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Stumper - Whyizzit that

A place for wry grins, puzzles without answer Some problems have no solution. All we can do is to share the pain and ease it a bit with laughter. For instance, whyizzit that: ...every place I decide to plant a tree, there is a buried pipe or wire in the way?!   ...when I plant matching plants on either side of a door, one of them ......

Grow 599: Advice and predictions for new year

Early Winter! Advice for the new year from the gardener's crystal ball Dear Readers, Here are some predictions and suggestions for the upcoming growing season. May you have a great, green new year! The weather will change unexpectedly. The weather will change unexpectedly in late winter and early spring. Freezing rain will follow unusual warmth, or......

Grow 620: Elderberry, peat, forget me not

Early Summer! Nostalgia and the nose lead to native shrub, elderberry   Growing elderberry Peat in gardens Forget me not Stumper: Pretty... invisible Cutting for combos Cutting down spring Kitchen-scrap mulch Clipping back bulbs Butterflies & great garden center staff In an article recently you mentioned the America......

Grow 600: Plant choices, dryer vent, part sun

Early Winter! Gardener who overlooks the basics makes a problem garden worse   Dear Janet, I have a garden bed that falls in a funny spot. There is a sidewalk that runs north-south between the house and garage with small beds on either side. The area gets shade in early morning and evening but full sun in the middle of the day. On the......

Grow 601: Christmas cactus, miniature rose, white dust

Winter! Spindly Christmas cactus won't look better unless light is increased   Dear Janet, I have several leggy Christmas cactus plants. I would like to start new plants from them as gifts to family and friends. They're healthy, just not as dense as ones I see at nurseries. What should I do? A. Dear A., Start new Christmas cactus from cuttings tw......

Grow 602: Arborvitaes, root bound

Winter! Evergreen hedge is the garden's backbone and worth fighting for Dear Janet, The death of my eight arborvitaes would be devastating to my little garden. It's a screen from close neighbors and it directs the eye out to the park behind us, a view that is lovely. In 1995 my husband and son dug holes in our clay soil just about the size of the......

Grow 603: Jasminum polyanthum, silver maple, baltic ivy

Winter! Be smart in the fall or work hard in the winter to make a jasmine bloom Dear Janet, For Valentine's Day last year my husband gave me a pink flowering jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum). I would like to get this plant to flower again, although I am very much a beginner when it comes to gardening. So if it's too complicated I have decided it's ok......

Grow 604: Kalmia latifolia, live christmas tree

Winter! Growing acid-loving plants is a challenge in southeast Michigan Dear Janet, I want to grow mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) and wonder if anyone in around here has any experience with them. In particular I wonder how much sun they need. Different nursery catalogs and web sites have conflicting recommendations for them to be placed in fu......

Grow 605: White pine, topping, root rot

Winter! You should admire a tree's graceful sway but never "top " it   Dear Janet, In front of my house are two large white pines that are a few feet from each other. However, the trees are also about 15-20 feet above the corner of the roof. They really sway in the wind, which is a good thing and part of their charm. But I am concerned about their h......

Grow 606: Cut back Boxwoods

In this issue Boxwood can be cut, even stumped Renew evergreens' anti-dessicant protection Rabbits: Just part of the big picture Weeds developing resistance to weedkiller Pine needles not acid, hold that lime! This page sponsored by: Cut overgrown boxwood back, then prune differently to keep them fuller   Dear Janet, I ......

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