a variety needs to be to count as an heirloom is a matter of opinion. Some gardeners only recognize varieties that are more than 100 years old. Others accept cultivars that pre-date 1945.

Hybrids, a more recent development, are the result of forced cross-pollination between two different varieties. There is no attempt to develop a seed “line” for a hybrid; it is produced anew each year, always by crossing the same two varieties.

Tomatoes generally self-pollinate, the (male) pollen in the flower fertilizing the (female) stigma, often with the help of bees or wind. (There’s actually more to it than that, but that’s enough for the moment.) Occasionally cross-pollination occurs when one of those helpers brings pollen from a different variety to the flower (see Pollination in the Garden).

(Technically, tomatoes are self-pollinizing rather than self-pollinating, since they do need that bit of outside help. A truly self-pollinating plant does it alone. Corn pollen, for example, simply sifts down from the tassel at the top of the plant to the crotches where the leaves join the stem. Gravity is the only outside force needed.)

In hybrids, that natural process (open pollination) is pre-empted by manual pollination, where pollen from one variety is used to fertilize flowers of the other variety. That cross-pollination occurs in the generation just before the one you’re buying (or growing). The “parents” of the hybrid tomato plant, in other words, are two very different types, and the seeds from the hybrid contain DNA for both types, in all kinds of combinations. Therefore, you cannot count on those seeds to produce a plant genetically identical to the mother plant; you simply can’t know which of the two “parents” contributed the gene for size, or for firmness, or for skin toughness, in any particular seed. Furthermore, what gives the variety its distinctive qualities (size, color, taste, firmness) is sometimes encoded in a recessive, rather than a dominant gene, so open pollination in your garden may “contaminate” the seeds with some other, dominant, gene.

3. Personal Preferences:
Heirloom or Hybrid: Tomato hybridization, which took off after WWII, has produced varieties much more resistant to diseases than heirlooms, but anyone who remembers how tomatoes (or peaches) tasted as recently as the 1960s or 70s knows that one of the main qualities for which they’ve been bred is toughness, rather than flavor (see Heirloom Seeds vs Hybrid). Like so many other fruits and vegetables, tomatoes used to be a local product, but in this era of mass transportation, they are bred largely to survive the trip to the supermarket. That trip, and the stress on the modern tomato, actually begins way before an eighteen-wheeler enters the picture, for many field tomatoes are picked and sorted by machine. While the industrial tomato has no doubt done wonders for produce shipping and supermarkets, and while it has made tomatoes available all over the country throughout the year, taste has suffered, which is why many home gardeners prefer heirloom varieties.

Here’s a quick reference:

  • If you need disease-resistance, use hybrids, since most disease-resistant varieties have been developed since 1945 as hybrids.
  • If you want to use seedlings from your local supermarket or nursery, you’ll probably have hybrids.
  • If you want standard round, red tomatoes or cherry-tomatoes, hybrids are fine.
  • BUT,

  • If you want to be able to plant seeds from the tomatoes you grow and get a plant just like the one you started with, use heirlooms.
  • If you want tomatoes like the ones Grandma grew, use heirlooms.
  • If you want weird, wonderful, really different tomatoes — purple or pink tomatoes for instance — you’ll only find this kind of variety amongst the heirlooms.
  • If you want the very best in flavor, many gardeners swear by heirlooms.

Fruit Size, Shape and Use: What do you want to do with your tomatoes? Do you want tomatoes for shish kabob or for hamburgers? For tomato sauce or for salads? The use will to some extent determine the variety of tomato you want to grow.

For shish kabob, the small cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes work well, while chunks of larger tomatoes would probably be a disaster. But if you want a nice, big, thin slice of tomato to grace your hamburger, you want to grow large slicing tomatoes. For sauces, you can of course use anything, but the juiciness we prize in a salad tomato can lead to a runny, watery sauce. This is where paste tomatoes (such as Romas) come into their own, yielding a thick, hearty sauce. For salads, flavor is paramount (see Our Favorite Tomatoes).

