In to the Garden in Winter

by on January 18, 2012

Fun Pet Plants for Kids

Damian Dragon Kids love to plant things and watch them grow. Sure, you can fold a bean into a wet paper towel to get it to sprout. But what about a product that’s specifically designed to get a kid’s attention?

That’s why we love Eco Plant Pals. These cute kits are designed to be collectible and tradable, so they’re perfect for holiday gifts. Choose from 18 different plant pals. Each kit includes everything kids need to grow a plant of their own, plus a fun decal and a trading card.

Each plant has a silly name—Basil Bob, Carol Cactus, Butterfly Beth, Fly Trap Fred, Peter Pepper, Damian Dragon (coleus), and Strawberry Sarah, for instance—and with each name comes a distinct personality. Damian Dragon, for example, “is brave and always a gentleman.”

It’s All About the Bark

Paperbark maple Many trees provide color and interest in the fall and winter months, first with fiery foliage and then with snow-covered branches.

The paperbark maple (Acer griseum) takes the seasonal show one step further with deep red, shaggy bark that slowly peels away, exposing an orange-red trunk. Get in on the show—follow our tips on how to enjoy a paperbark maple in your yard.

Common name: Paperbark maple
Botanical name: Acer griseum
Plant type: Tree
Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 20 to 30 feet
Family: Sapindaceae

Growing conditions
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Moist, well-drained
Moisture: Medium

Mulch: None needed.
Pruning: None needed.
Fertilizer: None needed.

Help Indoor Plants Get the Light They Need

Plant Turntable We all know that once we bring plants indoors for the winter, they need to be turned once in a while so they get consistent sun exposure. But the truth is, when pots are heavy, they don’t get turned much.

Thank goodness for the Plant Turntable. Basically a lazy Susan for plants, this sturdy saucer makes it easy to rotate plants up to 250 pounds. Seriously! And you can water without worry, too, because the saucer’s raised lip helps contain overflow.

Made of tough, glass-reinforced plastic, the Plant Turntable is 12 inches in diameter and is for indoor and outdoor use. Six surface-friendly feet keep the saucer slightly elevated, so there won’t be any trapped moisture to create stains. Say goodbye to lopsided plants with flowers on only one side.

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