Saturday, February 23, 2013

Floral Design for Kids

Garden clubs take seriously their charge to work with children and teach them the joy and art of gardening and floral design. In this article I will share some simple techniques that can be used to create a plethora of designs with children of all ages.

Certain elements are present in all designs pictured in this article. The viewer will notice that plant material for each design includes three types: line, flowers, and transition. In addition to plant material, a container filled with soaked floral foam for fresh flowers is provided for each student along with any accessories to help interpret the theme of the design.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hey, What's going on in there?

Have you ever wondered how a worm-like striped creature that crawls on many legs can transform itself into the 6 legged velvet winged beauty that is a butterfly? By what magic does this transformation take place? That magic is known as complete metamorphosis but exactly what is going on when we say that multi-syllabic word?

Like most gardeners, I love butterflies.
I plant host and nectar plants hoping they will visit my garden. I study my field guides learning their names and like most folk on DG, worry about plummeting numbers of species in the news. But the thing that fascinates me most about butterflies is metamorphosis, that bit of biological magic that transforms a striped thing that crawls with many legs into a beautiful aerial creature that floats above our blossoms like stained glass windows that can fly.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Stay Sharp – Fall Tool Care

In a throwaway culture, tool maintenance can be intimidating to beginners. But taking the time to learn a few basic steps is satisfying. It will help keep tools useful for a lifetime and give you more money to spend on plants.

In the Pacific Northwest where I live it is possible to garden year-round. My good intentions are often overcome by dreary, wet weather, though, and I gradually stop going out to the garden at all. The garden doesn't really suffer much for winter inattention, but neglect can be fatal for tools. Even if you're a more persistent winter gardener than I am, autumn is a good time to give tools a more thorough clean-up than most people have time for during the growing season. Properly maintained, good quality tools can last for decades, but if allowed to rust they can become unusable almost overnight.