Archive for April, 2011

Questions And Answers On Landscape Architect

Jemima asks…

Landscape Architect?

What is the best way to go about becoming a Landscape Architect as far as schooling and etc. Live in Georgia

Home Gardener answers:

Try might give you some ideas.

David asks…

landscape architect?

I don’t have the money right now, but would it be ok if contacted a landscape architect to see how much I would be looking for? Or should I wait till I KNOW I have the money to get what I am looking for? I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, but I am dying to know how much a patio, outdoor kitchen, and screen enclosure is going to run me! Thanks.

Home Gardener answers:

Don’t worry bout wasting peoples time, most are glad to help. Besides, it’ll give you somethin to work towards and plan out

Shelley asks…

How much time does a landscape architect spend inside compared to outside?

A landscape architect, not landscape designer (they spend nearly all their time outside). Best answer will go to the person who backs their answer up with plenty of examples.

Home Gardener answers:

I suppose it would depend a little on the individual, but generally, they are going to spend a smaller amount of time measuring the landscape, and observing lay and light, and the larger portion of time at their desk making renderings, and possibly even making changes on paper. Probably comes out to 10/90 or 20/80 in terms of time split.

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Questions And Answers On Gardening For Dummies

Caroline asks…

Is there a Gardening for Dummies site ?

I just bought my first house and I finally have a nice big yard. I want to start gardening but I have the black thumb of doom when it comes to plants. Is there a good web site for people like me who are just starting with gardening ? Like how to start compost, tips, what certain plants need, stuff like that that is easy to understand.

Home Gardener answers:

You might try going to the local junior college for an extension course.There are several sites for the book:

or go directly to their site:

Chris asks…

Why is “Vegetable Gardening for Dummies” so expensive – is it out of print? If so, will…?

…it be republished?
This book is one of the many from the popular “Dummies” how-to series. Charlie Nardozzi is the author.

Home Gardener answers:

It is indeed out of print. However, it’s been replaced by the Gardening All-in-One book, which describes itself as “7 books in one”. Its final sub-book is the vegetable gardening book, and was written by the same Charlie Nardozzi, probably taken from the same text as the Vegetable Gardening book.

I imagine there’s enough common material on the basics of gardening that it doesn’t really merit 7 separate books, which are more effort to produce, more valuable space on bookstore shelves, etc.

And at $20 at Amazon it’s a lot cheaper and more complete than the old book.

Shelley asks…

Gardening for dummies?

I am starting a garden, I have cleared the spot of all grass and weeds, tilled the dirt and am ready to put down potting soil to mix in to existing dirt. Now I am ready to plant. I have zuchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, and tomatoe seeds, what is the best way to do this? Need any and all advice for novice gardener…..PLEASE

Home Gardener answers:

Best thing you can do at this point is to blend in your potting soil and start planting. With seeds, you’ll need to read the packets to find out spacing for the seeds and the plants themselves.. After seeding, water to keep the soil moist (but not soaking wet).

Wait for the plants to germinate, then thin them out, as recommended.

Keep record or mark what you planted where.. That way, you can know what’s coming up, what’s doing well and what’s not.

Be ready to stake or cage your tomatoes as they start to grow.. They tend to fall over and be messy. Cukes and squash spread out.. A LOT, so give them room to grow.

Good luck.. Enjoy your veggies!

Jemima asks…

gardening for dummies?

trying to revive my garden ground is hard and have bought soil amender, top soil, manure, and compost. my husband is going to till it and im not sure in which order or i put all this stuff. i know im opening myself to a lot of criticism i am new to this and am trying to learn please be kind.

Home Gardener answers:

My personal opinion is that you don’t need all that fancy stuff, Buy a soil test kit to see what blend of fertilize you need to bring the fertility up , spread it over the garden area and till it in. When you transplant , pour Miracle Gro into the hole as you set the plant to give them a jump start. When the plants start to bloom , spray Miracle Gro on them every two weeks during active fruiting for better production. Good luck and happy gardening.

Marie asks…

Gardening help…?

