Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.
New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
Get your tickets now for a peek into some of the most amazing private gardens in America. This one-of-a-kind private garden tour provides a great opportunity to gather ideas, exchange gardening secrets, and get inspired.
Known as Open Days, this private garden tour was started in 1995 by the Garden Conservancy.
Gardens are located in 21 states including the District of Columbia. There are more than 300 gardens featured and each region offers its own special variety of gardens.
All you need is a little time and a ticket to participate in the self-guided garden tours. A listing of the Open Days gardens and dates for each garden will be listed in the Open Days Directory, posted on the Garden Conservancy’s website or you can call 1-888-842-2442.
A bit more information: This program was started by the Garden Conservancy to create awareness and help support their mission of preserving America’s gardens. For more information on Open Days and the Garden Conservancy visit https://www.gardenconservancy.org
How many evergreens do I need to screen the view of my neighbor’s house? This is a common question raised by gardeners across the country.
And even though arborvitae, junipers, and other evergreens provide great year round screening, consider creating something with more variety and seasonal interest.
Start by determining exactly what views need to be screened. Evaluate the views from inside your house looking out. Then move outdoors and try standing and sitting in areas you want to create some privacy. Then consider your neighbors’ view looking into your home and garden. Several smaller strategically placed gardens can provide the needed screening or privacy.
Consider using ornamental grasses, perennials, and flowering shrubs along with the upright evergreens. Mixed borders are more interesting and much easier to maintain if a plant or two dies.
A bit more information: Consider annual and perennial vines on decorative trellises and artwork for narrow spaces. These can provide quick screening as a short-term or long-term solution.
White flecks on your mugo pine does not mean the house painter was careless. It’s more likely that your evergreen is infested with pine needle scale.
The white flecks you see are hard shells produced by the adult pine needle scale.
Timing is critical for successful control. Their hard shell protects the adults and overwintering eggs from predators, the environment and pesticides. Apply insecticidal soap, Neem, light weight horticulture oil or another eco-friendly insecticide labeled for controlling this pest when the immature shell-less scales are active. This coincides with the bloom time of vanhouette spirea, often called bridal wreath, or as the flower buds on common lilac begin to swell in the spring. Repeat when the Annabelle hydrangeas bloom in the summer. As always read and follow label directions.
A bit more information: A healthy plant can tolerate small populations, but continued attacks by this insect can weaken and ruin the appearance of your pine. If you decide to treat, make two applications of an eco-friendly insecticide 7 to 10 days apart for both the spring and summer treatment. Or kill the overwintering eggs by applying lime sulphur in late winter when the plants are still dormant. Be careful as the lime sulfur can damage some plants and stain nearby surfaces.
Make room in your landscape for Northwind Switchgrass the 2014 perennial plant of the year.
Roy Diblik of Northwind Perennial Farm selected this cultivar from seed he collected along railroad tracks in South Elgin, IL. He noticed the unique growth habit of one particular plant and began trialing, propagating and finally introducing Northwind Switchgrass in 1992.
It was the upright growth habit and wide steel blue leaves that caught his attention. The 5 feet tall switchgrass is a clump forming grass perfect as a screen, vertical accent or filler in mixed beds.
The plant is topped by fine-textured flowers that remind me of fireworks in late summer. The yellow flowers turn into beige seedheads and the plant has an attractive golden yellow fall color. This sturdy plant remains upright throughout the winter, providing great winter interest.
A bit more information: Northwind Switchgrass is hardy in zones 4 to 10. This fine textured beauty is a nice addition to natural, informal, and formal landscapes. It is seldom bothered by deer.
No fruit and all leaves is a common complaint of gardeners new to growing apples. Fortunately, with a little time and adjustments in care you will soon be rewarded with fruit.
Patience is the first step. The first few years after planting, your apple tree spends its energy on developing a healthy root system. This is good for the longevity and productivity of the plant.
You will need to start pruning young trees to develop a strong and productive structure. Consider using the central or modified central leader system. You will have a single trunk with several large branches spiraling up the trunk.
Train 5 to 7 main branches for dwarf trees and 7 to 9 for standard size apple trees. Dwarf trees should start blooming and be allowed to develop fruit about 4 or 5 years, while standard trees take a bit longer, 6 or 7 years, after planting.
A bit more information: Avoid excess pruning and over fertilization that promotes leaf and stem growth and discourages flowering and fruiting.
Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift for that special someone? Give a gift that brings joy and beauty year after year.
Bleeding Heart was originally brought to America as a Valentine’s Day gift. The new variety, Valentine, provides a twist on this long time favorite. The bright red flowers have white tips and dangle from deep red arching stems in late spring.
Keep the plants blooming into early summer with ample moisture and moderate temperatures. And don’t forget to cut a few flowers to enjoy indoors. These last for several weeks.
Give this plant room to grow. It forms a 24 to 36 inch mound. And don’t be surprised when the plant begins to fade in mid-summer. It’s normal and will return next spring. You may need to give your Valentine an IOU and deliver this present once the plants arrive at your favorite garden center.
A bit more information: The leaves on Valentine bleeding heart emerge with a tinge of purple and then turn green, providing a nice contrast to the blooms.
Add a little fun and history to this year’s vegetable garden and grow some Abe Lincoln tomatoes.
This heirloom tomato was introduced in Illinois back in 1923 by the Buckbee Seed Company. Abe Lincoln is an indeterminate type tomato, meaning it continues to grow throughout the season until frost kills the plant or a gardener prunes off the growing tip.
This slicing tomato can be found on plant recommendation lists of Universities across the country. Abe Lincoln tomatoes have good disease resistance and produce medium size bright red tomatoes with a rich slightly acid flavor.
You may need to start your own plants from seed or find a local grower or hobbyist that specializes in heirloom vegetables. Start these and other tomato seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the outdoor night temperatures are hovering at 50 to 55 degrees.
A bit more information: With proper care you will be harvesting Abe Lincoln tomatoes in less than 80 days. Speed up the process by keeping the plants warm on chilly days and nights. Cover plantings with floating row covers like ReeMay, frost blanket or garden fabric. Try cloches or wall-o-waters to cover individual plants.
Now is a great time to plan for additions to your landscape. And as you scour the catalogues and read plant tags you will often see trees rated as fast, medium or slow growers.
These are average growth rates, but just like a plant’s mature size it can vary with local climate, growing conditions and the care you provide. A slow growth rate means the plant usually grows 12 inches or less each year. Medium growers add 13 to 24 inches each year, while fast growing trees grow 25 inches or more in one year.
The American Conifer Society (ACS) has classified cone bearing plants by their size in any direction (height or spread) and growth rate. They range from Miniature (M) conifers that grow less than 1 inch a year and reach less than 1 foot size at 10 years of age to large (L) conifers that grow more than 12 inches a year and are greater than 15 feet tall at ten years of age.
A bit more information: The other ACS growth rates and classifications include dwarf (D) conifers that grow more than 1 inch but less than 6 inches a year and reach sizes of 1 to 6 feet by 10 years of age. Intermediate (I) conifers grow more than 6 and less than 12 inches a year and are more than 6 feet but less than 15 feet in size.
The lovely and graceful weeping willow has long been a part of our landscapes. And, although it is the birth tree for those born between March 1st and 10th, think twice before planting this beauty in your backyard.
As birth trees go, the weeping willow represents beauty filled with a bit of melancholy. Individuals with this birth tree are also said to be tasteful, dreamers, restless and have good intuition.
Today the golden weeping willow is considered the standard and the one most of us know as weeping willow. This fast growing tree is hardy in zones 2 through 9, develops a stout trunk and is covered with long pendulous branches. It is tolerant of moist to wet soils and is often found growing along ponds and streams.
This large tree is perfect for wet areas where other trees fail and where the leaf, stem and fluffy seedpod litter and aggressive roots are not a problem.
A bit more information: The golden weeping willow can grow 50 to 80 feet tall with a broad canopy. If your yard is too small or you don’t want the litter issue, visit this graceful beauty in a nearby park or natural setting.
Hostas are a favorite of many gardeners. All the new introductions allow you to create a fresh look with an old time favorite. But with so many choices it is helpful to have a bit of direction.
The American Hosta Growers wanted to help take the guess work out of hosta shopping. Each year, starting in 1996, they select an outstanding hosta variety that makes a good garden plant throughout the country, is readily available, and retails for about $15 a plant. This year’s winner is Abiqua Drinking Gourd.
The large blue-green leaves are cupped and have an interesting seer sucker texture. These attractive thick leaves have good slug resistance.
White flowers top the plants in early summer, brightening the shade and providing nectar for the hummingbirds. Plants are hardy in zones 3 to 9 and grow 18 to 24 inches tall and 36 inches wide.
