Vermont Garden Journal

Fridays at 5:55p.m., Sunday at 9:34a.m.

The Vermont Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Nardozzi will focus on a topic that's relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests and more.

Hear the Vermont Garden Journal Friday afternoons at 5:55pm and Sunday mornings at 9:34am.

Subscribe to the Vermont Garden Journal Podcast and RSS

Visit the VPR Archive for Vermont Garden Journal programs before 4/19/2013.

Jackie Harris / ISTOCK

If there ever was a sure thing in the perennial flower world, it's the daylily. Unlike the lilium or "Easter Lily," hemerocallis or daylilies are easy to grow.

josefkubes / ISTOCK

If you'd like to start an edible garden, but your yard is limited in space or sun, think up. Vertical gardening has become popular in urban areas around the world. I see vertical gardens everywhere, from small balconies to skyscrapers. You don't have to live in a city to grow vertically. It's a good way to maximize any space and keep your favorite edibles within reach.

Julija Dmitrijeva / ISTOCK

Peas are one of our most ancient vegetables. Archeologists have found them in tombs and caves dating back 5000 years. The earliest peas were used as a dried vegetable in soups. Their popularity as a fresh vegetable caught on in the 1600's in Europe and we've been eating them that way ever since.

lovelyday12 / ISTOCK

Everyone should be planting native trees. They're good for the environment and global warming, add beauty and shade to our yards, provide food for wildlife and homes for birds and other creatures. But there's nothing worse than buying a tree, planting it and having it suddenly die a few years later. This happens more than we'd like to admit, so I think we need a tree healthcare plan.

annalovisa / ISTOCK

Hydrangeas are common landscape plants that hail from Asia. While many know the shrub versions of hydrangeas, such as "mophead" or blue hydrangea, the smooth leaf or "Annabelle" hydrangea and the panicle hydrangea, fewer gardeners are familiar with the climbing hydrangea.

ISTOCK

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! For some gardeners St. Patty's Day is the time to start sowing tomato seeds indoors. While the sentiment is great, the timing is off.

Valeriy_G / ISTOCK

With longer days and warmer temperatures, it's time to start pruning grapes. Pruning grapes can be hard for gardeners. Most gardeners prune off too little, leaving a nice looking vine for now, but a monster come summer.

Qwart / ISTOCK

This vegetable is ancient. Wild versions were used medicinally in 850 BC to ward off colds, flu and poor digestion. Its origins are from around the Mediterranean Sea, but it's also found wild in Asia and Northern Europe. The Italians first started growing it as a vegetable in the 17th century and through seed saving, they created taller stalks that weren't as strong flavored as the wild relatives. This vegetable is known as celery.

kruwt / ISTOCK

It's become a biennial tradition in Vermont. In March, just when the cold, snow, ice and cloudy weather seems to never end, the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association puts on the Vermont Flower Show. What a relief!

Nahhan / ISTOCK

On my recent trip to Northern India, I noticed in farmers' fields a common Vermont shrub. There were rows and rows of yews. I found out they're the Pacific yews and farmers are growing them to extract a cancer-fighting chemical, taxol, from the plant.

p ponomare / ISTOCK

The days are getting longer and you know what that means for the veggie gardener, it's time to start thinking about tomatoes.

igaguri_1 / ISTOCK

Many people love having some houseplants blooming in winter. We're all familiar with African violets and Christmas cactus as two of the best flowering houseplants. But there are others that offer bright colorful flowers without much more work.

Selwa Baroody / ISTOCK

For years onions were one of those crops I avoided growing in the garden. They're cheap and plentiful in markets. Why take up space with such a common veggie? But then I started experimenting with unusual varieties and now I'm hooked on onions.

LaXo72 / ISTOCK

I'm always looking for new plants and growing techniques. That's why I'm fascinated with kokedama hanging houseplants. Kokedama is an ancient form of Japanese bonsai. It's also called "poorman's bonsai" because it is so easy to do.

Jessica Ruscello / ISTOCK

With the surge of interest in houseplants, many home owners are rethinking indoor plantings. While floor plants, such as ficus and dracena, are dramatic, a more practical approach is hanging baskets. Hanging houseplants take up less space, fit into small nooks and can have interesting growth. Here are some of the easiest to try in your home.

chengyuzhen / ISTOCK

After all the activity and eating around the holidays, it's time to stretch out on the couch and look at vegetable seed catalogs. Although I do most of my vegetable seed ordering on-line, I still like to leaf through the catalogs. They feel like an old friend that I invite over to my house once a year.

U.S. Public Domain

During this holiday week, many gardeners have some free time. After the rains melted much of our snow cover, it's a good time to think about some spring projects. Spring is only 82 days away.

MonaMakela / ISTOCK

Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas! As everyone scurries for last-minute stocking stuffers, seed packets often come to mind for gardeners. There's no better sign of hope than a few packets of vegetable, herb or flower seeds slipped into someone's stocking. While the sentiment is great, and brings smiles to everyone's faces, I have a few tips based on my years of giving and receiving seed packets as gifts.

Probuxtor / ISTOCK

One symbol representing the holidays is a wreath. The word “wreath” derives from the ancient English word meaning "to twist." Ancient Greeks and Romans used wreaths as a head dress to symbolize one's status in society. Pagans used evergreen boughs in wreaths to symbolize the strength of life during the dark days of winter. Christians saw the circular wreath as a symbol of eternal life.

Brett Holmes Photography / ISTOCK

While a large holiday tree may be the tradition in many homes, more people are turning to unusual tabletop holiday plants to decorate their homes this time of year. The advantages are obvious. Tabletop plants don't take up much space, they require less maintenance, and some can be used as garden plants next summer. They also make great holiday gifts!

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