I recently bought a house, and know nothing about gardening but have the need to beautify my new yard with flowers. Does anyone know a good website for gardening dummies like myself? My boring colorless yard thanks you :)

Home Gardener answers:

My i suggest you take the time and look the neighboorhood over-you will find people that have spent a lot of money finding the right plants for your area-most are glad to help you with information.

Jane asks…

New to Gardening?

Hi, I am completely new to gardening, adn I was wondering if anyone could proivide me with info adn help. We just purchased our first home and although the house itself is beautiful, the garden isnt. Let me explain…. We live in an upper cottage flat adn with most, the front is for the pepole who live below us and we thought the whole back area would be ours. However, that is not how it is. What I am trying to say is that ours is shaped like an L and it is a nice size. It does need to be levelled off though as it goes ona slope. I guess what I am trying to say is that we havent got alot of money to do this. Would we be better to get a few friends round adn start digging this summer?I myself think thats a daft idea but partner doesnt. My other question is, I want to have lovely flowers adn some veg growing out back but not sure when to plant ect. Are there any gardening books out their for gardening dummies such as myself? I want it to become a hobby in future.Thanks in advance
would like to add that we are in Glasgow so weather might be a problem in some suggestions Ie, the type of flowers we plant may not thrive due to our adverse weather conditions

Home Gardener answers:

First get the ground levelled off and stand back and make rough plans. Then check out your soil type because then you will know what will grow well (I can’t grow acid loving plants like Rhodedendroms) you can get a soil checker from garden centre. A greenhouse is a good idea to protect things from the frost and wind and you can grow from seed. The best thing to do is ask neighbours and see what they successfully grow.

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Questions And Answers On Home Gardens

Davina asks…

What is the best type/brand of tobacco for making tobacco water pesticide for home gardens?

What is the best kind of tobacco to buy for making tobacco water for pesticide for my home gardens. I bought a can of Grizzly natural Chewing tobacco becasue it was cheap, but is there a better brand to buy or are cigarette tobaccos better to use for pesticides? Also what is the best method of making it? I heard that just boiling in a pot of water and straining out the tobacco works well but is there a better way?

Home Gardener answers:

N. Rustica has the highest amount of nicotine and is often used as a pesticide. Boiling it down will work just fine.

Kylee asks…

Is the President trying to tax small home gardens?

I hear that President Obama is trying to put taxes on small home gardens because if you have one you don’t use your local store for fruit and veggies and that’s bad for the economy is that right?

Home Gardener answers:

What a load of hooey – don’t believe everything you hear.

They can tax my garden when they pry my homegrown tomatoes out of my cold, dead hand.

Cindy asks…

Best insecticide for home gardens?

What is the best, and safest, insecticide to use for home vegetable gardens?

Home Gardener answers:

The best natural Insecticide is burning neem leaves in ur garden it keeps the harmful insects away however doesnt kill the earthworms

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Questions And Answers On Retaining Walls Design

Paul asks…

What do you need to have in order to design a retaining wall?

I just need some general info on the design of retaining walls when you are about to construct a building complex.
I can answer my question Yahoo! Answers but I wanted more information because the more ideas you have, the better your chances to arrive at the best answer.

Home Gardener answers:

List of plausable materials, what the substrate is made up of, bracing materials, and method to be used. Will you need to use a liner to prevent washout?

Lynn asks…

free retaining wall design using rail road cross ties?

Home Gardener answers:

Lay out the ties, drill holes and drive 3/4″ re-bar through into the ground.

Go through all the ties, and go at least 12″ into the ground for each tie. And don’t go more than 4 ties high as they will tend to lean if you do.

Remember that these will rot out after several years.

Good luck.

Davina asks…

where can i get a retaining wall structure drawing???i already design the reinforcement but…?

i already design the reinforcement….but don;t know how to draw the detailing like the spacing between the pipe…..i just need a complete drawing of retaining wall…..where can i get it??help……

Home Gardener answers:

You can also go to the city planning commission and get drawings for retaining walls and the materials you will need, some area’s require special materials so you need to ask. And that is what you pay them for with your taxes anyway. I checked out the site that was recomendedand it showed a couple of examples of thier mesihing system, I liiked the ideal but like I said go to the building office they are going to be the ones that will tell you how it has to be built.

