7-14-17 Garden News Roundup

Heard Weekly on the Still Growing Gardening Podcast

This is a curated group of posts and articles that I have shared over the past week with the listener community and in the Free Facebook Group: the Still Growing Podcast Group. 

The Garden News Roundup is made up of a dozen different segments - from updates on past guests to articles featuring fascinating folks in the world of horticulture I'd love to chat with (and that's something that I call the dream guest segment.) I also cover news and information on special topic areas like sustainability and science.

The Garden News Roundup segments are designed to honor the commitment of the show: to helping you and your garden grow. The full list of segments includes:

What's nice about covering these segments in the weekly Podcast is that you can stay pretty informed of the latest news in horticulture and gardening just by listening to this part of the show each week. Furthermore, you can easily check out these curated articles and posts for yourself because I share all of it with the listener community in the FREE Facebook Group: The Still Growing Podcast Group

Guest Update

This first post is from my friend Jen McGuinness (SG539 SG538 SG534) over at Frau Zinnie (http://frauzinnie.blogspot.com). She just published her July Garden Chores: The Gardener's July Calendar ~ 2017.

It's a fabulous list and Jen does this every single month, so if you're looking for ideas for some things to keep in mind go ahead and check that out. It's great.

Past Guest Pam Penick (SG555), and author of The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water wrote a post about Linda Hostettler’s garden: Blue fantasy in the garden of Linda Hostetler: Capital Region Garden Bloggers Fling. This was an amazing garden featured on day three of the Garden Bloggers Fling. I shared it on a Sunday morning as a Sunday morning inspirational piece. Linda has a beautiful garden and one of the most striking features of this garden is the way she incorporates this beautiful vibrant blue color. It's a cobalt blue - and it takes center stage in her back garden.

Past Guest and author of the Raised Bed Revolution, Tara Nolan (SG531) shared a great post on her blog savvy gardening. This post was all about her experience visiting the Chelsea Flower Show for the very first time: Ideas and inspiration from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show: A first-timer’s diaryTara got to visit the Chelsea Flower Show on press day so she didn't have to battle some of the overwhelming crowds that can take place when it's open to the general public. Not surprisingly, Tara had a number of wonderful first time impressions just visiting the show and I thought I'd share a few of them with you.

First, she said,

“The British seem to be way more into gardening than we are here in Canada where companies are constantly trying to figure out how to appeal to millennials.

At Chelsea, journalists were writing and filing stories right from the press office and as media showed up they were handed a packet stating which stars were going to be present.

Although Tara didn't recognize many of the English stars, she did recognize Dame Judi Dench - who was going to be at the David Austin Rose's booth. How fun is that?!

One of the gardens Tara featured was a Yorkshire garden and she wrote,

“This garden was pretty elaborate because materials were actually sourced from the Yorkshire coast. A garden representative told me that the pebbles and the water would all be cleaned and returned to the beach from whence they came. Can you imagine?"

Anyway, Tara shared many wonderful little nuggets of information in this post and it was so fun to see the Chelsea Flower Show through her eyes - through the eyes of a first timer. So if you get a chance, go back and catch that post - because I think she just did a tremendous job.


In Sustainability this week, I shared a number of things.

The first was a video on the impact of tilling on soil and rain. The whole point of this video was to show the impact of soil disturbance on soil function.

The person in this video from the USDA and he a container showed disturbed soil and then undisturbed soil and demonstrated how differently they handle rain.

In undisturbed soil, the rain came down, permeated the soil and then drained out the bottom of the container.

But, in the disturbed soil sample, the rain would come down and just sit on top of the disturbed soil and had a very difficult time permeating and no water came through the bottom of the container.

This was a very powerful illustration.

Treehugger.com shared common sense tips for processing the Greens in your CSA box or garden. The article was called The secret to eating through an early-summer CSA share. The issue here is that you get your CSA box, or you get your harvest from your garden, and you have so much and you're not sure what to take care of first, what to process first, what to eat first. This article does a great job of breaking it down step by step and one of the things the author says is this:

“Over the years I've realized that the most important thing is to process the greens as soon as they come into the house before stuffing them away in the fridge where some are likely to get lost or forgotten.

