Landscaping with Hanging Baskets – A Growing Trend

Decorative Conical Hanging BasketsNo matter your space, there are always places that need landscaping.  Maybe you have a long driveway, want to brighten up near a spa or pool area or you could have an enclosed entry – all of us with a house have at last one area that requires landscaping.

For these situations, hanging baskets with annuals may be your best bet. They’re colorful from the time they are planted until the time they are replaced.

Hanging baskets are a growing trend.  The demand for hanging baskets was abundant last year and there seems to be increasing interest again for 2016.  Many have replaced traditional plastic hanging pots with pots of different sizes and shapes to create interest.  These types of hanging baskets are constructed of heavy gauge steel wire, hand-welded, coated in black plastic and come complete with sturdy black chains.

Kinsman Garden’s hanging baskets come in several shapes, sizes and styles from Decorative to Old Fashioned. Continue Reading Landscaping with Hanging Baskets – A Growing Trend

Container Gardening: How to Succeed

Container Gardening is Easy

Novice gardeners should always start with Containers – because they are most likely to guarantee instant success.
Containers eliminate most gardening problems with weeds, slugs, marauding deer, groundhogs or rabbits.

Cascade Planter - Container Gardening

Cascade Planter: Grow a complete herb garden right outside your kitchen door on a space that’s only 2 ft square!

Grow Flowers Everywhere

Containers let you bring flowers close to wherever you relax outdoors – on patio, porch or poolside.

And the flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and adorable bumblebees.   Plus you can grow tasty herbs and fresh vegetables right outside your kitchen door. Continue Reading Container Gardening: How to Succeed

Want to see 65,000 Snow Geese and 3500 Tundra Swans?

Visit Pennsylvania’s Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area – in March

On a beautiful, sunny March morning, Michele and I visited Middle Creek and we were thrilled and overjoyed by the thousands of geese and swans that awaited us: resting in the fields and swimming in the lakes.

Every half hour or so, there would be an explosion of beating wings as another group of ten thousand snow white geese took to the air.

We’d like to share our pictures with you.

snow-geese-from-visitor-center

 

Seen from the visitor center, countless snow geese swam in the lake and blanketed the fields behind.

 

 

Continue Reading Want to see 65,000 Snow Geese and 3500 Tundra Swans?

Mason Bees: A Sign of Spring

Mason bees, sometimes known as Orchard Bees, are members of the genus Osmia.

Mason Bees emerging from their cocoons taken from their mud-sealed compartment for this photo.These bees look much like a harmless house fly emerging from their cocoons early in the spring and pollinating anything that is blooming. Female Masons are solitary, meaning each one makes her own nest and lays eggs instead of having a queen and worker bees. However, they seem to like the company of others of their kind and happily build their nests next to each other.

It would be lovely to think of female Mason bees lovingly tending to their own brood ……..but alas, they all die off in June, soon after laying their eggs.  So all their young hatch, grow up and emerge the next spring as ‘Orphans’, although they don’t seem too upset about it.

The Great Pollinator

Continue Reading Mason Bees: A Sign of Spring

Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens Collection

Heavy Duty Gardening Tools from Spear & Jackson

The Kew Gardens Collection of beautifully crafted English Garden Tools was designed in cooperation between Spear & Jackson of Sheffield England and the expert gardeners at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew near London.

Spear & Jackson traces its origins to 1760 in Sheffield, England.  S & J now produces a wide range of agricultural and gardening tools that are exported all over the world. These combine traditional production methods with the latest manufacturing technology.

The Royal, Botanic Gardens, Kew were originally laid out in 1759 on the South Bank of the River Thames, West of London.  250 years later, Kew occupies a pivotal role as a world leader in plant science and conservation.

Spear & Jackson Kew Garden Collection of Garden Tools

Greg Redwood, Head of Great Glasshouses and Horticultural Training, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, England

In recent years, Kew’s horticultural teams have worked closely with Spear & Jackson throughout the product development process, to design a range of digging, cultivating and garden cutting tools that are genuinely “Used and Recommended by Kew”.    Every purchase ensures a contribution to Kew’s vital work.

The Collection consists of over 40 tools, designed with durability, performance and comfort in mind.  They appeal to the keen gardener, landscaper and horticultural professional alike.