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Questions And Answers On Garden Design Software

John asks…

Any free garden design software out there?

Home Gardener answers:

Try Garden Insight Software:

But remember…you get what you pay for!

Jemima asks…

Professional Garden Design Software?

Hi Everyone!

I am looking for a professional garden design software (CAD), which helps me to move from hand drawing to the computer. I am looking for a program that will allow me to create hand drawn look-a-likes on the PC. I found a software called DynaScape, but it is rather expensive (3000$).
Any suggestions?



Home Gardener answers:

WOW nice information i get from you.thank you

Paul asks…

Landscape / Garden Design Software – any recommendations please?

Home Gardener answers:

Check the altavista or google images for landscaping, you will get hundreds of ideas…

Rachel asks…

Best Garden Design Software.?

Hi, I am looking for Garden design software to start a large garden project.
It will need to be easy to use, have the ability to stage a large garden. I would also prefer for it to have its own database of commonly used plants, eg: If I want to have a rose bed I would like to be able to place rose plants not just see the writing. It would be ideally around the $50 mark and no more. Any one know of anything like that. Many thanks in advance for your answers.

Home Gardener answers:

Here is a free trial with limitations.

Trial Limitations
The trial contains a small number of plants and other objects, but is otherwise fully functional. A watermark appears on movies and printouts. The full version of the software comes with over 12,000 objects and a printed Quick Start guide.


Marie asks…

Hi – I am looking for a laptop/netbook which can handle powerful garden design software…?

…any suggestions?


What size hard drive?
Solid state?

Should I get a laptop built for gaming and be done with it?

I have a fairly restricted budget.

All answers appreciated – Thanks in advance.

Home Gardener answers:

Any laptop with 3GB RAM minimum, and a Dual-Core Pentium processor at T5400 and above. HDD Size about 300GB minumum :)

I’ll give you a few links;



Hope it helps!

Caroline asks…

best software for garden design?

whats the best software for an aspiring garden design?

Home Gardener answers:

The Game called “the sims” if very popular for people who want to desighn houses very easly and or gardens! Soo i suggest you get into gaming with the Sims!

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Questions And Answers On Home Garden Show

Shelley asks…

Anyone know the name or manufacturer of the lawn chair shown at the Seattle Home Show by L&E Garden Swings?

I saw a picture in the Times with a really cool looking lawn chair at the L&E Garden Swings booth. But I can’t find any information online.

Home Gardener answers:


I like it , too!…

Wayne asks…

Does anyone remember a show on one of the home and garden channels about making a cement planter box?

I watched a show about 2 years ago and a lady made a cool planter box out of cement that takes a month or so to dry. Then she put a rock garden and other succulants and I would love to watch that again so I can make one. Thanks.,1785,HGTV_3561_4834334_01,00.html i found it!!

Home Gardener answers:

How funny! I do remember that but I think I saw it in a women’s magazine. There was a kit that you could send off for and I think you molded the planter around something else and then it dry forever! I seem to recall that it was cement mixed with perlite, that stuff you usually mix in potting soil. Seems like you could just purchase some Quik Crete at the Home Depot and make a mess on your own! LOL Let me know if you do, I always wanted to make one as well!

Daniel asks…

How can I find a “How To” site that shows me how to build a windmill for my home garden decor?

Home Gardener answers:

Here is one site that is selling plans to make your own windmill. The plans cost $9.95 and it is a really cute windmill. I will keep checking to see if I can find another option, maybe even free!

Lisa asks…

Home & garden makeover shows?

How do you apply/get on these shows????

Home Gardener answers:

Most probably each show have their website , you can apply there, It’s very easy.


Kylee asks…

In my garden my show plants are getting spoiled by black ants ?Any help?

