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.

United States
Active Interest Media
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

I don’t need a bigger house. But oh, what I could do with a bigger yard! A charming potager bursting with vegetables to share... a shady woodland walk awash in spring ephemerals... expansive sunny borders bursting with colorful perennials... and room to try every plant that catches my fancy. The fact is, at this stage in my life, my little 50×150-foot urban lot is just right for the hours, not days, I have to devote to its care each week. Even with this small space, weeds often go unpulled! That’s why I love James’ tour of Jeannette Golden’s large garden on page 54. It’s just the kind of horticultural playground many of us dream of. Even though her country garden is much larger than mine, a good idea is universal, and I’ll…

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
the wild side

Black soldier fly Hermetia illucens Appearance Although similar to a wasp in shape, the black solider fly has no stinger, an all-black body with white legs and only two wings instead of four. The larvae emerge a creamy color and progress to brown with small red-brown heads. They also have a voracious appetite. This beneficial bug is valuable in the garden because the larvae rapidly break down organic matter in the compost pile. Life cycle You can spot adults in spring and early fall. They lay hundreds of tiny eggs at the edges of organic waste or compost piles. The larvae hatch and immediately begin eating. In a matter of only a couple of weeks, they can make a significant impact on the decomposition of materials. Then they leave the compost pile…

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…

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…

9 min
how to forage in your own backyard

A walk through the garden can be a treasure hunt. Just ask Ellen Zachos, backyard foraging expert and author of The Forager’s Pantry: Cooking with Wild Edibles. She wants gardeners to know that you don’t have to traipse through the woods and fields to forage for food. The truth, says Ellen, is many of our favorite garden plants have edible parts that we have simply overlooked, like spruce tips. And since you already know what’s growing in your garden, identifying the plants is a lot easier than in the wild. Ellen has written many garden books (including Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat) and has led foraging walks and taught at the New York Botanical Garden, where she received her certification in commercial horticulture and…