Tomatoes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, pear tomatoes, etc. tend to be sweet and easy to grow. They take less time since they are smaller, so they can work well for gardeners with short growing seasons. They also tend to be disease resistant.

There are hundreds of kinds of slicing tomatoes, including the big gun of the tomato world, the Beefsteak. Because classic red slicers tend to be big and bulky, each plant will bear fewer fruits, but each tomato will be bigger. They range in color from a deep red to yellow and even somewhat pink. The deep red tomatoes have the most intense flavor. Yellow tomatoes tend to be milder and pink ones are mild and sweet.

Paste tomatoes have smaller seed cavities and are denser than slicers and cherries. They are best used in cooking — for sauces, stuffed tomatoes, etc, since they are less juicy than table tomatoes.

Plant Size: Everything from soil, moisture, and sun exposure will affect the growth of a tomato plant, and of course pruning can significantly affect how tall and how bushy plants will get. Nevertheless, different types do have a genetic pre-disposition to reach a certain height. Indeterminates easily reach five feet in height (the record is around thirty), while determinates generally cap out at about three feet. There are also a number of dwarf varieties especially bred for containers; these are usually between twelve and eighteen inches high.

Fruit Development: Determinate and Indeterminate, Early or Late Starters:Another set of choices has to do with whether you want your tomatoes early in the season or late, and whether you want them to produce their fruit all at once or throughout the growing season. As mentioned above, determinates tend to produce fruit all at one time, and usually fairly early in the season. Indeterminates, on the other hand, generally grow larger, and can take longer simply to get underway.

Three factors, then, will probably affect your choice of determinate or indeterminate varieties. The first of these is whether you want your fruit all at once or throughout the summer, and the second, whether you are ready to supply support for your tomatoes or want self-supporting varieties. The third factor is simply size; as mentioned above, determinates simply tend to be smaller than indeterminates.

An early starter produces fruit early in the season; a late starter takes its time. Think of them as early and late maturers. This distinction interacts with climate in affecting your selection process: if your area has a short growing season, for instance, late starters are a poor bet, unless you’re burdened with an obscure masochistic tendency or blessed with a greenhouse.

Your own gardening style may also affect your preference for early or late starters. If you are a high-maintenance gardener, you may be happy starting tomatoes from seeds at various times during the spring and setting them out in succession. If so, you could work entirely with early starters which you plant and transplant at different times, so that you achieve a harvest that extends over the summer and fall. If, however, you want to do it once and be done with it, you may be happier with a variety of early to late starters that you transplant into the ground all at the same time.

4. Disease Resistance
Disease is generally not a major problem for small producers, especially if they rotate vegetable crops. It is even less of an issue if you choose to grow one of the many varieties that has been bred to resist specific diseases. You can find out from fellow gardeners or your local agricultural extension agent what diseases are prevalent in your area and shop accordingly. Most work on resistance has been done in the past fifty or sixty years, so if you covet disease-resistant strains, you are pretty much confined to hybrids. This is a bit like being “confined” to North America, as there are hundreds of hybrids to choose from.

Capitalized letters after the tomato name indicate what diseases that variety can resist. For example, a late starter called Beef Master carries the notation of “VFN,” which means it is resistant to verticillium wilt, fusarium wilt and nematodes, three of the most common problems that afflict tomatoes nation-wide.

Tomatoes can have genetic resistance to the following diseases:

A — Alternaria leaf spot
F — Fusarium wilt
FF — Race 1 and Race 2 Fusarium
L — Septoria leaf spot
N — Nematodes
T — Tobacco mosaic virus
V — Verticillium wilt

5. Climate: getting into the zone
Actually, you don’t have to get into the zone, since you’re already there. What gardeners need to do is learn what zone they’re in. The US and Canada have been divided into ten zones depending on average temperatures, with 1 being the coldest, and 10 the overall hottest. These zones do a lot to indicate what will or won’t grow in a certain area, and help to standardize such information. Many plants will be designated “zone 4 & 5, ” for instance, so knowing your zone gives you a quick head start on choosing varieties. Visit the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map here.