Cultivating Tools include stainless steel spades and forks in large and smaller versions. The mirror polished heads slip easily through the soil, resist rust and are easy to clean.

Continue Reading Spear & Jackson Kew Gardens Collection

Announcing the Winner of the $500 Kinsman Gift Certificate!

Bev Short of Raleigh, NC has won the $500 Kinsman Gift Certificate!

Before Lawn Edging

Lawn Edging Short Before Image

Bev wrote: “A few years ago, we had extensive landscaping done in our backyard. We were given a walkway and patio of Chapel Hill gravel. When it rained, the mulch washed onto the walkway and made a disgusting mess!”

Continue Reading Announcing the Winner of the $500 Kinsman Gift Certificate!

Natural Living Walls—An Inspiration For You?

My daily commute from home to office includes a narrow road along the Tohickon, a tributary of the Delaware River in southeast Pennsylvania. Rocky outcroppings face north and in May are clothed with nature’s vertical gardens of native ferns and columbines.

Tocky Outcropping

Rocky cliffs with ferns and columbine.

It is amazing how these plants can grow happily sideways, with meager soil and little water. Continue Reading Natural Living Walls—An Inspiration For You?

A Wild Tulip Surprise In Pennsylvania

I received a big and beautiful surprise on a recent afternoon. Unexpectedly, it occurred on a busy stretch of highway near Kinsman’s warehouse in Pipersville, Pennsylvania. As I drove away from our office, I was admiring the lovely golden dandelions in our freshly mowed grass. Then as I picked up speed, another patch of yellow caught my eye briefly, just briefly enough to make me say, “not dandelions—but TULIPS.”

Tulips by the Roadside
So I exited traffic, backtracked, and swung around to park on the shoulder. As soon as I got out of my car, there they were; hundreds of beautiful yellow tulips in a tiny meadow by a gushing culvert. All situated right below a sign that says: Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

As a tremendous fan of wild tulips, I know that all tulip species originate in Asia. Five-hundred years ago, the Dutch imported them from Turkey. The yellow tulips I was looking at on this Pennsylvania roadside were Tulipa sylvestris, the woodland tulip, which first became naturalized in Europe. Here they were flourishing in a place I’ve driven past thousands of times—and I had never noticed them until today.

Wild Tulips
I’ve since learned that these same wild tulips were naturalized at Monticello, so Thomas Jefferson must have known them. And perhaps John Bartram even had them in his Philadelphia garden. Goodness knows how they found this spot by the highway, right opposite a gas station, but a wild tulip colony this size must have been here 30 years or more.

Notice their gracefully curving stems and their delicate petals—they’re deliciously scented too. The scrap metal and the old tire merely emphasize their exquisite beauty, don’t you think? Has anyone else noticed wild tulips in their area?

Wild Tulips By A Culvert

Urban Gardens for Small Spaces

If you live in a city, you may only have a few square yards of outdoor space to call your own—perhaps a balcony or a sheltered bit of rooftop, a small patio or townhouse porch. But take heart, you can achieve garden success much more easily in the city. Deer, slugs, poison ivy and weeds may cause problems for your country cousins—but they won’t affect your beautiful citified plants.

So get ready to create a lush green oasis of flowers and foliage in the City. All you need is the right plant containers to grow your garden. You can use your walls, floor space, and railings—every foot of space you have. Here’s how: Continue Reading Urban Gardens for Small Spaces

What Birds Can Do For Your Garden: The Benefits of Attracting Birds

Garden birds are an essential part of your local ecosystem, and attracting them around your home can have many benefits. Certainly birds bring joy to the senses and have a calming and inspiring effect on their human observers. Birds are beautiful to have in your garden, their constant movement, songs and antics enliven the area and will constantly entertain you. However, welcoming birds to your backyard has many other more practical benefits and can significantly benefit your garden’s ecosystem. These functions include:

  • Insect Control. Many birds eat a variety of insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, spiders and other bugs that might get out of hand in a yard or garden. In fact, a single swallow can easily devour hundreds of bugs in an afternoon feast. Many species of birds, such as warblers and wrens, dine almost exclusively on insects, while others enjoy a varied diet consisting of seeds and fruits to augment their insect diet. Even hummingbirds are known to capture small insects such as gnats, to feed a high-protein diet to their young. Continue Reading What Birds Can Do For Your Garden: The Benefits of Attracting Birds