Black ants are consistently spoiling my show plants and I dont have any plant disinfectant to protect them .Is there any home remedy to protect plants from black ants?Please help !I cant see my plants dying one by one.:(

Home Gardener answers:

Try soaking very hot peppers in water and spray..also check for aphids some ants farm them like we do cows ,they will move them and their eggs around on the plants..good luck!

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Questions And Answers On Flower Beds

Davina asks…

Flower beds?

I need a safe way to keep kittens out of my flower beds. I heard citrus oil anyone ever used this and if so does it work?

Home Gardener answers:

Try a combination of citrus peels and moth balls.

Plant catnip and cat mint in an area where they are allowed to go.

Dig out a two by two area and replace the dirt with sand – thus providing them with a specific area to poo. Be sure to clean this out often, so they will continue to use this space and not other areas of the garden.

Plant rue, as cats d not like it…nor do they like thorny plants.

Do not use cayenne pepper with kittens. If they should get it on themselves and lick it, they cannot get the pepper out of their mouths! It is a cruel method to use for dogs or cats!

Hope this helps.

David asks…

How do I make flower beds when the area in my yard is small hills?

I would like the flower beds to flow over or with the small hills and mounds. The hills I speak of are 2-3 feet high.
I need ideas on how to start the actual beds. I know how to chalk off, etc but should I dig into the present soil or try raised beds? Use borders of some type of wood? Use pinestraw borders? If I dig into present soil, how deep?

Home Gardener answers:

When you dig a new flower bed the soil expands as you break it up. Even on flat ground you end up with a mound. Of course, it eventually sinks back down as it settles. Most informal beds are constructed as small mounds so your hills should work just fine for this. I recommend using rocks or brick for a boundary as you can acheive a more natural look than with timbers. You don’t need to dig deeply UNLESS there are roots that would resprout and come up among your flowers. I have clay soil and find 12″ to be adequate. Mix any amendments (compost) into this. Set your plants, mulch and water deeply. The link below has many pictures in several different areas.

Helena asks…

How can I clean my Flower beds, which are now full of weeds ?

Weeds are growing in the Flower beds very quickly. It is in alarming dimensions, it grows like anything with in days.

Home Gardener answers:

Good luck the problem is that the dirt is now full of the seeds that the weeds that are growing in there. The best way to rid the weeds is to replace the dirt. Or pull the weeds and keep up with it, weeds grow anywhere and are pretty much dedicated to nothing other than reproducing. Not that other plant arent but weeds adapt to thier surroundings and flowers are not native to most ares.

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Questions And Answers On Home Gardening In Oklahoma

Mike asks…

rocks & minerals mixed with quartz?

Here’s a geology question.

I found a rock roughly the size of a cantaloupe melon in the rock garden at my home in Oklahoma. It looks like a big piece of of opaque quartz. There appear to be a couple of other minerals, or metal combined with the quartz. I’m wondering what the other two items might be. One looks like a type of rock, it’s a pinkish color that has some dark lines marbled through it. The second looks like it might be a silver metal. It’s hard to tell for sure, it’s very shiny and might just be some crystal clear quartz that broke of so smooth that it’s very reflective.

Any of you geology fans out there know what I might be looking at in this chunk?


Home Gardener answers:

It might to have a photo to identify the other minerals.

But there are a number of other minerals that could occur with quartz, particularly since it’s one of the later minerals to crystalize from magma. Any impurieties can be included in the quartz itself, or may just tint the quartz a different color.

The pink might just be rose quartz or a feldspar. The silver metallic mineral might be inclusions of rutile if it’s rod-shaped, or it may be an internal fracture that catches and reflects/refracts the light differently than the rest of the quartz.

Best to post a photo (and maybe put this question in the Geology section instead of Botany).

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Questions And Answers On Home Gardening Tips Compost

Jane asks…

Tips on small gardens.I have good black soil to start with. rying to grow organic.?