The zones, though, only take into account average temperature — not humidity, not even daily temperature range, nor rainfall. Nor do they take into account mini-zones: small areas within the larger ones on the map, with their own local conditions. If your backyard is protected by trees, shrubs, or fences, you may get more shade than you want, but your yard is also somewhat protected from winds and low temperatures. You will probably be able to put your plants out earlier and keep them bearing longer than if you’re trying to grow in a wide-open area.

Mini-Zones

Example: my area. All of southwest Montana is designated zone 4 on most maps, but when I go to a good local nursery, they ask “Where do you live?” because they know that Bozeman, tucked up against the mountains right at the eastern edge of our wide valley, has a more temperate climate than does Belgrade, fifteen miles west on the valley floor. In Bozeman, we get more rain than does Belgrade (five inches more per year, in fact,) and in Belgrade, temperatures are hotter when it’s hot and colder when it’s cold. Even within Bozeman, local differences can make a big difference in gardening, and the nursery workers often ask, “Right in Bozeman?” because in the older parts of town tall well-established trees provide windbreaks and hold heat as the young plantings in new developments do not.

Moral: the more you know about your local conditions, the more precise your choices can be.

6. Quantity
Plan on two plants per person in you live in an area with a long and warm growing season. For folks like me who live in Montana and other areas with shorter, cooler summers, you’ll actually need to plant four plants per person because each plant will produce less than it would in a more hospitable climate.

7. Selecting Seedlings
Here are a couple of tips about picking out your plants. Big is not necessarily best. If the plant is tall but seems inclined to fall over, especially if the leaves are widely spaced on the stem, it is “leggy”, and may have been struggling to get enough light. Don’t buy a stressed plant.

Therefore, go for leafy rather than tall. However, there should be a clearly defined main stem, not a lot of competing ones. A favorite term used by numerous experts is “stocky,” and the favored height is 6-8 inches.

If you have a choice between two dark-green, bushy little seedlings, only one of which is in flower, take the other one. This runs against most people’s instincts, but the reasoning is sound. You don’t want a plant that’s in a hurry to grow up. A plant that starts producing fruit before it’s well-established can be seriously out of whack with its own growing needs. Sometimes such a plant will produce one fruit cluster and then try to go back to its vegetable childhood, and not produce another flower for weeks.

8. Using all this info
Select one or two things that can function as a “bottom line,” and base your choice of varieties on these.

  • Do you need all your tomatoes to ripen in mid-August, when you have a week off work to can them? (Then you need a determinate variety and, if you live in a climate with a short summer, you’ll need an early starter which was planted sometime in February or March.)
  • Do you have only a couple of barrels or baskets to grow them? Then the key is a variety that can grow in a confined space.
  • Does your patio only get sun in the afternoon? You’ll need a variety that will tolerate shade.
  • Do you have a long but cool growing season? Try one of the varieties listed on this site under Cooler Climates.

Take these key points to a sympathetic, knowledgeable nurseryman, and leave with the plants he hands you.

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How to Garden Anywhere

April 12th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle

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Garden in a driveway

Short on space? Here’s where to garden in unexpected places

Landscape architect Jeni Webber replaced this Palo Alto home’s solid driveway with two strips of concrete, leaving space for a tiny garden in the middle.

Learn more about this driveway makeover

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In the parking strip

The parking strip — that patch of ground between the sidewalk and the street — is often a neglected no-man’s-land.

However, the right plants can turn an eyesore into a treasured extension of your garden.

Learn how to reclaim a parking strip

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In a posthole

This mini park in downtown Portland (planted in a spot meant for a lamppost) proves that there is no space too small for a garden.

Learn more about the smallest park in the world

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On a vertical garden tower

No room to garden?

A vertical garden tower will give you plenty of space for edibles, and takes up very little room.

Learn how to plant a vertical garden tower yourself

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Between pavers

Randi Herman wanted to plant something unique between the pavers in her Berkeley backyard; instead of using predictable groundcovers she went for a mix of lettuces and beets.