I take time to wash and dry all lettuce. It gets packed into a large Tupperware along with the arugula - so that makes making salads easy.

And this is key. Salad must always be as easy to make as possible because otherwise that won't happen.

It might not seem like a lot of work to pull out a salad spinner and start washing but it does seem daunting when hungry kids are waiting at the table and the kitchen counters are covered with stuff.

It also makes me inclined to prep quick single portions salads for lunch.”

Anyway, this is a great post with lots of little shortcuts, ideas, and hacks for using your garden harvest - whether that comes from a CSA box or directly from your garden .

Gardenista shared a great post this past week called Landscape on a Budget: 10 Ideas for Mown Grass Paths. So these are the paths that you make if you've got tall grass and you just want to mow a path that's basically. Whether it's on the side of your garden or on the perimeter of your garden or along a wild area on your property to kind of act as little bit of a border. Anyway this was a great post with lots of great ideas.


Then, Garden Betty shared a quick gardening tip on her blog called Gardening Quick Tip: Eat Those Thinnings.

In this post, she recognizes that thinning can be tedious work,

“if like me, you tend to sprinkle your seeds pretty liberally in the soil and are faced with hundreds of seedlings to thin every season.”

And then she goes on to say,

“the one saving grace that makes this task bearable is treating those thinnings as an early harvest of your crop.”

Great idea.

Continuing Ed

In Continuing Ed this week were a number of really awesome posts.

The first is from Gardenista and it's 10 Ideas to Steal from the Romantic Gardens at Kiftsgate Court.

Among the ideas are: having a refined color palette, growing clusters of Martagon lilies, of course incorporating roses in the form of climbing roses and rose hedges, and then the suggestion that caught my attention and that was Deutzias at every turn.

Now, Patricia Chandler Newport and I talked about this a little bit in the Listener Community Facebook group, and she said that she had just read a post about diseases and they can be incredibly invasive. So before I go ahead and start incorporating them into my garden I need to do a little homework on how invasive they are up here in Minnesota.

Tanya Peele (who's joining us on the show later on today), had a great post in her blog plant + shoot called The best time of day to shoot garden photos. Tonya says the Golden Hour is the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset.

Then, she does a nice job of providing tips and examples of the difference between shooting in the golden hour and shooting in the non-golden time.

One of my favorite posts in the Continuing Ed Segment was by Gardenista and it was called English Cottage Gardening: 8 Lessons Learned in Rural Suffolk. It included creating vignettes using vintage pots and containers.

And then they covered my favorite topic these days: defining a dining room. This is something I'm struggling with.

I've got a dining area on my property and it's not as defined as I wanted to be and I'm struggling with what plant material I want to use to define the space. So until I'm able to do that it feels unsettled and it feels disconnected from the garden. So that portion of this post really spoke to me

How to / DIY

In the How to DIY Segment, Meredith Swinehart shared a post called Steal This Look: Mattress Springs as DIY Wall Art.

In this post, they show a unique feature in a picture of this garden that has a brick wall that wraps around the outside of this suburban Melbourne garden of designer Andrew Plymin. What they saw on the wall was rusted bedsprings that were attached to the wall.

Andrew says,

“There's lots of rusted things in my garden. I just find them on junk piles and stick them in the back of the car when I'm driving past and drag them home so they all start to work together as a group.”

Anyway I thought this was kind of cool.

Plant Spotlight

In the Plant Spotlight, this week I shared a video by Smithsonian gardener Janet Draper as she was doing a video introducing us to the Pelican flower. That was the very cool and informative video.

Hortmag.com shared Daniel Hinckley's Summer-blooming Shrubs: Expert Recommendations. This was a very nice list it lists all the zones for these plants and what do you know. I saw deutzia on the list.