I have a small garden 30 yrds by 30 yrds. Two mini horses and some manure and shavings along with kitchen scraps and your typical composting matter. My ground is basicly black because im in the woods of Georgia. No clay earth . Well not much. Should I spread the already dried worn out shavings in the garden or just weed untill the end of the year and then spread it all at once. Iv found a new hobbie in composting and organic growning. Im just worried that I wont produce enough fruit. The garde spot was the home of all my horse waste for the pst two years. Maybe its ok. Just need some ideas

Home Gardener answers:

Sounds like you have ideal land for growing fruit and vegetables. You should also consider crop rotation if growing vegetables.
The link is from the UK, BBC gardeners world. It is excellent, I use it all the time.

Alana asks…

I would like to start a garden on a roof-deck in St. Louis, MO. Advice?

My boyfriend has a rather large roofdeck, over 2,000sqft. However, the ladies who used to live there had two dogs and they built a “sandbox” type of thing for their pets to relieve themselves in. They haven’t lived there for almost a year now, so I am guessing most of the fecal matter is dried up by now. But I could easily shovel the fecal matter OUT of the “box” (it’s actually circular) along with a lot of the sand/old soil and go buy potting soil at Lowes’ or Home Depot or a nursery and fill it up with fresh soil, and compost.

Speaking of which what is better–compost or fertilizer?

Anyway! Any tips for creating a garden that can thrive in the city on a roof? I would love to plant veggies, flowers, herbs, and maybe even fruit! I have heard herbs and some veggies are pretty easy to plant. My mum and I usually just buy pregrown flower beds at Lowes or H.D. and plant those in our front yard back in pittsburgh in the spring time…. but I have never grown flowers using seeds before! I assume it’s fairly straightforward though.

I plan to begin growing things indoors in various pots before planting them outside. I want to wait until the last frost so that nothing I plant outside goes belly up! LOL!

Home Gardener answers:

I love a roof garden.
Regardless of how dry the fecal matter is, remove it all and any dirt (debris) in the box. I would also use an old mop or rags and carefully wipe down all the surfaces. Dogs are omnivores and bacteria in their waste, solid and liquid, can spread disease to humans- that’s why the dirt needs to go too.
Get fresh potting soil, (growing medium) and compost (organic, and most gardeners consider this better) or fertilizer (chemical) .
Remember, the veggies will take in the minerals and whatever else is in the soil and end up in you!
Start your seeds indoors about 8 weeks before the last frost date in your area (check if you need this data). I like to use peat pots because they act as pots and then go right into the soil.
The roof will warm up at least a week before the ground level soil. If you really want to take full advantage of this- and I would because you could extend your growing season significantly on the roof – buy a soil thermometer. Most garden centers carry them and some test soil pH or moisture as well so they are very useful . (I got one a year ago for under $20. At a home improvement store)
Use the thermometer to check the soil temp on the roof and on the ground so you can see the advantage you are gaining. For most plants the temp should be at least 50 degrees. Some plants need more warmth, some less.

On the roof, you could probably start lettuce in a “covered row” in Feb
Covered row: arcs of coat hanger wire with plastic sheeting draped over to make a mini greenhouse.
Peas in Feb too started in a covered row with the row ends open on any day the outside temp is 45 deg or more. This is OK for carrots, radish, cabbage family, parsley, chives
When the soil is at warm, start green beans- on a trellis
When the soil is fully warmed up and no more cold nights, it is time for tomatoes, peppers, melons, zucchini
and the tender herbs: basil, oregano,
Plant some marigolds- they are so easy and pretty with a variety of heights and bloom sizes – very easy for a beginner. Zinnias are nice to and have lovely colors – great for cutting

I hope you have a lovely time- don’t forget some nice lawn chairs and a big hat to shade your eyes as you sit and survey your “back 40″

I am wiping the drool off my keyboard and let you get started on this neat adventure.

Lisa asks…

Dear Earth is in trouble! What can we do?

Do you like the world we live in?
Do you want your children or grandchildren to suffer?
Do you want Earth to die away?

Of coarse not!

But what can we do?

