Category Archives: Uncategorized

Snapdragons are an underused cool-season flower


Nearly everyone who desires fall color in their yards in eastern North Carolina plants pansies and mums. A few grow ornamental cabbage and kale. They’re pretty, but I like variety, and snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) can provide a wide array of … Continue reading

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Epsom salts are an old time and probably over-rated remedy


Over the years Epsom salt has been recommended to treat so many ailments it is mind boggling. For generations this simple chemical composed of magnesium sulfur and oxygen has been used on humans, livestock and plants. Some gardeners swear by … Continue reading

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Does anyone remember horehound candy?


When I was young I remember eating this strange hard candy. A few of my elderly newspaper customers usually had it around. Whenever I had a cough, this one lady always gave me some. You’re supposed to suck on the … Continue reading

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Sometimes beauty is only skin deep


There are many plants in our landscape that we don’t want, at least in that location and we call them weeds. A major one in soybean and other crops is one from that same bean family. It’s called sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia). … Continue reading

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My problems with cell phones


This is not my typical column, but anyone who knows me knows I don’t carry a cell phone. I have numerous reasons for not totally joining the 21st century. Some may not make any sense to anyone. I used to … Continue reading

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Water Hemlock is a common poisonous native plant


We’ve all heard the story of how Socrates was forced to drink a potion containing poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). All parts of it are toxic, and the plant is relatively common in many places including this region. Plants are deathly … Continue reading

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Cattail pollen is a fleeting delicacy


A few years back I wrote a column about the survival uses of cattails (Typha latifolia). There are many. This time I want to focus only on cattail pollen. It has been shedding now for over a week and if … Continue reading

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