Learn more about how to plant edibles between pavers

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On a city roof

Plants that grow on city rooftops need to be able to stand up to constant sunlight and harsh winds.

For this project, landscape designer Lauren Schneider mixed California natives that thrive in hot, dry conditions with plants that evolved in similar climates.

Learn more about this hardy rooftop garden

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On the patio

Having fresh greens at your fingertips is one of the best parts of the growing season. And with a raised planter on the back patio, you can have a continual supply of salad greens nearly year-round.

You can make one using a ready-made redwood window box from the nursery.

Get step-by-step instructions

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Atop a doghouse

Even Fido deserves a living roof.

You can buy this stylish doghouse from prefab firm Modern Cabana. The roof is ready to plant.

See more of the Modern Cottage

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On a table

Pasadena landscape architect Heather Lenkin came up with a simple way to make a tabletop garden. Follow her easy how-to for a living centerpiece of your own.

How to make a tabletop garden

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In the air

Looking for the ultimate low-maintenance houseplant?

Tillandsias, also known as air plants, are native to tropical parts of the Americas, where they live without soil on trees and rocks.

How to care for your air plant

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In a tray

Irish moss and Scotch moss combine with lady’s slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum) to form the illusion of a garden.

A copper tray catches drips from terra-cotta pots with soft earth-tone glazes.

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In a frame

Instead of framing a picture, why not a whole garden? Here, cuttings of assorted succulents knit together to create colorful, textural living tapestries.

Learn how to make your own framed succulent garden

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On a birdfeeder

This easy-to-assemble birdeeder is the perfect place to plant a miniature green roof. Groundcovers like moss, ivy, thyme, and small sedums, will flourish in the shallow depth of the feeders’ roof.

Learn how to build a flowering birdfeeder

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In a tiny spot

If you don’t have a lot of square footage for your garden, experiment with plants that don’t take up a lot of space.

Colonnade apple trees grow upright and extremely narrow.

Learn more about this skinny apple tree

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In 4 square feet

You can grow a lot in 4 square feet.

This little patch of soil has been planted with tomatoes, basil, chives, and cucumbers.

Learn how to grow veggies in 2-4 square feet

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In a chair

This plant stand was once a chair.

The project is easy to complete: Simply remove the seat, find a pot that fits, and paint the frame a bright, fun color.

Get more information on how to make your own plant stand

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In a Woolly Pocket

Try a modern take on traditional hanging baskets with a wall of these Woolly Pockets. Since they’re lined with moisture barriers, you don’t have to worry about any leaking.

Learn how to design a modern hanging plant display

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In a front-yard bench

When landscape archtitect Pamela Palmer designed these stylish planter boxes, she wanted them to be attractive and functional. Each one has enough room for plenty of fruits and veggies as well as covered storage space at the ends that doubles as seating.

Learn more about these planter benches

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Up a wall

A trellis can make even the plainest space look beautiful. Build a number of these trellis panels and attach them to the side of your home for the most elegent effect.

Get step-by-step instructions to build this trellis

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On a walkway

Threadleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Seiryu’) towers over red-leafed ‘Little John’ azalea, variegated ivy and abelia in a 2- by 4-foot rectangular black zinc container.

Because it’s long and thin, it fits perfectly on a walkway.

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In glass

Plant a tiny cactus or bromeliad in a glass vase and you have an instant sculpture. The only additional materials you need are some polished stones and a small container.

Learn how to garden in a glass

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In stacked pots

This two-tiered container garden holds a selection of basic herbs. Trailers and fillers ― chives, rosemary, and thyme ― tumble over the edges of the bottom pot (about 24 inches wide).

Dwarf purple and sweet basils grow in the top pot (about 16 inches wide) with thyme filling in around the edges. To keep potted herbs healthy fertilize and water them regularly.

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Up an arbor

Here’s an inventive way to grow squashes and melons in a small space.

Growing these vining edibles on an arbor instead of along the ground saves a lot of space.

See how the melons grow next.