A bit more information: Consider adding a few or all of the past winners to the shady parts of your landscape. Use them as a groundcover or in combination with ferns, bugbane and other shade tolerant perennials. Visit the American Hosta Growers Association website for a list of and information about past winners.
Those with birthdays between February 4th and 8th have poplar as their birth tree. They’re said to be artistic, reliable partners, organized and know how to make life comfortable.
As a tree most poplars are fast growing and moisture loving. This group includes the quaking aspen (Populustremuloides) best known for its leaves that flutter in the wind and turn a beautiful yellow in fall.
The cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is also a member of this family. It produces cottony seeds that cover the ground like snow in the summer. As a result many municipalities have banned this tree.
The Lombardy poplar was brought to North America with the colonists. This fast growing upright poplar was used for hedging and screening. Unfortunately, a deadly canker disease has limited its use.
So choose your poplar tree wisely or purchase your early February birthday friend an item made from poplar wood.
A bit more information: The quaking aspen is the most widely distributed tree in North America. The National Champion is located in Coronado National Forest in AZ. It was 130 feet tall and 36 feet wide when last measured.
If you were born in February you have two birth flowers, the violet and the iris.
Both are perfect flowers for this month filled with messages of love for Valentine’s Day. The violet is a symbol of love and fertility while the iris shares its name with the messenger of the Gods and Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. And an appropriate name as the iris comes in a wide array of colors.
Most violets thrive in shade and moist soil. There are many varieties with purple, blue, white, cream, yellow or a combination of colored flowers. Select carefully as some are vigorous, escape the garden where planted and become a weed.
Most iris prefer full sun and moist well-drained soils. Sizes vary from the short 4 inch crested iris to the 4 foot tall bearded iris. The Japanese iris requires abundant moisture during the growing season while the bearded iris must have adequate drainage.
A bit more information: Try growing crested iris (Iris cristata) as a seasonal groundcover. It is hardy in zones 3 to 9, grows 4 to 6 inches tall, and performs well in partial shade with well-drained soil.
Miley Pastes Two on for Joan Jett
People wondered why Miley Cyrus was asked to induct Joan Jett into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Sunday night.
Afterwards, they were just wondering what happened to the rest of her top.
In typical outlandish Miley fashion, she wore a top with the breast areas removed - maybe designed to be missing, who knows.
And to cover up her sensitive areas, a pair of pink heart-shaped pasties with a J on them.
J J - for Joan Jett, get it?
Here's a full recap of the Miley Joan moments.
Jay Z's new streaming music service Tidal launched about a month ago.
Last week, they threw the company's chief executive officer overboard - one of 25 people laid off.
After a month.
The official word is that the company is "streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience."
A "handful of positions" were eliminated, allowing the company to refocus on departments that need support and to "cut redundancies."
Word is that Jay Z and other of the service's top names have been personally calling subscribers to thank them.
That doesn't sound desperate at all...
Tony Romo Continues to Struggle at Home
Bad enough that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo struggles year after year under center for America's Team.
On Sunday, he showed up at the Academy of Country Music Awards show to introduce Dierks Bentley.
But before he got to that, he had to do a little schtick with hosts Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.
Watch the video, and tell me you wish you hadn't.
The crowd loved the ball jokes, deflated and otherwise, which just proves that the beer was flowing in Dallas Sunday night...
Most Excellent Photobomb Surprise
Imagine you're an 8-year-old kid taking an official school photograph.
And imagine the photographer showing you the picture on the screen of his camera.
There's a guy in the shot behind you, and he looks like...
That's exactly what happened to Joshua Bass when his dad returned from a year-long deployment overseas.
Dad photobombed Joshua's picture, and watch what happened...
ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos
Holy Parody, Batman!
You knew it would happen.
Following the less-than-impressive drop of the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer over the weekend, you knew that folks would start having their fun with it.
This one happened sooner than I thought it would though.
An enterprising YouTuber took the audio of the real trailer, and mashed it up with video from the original Superman movie starring Christopher Reeve and the old Batman TV series starring Adam West.
And it is funny. Super funny.
Scientists have found a new species of frog in Costa Rica: the Glass Frog.
It's an amazing little amphibian, with a translucent belly that allows one to see its internal organs.
Of course, folks in the mainstream media have to dumb it down, so what does this new frog resemble.
