Weed or Wildflower?

Congratulations Jim Wales, Julie N., Sandy Masingillo, Cindy Menn and Martha Wilson! Ya’ll are the winners of the Weed or Wildflower Giveaway. Check you inbox for an email!

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a comment. What a great response! We’ve got another giveaway coming in Monday’s newsletter so be sure you’re subscribed.

Grape Hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) is a spring flowering bulb that will easily naturalize. In Arkansas the blooms pop up in lawns along with wild violets, henbit and spring starflower. It’s said that a weed is just a plant growing in the wrong place. So what do you think about grape hyacinths? Weed or wildflower? Tell me your thoughts in the comments section below for a chance to win one of my Bulb Garden decks.

So tell me is this a weed or a wildflower?

Grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum) naturalize readily.

*Winners are selected by P. Allen Smith and his staff based on the content of the comment.

We’ve got lots of giveaways coming this year. If you don’t win today, check back for more opportunities! To give everyone a chance contest winners are limited to one win every 3 months.

Twigs, Barks and Berries

The Farmer’s Almanac had it right when they predicted a mild winter for Arkansas. We’ve only had a handful of nights below freezing and just one dusting of snow. That’s quite a difference from last year’s numerous winter storms.

This year’s more peaceful weather gives me more opportunities to be outdoors enjoying the quiet beauty in the garden.

The sister oaks. I love the bare, dark branches against the grey sky.

One of my favorite winter shrubs is Ilex decidua, a deciduous holly.

Red stems of 'Princess' peach trees.

I leave ornamental grasses uncut through winter for texture and wildlife. I'll cut them back in early February.

Arborvitae offers color throughout winter.

Can you hear me?

After several years of making guest appearances on radio shows around the country and LOVING it I finally have my own show! Even with the TV shows, books, website, blog and now the new YouTube channel — there is still so much to talk about. What better place than radio to extend the conversation?

Each week I’ll welcome guests, answer questions and chat about everything regarding today’s lifestyle, from garden to the table and beyond!

So join me every Saturday 4 – 5 p.m. CST for an hour of home and garden tips and stories from the Garden Home Retreat and on the road.

Three Ways to Listen to The P. Allen Smith Show

On the Radio – KARN 102.9 FM 4 – 5 p.m. CST every Saturday

Online – http://www.karnnewsradio.com/ 4 – 5 p.m. CST every Saturday

Podcast – www.pallensmith.com/radio Latest broadcasts are posted every Tuesday following the show.

Get to Cleaning

One downside to living on a farm is I track in a lot of dirt. Everything in my house collects dust; I mean everything including my houseplants. Aside from looking grungy, a dirty plant can’t breathe because the pores in the leaves clog up. The solution is simple; give them a bath.

For small to medium plants you can just wash the leaves by wiping with a sponge or cloth soaked in lukewarm water. Add a little soap if the dust is really encrusted, but make sure you rinse it off. You can also wash houseplants at the sink. Hold your hands over the top of the pot to keep the soil in, and gently wash the foliage.

Or how about a shower? You can put large plants in the shower, but be easy with the water pressure. You don’t want to damage the leaves.

Now these techniques don’t apply to all plants. Plants with fuzzy leaves like African violets resent having water on their foliage. Use a dry brush to remove the dust.

Now remember whenever you are using these techniques involving soap, be sure you get it all rinsed off.

The next time you’re giving your plants a little TLC; don’t forget to give them a bath.


Plant a Tree!

Is it really time for New Year’s resolutions again? I’ve got one to add to your list. Plant a tree.

While January isn’t the ideal time to plant a tree you can start planning and commit to plant a tree this spring or fall. Stop in at your local independent garden center to learn about suitable trees for your region and the best planting time. If you don’t have room in your garden, consider planting a tree at a hospital, school, or nursing home. Get your neighborhood association together to plant trees around the community.

And there’re just as many reasons as there are places to plant trees. I can’t think of a better way to honor or remember someone, or celebrate a special occasion, than by planting a tree. It’s because trees play such an important role in our environment, and our daily lives.

This New Year make a resolution to plant a tree. And stick to it! It’s a gift for future generations.