Gardening Blogs

Welcome to the Almanac’s blog on gardening and gardens! Whether you’re a beginning gardener or a green-thumb, we’ve got lots of advice and inspiration to help you in your backyard. Look through this page for a variety of topics, including gardening with vegetables, herbs, fruit, flowers, containers, houseplants, and more!

January 3, 2016

New seed and plant catalogs have been arriving in my mailbox almost daily and they make the wintery days much easier to take. The glowing descriptions and fantastic photographs are a welcome reminder that spring will come eventually. I’m a sucker for their horticultural hype and end up making long lists of plants that I can’t possibly live without. Fortunately, cooler heads prevail in my household and these lists will get whittled down considerably by the time we send in the orders.... more

December 20, 2015

If you are in need of some flowering companions to get you through the cold days of winter, look for a plant that hails from the southern hemisphere, the African Violet. African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are native to Tanzania and get their Latin name from a 19th century colonial official and amateur botanist, Baron Walter von Saint Paul, who was stationed in the east African country known then as Tanganyika. He sent specimens of these wild violets home to his father in Germany and in a... more

December 16, 2015

Here’s one of my favorite Stir-Fry recipes using bone broth. It’s good for you and good tasting! Bone broth soup is really good for us. I noticed over 30 years ago that—if my husband, Bob, and I have at least two servings a week of my homemade soup—we have no problems with our joints. When I forget, my knees really bother me. So I have learned to incorporate the broth into as many meals as possible. Click for Bone Broth Soup Recipe One delicious way to eat it is in a stir-fry! Begin by... more

December 13, 2015

The New Year is coming. One way to honor this turning point is to celebrate the four directions or the four winds as they were once called. Many cultures honor the four directions as part of the circle of life. Go out into your garden on New Year’s Day and face each direction, concentrating on what is special about each aspect. What are the features of the land? How do the trees grow? Where does the prevailing wind come from? Why is the snow deeper in one area than in another? Each... more

December 9, 2015

Winter solstice occurs at almost midnight on December 21, marking the official start of winter. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. Now the days will start to get longer and as the old adage says,”When the days lengthen the cold strengthens.” Even so, I appreciate seeing a brighter western horizon when I get out of work at 5pm. The sun has begun its climb toward summer and each day brings us one day closer to spring. Nearly every ancient culture had myths surrounding the... more

November 29, 2015

While most of us only think about Christmas trees in December, for growers of cut-your-own trees, it is a year-round commitment. Growing quality Christmas trees is a serious business requiring lots of hard work. Trees are fertilized in the early spring and late summer. Grass in the rows and between trees needs to be mowed. Pests such as balsam twig aphids and red spider mites need to monitored and dealt with. Many growers hand-shear their trees with a sharp machete-like knife and use clippers... more

November 23, 2015

No plant symbolizes Christmas quite like the poinsettia. More than 2 million of them will be sold this year, making it the largest potted flower crop grown in the US. Are you surprised that 80% of all poinsettias are purchased by women? There are over 100 varieties of poinsettias available in shades of red, pink, white,and yellow - solids, streaked, marbled, and multicolored. It makes it hard to pick just one! Some have even been treated with dyes, painted, or sprayed with glitter!... more

November 22, 2015

I had the great fortune to participate in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Tour in June, 2015 and joined an enthusiastic group of folks from across the country for this fantastic 7-day 6-night tour.    We started the tour in Philadelphia. Our first garden to explore was the 300-acre Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College. Established in 1929 the arboretum includes over 4,000 different plants and a spectacular rose garden featuring more than 200 species of roses. A very special place was the... more

November 15, 2015

It’s red berry time and with bunches of fresh holly leaves and berries or branches of winterberries going for $5-$10, it only makes sense to get a few of these beautiful and easy to grow shrubs established in our own yards. Growing Winterberry Winterberry, also known as black alder, is one of several native American hollies. It grows 5-15 feet tall depending on the cultivar, is deciduous, and though it has colorful fall foliage it is grown mainly for its berries. Winterberry is very cold... more

November 8, 2015

Everyone has heard of fast food but Thanksgiving is a time to think about slow food. No, I don’t mean the bad service you get at the local greasy spoon. Slow Food is a worldwide movement that celebrates the pleasure of eating fresh, locally grown food. What could be more local than the food you have grown yourself? The garden is like a seasonal supermarket. Thankfully we have apples, pears, potatoes, squash, onions, and garlic from the garden to use for this year’s feast. Kale and... more


Subscribe to Blog

Free Almanac Newsletters

Almanac Weekly Companion 

The General Store

Almanac Recipe Box