Connecticut Garden Journal | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Connecticut Garden Journal

Credit Nathan Boltseridge / Creative Commons

Connecticut Garden Journal is a weekly program hosted by horticulturalist Charlie Nardozzi. Each week, Charlie focuses on a topic relevant to both new and experienced gardeners, including pruning lilac bushes, growing blight-free tomatoes, groundcovers, sunflowers, bulbs, pests, and more. Learn more about Charlie at gardeningwithcharlie.com, or reach him at cnardozzi124@gmail.com.

Hear Connecticut Garden Journal on Thursday afternoons on Connecticut Public Radio at 3:04 pm. 

Bardia Photography / Creative Commons

Growing up in the shadow of my Italian grandparents’ farm, I have fond memories of my relatives wandering the fields in spring harvesting dandelion greens.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Ahh spring, the flowers are blooming, asparagus is growing, and, oh yes, the lawn needs mowing. 

John Winkelman / Creative Commons

I've got a question for you. The top ten vegetables grown by home gardeners really haven't changed much in the last 20 years, except for one new comer. Any ideas? Think spicy.

Kristin Shoemaker / Creative Commons

Irises are embedded in our art and culture. Vincent Van Gough and Georgia O’Keefe loved to paint them. Mary Oliver and Robert Frost waxed poetic about them.

Catherine Bukowski / Creative Commons

In my book, Foodscaping, I talk a lot about growing trees not just for shade or flowering, but for their fruiting. 

Andrew Malone via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

This vegetable is one of the oldest known to mankind, dating back 10,000 years.

5u5 / Creative Commons

Gardeners are always looking for perennial flowers that will thrive in shade and provide color. I've got just the plant: coral bells, or heuchera.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Ahh sweet magnolias with memories of Grateful Dead concerts and warm, spring days. 

Stephen Melkisethia / Creative Commons

This vegetable has the sad reputation from ancient Greece of rendering males impotent. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

With spring just around the corner, gardeners across Connecticut are preparing to defend their gardens from unwanted insects, animals, and plants. But gardening experts said pesticides might not be the first thing to turn to as a deterrent. 

Craig / Creative Commons

This early spring perennial flower hails from Japan, but made its first appearance in the United States in the 1800s as a Valentine's Day gift.

Flickr / Creative Commons

This popular vegetable has been grown and eaten for 5000 years as a food and medicine.

John Tann / Creative Commons

One morning at breakfast, I found myself swatting flies. What, flies in winter? Then I saw they were coming from my amaryllis plant on the table. I love house plants, but so do the pests.

Liam Moloney (tir_na_nog) / Flickr

One legend has it this holiday descended from the ancient Roman fertility festival where boys and girls would draw names to see who would be paired for the coming year. The Catholic church attributed this day to a priest who secretly married young soldiers in defiance of the Roman emperor. His name was Saint Valentine.

WoodlyWonderWorks / Creative Commons

I'm always amazed at the price of arugula and baby greens in the grocery store. They sell sometimes for ten dollars a pound! A better way to eat healthy greens is to grow them yourself, and we're getting close to the day when we can start planting two of my favorites: arugula and mache.

Theophilos Papadopoulos via flickr.com / Creative Commons

Winter is a great time to sit down and plan the expansion of existing gardens or creation of new ones. But don't just think of growing gardens for yourself. 

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

Heirloom vegetables are generally any variety grown before World War II. Many are unique for their flavor, looks, and growth habits.

MJI Photos / Creative Commons

In winter it's hard for gardeners to get their fix of greenery. You can visit greenhouses such as at Yale's Marsh Botanic Garden, but it's nice to have your own house plants to create a warm, clean environment.

NatureNerd / Creative Commons

It's the new year, and time for all good gardeners to spend a little time perusing seed and plant catalogs for new varieties. 

Sonny Abesamis flickr.com/photos/enerva / Creative Commons

With the holidays behind us, gardeners are often looking for ways to keep their hands in the dirt. One old-fashioned growing technique is making a comeback and is worth trying, especially with kids.

Patrizia / Creative Commons

“I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." Yes, dreaming seems like the best we'll be able to do this Christmas.

A white Christmas in Connecticut normally has about a 50/50 chance of occurring, with less chance along the shore and more a likely chance in the Northwest hills. But this winter the chance is nil, and it won't even be cold! 

scrappy annie flickr.com/photos/14903992@N08/15723002693 / Creative Commons

Ho, ho, ho, it's time for holiday gift buying. Yes, let's talk about special gifts you can give the gardener in your family. If you're stuck for ideas, I've got a few to share. Are you listening, Santa?

Chris Coomber / Creative Commons

I was visiting my brother in Goshen recently. We were looking at the majestic blue spruce trees in his backyard that he planted as Christmas trees years ago, when his kids were younger.

They've created a backdrop for privacy, and have cherished memories for him and his kids.

Maja Dumat flickr.com/photos/blumenbiene/11692859806 / Creative Commons

This flower is named after a shepherdess who had unrequited love for a gardener.

Benjamin Chun flickr.com/photos/benchun / Creative Commons

The holidays are coming up quickly and as we entertain family and friends, it's great to have a colorful centerpiece for the table. While traditional cornucopias are nice, this year consider creating a living succulent centerpiece.

Kathleen Waters Photography flickr.com/photos/kathleenwaters / Creative Commons

As we try to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, laws now mandate the recycling of plastics, paper, and yard products such as leaves and grass clippings.

Composting is one the best ways to reuse grass clippings and leaves to benefit your plants. But we should also be composting food scraps from the kitchen as well.

tracy benjamin / Creative Commons

The Grandpa Tucker poem below pretty much sums up how many people feel about Brussels sprouts.

Eric Hunt flickr.com/photos/ericinsf/28907735 / Creative Commons

With the emphasis on pumpkins, apples, and chrysanthemums at this time of year, it's easy to forget those subtropical bulbs that have faded with the cold weather. 

Susy Morris / Creative Commons

Being an Italian-American from Waterbury, Connecticut who likes to cook, I eat a lot of garlic. Luckily for me, growing garlic is almost as easy as eating it. 

Shandi-lee Cox flickr.com/photos/shandilee/8983279962 / Creative Commons

Fall is not only for pumpkins, corn stalks, and colorful leaves. It's also bulb planting time. 

Pages