Basic Pruning for Shrubs and Trees

We prune our trees and shrubs to control their size, shape and scale within our landscape. Proper pruning also stimulates flowering and fruiting and helps to keep shrubs and trees healthy and vigorous, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.   There are two main kinds of pruning: Thinning and Heading.    Thinning Thinning cuts […]

Frost and Cold Protection

Frost and Cold Protection Frost is the enemy of most flowers and some leaves. A dusting of frost can kill blossoms and even the leaves of many kinds of plants. Frost forms on surfaces when the temperature goes below water’s freezing point of 32°F (0°C). Note that the temperature at ground level and on plant […]

Botanical & Horticultural Names Explained

Botanical names (aka scientific or Latin names) for plant species are italicized or underlined. Botanical names are standard throughout the world, unlike common names which can be different in different languages and even in different parts of the same country. A botanical species name has two parts — 1. The Genus: which is always in […]

Leaflets of three — Let it be!

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is not a true ivy, but rather a member of the cashew family (Anacardiaceae) which also includes poison oak, poison sumac, mango, cashew, and pistachio. Three out of four Americans are sensitive to poison ivy, and many are allergic to other members of the family as well. Poison ivy has dark […]

It Takes Two to Tango (Except When it Doesn’t)

In our previous post “Flowers: Sex, Pollinators and Pollinizers“, we focused our topic on asexual reproduction in plants — primarily those that need a pollinator or pollinizer to boost the reproduction cycle. Asexual reproduction, as we discussed, works best in environments that do not change. But as you may know, our surrounding environment rarely ever […]

Short-day & Long-day Plants: Photoperiodism

Photoperiodism is the process by which plants use the length of daylight and/or darkness to regulate flowering & certain other processes, regardless of the ambient temperature or weather. Photoperiodism is dependent on a plant’s ability to sense light. Plants do not have eyes but they do have photoreceptors — these are cells that contain a […]

Invasive Plants – The Most Unwanted

An invasive species, as defined in an Executive Order signed by President Clinton in 1999, is an “alien species whose introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health” Some kinds of plants, due to being transplanted away from their natural home, consequently become invasive in their new home. […]

perfect soil ph

Perfect Soil Ph = Perfect Plants

Getting your best crop, whether vegetable, fruit, ornamental or lawn, often requires adding lime or fertilizer to your soil. But you need to know how much. If you are starting a new garden, it’s a good idea to have the soil tested. If your plants don’t seem to be doing as well as you think […]

meyer lemon

Meyer Lemon – Improved, Sweet & Tasty

With its glossy dark green leaves, fragrant pink-tinged blossoms, and bright orange-yellow lemons, the Meyer lemon deserves a place in your life! Long an obscure specialty of fruit collectors and farmers’ markets in the citrus belt, the Meyer lemon has recently gone mainstream thanks to Martha Stewart and her Meyer lemon recipes. Today, Meyer lemons […]

Fruits or Veg

The age-old question, “Is the tomato a vegetable or a fruit?” is pointless to the horticulturalist or the botanist. In everyday language, a vegetable is any plant that is eaten, with certain exclusions based on cultural and culinary customs. Fruits, on the other hand, is a specific part of a plant: A fertilized and ripened […]


The “Berry” Informative Berry Blog

Botanically, a berry is “a fleshy fruit that develops from a single ovary within a single flower, lacking a central stone”. Technically, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and bananas are berries — but raspberries & strawberries are not because they did not develop from single ovaries. (Of course, only a botanist would know that!) For the rest of us, a […]


Flowers: Sex, Pollinators and Pollinizers

Spring brings those beautiful flowers we all love so much. However, ever wonder just how it all happens? What happens behind the scenes of certain plants or trees for them to flower or fruit? Sexual reproduction is an essential part of nature – even for trees and plants Many plants are capable of reproducing from stolons, rhizomes, offsets, […]