Why Kermit, the Muppet frog, of course.
And leave it to Matt Lauer to put the icing on the dumb-down cake: "How convenient to be able to see all your organs, you know what's missing..."
But Can She Sing Country?
The Academy of Country Music Awards were presented in Dallas last night at the AT&T Stadium.
So many great performances.
But this one had me shaking my head a little.
Country legends Rascal Flatts teamed up with pop star Christina Aguilera.
Both wonderful acts in their own rights.
But together? I don't know. Something doesn't seem quite right.
What do you think?
Amazing Baseball Improvisation
Here's something you don't see every day.
Better yet, here's something you hardly ever see.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester fielded a line drive back to him, and the ball got caught in the webbing of his glove.
Rather than fight with it, he took the glove off and tossed it and the ball to the first baseman.
The first baseman dropped his own mitt, caught Lester's, never dropped the ball, and the runner was out.
Check it out.
Let It Go, Senator!
This is sort of cool - pun unintended.
Senator Pat Roberts was questioning a witness at a Senate hearing on Thursday, and in the middle of the testimony, his cell phone rang.
His ringtone? "Let It Go," from Disney's Frozen.
The senator earned a few chuckles as he turned off the phone and told the witness to just "let it go."
Funny stuff... Check out the video, and the senator's follow-up tweet.
Somebody had to tell the Obama Administration to "Let it go." #forthegrandkids
— Pat Roberts (@SenPatRoberts) April 16, 2015
There's been a lot of buzz about the Batman v Superman movie, especially centered on Ben Affleck's casting as the Dark Knight.
But if the recently leaked and then released trailer for the movie is any indication, maybe Ben Affleck's not a problem.
I've watched the trailer a half-dozen times, hoping to get as excited about it as with others released recently for other films.
But I can't. It looks dark and disturbing.
Isn't the job of a trailer to help make the film look the best it possibly can?
The movie's not coming out for another year or so, so maybe they'll have the chance to fix things up...
What's This Ad For Again?
Okay, I get it.
It's an ad for a woman's personal grooming project.
But it takes a couple of times to figure it out.
And upon reflection, is that the best area to introduce to a power tool?
Meanwhile, I might get one to handle my unruly Bonsai bushes...
Where Did I Put Those Beanie Babies?
You're walking through a yard sale and you spot a purple Beanie Baby.
Remember those little stuffed animals from the 90s that were all the rage? People collected them in the hopes that some day, they'd be worth much more than the face value.
That didn't pan out, so they ended up in bins and bags in basements all around the world.
Lots of them pop up in yard sales.
So a couple in Cornwall, England spotted a purple one, and recognized it as a fairly rare one - a Princess Di Beanie Baby.
He grabbed it up, paying about $15 for it. And when he researched it, he found it was one of only 100 made, and could be worth up to $93,000.
Now where did I put those Beanie Babies?
The All-Right is Strong with this One!
This is just too good not to share.
The internet is going nuts with everyone's reaction to the latest trailer for the new Star Wars film.
And then comes this mash-up, putting a scene from Interstellar together with the trailer, making it look like Matthew McConaughey is watching and reacting to it.
And it's amazing.
Ellen vs. Matt Escalates
We're at war, people.
Well, it's an early morning versus daytime war, between Matt Lauer and Ellen DeGeneres.
The most recent salvo is Matt's.
This comes after Ellen started jazzing up Matt's mornings with some racy Photoshopped clips.
Matt retaliated by filling Ellen's car with 20,000 ping pong balls.
Ellen sent her viewers to Rockefeller Plaza to test for Matt's tickle points.
And now, Matt paid to have billboards erected around Los Angeles, showing Ellen as a plumber, butt-crack and all.
Funny stuff. Even Ellen thinks so.
No telling what will be next though...
Look what I saw on my way to work today. Good one, @MLauer. #MattsRevenge pic.twitter.com/8QCUw5wqJM
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) April 16, 2015
Referee Trip & Fall Makes Highlight Reel
It's always funny to see someone take a fall - as long as the only thing hurt is a guy's ego, right?
The other night, NBA referee Joey Crawford took a center-court face-plant during the Toronto Raptors home game against the Charlotte Hornets.
It's tough to tell what he did - probably tripped over his own feet - but he did make a nice headfirst slide.
What better way to watch than with a continuous Vine, right?
