Garden Gate November/December 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

Ellie Gilbert walked me around her garden barefoot when I met this 2021 Reader Garden Award winner this summer. To me, that spoke to an intimacy with her garden. She knows every inch of those borders, the slope, the paths, because she’s touched it all many times. It was as natural as padding across the living room carpet. I loved that and I loved seeing her beautiful garden and hearing how it started, the difficulties and what she’s most proud of. That’s one of the things that makes this job so fun. Every gardener has a story to tell and a garden to show. Without the advice of others, I never would have tried cucamelons this year (they were like little lime-flavored cucumbers) or known that I shouldn’t feed my dahlias. Garden…

2 min
reader tips

Laurice found that she could avoid the unpleasant difficulty of rescuing an animal trapped in her window well by providing an easy way out: Stack a variety of rectangular and square pavers to create a stairway that animals can climb up to escape.Laurice Markowski, MI Straw mulch substitute Mary-Jane Duford, BC After Mary-Jane was unable to get to the store early enough in the spring to purchase straw mulch for her strawberry patch, she had to make do with what she had on hand. She cut down her overwintered ‘Karl Foerster’ feather reed grass (which was a task that needed to be done at that time anyway) and used it as mulch around her strawberry plants. It kept the weeds down just as well as straw did! She never noticed any reseeding of…

1 min
the wild side

Northern flicker Colaptes auratus Stunning markings along its belly and back distinguish this woodpecker. Most notably, a “mustache” mark extends down from the beak of males. West of the Rockies you find red-shafted flickers, who have a red mustache and salmon undersides of the wings and tail. On the Eastern side, yellow-shafted flickers differ with a black mustache and yellow undersides. It’s hard to miss the bright white rump that can be seen when in flight. This bird is rather large at a length of 12 inches. Where to find it Northern flickers mostly bore into the ground looking for insects but will occasionally search trees, too. It’s present year-round across North America in open areas near woods. To nest, they bore cavities up to 18 inches deep into soft wood. Attracting it to…

5 min
some like it cold

Stretch your gardening year by planting cool-season plants in fall or early spring when temperatures are too chilly for more tender bloomers. Both pansies and snapdragons are charming tucked into flower beds or containers. I love them planted in masses, but when combined with other cool-weather-lovers, they have a special magic that can’t be beat. Check out these combos to see what I mean. TOUGH & TENDER Pansies are cold hardy in zones 5 to 10, while snapdragons will reliably survive winters in USDA zones 7 to 10. In these regions, they’re often planted in the fall, when they bloom from winter into spring before succumbing to the summer heat. In the colder reaches of their hardiness, they may stop blooming when temps get too cold, but they often start back…

3 min
easy plant shelves

Add vertical interest to your patio with these easy-to-build shelves. Gather a few supplies from your local home improvement center, add a couple hours of work and you’ll have a unique way to display small containers and decor at eye level. MAKE THE SHELVES Cedar is a great choice for the wood because of its weather resistance. You can make the shelves any size, but I used two precut 3-foot boards for this one. Mark the holes for the rope to pass through in each corner with a pencil by measuring 2 ¾ inches from each end and 1 inch from the sides. Then drill the holes. The grommets in the far left inset (along with a bit of epoxy around its inside lip to keep them in place) provide a…

1 min
botanical names

Angel’s trumpet Datura spp. and hybrids Arkansas amsonia Amsonia hubrichtii Astilbe Astilbe spp. and hybrids Bee balm Monarda spp. and hybrids Christmas fern Polystichum acrostichoides Daffodil Narcissus spp. and hybrids Hellebore Helleborus spp. and hybrids Larkspur Consolida spp. and hybrids Lavender Lavandula spp. and hybrids Leatherleaf sedge Carex buchananii Maiden grass Miscanthus sinensis Milkweed Asclepias spp. Monkshood Aconitum spp. and hybrids Mountain mint Pycnanthemum virginianum Ostrich fern Matteuccia struthiopteris Poppy Papaver spp. and hybrids Red-hot poker Kniphofia spp. and hybrids Sage Salvia spp. and hybrids Windflower Anenome coronaria Yarrow Achillea millefolium…