Also in the plants spotlight this week is a post by Garden with Diana and it's featuring Stachys monieri ‘Hummelo’. This is in the Lamb’s ear family - but this plant looks nothing like traditional Lamb’s ear. This standout plant has glossy crinkled long and narrow dark green foliage that grows in mounds up to a foot tall and a bit wider.

Diana says, that in her garden,

“The plants are slowly spreading to form a dense weed choking mat and it has beautiful showy flowers. From the end of June to early September, 18 to 24 inch leafless stems a rise from the foliage boastings spikes of reddish purple flowers that resemble salvias.”

This is a very enticing post about this plant.

And then finally there was a proven winners color choice flowering shrub plant of the week that was featured on the blog Through the Greenhouse Glass and it's the shrub that's known as the Button Bush or the Sugar Shack® Cephalanthus.

You would not believe the firecracker bloom on this shrub! The post says that the crazy flowers are quite fragrant and the pollinators love them.

If you can imagine a flower that looks like a little orb - so it's very round - and that has spikes coming out all around it. THAT’s what the flower looks like. And, in the picture it looks white - so a pretty fascinating shrub.

In the News

In the news this week, was a great post from urban gardens about vegitecture. This is an architectural building project that's taking place in Paris and the article was headlined: “Vegitecture” Project Brings Vertical Farming to Paris Suburb.

It’s about a project bringing vertical farming to life and of course in true Parisian style: They don't do anything that's not architecturally beautiful. So the word vegitecture is a combination of vegetable and architecture. And this vegitecture complex is absolutely gorgeous. You have to see it.

Also in the news this week, was a wonderful post from Hortidaily. It was talking about the Growing demand for asparagus outside Turkey and how one company is looking to fulfill all the demands for asparagus for the country of Turkey. It's a very interesting article.

Dream Guest

There were two folks who made up the dream guest segment this week.

The first is Sarah Nixon. She's the founder of My Luscious Backyard and she's an inventive Toronto gardener who didn't let a little thing like space get in the way of her dream of starting a cut flower business. Sarah Nixon offers beauty and maintenance to her garden owners because she Grows Her Flowers in the Neighbors' Yards - but she does not give them the option of using their yard as a cutting garden.

She says,

“when you have such a small amount every stem is accounted for and people understand that.”

So she takes care of providing a beautiful space and the maintenance. But then, she gets to cut the blooms. I thought that was ingenious.

And then my friend and fellow garden blogger Julie Thompson Adolf (SG544 SG539 SG538) said,

“She's awesome. I met her at the Toronto Garden Blogger Fling and she toured us to some of her cutting gardens and her neighbors clients yards.”

So clever. I love what she does.

Also in the Dream Guest Segment this week from Danger Garden is Richie Stefen from Joy Creek Nursery who recently put on a workshop about Building a fern table: watching the professional in action .

And I'm so fascinated by this that I'm going to reach out to him and see if he'd be willing to come on the show and tell us about creating a fern table. This was a really interesting article. So thank you to Danger Garden.


In Science this week, The Guardian posted an article called Early sightings hold promise for butterfly spotters. In it, they said,

“ Matthew Oates of the National Trust and Butterfly Conservation’s Neil Hulme, spotted 148 emperors in one day last week. That’s extreme butterflying.”

And, it's also great news compared to last year, because in England - last summer was the fourth worst for butterfly spottings since scientific monitoring began in 1976.

Cornell University shared an article about one of their plant breeders who's working to develop better cucumbers. That's an interesting article.

Finally, Science Daily shared a very in-depth article talking about how the Growth mechanism of fungi decoded

It turns out, fungal cells do not grow by division but extend almost infinitely. And there's a video sequence that illustrates this growth


In shopping this week, I shared A Tiny Tabletop Greenhouse that was featured by designer Mia Lagerman. It's very simple. It looks like it would be easy to make, as a matter of fact. And, it's also very expensive. It's over $400 US. But, if you're looking for a table top design this would be a great source of inspiration.

