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Garden Gate

Garden Gate July/August 2021

You CAN create the garden of your dreams with Garden Gate magazine! Every issue is packed with must-have plants, reader tips, simple time- and money-saving ideas, step-by-step, how-to help and the inspiration you need to create a gorgeous garden year after year.

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United States
Active Interest Media
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
never use any part of a walnut tree in your compost.

Walnut trees produce juglone, a chemical that can be toxic to some plants, especially tomatoes, potatoes and peppers, so it is best not to plant a vegetable garden near a living walnut tree. The good news is that in a compost pile, juglone in leaves breaks down in 30 to 40 days, and the juglone in bark chips breaks down in 6 months. So you can compost parts of a walnut tree; just make sure the compost matures and ages before you use it on susceptible crops. Answer is FALSE. Other poisonous plants, such as rhubarb leaves, or irritants, such as stinging nettles, will also break down easily in the compost pile. Just be careful handling them while tossing them in and make sure the pile heats up enough to destroy…

2 min
reader tips

Dual-use duster Chloe Deike, IA Large-leaved houseplants, such as schefflera (Schefflera actinophylla), can collect a lot of dust. When Chloe purchased a three-pronged microfiber duster to clean her blinds, she found it looked similar to some more expensive houseplant dusting accessories while being only half the cost. The flexible prongs are covered in removable microfiber cloth. Run the leaf of a houseplant between the prongs and gently squeeze to dust both the top and bottom without tearing the leaf. A convenient vase Bea Strozina, ME Bea shared her idea for adding an extra touch of beauty to the garden with little effort and no extra materials. It starts with a decorative rain gauge—one without a funnel on top like this. After a good rain, Bea strolls through the garden looking for flowers with broken stems.…

1 min
clematis considerations

• FIND THE RIGHT SPOT Clematis vines bloom best with 6 hours of sun each day but will bloom and thrive in part shade. When you plant, look for the first set of buds at the base of the plant, and plant these buds below soil level. Add a layer of mulch around the base to keep the roots cool and moist. • HELP IT CLIMB Clematis climbs a structure by twisting petioles, or leaf stems. The vine itself does not twine. Anything over ¾ in. in diameter is too large for a clematis leaf to grasp. Monofilament fishing line is a great way to train a clematis to climb a light pole or arbor post. • PRUNE IT PROPERLY All of the small-flowered summer-blooming clematis you see here bloom on new…

3 min
simple mood lighting

A summer evening sitting on the patio is even more enjoyable with the soft glow of a lantern nearby. Rather than buying one, I gave a 32-ounce pickle jar a new look using spray paint, a stencil and outdoor craft paint. Battery-operated firefly lights provide the illumination, but a tea light candle works, too. If you use the firefly lights, make sure the battery housing fits through the opening of the jar and ideally lies flat on the bottom. MATERIALS & TOOLS • 2-in.-wide painter’s tape• 2 cans of spray paint; I used Krylon Matte Rain Drop (color 1) and Satin Cactus Green (color 2)• 32 oz. pickle jar• Craft stencil (6×8 inch)• Outdoor craft paint; I used Apple Barrel® Gloss White• Stencil brush• 2 6-in. strands of beads• LED firefly battery-operated…

4 min
pump up the color in shady gardens

Every garden has its own special challenges. If shade is one of those challenges for you, here are three hard-working shade-tolerant combos that will transform a less-than-light spot into a colorful, long-lasting display. Whether your entire yard is under a tree, or you just need some contrast for a shady patio, these annual combos can brighten even the darkest corner. (Many of the plants featured are tender perennials that we typically grow as annuals.) And since annuals grow, bloom and fade in a single season, you can change your planting plan every year to keep it fresh. All of these combos will thrive in part to full shade. An area is considered part shade if it receives 4 to 6 hours of light per day or all day dappled light. Full…

13 min
love the sun!

People have always loved the sun. In ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, the sun was associated with powerful gods. Today, the sun is revered for its ability to power homes and grow pretty gardens. The sun is essential to all gardens, whether shady or sunny. That’s because plants live by the process of photosynthesis — a chemical reaction, driven by the sunlight, that provides nutrients to the plants. But some plants need more light to thrive than others, and these sun lovers are what we’re focused on here. LOVING THE LIGHT There’s a lot to love about gardening in the sun: the colors, the fragrances, the many, many options! Here’s how to make the most of your sunny spot. Winged visitors One of the best things that sun gardens offer is food…for birds and…