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Mother's Day started back in the late 1800s when Julia Howe, lyricist of the “Battle Hymn to the Republic,” called upon all mothers to protest the senseless killing of their sons during the Civil War.

Terracotta is the classic flowerpot material, but many other options now exist.
Memphis CVB (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It used to be gardeners would have two choices in pots -- clay or plastic.

Terracotta is the classic container with beautiful coloring. It's great for plants that like a well-drained soil like geraniums. Plastic pots are usually dark green and used for everything else.

Asparagus shoots begin to rise from the ground.
Sigfrid Lundberg / Creative Commons

Asparagus is one of the few perennial vegetables we can grow and, if cared for well, can produce for decades. Asparagus is not only tasty, it's talented.

Don DeBold (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It's been a slow spring, but our flowering bulbs are finally are putting on a show. But it's a shame to do all the hard work of growing tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus only to have critters eat them. To avoid frustration, and excessive cursing, here's what to do.

Harold Litwiler (Flickr) / Creative Commons

I think my fascination with lupines started with Miss Rumphius in that classic children's story. This native wildflower grows 2- to 3-feet-tall in a wide variety of flower colors.

Henry Hemming / Creative Commons

Although we grow this plant as a perennial flower, it has other devious uses. During the siege of Kirrha in ancient Greece, the invading armies poisoned the city's water supply with crushed roots and leaves of this flower.

Kim Unertl / Creative Commons

Let's get a little wild with our greens. I'm going start with mache. My Swiss friend calls it lamb's lettuce because she remembers harvesting it, in early spring, in fields when lambs were born. Mache has a mild taste and is great with eggs.

tinatinatinatinatina (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It's the latest darling of the vegetable world. It's found in salads, sautées, chips, and even shakes. This cabbage family crop has been around for years, but now it's a rock star. We've always known it’s nutritious, but with newer varieties and some good PR, it's sexy, too!

Michael Levine-Clark (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This spring flowering bulb was first brought to Europe from its native Middle East in the 1500s. It was mostly grown for the fall blooming species used for making an expensive cooking spice. However, most gardeners know it for the early blooming varieties that herald spring. It's the crocus.

Corydalis incisa
mio-spr (Flickr) / Creative Commons

While we plant spring flowering bulbs to naturalize in our meadows and woods, there are some naturally occurring ones that you can just help along. Corydalis is a tuberous plant that forms a carpet-like, ground cover of pink or white blooms each spring.

Bob Nichols / U.S. Department of Agriculture

It's March and time to start thinking about tomatoes.

A display at the 2008 Connecticut Flower and Garden Show.
Selbe Lynn (Flickr) / Creative Commons

We're all hunger this time of year for color and fragrance. What better way to satisfy that desire than to go to a flower show?

isaac'licious (Flickr) / Creative Commons

I love growing ethnic vegetables such as the vining Italian trombocino squash or small, hot South American peppers. But when I say Asian greens, many gardeners think of Chinese cabbage and bok choy. But there are other unusual Asian greens that add spice and beauty to a meal. Here are some of my favorites.

Ashbridge Studios (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Ahh, the big floral holiday is almost upon us. Valentine's Day is one of the biggest flower-giving days of the year. It's estimated more than 250 million roses are sold on this day alone, traveling from as far away as Chile. And while roses are thought of as the go-to Valentine's Day flower, there are other blooms that make nice alternatives to the rose.

Miroslav Becvar (Flickr) / Creative Commons

We've all heard about the plight of our pollinating insects. Whether it be honey bee population crashes or concerns about native bees, pollinators are struggling with diseases, climate change, and habitat loss.

Sarah-Rose (Flickr) / Creative Commons

More and more gardeners are having to deal with shade in their yards from buildings and large trees. But shade doesn't mean the end of gardening. Here's some basics on shade gardening.

JR P (Flickr) / Creative Commons

With an already long feeling winter -- and it's still January -- it's a good time to plan your flower gardens. One design that everyone loves is the English cottage garden.

Cordelia (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This time of year we're all starved for color indoors. But there's one houseplant that can brighten up your day and is found in grocery stores to home centers.

Carol Moshier / Creative Commons

With all this cold weather I find myself sitting by a fire with tea and homemade Italian pignoli cookies, while imagining the summer garden. But it's more than just dreaming. I'm placing my seed order and have found some new vegetable varieties to try.

scrappy annie (Flickr) / Creative Commons

With the holidays behind us, many are cleaning up after all the gift giving. Like many gifts, some are worth saving and others are better regifted. This is also true of those holiday plants. Let's look at those plants worth saving and those best composted.

Scott Jungling / Creative Commons

Happy winter solstice. It only gets brighter from now until summer! We're not the only ones who will enjoy the longer days. Herbs can be grown indoors to be added to recipes, drinks, and provide some greenery in winter. Here are the best ones to grow.

Alasam / Creative Commons

One of the fruits of winter is citrus. Unfortunately, we're relegated to buying them in grocery stores or ordering cases of oranges, grapefruits, and lemons from Florida or California.

Will Keightley / Creative Commons

You see the signs all around the state. Live Christmas trees for sale. They're beautiful, providing an old fashioned charm to our homes for the holidays. Some, such as balsam fir, have a woodsy smell, while others, such as blue spruce have a blue tinge.

Nannette Turner / Creative Commons

Oh, by gosh by golly, it's time for mistletoe and holly. Yes, holly shrubs are embedded in our holiday traditions and have a rich history.

Ken Slade / Creative Commons

It's a time of gratefulness and I've been appreciating oak trees lately.

Joshua Mayer / Creative Commons

With colder weather upon us, everyone is looking for a warm place to spend the winter, including some insects.

brx0 / Creative Commons

Although we've had an incredible autumn so far, the end is near. With temperatures predicted to dip into the low 20s soon, it's time to protect tender plants you want to save for next year.

woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

This time of year it's easy to pull out the remaining veggies, cut back your perennial flowers, clean out containers, clap your hands and say, “That's it, I'm done!” 

Michael/Hello Turkey Toe / Creative Commons

This extended warm, fall weather has me appreciating late blooming perennial flowers. Certainly we're all familiar with asters, sedums, and chrysanthemums, but one that has more recently shown up on my radar is the Montauk daisy. 

Jesse Palmer / Creative Commons

October is a time of apples, corn stalks, Halloween, and jack-o’-lanterns. Visit a local farm stand now to pick out your pumpkin for carving. But instead of making a jack-o’-lantern this year, try making a jack-o’-plantern?

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