Melinda’s Garden Moment

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Math Spins In Your Garden

What do math, nature and gardening have in common?

  What do math, nature and gardening have in common? The Fibonacci Spiral. In math the Fibonacci sequence of numbers goes 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13 and continues indefinitely. This sequence is derived by adding the two previous numbers. If you square each number, align the squares into a rectangle and connect them with a dissecting arc you get the Fibonacci spiral which appears…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Privacy Plants

Create an intimate space in your garden for relaxing or entertaining with strategically placed plants and furnishings

  Create an intimate space in your garden for relaxing or entertaining with strategically placed plants and furnishings. These narrow Temple’s Upright sugar maples (Acer saccharum ‘Temple’s Upright’) create a private seating area and block the view of an adjacent public right of way. The North American native can grow 6 to 12 feet wide and 50 feet tall. A…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Pretty & Poisonous

Pretty to look at but beware of the poisonous nature of these two tropical beauties

  Pretty to look at but beware of the poisonous nature of these two tropical beauties. Castor beans (Ricinus communis) grow 6 to 10 feet tall and produce large star shaped leaves up to 2 ½ feet across. The spiny red seedpods add to their beauty but the seeds within are very toxic. Remove these or plant them where they…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Divide & Revive Plants

Revive a declining dieffenbachia with a bit of pruning and start a few new plants from cane cuttings

  Gardeners never like to give up on a plant, whether it’s your own or one you purchased on sale in need of some major TLC. Revive a declining dieffenbachia with a bit of pruning and start a few new plants from cane cuttings. Dieffenbachias often lose their lower leaves, resulting in long leafless stems topped with just a few…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Persimmon

Plant a North American persimmon for a bit of shade and fruit you and the birds will enjoy

  Plant a North American persimmon for a bit of shade and fruit you and the birds will enjoy. The American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is native to eastern United States but adaptable to climates across North America. New hardy varieties have been introduced by Canada. The botanical name means Divine Fruit or Food. And once you taste a ripe persimmon…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Colorful Pumpkins

Put away those knives and break out the crayons and start decorating those pumpkins for Halloween

  Put away those knives and break out the crayons and start decorating those pumpkins for Halloween. Create a multicolored pumpkin to add a unique and colorful flare to your fall décor. All you need are some crayons, glue, a hairdryer and of course a real or faux pumpkin. Cover your workspace with plastic to keep things clean. Wipe the…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Recycling Pots

Look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic pots

  If your shed is like mine it’s filled with stacks of plastic pots. Don’t throw these in the trash. Rather look for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle these plant pots. Reuse these containers for various gardening projects. Disinfect the pots by soaking in a solution of one-part bleach and 9 parts water for 10 minutes. Rinse with clear…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Surprise Lillies

Add a bit of unexpected beauty and light fragrance to the late summer garden with surprise lilies

  Add a bit of unexpected beauty and light fragrance to the late summer garden with surprise lilies (Lycoris squamigera). Also know as autumn amaryllis, magic lily and naked lady they make fun additions to flower gardens and borders. These unique flowers sprout long strappy leaves similar to an amaryllis in spring. These leaves create the energy needed for flowering…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Get Spicy

Add a little spicy heat to your meals this season by growing a few hot peppers in this week's Melinda's Garden Moment

  Add a little spicy heat to your meals this season by growing a few hot peppers. Their spicy heat is measured in the Scoville Heat Units. Poblano and Siracha rate between 1000 to 2500, jalapenos up to 8000, cayenne can peak at 50,000, habaneros up to 350,000 and one of the hottest, the ghost pepper, at as much as…

Melinda’s Garden Moment: Trench Composting

Convert kitchen scraps into compost right in the garden with trench composting

  Convert kitchen scraps into compost right in the garden with trench composting. Just like other composting methods, use only plant-based materials since meat, dairy and fat can attract animals. And this is no place for perennial weeds, annual weeds gone to seed or invasive plants that can survive and take over the garden. Simply dig a 12-inch-deep hole between…