Finally my friend Mary Ann Newcomer - a blogger over at Gardens of the Wild Wild West - shared a post recently on The Chelsea Chop. But, what I thought was in the post that was extra interesting is her recommendation for a book called  The Well Tended Perennial Garden, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust. Mary Ann calls Tracy a Plant Wizard and she also wrote,

The book is so good, I have recommended it for YEARS. It’s been updated again, so get the Third Edition.”

I went on Amazon and looked for a used copy of one of the older editions and I think I got it for a couple of bucks. So, if you're interested in learning about pruning and taking better care of your perennial garden - this book should be on your shopping list. And again it's called called  The Well Tended Perennial Garden, by Tracy DiSabato-Aust


In inspiration this week. There were so many great posts.

The first one was by PlantPOP and it was a film on William Suran: Visual Artist | Musician. He's a visual artist and musician and in this video they show him and the process that he goes through to paint dried peonies.

I loved this video and I loved meeting Laura Christian of PlantPOP at the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling. I love the work that PlantPOP is doing their videos are short and quick but so powerful. And of course they focus on the connection between people and plants. So start by watching this video and then head on over to their Website. I guarantee you'll get hooked.

The blog Late to the Garden Party shared a wonderful post that was called Wednesday Vignette: Postcards for the 2017 Garden Bloggers' Fling and it just shared a smattering of images from the various gardens. But I thought it was so well done it was very touching very poignant - and of course very inspiring.

And then finally, here was a fun piece that made the inspiration segment and it was just called DJ Khaled Loves His Garden and it was featured in the New York Times. It was a video of DJ Khaled walking through his garden - and he would see his gorgeous plants and flowers and he would say “I love you”. So, if you talk to your plants - you'll get a kick out of seen this video. It was great.


In recipes this week, I shared a Summer Harvest Salsa recipe from past guest Bren Haas (SG542) over at Creative Living and Growing with Bren Haas. It's a delicious summer salsa including things like black beans corn, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, tomatoes, and so on. It's very colorful, very healthy, and a great way to use your garden harvest.

And then the blog I Wash… You Dry had a great recipe and video for Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and I Wash… You Dry wrote:

“My kids are crazy for the super easy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower. It pairs perfectly with everything!”

And the video makes it look so quick and easy. I think you could try it on foods like broccoli as well.”

In the quote segment this week, I wanted to share this cute little saying that Danny Perkins had shared with the group. It was a quote that said,

“Weeding the garden is like dusting the furniture. No one notices unless you don't do it.”

That was cute.

On the 4th of July, Analytical Grammar shared a sign that was outside of the landscape business called Urban Earth and here's what they put on the sign outside their building:

“You can't plant flowers if you haven't botany.”

Get it?

People loved that. Patricia Chandler Newport chimed in, “I love a good pun.”

Speaking of the word botany, as I was looking for something for the quote segment this week, I ran across this poem by Berton Braley who wrote a poem for a science newsletter back on March 9th, 1929 and it's simply called Botany.  To read this hilarious poem, check out the Quotables Post for this week's show.

Youre invited join the listener community
Welcome New Members

Renee Whartenby Etzel

Melissa Perryman

Barun Das

Michelle Tyson Davies

Julie Mahoney

Erik Westenbroek

Kirk Barley

Laura Hatt

April Irwin

Richard Robertson

Angie Rohlik O’Brien

Jinkie Lynn Moore Cherwinski

Adrienne Harmer

Brenda Brown

Joyce D. Arthur

Alfred Rodriguez

John Lalley

John Scott

Nino Kavtaradze

Jackie Fanson

Listener AdvisoryBoard (LAB) (2)
Help a gardener
+ their garden grow...
Please Share this Episode

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson.

Still Growing Hotline (1)
Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
Join the Still Growing Listener Community on Facebook! Click here

1 Comment

  1. […] 7-14-17 Garden News Roundup […]

Leave a Comment