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I recently went to a class put on by the DeKalb County Extension Service to teach folks how to save seeds from your garden plants over the winter. I had not been to these classes in several years and I forgot how helpful they are. I won’t bore you with the details. But I will refer you to a …

As I write this column, it is the middle of January and it is 72 degrees. It has been in this temperature range most of the time since Christmas. As my sainted Grandmother Gallagher might have said, “That just ain’t fittin’!”

I went by the Ace Hardware store in Dunwoody Village the other day to pick up some bird seed. On my way out I noticed they were selling copies of 2017 The Old Farmer’s Almanac. I buy a copy of this helpful and interesting publication every year about this time. It’s one of my favorite publications.

For the last 20-odd years I have grown tomatoes in the same spot in my garden without trouble. Over the years I have received numerous warnings from knowledgeable people that this was not a good gardening practice and that I was toying with serious trouble in this matter.

Every year since 1994 Georgia’s State Botanical Garden announces its picks for the year’s list of Georgia Gold Medal Plants. The judges include staff from the State Botanical Garden of Georgia; the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension; University of Georgia faculty members; and nurser…

It is February and the garden catalogues are showing up in my mailbox like fleas on an under-the-porch dog. But at least the catalogues are wanted.

Can you believe this December weather? My daffodils are all up with leaves six inches tall or more. My hydrangeas don’t know whether to bud out or not, and the dogwoods are considering a very early bloom. I suppose we ought to be grateful for this last spell of such pleasant weather, but it’…

I wonder if you have noticed a significant increase in the number of homes sporting signs to indicate that they are using a mosquito program to rid their yards of these pesky nuisances. These yard signs seem to be popping up everywhere. Concerns about the rare but possibly deadly effects of …

Richard and Nancy Fonde have a lovely home in the Sandy Springs area that I still call Dunwoody. But, even better, they have a lovely lot with 1.5 acres of tended woods beside a pretty little stream. It’s not so much a garden as it is a naturalized woodland wonder. They are really nice people, too.

I saw this year’s first fully bloomed daffodils this week. To my unscientific estimation, this is a bit earlier than we usually see them. I am taking this as a harbinger of the coming springtime and the need for me to get my keister off the couch and out into the yard.

Let’s face it, no matter what the landscape designers and garden books try to tell us, most of our home gardens look apocalyptic in winter. Abundant scraggly, bare branches, dead flower stalks, drifts of dead leaves from trees, the odd dead-and-never-coming-back plant from last summer and a …

Fall is definitely here. A lot of us are thinking about putting our gardens to bed for the winter. And a few of us are actually doing it. This usually involves cutting back spent flowers, cleaning up debris around our garden beds and generally tidying up.

Folks, it’s time once again for my shameless promotion of the Dunwoody Nature Center’s Fall Plant Sale. As one of the Master Gardeners working at DNC, this is one of the big events amongst us volunteer gardening gnomes.

It’s been I while since I mentioned the importance of getting a soil test of your gardening areas. And by gardening areas I mean areas where you deliberately grow something. It could be your lawn, your flower beds, your vegetable patch or whatever.

Let me confess that I am a sucker for those bags of bulbs and plants that they sell at Home Depot, Lowes, Costco and other big box stores. You know the ones….a beautiful picture of blooming plants on the bag and a great price…ninety daffodil bulbs for $19.95, three dinner-plate dahlias for $…

Flowering quince, Star magnolia, Daffodils, Maple and Oak trees budding, Hyacinths, Plum trees in bloom, Forsythia, Pansies, Crocus, Bradford pears, Cherry and Crabapple trees, Camila, Hydrangeas budding, Japanese maples budding, lots of birds he-ing and she-ing and a few sad looking dead th…

As comedian Gilda Radner, speaking as her character Roseanne Roseannadanna, used to say on the old Saturday Night Live show, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”

Well, the seed and plant catalogues have been pouring in since Christmas. One noticeable trend over the last few years is that almost all catalogues include substantial offerings of native plants and heritage or organic seeds or seedlings.

