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Keep wasps and bees away this summer. Put about 10 cloves in 1/2 a lemon and set out. They don't like the scent

The journey of planting a potato. link has info on how to garden and what to plant with lots of pictures. Garden with your kids - they will love it!

Well drained soil is critical to successful rose growing. If you have heavy clay soil, which does not drain well, dig it up and add organic materials such as compost, peat moss or nitrogen fortified wood products before planting your rose bushes.Prune your roses each year to stimulate new growth and keep them healthy. The object of pruning is to remove all dead canes and open up the center for better air circulation. When the plants are dormant, cut back the canes by one third to one half.

The target soil pH for vegetables typically falls between 5.5 and 7.5, although there are a few exceptions. Your goal should be to keep your garden's pH within 0.5 of your veggies' desired range.

Flowering Quince Flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) spends most of its year flying under the radar as a rather nondescript, tangled deciduous shrub. But in early spring, flowering quince earns its keep by exploding in gorgeous blossoms that can be seen for blocks. Flowering quince is one of my favorite branches for forcing indoors.

The nice thing about drip irrigation is that you can start small and expand as you wish. Start with an inexpensive kit that simply connects to a spigot near your garden. Add a battery-operated timer to automatically turn the water on and off. Drip irrigation is a good way to reduce diseases in gardens. Fungi and diseases often thrive on wet leaves, but with micro irrigation the water is delivered only to the plant’s base. The leaves never get wet and diseases don’t get started.

Did you know that drinking water from your garden hose may be hazardous to your health. Many hoses are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which uses lead as a stabilizer and lead may be in the brass fittings. The good news is that you can buy hoses that are lead free at Orchard Supply Hardware. They are made from Food and Drug Administration approved materials and are labeled “drink-safe,” or “safe for potable water.

A question most often asked about lawn care is: When should I water? The simple answer is when the lawn needs it, but how can you tell? If the grass looks wilted, it needs water. If you walk on the lawn and the grass does not spring back up, that’s another sign.

Saucer Magnolia (Tulip Tree) A saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) in full bloom will just about knock your socks off! This smallish tree begins setting buds in the fall, to emerge in full bloom in early spring before the foliage grows. The waxy magnolia blossoms literally drip from the branches and provide a lovely carpet of petals. Grows in full sun but enjoys a little afternoon shade. Planting zones 4-9

Saucer Magnolia (Tulip Tree) A saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) in full bloom will just about knock your socks off! This smallish tree begins setting buds in the fall, to emerge in full bloom in early spring before the foliage grows. The waxy magnolia blossoms literally drip from the branches and provide a lovely carpet of petals. Grows in full sun but enjoys a little afternoon shade. Planting zones 4-9

Vinca (Periwinkle) Vinca is a wonderful evergreen groundcover that blooms in spring with small periwinkle-blue flowers. Vinca major is about a foot tall and very fast-growing; Vinca minor is low-growing and less invasive, and the flowers add color to naturalized areas. Adaptable to shade or full sun, it’s a great plant to tie different garden areas together.

Pansy and Viola One of the few cool-weather annuals, pansies and violas offer a gorgeous array of colors for the early spring garden. They tolerate light frost and will bloom until hot weather kicks in. Whether you’re filling dormant flower beds or porch containers, be sure to include some of these cheerful flowers in your plan. Planting zones 6-9 (all winter) Colder zones can plant in early spring.

Saucer Magnolia (Tulip Tree) A saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) in full bloom will just about knock your socks off! This smallish tree begins setting buds in the fall, to emerge in full bloom in early spring before the foliage grows. The waxy magnolia blossoms literally drip from the branches and provide a lovely carpet of petals. Grows in full sun but enjoys a little afternoon shade.

Pansy and Viola One of the few cool-weather annuals, pansies and violas offer a gorgeous array of colors for the early spring garden. They tolerate light frost and will bloom until hot weather kicks in. Whether you’re filling dormant flower beds or porch containers, be sure to include some of these cheerful flowers in your plan.

Lenten Rose Lenten roses (Helleborus orientalis) live up to their name, quietly blooming just in time for the Lenten season in early spring. While not the most eye-catching perennial in the garden, Lenten roses go the subtle route, with gorgeous long lasting flowers that nod their heads and invite you to take a peek. Lenten roses do well in shady gardens.

Japanese Flowering Cherry There are several varieties of Japanese flowering cherry trees (Prunus hybrids), including the ‘Yoshino’ of Washington, DC, fame. Grown for their blossoms rather than fruit, these cherry trees are cultivated for spectacular beauty. They grow very quickly in a pleasing rounded umbrella shape to about 20 feet tall

Forsythia Forsythia (Forsythia sp.) is one of the first shrubs to bloom in spring, and its brilliant yellow color is hard to miss against the bare branches. Growing in full sun to partial shade, forsythia is a popular choice for borders and deciduous hedges. Weeping varieties can be planted to trail down slopes or retaining walls

Flowering Quince Flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) spends most of its year flying under the radar as a rather nondescript, tangled deciduous shrub. But in early spring, flowering quince earns its keep by exploding in gorgeous blossoms that can be seen for blocks. Flowering quince is one of my favorite branches for forcing indoors.

Daffodils and Spring Bulbs Daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, and other spring bulbs offer some of the earliest color of the season, poking up through the late winter snow to lend assurance that cold weather won’t last forever. Spring bulbs are perfect for naturalizing under trees or even in your lawn, where they’ll brighten up the dormant landscape well before mowing season.

Camellia Japonica Camellia japonicas are my winter savior! These large evergreen shrubs begin blooming during the dead of winter, often peeking out from beneath the snow cover. By early spring they’re covered with beautiful rose-like blooms that last until hot weather. Camellias like acidic soil and a little bit of partial shade.

Bridal Wreath Spiraea Bridal wreath (Spiraea prunifolia ‘Plena’) is a deciduous shrub with delicate arching branches that erupt in spring in a tangle of tiny white blossoms. Easy to grow and to divide and propagate, bridal wreath is a common sight in old and new gardens alike. Bridal wreath flowers best after a winter chill, just when we need it most.

Ten Favorite Flowering Trees, Shrubs, and Plants for Spring Blooms

Camellias need to be planted a little high, so that the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil. This helps water drain away from the trunk. Camellia roots are shallow, so avoid planting them under shallow-rooted shade trees such as birch and maple. They are often grown in the light shade of tall, deep-rooted pine trees. Smaller varieties can be grown in containers. Use a potting mix designed for camellias, azaleas, or rhododendrons for best results.