Category Archives: Uncategorized

Mexican petunia is almost as beautiful as it is invasive


I have a thick stand of Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana or Ruellia simplex) next to a couple of the greenhouses at school. The plants have been established for close to 20 years. This past week we replaced the plastic covering … Continue reading

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Pineapples can be nutritious, delicious, medicinal, and ornamental


I remember the first time I ate fresh pineapple. Before that, I’d only eaten canned. It was wonderful and I had a whole new appreciation for it. I gained a similar experience after eating fresh grilled tuna for the first … Continue reading

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Wet weather can have an impact any time of year


This has been a mild winter. We haven’t had any snow or at least none that has stuck to the ground. We also haven’t had a night below 20 that I recall. That’s a far cry from last winter. Trees … Continue reading

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Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti can be confusing.


These flat-leaved plants with pretty and normally red flowers are everywhere during the holiday season. Most folks see one and call it a Christmas cactus. Actually, many are Thanksgiving cacti. The true Thanksgiving cactus (Schlumbergera truncata) usually blooms earlier and … Continue reading

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Food lover’s holiday


There’s no holiday that stimulates the palate quite like Thanksgiving. Oh, I know food shouldn’t be our reason for looking forward to it. Despite the problems our citizens face we still have plenty to be thankful for, and I hope … Continue reading

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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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