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Plant preferences

Plants prefer water at room temperature. Fill a gallon jug of water and store it under your sink until time to water your indoor plants.

Source: Knight Ridder

Shards as markers

Recycle shards of clay pots by using them as plant markers. Simply use a waterproof, felt-tip marker to write the names of individual plants. Inverted small clay pots can also mark where bulbs are planted, alerting you not to dig under the marker.

Source: Scripps Howard News Service


The cutting edge

Finishing edges for your flower bed is now easier with the EdgeALL, manufactured by V&B Manufacturing of Arkansas. The 13-pound tool can cleft through soil alongside edging in the landscape. It also works for such jobs as laying walks and stepping stones, prepping for a deck installation, installing a shallow-drip irrigation system and general foundation laying.

The working end of the EdgeALL is a flat, narrow 8-inch blade. Its square shape creates a straight edge on the sides and bottom of trenches and edging.

The suggested retail price is $35. Available at Ace and True Value hardware stores. For details, go to

Source: Knight Ridder


Occasional excerpts from fertile sources.

Gardens abroad

From: French Dirt, The Story of a Garden in the South of France, by Richard Goodman, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $13.

"I don't think it's so easy to make a garden too small, but it's very easy to make a garden too big. This I did, and magnificently. After Jules had come with his tractor and cleared the land, ripping the earth apart and revealing all its lusciousness, I began to think about what to plant. There was still lots of work to be done _ the raking and harrowing _ before I could actually put the seeds and plants into the ground, but nevertheless I felt I could begin to make some decisions. I avoided any barrier to my garden fantasies with the simple solution of not excluding anything. "Everything is permitted, nothing is forbidden.' That was the motto of my garden in St. Sebastien de Caisson.' "


If you can't tell a scape from a sepal, go to The Daylily Dictionary. There, you get hundreds of definitions, specific to day lilies, but of use to any serious gardener.