Garden Gate March/April 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.

United States
Active Interest Media
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

You all are just the best, and I love hearing your advice, solutions and observations. There’s so much to learn about gardening, no matter how long you’ve been doing it. Sometimes we survey our readers, and one of the questions we ask is whether you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or expert gardener. I’m always interested to see that even most folks who have been gardening for 25 years or more consider themselves to be intermediate rather than experts. I guess that speaks to how humbling gardening is, and to the natural curiosity that defines a gardener. There’s always something to learn. From nature. From each other. There are so many sources of inspiration and education in our world. That must be why reader tips continue to be so popular with our…

1 min
garden gate online

Easy Spring Container Ideas Splash some color across your garden with our collection of early spring container plans. containers/ JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP Celebrate. Commiserate. Ask. Share. We’d love to see what’s happening in your garden and show you what’s going on in ours. Join the Garden Gate Magazine Garden Club Community Group on Facebook. Grow a Garden in a Straw Bale This innovative technique allows you to grow vegetables anywhere. But it requires some prep work and know-how. Let us show you the secrets to success.…

2 min
reader tips

When his neighbor was discarding a bucketful of old golf clubs, Mic saw an opportunity and asked if he could have them. He sawed off the heads, and the golf club shafts became garden stakes. You can drive them into the ground with a mallet and use monofilament to secure plants’ stems to the rubber grip — which holds the monofilament in place. He also strings monofilament from club to club to create an invisible fence that deters deer from munching on his roses. Mic Stevens, AZ A stellar solar light idea Susie Marcy, OR Don’t throw away old solar garden lights: Use them to create a point of interest in your garden bed. Just pop the tops off to make miniature planters. Susie plants hers with succulents or small, blooming flowers. Wax begonia…

1 min
the wild side

Mason bee Osmia spp. What mason bees lack in honey-making skills, they make up for with their ability to prolifically pollinate — up to 100 times more than honeybees! These native, solitary bees nest individually in holes in the ground, in abandoned insect holes or in pithy stems of plants, and they aren’t aggressive, so they usually don’t sting. Life cycle You’ll see mason bees buzzing about in early spring when the females gather pollen for food to take to their nesting holes. They spend about a month packing the nest with food and laying eggs. Each egg is laid in its own chamber with a food source. In summer, larvae hatch, feed and mature in their nests. Then as adults they spin cocoons and hibernate in their nests through winter before emerging…

1 min
what is a nativar?

Shopping for native plants can be confusing. A growing majority of the plants you find in nurseries are cultivars of native species, often referred to as “nativars.” Plant breeders select plants for a variety of characteristics like interesting leaf traits or flower size and shape. Some of these changes mean that a plant won’t support pollinators as well. When you’re buying plants, choose cultivars that have retained the characteristics that make them attractive to pollinators: flower shape, easy-to-access nectaries and original leaf and petal colors. For example, the ‘Double Stuff’ Solomon’s seal flowers at right are the same as the species, so insects can access the pollen just as easily in either the cultivar or the species. But if in doubt, you can’t go wrong with the native species.…

4 min
plant for pollinators

One of the biggest reasons for the dwindling pollinator population is habitat loss. Butterflies, bees and other important pollinators are becoming increasingly less common in many residential gardens across the country because of the widespread use of pesticides and a shrinking supply of the nectar-rich flowers they rely on for food. Fortunately, you can play a role in reversing this trend by dedicating a spot in your garden to pollinator-friendly plants to keep local pollinators well fed all season. POLLINATION MATTERS Almost all flowering plants need to be pollinated to produce seeds. And most flowering plants depend on bees, butterflies and other animals (bats, hummingbirds) for pollination. While there are non-native plants and hybrids that will feed pollinators, you can count on native plants to be attractive to local pollinators because they…