Scary Road to the CMAs
Lady Antebellum's singer Hillary Scott was on her tour bus, heading to Dallas for a week of shows culminating in the Country Music Awards this Sunday night.
On Interstate 30 in Garland, a tire blew out and caused a fire.
Everyone got out safely, but Hillary lost many of her personal belongings.
Scary moments indeed. Glad to hear everyone's okay though.
50 Shades of... Wait! What Did You Do to Your Hair?
Dakota Johnson is between films right now.
She completed 50 Shades of Grey and was just about everywhere on the promotional tour.
And the word in the industry is that the sequel will start shooting fairly soon.
So what's up with the new haircut?
What has become her trademark Anastasia Steele long brown hair is now a bob.
Boom. Let's hope she had permission.
Check out the report from MM1 News. The read by the robotic and accented voice makes it almost hilarious.
The Force Continues to Awake...
Another official trailer is out for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, coming to theaters in December.
In this one, Luke narrates over a variety of images - "The force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too."
No one's saying who that you is - but I guess that's why they call this a teaser.
It's great to see Han and Chewbacca ever so briefly at the end.
I'm ready. How about you?
What's Going On at ESPN?
Seems like the folks who work at ESPN need to learn to keep their thoughts to themselves.
You'll remember Keith Olberman got in some trouble not too long ago for tweets he made about Penn State and a fundraising effort there.
Now ESPN reporter Britt McHenry got herself suspended for launching a tirade against a tow company's employee.
It's pretty nasty - if you want to watch it, you'll have to go to this link - but don't do it at work.
Britt apologized, but too little too late. She'll be off the air for a week.
Others are calling for her to be let go entirely. What do you think?
In an intense and stressful moment, I allowed my emotions to get the best of me and said some insulting and (cont) http://t.co/Wx37XF2QtM
— Britt McHenry (@BrittMcHenry) April 16, 2015
The Newest Avenger
Ellen DeGeneres breaks another Hollywood secret.
This time, it's all about the newest Avenger - the Honker.
Okay, it's Ellen, inserting herself into the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron as a joke-telling horn-honking superhero standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk and the rest of the gang.
This could make the movie even more interesting, don't you think?
Hard Enough to Play Real Drums...
It takes years to learn to play the drums. Even longer if you want to play them well.
Imagine how much more difficult it must be to play the drums well if you're a marionette.
Well, if you're the puppeteer manipulating the marionette, and the marionette is playing a drum set made of tin cans.
And the marionette has to keep up with Rush's classic "Tom Sawyer."
Impossible, you say? Think again and witness... It's pretty cool what's happening in this video.
Ah, Yes, the Buckingham Banana Peel!
The royal guards stationed outside Buckingham Palace in London are famous for their crisp movements and fierce focus.
Tourists try all the time to get them to laugh - even just to crack a smile - to no avail.
Which makes what happened on Tuesday even funnier.
During a routine changing of the guard, one soldier somehow managed to slip and fall while shifting to one side.
He got up quickly, but he was smiling a bit.
He stopped very quickly, but it was caught on someone's cell phone - of course - and now it's gone viral.
Have a look...
Carpool Karaoke, the Latest Craze
James Corden is starting off strong in his new gig on CBS's Late Late Show.
Strong guests, strong performances, and strong skits.
Like this one, where he's carpooling with Jennifer Hudson.
When songs come on the radio, they have no choice but to sing along, now do they?
And when they pull in to a drive-through, why not let Jennifer Hudson sing the order for you?
All that and more. Funny stuff.
Josh & Kelly Team Up for Phantom Duet
If you're a fan of musical theater, you're of course familiar with Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera and one of its more beautiful tunes, "All I Ask of You."
It's a haunting tune, really, and somewhat operatic.
Enter Josh Groban and his new album, "Stages" - his salute to musical theater.
He tackles the role of Raoul, opposite Kelly Clarkson's Christine.
This is not your typical Phantom, and there's not a thing wrong with that.
Give a listen.
The Epitome of TMI
Okay, maybe E! is starting to reach on its reality shows.
Their show, Botched, features plastic surgery nightmares.
And last night's season premiere focused on Tiffany Pollard, the self-professed queen of reality TV.
The star of VH1's Flavor of Love decided to get breast augmentation surgery when she hit the big time - no pun intended - inspired by Dolly Parton.
She's none too happy about the outcome, and of course, being the queen of reality TV, she doesn't mind sharing her story.
I'm sort of wishing she hadn't...