What's Up summary of a week's news
Issue #192, December 17, 2012
Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow
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We've just posted these items in What's
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New tree best barefoot: Plant the flowers elsewhere!
start small with a new tree
and cut back
Protect holiday plants
Giving the heave ho to
Love that lopper: A best
what you covet: Time saving, idea-loaded shopping tour
Grass skirt that bests
burlap: Beating salt spray
Releaf for the
grapeholly during winter
greens ideas: Liven those pots from your own yard
What's Coming Up 106 ensemble of 18 articles on shade, hedges,
tomatoes, medicinal plants...
Read on for a summary of all the new articles.
For the pdf version of this issue, download it here.
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The extra work to make this pdf has
for you by a group of readers through issue #200.
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keep it going longer.
We're ever more enthused with the website. We not only posted 15
new articles this week with 80 new pictures but made 100+ links
between this material and what we've already posted, using the
drift of those connections to help us revise our yet-to-be-posted
We don't make those links lightly, or just for the sake of
linking. When we find that we have helpful information already
written, we link to tap into it rather than going over the same
ground again. It lets us give you fairly brief articles that can
answer even more questions if they arise. That's always been our
aim, to connect to what we've already done but keep moving on into
Such as what to do with a few hundred preying mantises during
winter, and why aphids on unexpected Brussels sprouts might be
cause for joy. But more on that next week!
Who are Janet & Steven?
Entertaining answers in About Us
Please support this effort to help the
gardening community grow!
Sponsor us, order our books, photos and other good stuff at our Market
Where to see us.
Now until Christmas: Visit with Santa Steve at Village of
Rochester and Macy's in Lakeside - Rochester Hills and
Sterling Heights, Michigan
1/3/13 in Waterford, Michigan,Can't Judge a Plant by its
2/2/13 in Detroit,Organic Gardening
2/5/13 in South Lyon, Michigan, Design and plan withThe Armchair
2/9/13 in Toledo, Ohio, Collectors' Gardens and Entry Garden
2/16/13 in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Entry Garden Design and
Visualizing Landscape Changes
Details in About
Us: Where we're appearing
2 new items in Main features:
Next time the empty circle of soil around a young tree tempts
you to plant your leftover annuals there, remember this insight to
how a tree grows... and doesn't. We hope it causes everyone
nurturing a new tree to get that sod off its feet, too.
Why you should
start small with a new tree
Most people want a tree for shade or massed greenery in the
landscape. That's why so many accept the much higher price to buy
the biggest available. Here's simple proof presented in unequivocal
chart form, that the extra expense is not worth it and actually
ends up adding to your yard work for at least three
New times two in This week in our gardens
The department that covers what we ourselves have been up to in
our own and others' gardens.
Jade's cold... and cut back: Recognizing
We test limits and sometimes hit the wall -- this time there was
cold air at that far edge and the blow fell on our lovely old jade
trees. We used the experience to pin down when cold damage happens,
how to recognize its symptoms on anything from impatiens to hosta
or houseplant, and figure what to do as a remedy. Plant lovers be
forewarned: Drastic measures are pictured here.
Millions of dollars are spent about now each year on holiday
plants, and ten times more on houseplants to brighten the winter.
Don't waste your share of that expense on plants that will be
nipped back or killed before they even reach your home.
Green thumbs up and down
This week our nod and "No!" go to:
Giving the heave ho...
perennials-that-aren't. Grrrr, we would love to bite
someone over plant tags that say "perennial" but fail to complete
the thought with a zone number or region. Here's our advice about
Argyranthemum, one of the plants most likely to disappoint
as a perennial-that-isn't, and a caution list of others that could
In Tip cuttings
Of special interest on the Forum:
Here's a great and inexpensive gift... or two or three. Our
Forum discussion of the best pair of loppers turned into a complete
line-up of recommended tools and where to find them.
We've begun moving all of our email-answering onto our Forum, by
the way, so that anyone who's interested can read or even take part
in those conversations as they happen. We hope you'll check out the
Forum, and tell others to do the same when they have questions or
"what is this" photos. We're part of a great team of answerers on
New in our Mentors department...
We are never alone in the garden, we have the advice that came
to us from others, and grow on.
Some of the best advice ever makes shopping more fun. Our
expedition into garden stores took us through more than a dozen
gift categories and ate up more than a day, so we took notes and
posted the highlights of what we saw, where. Of note: For those
who've chided us for our lack of grandbaby pictures, we remedy that
in Gardeners of a Certain Age
Just now seen in the 45 mph garden
It's catching driver's eyes and raising questions this week.
Brown is not nice in a garden so unnecessary burlap makes us
cringe. Peeking into a garden screened without need, we notice
several things that may help you save time and grow better where
salt sprays, and a few applicable to any garden anywhere.
We crow about a hit in Aiming for answers
"What happened next" from a past article proves that burying
plants under fall leaves does not kill and can protect where
winter's cold and dry. Good for the dwarf grapeholly but not its
New in the Stumper department
Laughing together to salve problems that have no solution.
Those pots that sported lush plants all year sure look bare and
make a porch look bleak. Some of the most beautiful fillers for
those pots are very simple combinations you can cut-and-stuff from
your own yard. (Whyizzit we were in such a rush to get it all cut
and gone already?!) Have fun recreating the dazzling holiday greens
in this article.
New in the library called Ensemble Weekly
We move recent news into this department as the year rolls on,
but we also keep adding to this season-based
library from our own archives. This week, we've posted:
What's Coming Up 106 An ensemble issue with a whopping 18
articles on shade, hedges, tomatoes, medicinal plants, thorns,
ecologically friendly cleaners and more. Thanks to a Sponsor who
pulled it forward in our queue of past work to be posted.
There are now more than 900 articles in the
library. Please use them:
• Choose a season in the library and scan the key word
• Or plug keywords of your choice into the Search on our
For instance, if this week's articles cause you to wonder if
that struggling tree in your yard was planted wrong and what you
can do about it, click on Search (upper right, any screen)and type
planting tree struggle
In less than one second you'll have help from
Growing Concerns 520: Problems that cause plant
Not the words you would have chosen? It's an infinite index, so
simply try others:
new tree fails to grow (net:
Growing Concerns 583: Solving mystery of tree
tree has not grown (net Oaks got
flare, some of our best tree-planting, failure-explaining
With continued support, this winter we can more than double the
library's content -- we have that much and more in line to
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If you expected to find
a different issue number and
different stories here, it must mean you came here
via the Master Link on one of our previous weekly emails.
This page always has links to the very latest news on our
Recent issues: #182,
#185. #186, #187, #188,.#189,
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Sorry for any delay!