As one who has devoted more than a fair amount of his adult life (and no small part of his worldly fortune) to the pursuit of delicious tomatoes, I would like to share with you some news from the world of tomato research. A recent New York Times article (Aug. 27) provides news on reinvigorat…

This August, I more than willing to turn my back on the whole gardening thing. It’s time for me to check in to rehab and deal with my gardening jones (I tell myself I can quit at any time, but I always go back to the compost pile).

In case you have just woken up from an extended coma, let me inform you that we are having a very rainy year thus far. Over the last 30 years, Atlanta has averaged 49.7 inches of rain per year. Thus far in 2013 we have already accumulated 41.5 inches of rain. That’s a lot of rain. And we sti…

This past spring I put together a series of gardening related classes for the PALS organization here in Dunwoody. One of the speakers I brought in was Jose Vivanco, a Master Gardener friend who is also seriously into beekeeping.

Slugs. You either hate them or you really, really hate them. Unlike equally destructive rabbits, Walt Disney has never made a movie that transformed these slimy things into cutesy garden characters like he did for rabbits. They remain loathsome things in every gardener’s mind.

It has been a beautiful week. We’ve had days of warm spring weather after a week with good rain. My lawn has been lush green and begging for attention. I no longer dread the work of keeping a nice lawn. I just love the smell of freshly cut grass. I actually look forward to the first few lawn…

Let me just get this off my chest. I don’t really like eating most vegetables. There, I’ve said it. If I were a vegetarian I would die of a virulent strain of rickets. I am basically a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Personally, I blame my mother.

Come on; let’s get going…it’s time to get those broccoli, cabbage, peas and greens of all sorts in the ground! Usually mid-February is still on the early edge of cool season planting, but, like last year, it now seems more like March than our historical February weather. There’s always a cha…

Let me state from the outset that I, and just about everyone I know who would consider themselves to be an environmentalist of some degree, I am in favor of developing biking, walking, and jogging trails in Brook Run Park.

There has been a lot of energetic lip-flapping lately about the city of Dunwoody’s plans to create a 12-foot wide concrete “path” through Brook Run Park. This is accompanied by even more energetic blathering about the city’s plans to de-construct the Village Parkway. Intelligent and thoughtf…

I was going to start putting my garden “to bed” for the winter this week when I noted that I am having a late bloom on many plants. At the end of August my tomatoes were wilting and many of my perennials were getting straggly and near to death. But then in the last couple of weeks I’ve start…

The best part of August is Labor Day. I know, you are sitting there and thinking, “That idiot! Doesn’t he know Labor Day is in September?” And you’d be right. But as far as I am concerned, September is the best part of August. The weather now starts cooling off a bit, football comes back on …

In case you have not yet heard of it, I’d like to sing the praises of Milorganite. For the uninitiated, Milorganite is an organic fertilizer made by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The name comes from MILwaukee ORGAnic NITrogen. It has been around for more than 85 years and has…

As faithful readers of The Crier and this column may remember, a few weeks ago I was bemoaning the loss of a rather unique piece of yard art that would have served as a grand focal point in the Coghill Botanical Gardens. A couple of college friends had just moved to a house in the Virginia-H…

Let me see if I have this straight. In February it felt like late March. In March it felt like April or, at times, even like May. In April it has felt like everything from early June to early March. It is a bit mindboggling this year. I used to know a fine, respectable lady who blamed every …

We’ve got daffodils in full bloom at the Dunwoody Nature Center.  I have heard reports from (occasionally) sober Dunwoodians of cherry trees in bloom, hydrangea buds ready to pop open, Carolina jessamine in full flower and Elvis shopping at Fresh Market.  It’s just not right!   

The annual holiday season is almost upon us.  Again this year, I will remind you that according to sacred tradition, this is the time of the year when faithful local newspaper readers shower their otherwise unemployable garden columnist with extravagant gifts, such as a teak Lutyens garden b…