1. Pay attention to how much water you use. If you don’t allready…take a shower! It uses less water than a bath. And be quick, if you spend to long heres a tip- use cold water, not only will you feel rushed your hair will be shiny and grow longer!
Save water. As gross as it sounds its really not that bad. Only wash clothes and dishes when neccesary and be sure to wash a big load.
Turn water off! Its so simple! When your washing dishes you DO NOT NEED ALL THE WATER! And turn the water off when your brushing your teeth.

2. Leave the car at HOME! Its healthier to walk anyways! I don’t use a car. I either walk, ride a bike, or skate board. Its funner and safer (less accidents) and its good for the environment.

3. Recycle! Its easy! Get a few bins for recycling- one for paper and one for plastics. Encourage your friends and school to recycle too!

4. Make a compost pile! Heres how!

5. Buy some seeds and grow a garden! Plant a tree!

6. Its not as bad as you think to pick up the trash! Whenever I’m walking aroudn town I see trash EVERYWHERE! So what do I do…I pick it up!

Please help dear Mother Earth. She has cared for us and now that she’s in trouble its our turn to care for her. If we don’t do anything the world will be in huge trouble. I’m trying my hardest to reach out to teens and kids to help! Spread the word. Help make the world a better place.

Home Gardener answers:

Good self answers. Check out these two short articles.

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Questions And Answers On Gardeners Edge

Ken asks…

What are some good plants for a beginning gardener?

I’m looking into starting a small garden on the edge of my mom and dad’s property. What are some easy plants to start with? What sort of spot should I look for to plant? What soils should I use?

Home Gardener answers:

This informative website should be of help to you.

Chris asks…

Where would I buy grass seed or sod in NYC, which would be better?Is It too late?

I recently rented a ground floor apt with a private back yard in Manhattan,Of course it’s surrounded by a wall, its shaded but adequete sun, I benefit from the trees next door , the outer edges have planters built and plants that already exist are growing nice. there is a walkway all around the yard and in the center there is a nice large big square of dirt(it would take a couple of pallets ofsod I would imagine, (the area was covered with wood chips last year by previous tenent.) I long to have this all covered with grass, I have a small apt and a yard 4 times its size.I have no idea how to go about this, timing , conditions , care etc.the space is way too beautiful not to create some type of habitat. preferably one where I can walk outside barefoot in the damp morning grass and “ground ” myself , I can t afford to hire gardeners or landscapers, it’s a DIY project. Any advice?
also where do I find this in nyc?

Home Gardener answers:

You can go with Grass or Sod, it really wont make a difference, as you have to water them both in order for them to grow.

Either way, you need at least 5 hours of sun on your spot, if not, then I would go with the “shady” mixtures, so that it will take.

Take a rake with tines, and rake up the ground, so that you have furrows in it, then drop the grass seeds. Then, rake over to mix the grass seeds in with the dirt. Some will cover and some wont, but keep it all watered about three times a day for the first three days, then one time after that will be plenty.

Make sure you water about an inch of water…(Just place a glass where your watering, and when it gets an inch in there, you know your done). Make sure its even so you dont drown the place out, in spots.

In about ten days, you should have grass growing if its “good soil”, and if not, then you will have to scrape and reseed, and maybe fertilize your area, with a wee bit of miracle grow from the hose connection, (they have that one now that you can feed your lawn and it will work off the sprayer, but, make sure your hose bib, has a back flow device on it, so that it doeesn suck it back into the plumbing).

I wish you well…


Shelley asks…

How do i go about improving the graves of lost loved ones?

I am a gardener and have been asked to improve a loved one’s grave side eg. to add edging stone and smaller stones within, and to add vases ect. I call it grave dressing. Is there anything that you can show me to help me in this?
Let me expand on my question it is not plantings that i was wanting to know about , it was the more sensitive aspect of respect and termanology that i need help with I am the Mobile gardener in the south Lanarkshire area and i see the need to upgrade and to make a graveside more pleasant for the visiting loved one.
I hope that goes to making it clearer.
Thank you for helping me .

Home Gardener answers:

I think that this is very much up to the individual concerned. Ask them what sort of things that they want – do they want a little railing, for example? It must also keep in line with the regulations for the cemetary.
By all means suggest things such as:
a posy urn
white stone edging
a little fence
colour of stones inside the grave?
Grassed grave?
As well as any plants.

