Garden News

by on September 2, 2010

Vertical Solutions

verticle vine We all have something unattractive in our garden that we’d like to cover up — whether it’s a chain-link fence, an ugly post, or a barren wall. One way to hide that not-so-pretty element is with a vertical vine. Here are some types of vines and how to use them:

Twining vines twist their entire stems up a support as they grow. Some grow in a counterclockwise fashion; others circle clockwise. These vines grow best on poles or fences—they can’t grow on a wall by themselves. Look for wisteria (Wisteria spp.), hops (Humulus lupus), and moonflower (Ipomoea spp.).

Tendril vines wrap specialized leaves, called tendrils, around a support. They grow just about anywhere they can grab onto something, though they have difficulty grabbing large objects. Passionflower (Passiflora spp.), gloriosa lily (Gloriosa spp.), and sweet pea (Lathyrus spp.) are all tendril vines.

Best Site for Garden Know-it-Alls

perennial resource What’s that plant called? What zone is it? How tall does it get? The truth is, we gardeners don’t always know the answer. But if we’re able to discreetly look it up, we can pretend we do.

Enter www.perennialresource.com. This site, created by Walters Gardens, describes more than 1,800 plants in its Perennial Encyclopedia.

Find out how to take care of your catmint, how big your poppy should be, and what to plant next to your meadow rue. Keep a wish list of your most-wanted plants — and find a nursery that carries them. Browse through recommended garden books and magazines. You can even get design advice.

In April, www.perennialresource.com was named best educational site by a national agricultural trade association. But don’t tell anybody … especially another gardener.

Use Your Garden Hose with Ease

Wall-Mounted Hose Reel A garden hose doesn’t seem like it would be so heavy, but when water is pumping through a 100-foot hose, lugging it around feels like a real workout.

Save your strength. The Wall-Mounted Hose Reel from The Yard Butler has a pivoting arm that makes maneuvering around your yard with hose in hand a whole lot easier.

This handy device provides more than just storage — it’s also a solution for all those times you’d wished for a third arm … you know, one that can pivot 180 degrees. Yup, the pivoting arm allows the reel to swivel 180 degrees so you can use it at any angle from the wall. How’s that for a helping hand?

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