More than 35 years after being established, The Living Desert in Palm Desert, Calif., is the only American zoo and garden dedicated solely to interpreting and conserving the worldâ€™s deserts. Itâ€™s also the only zoological and botanical park that specializes in just one entire ecosystem. Itâ€™s no wonder The Living Desert is ranked one of the most unique institutions in the United States.
Chandor Gardens, located about 25 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas, in the city of Weatherfordâ€™s historic district, combines ancient Chinese architecture with formal English garden elegance. The 3.5-acre estate includes fountains, grottos and a waterfall.
Besides being a time to start fresh and resolve to do or not do certain things, to gardeners, this time of year means the mailbox will be brimming with new nursery catalogs. It also means that the winning plants from All-America Selections (AAS) have been released. And this year, AAS – an organization based in Downers Grove, Ill. – has selected four winning plants for 2007.
Poinsettias, amaryllis, Christmas cactus, pines and spruce are all plants we use to decorate our homes for the holidays. Their colors provide a sense of joy during a time when the outdoor garden is drab, if not dormant.
Amaryllis bulb production has more than doubled worldwide since the 1990s, and the colorful, large-flowered native of the southern hemisphere has become North Americaâ€™s flower of choice to take the gray chill out of winter.
Almanac planting dates for December are:Dec. 1: A poor time to plant.Dec. 2-3: Fine for planting beans, peppers, cucumbers, melons and other aboveground crops where climate is suitable.
The calendar might say winter doesnâ€™t start until Dec. 21, but in my garden, the season starts this month.
There is a traditional saying that Chinese gardens are built, not planted. These types of gardens are filled with mosaic pavement, pavilions, bridges and benches. The Margaret Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden reflects this philosophy faithfully, yet within its walls, there also lie lush, beautiful flowers, plants and foliage.