Best of luck – I think you’re offering an admirable service.

Bob asks…

How much should I pay my gardener?

I don’t have a huge yard, about 5000sq ft of all grass. So they wouldn’t need to do any more than mow, and edge. No weed pulling, and no plant trimming.

Home Gardener answers:

In Dallas expect to pay about $45. You can always get it cheaper if you don’t mind someone who can’t speak english and will get very dumb if you start asking questions.

Now go drink a beer and relax

Charlie asks…

Gardeners, I need your help and advice, please?

I posted a question on here some weeks ago, regarding putting a stone ‘ring’ around my maple tree. I received some great answers and now am just putting a single row of pie shaped bricks around the outer edge of the bed and mounding some mulch around the tree, leaving a small gap. The bricks have a really nice textured front face but a big hole in the middle on top.
They are really nice and were free, given to me by a neighbour who was moving, so I would like to use them.
My question is, since I obviously would like to somehow cover the holes, would I be able to fill each hole with soil and plant say, Hens and Chicks or some other sort of perennial and have it survive the winter? I live in Toronto Ontario, Canada.
Would the plant die being in a small roughly 4 inch diameter, 8 inch deep hole or would I have to take them out and put them in the ground at the end of the summer?
Any suggestions for other ways I could fill the hole so that they aren’t as noticeable?
Sorry for the long question, thanks in advance for any and all advice!!
I really love gardening, but I’m still learning!!!

Home Gardener answers:

Trouble-free: monkey grass. Cooler: put a crocus bulb in each one.

Thomas asks…

Botanist and gardeners I need help identifying a berry bearing vine creeping up my window?

I have looked everywhere online and have had no luck. Here is the description, it is an extremely thin vine green in color growing from the ground strait up my window when it reached about 4 feet high the vine grew upward in two directions left and right. It has leaves that grow directly off the vine the leaves are a light-medium colored green they are an elongated tear shape with a long pointed end the leaves grow one at a time directly off the vine and are spaced out 2-4 inches apart growing from the ground to the very top. The leaves pattern include a line that runs from the stem to the tip thin but long and wide v shapes about 7 start from the stem and move toward the edge of the leaf the v shapes are abut 1/2 inch apart as they go up to the tip. Many of the berries grow by themselves much like the leaves and grow strait from the vine the berries started growing about the 4 ft mark on up the berries are a dark blue with a smooth slightly firm skin. When I dissected a berry I noticed it had a deep purple juice and flesh with about 20 or more white seeds with about 4 purple but faded rings around them. The vine also carries a few but not many super thin green spirals which again grow directly off the vine I live in a com minty with lakes in my back yard and live on the southern continental tip of Florida however I do not now if this is native could you help me find out what this is also the berries are the size of small blue berries.
Pictures would help a lot thanks.
The berry is shaped like a blue berry but small, smooth all the way around, the outer flesh is dark blue and smooth. The leaves are not rough or ragged but are smooth with smooth edges the leaves are about 2.5- 3 inches wide at it’s widest part and about 5-6 inches long

Home Gardener answers:

Check here to see if you see it:

It could also be beauty berry:

Jim asks…

Can you help a beginning gardener with a brown thumb?

I am trying to grow a double mock orange plant and a spider plant. The double mock orange is in a large planter in potting soil, in full sun, its leaves are turning brown around the edges, and it’s never bloomed. The spider plant is small and also in a pot, it’s in the shade, and looks like it’s growing, but the leaves are also brown at the tips. I’m in zone, uh, 19, in inland southern California.

So–am I not watering them enough? Should I move them to different areas to get more/less sun? Should I give up and buy some fake plants and stick to cactus? (I’m even killing off some aloe, by the way).

Any spider plant/double mock orange assistance would be appreciated.

Home Gardener answers:

Transplant and water once. Let them dry out. They only ‘grow’ when dry.
Overwatering kills more plants than anything else.

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