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Up an arbor: Melons

Because of their weight, the melons are supported by nylon strips.

Learn more about growing squash and melon on arbors

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In a mini beach

If you yearn for the beach but live miles inland, you can re-create the look easily in a pot.

You’ll need a low, wide pot, potting soil, 3 small, slow-growing plants, sand, and a few small beachy items (like driftwood).

Get our step-by-step instructions

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Behind a bench

Homeowner and artist Michael Shemchuck created this look on a small patio by growing a young espaliered fig against a dark exterior wall.

The bench is really a metal-framed daybed.

Get more ideas from this amazing cottage makeover

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On rocky ground

Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents nursery, created this scene at the Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, California.

To get an underwater feel, he stacked lava rocks and planted succulents that mimic marine plants and creatures.

Learn more about Moore’s seascape garden

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In an ornament

This tiny terrarium would make a great gift. The 5-inch globe contains its own little garden, which your special someone can marvel over (while thinking of you) every day.

Plants are included. $25; floragrubbgardens.com

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On a coffee table

While not your typical houseplants, a trio of potted miniature water plants look unbelievably lush displayed on a coffee table.

Learn how to recreate this mini bog

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On the roof

Architect Roy Hellwig wanted a simple way to grow a green roof. Instead of trying a weighty–and costly–planted garden, he got the look with lightweight moss, which requires no added infrastructure or maintenance.

Learn how to start an easy green roof

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In an umbrella stand

Strong wind is no friend to most patio umbrellas, but it would take a hurricane to budge this setup.

The umbrella rises from a sleeve centered in a flowerpot that’s filled with three layers of material: a bottom layer of lava rock to hold the sleeve in place, a center layer of concrete for extra rigidity, and a top layer of planting mix. When there’s no need for shade, just lift out the umbrella — the plants should mask the sleeve.

See how to make this umbrella stand planter

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In salvaged shutters

Twin shutters, each about 8 feet tall, bring a roomlike appeal to designer Baylor Chapman’s San Francisco deck. Tiny succulent rosettes peek out from openings between the slats.

To hold the rootballs in place, Chapman (lilabdesign.com) stapled weed-cloth pockets behind each shutter.

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In a parking lot

Like a lot of good chefs, Mark Williams grows his own herbs for his kitchen.

He liked having a fresh herb supply on hand so much he asked the company for permission to take over an unused parking lot to install a full-fledged garden.

Everything is in old bourbon barrels.

Read more about this garden in barrels

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Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

April 12th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted in Lifestyle

gby1906_2-edible-landscape_alGardening in small spaces can be a real struggle, especially when it comes to growing food. So how can you maximize your minimal gardening space? Garden author Rosalind Creasy has some delicious ideas for a small edible landscape.

Incorporate edible plants, such as veggies and herbs, in ornamental plantings.
There are a variety of appetizing plants that please both the eyes and the taste buds. In her garden, Rosalind mixes edibles like cilantro, pimento peppers, Vietnamese coriander, basil, rosemary, Roman chamomile and thyme with roses and other flowering plants.

Maximize space by going vertical. Plant vining vegetables, such as squash or zucchini, and train them up a trellis or other climbing structure. Get creative by planting cherry tomato vines on top of an arbor and allowing them to spill down over the edge of the arbor.

Plant edibles in containers. With their trailing growth habit, strawberries trail nicely over the edge of pots and produce sweet fruit fresh off the plant. Other fruiting plants, such as blueberries and raspberries, or veggies also make excellent container plants. Create a grouping of containers with plants of complementary textures, colors and tastes. Make sure to provide adequate water throughout the seasons.


You may be surprised at how much harvest can be produced in just 100 square feet. In her small-sized veggie patch, Rosalind has harvested at least 20 pounds of ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes, 30 pounds of ‘Better Boy’ tomatoes and 30 pounds of yellow zucchinis as well as bell peppers and green zucchinis during one growing season. “It’s hundreds of pounds and dollars,” says Rosalind. “The zucchini was $2.97 worth of seeds and the produce was worth probably $150.”

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