Arbor Day 2013 – A Time to Honor Trees

By: Susan Handjian, 4:48 PM GMT on April 26, 2013

Other holidays repose on the past.
Arbor Day proposes the future.
- J. Sterling Morton

In the United States, Arbor Day is typically celebrated on the final weekend of April. This year, it’s April 26. Cities throughout the United States and the rest of the world will celebrate the day by planting trees, and residents are encouraged to do the same. Many states observe Arbor Day at other times, but on the Arbor Day Foundation website, http://...


Buying Plants - Is Bigger Better?

By: Susan Handjian, 9:40 PM GMT on April 07, 2013

As all gardeners know, a trip to the nursery is full of enticements. Everything looks so lush and beautiful, and if a four inch pot of lavender looks nearly perfect, then a one gallon pot of the same plant must be even more desirable, right? Not necessarily. It’s perfectly understandable to think that bigger is better, but that may not always be the case with plants. There are some things to think through.

I have looked everywhere for an article from a ...


Some Thoughts on Gardening in Small Spaces

By: Susan Handjian, 9:15 PM GMT on March 17, 2013

Many gardeners with limited space experience frustration and disappointment because the plants they set their hearts on are just too big. Over the years I’ve heard so many of these laments in my plant selection classes that I now introduce the topic right at the beginning of my talk – small garden space does not mean you cannot have the plants you want. Gone are the days when your only option was to buy regular sized plants, then cut them back until they’re st...

Giving Soil the Respect it Deserves

By: Susan Handjian, 8:11 PM GMT on February 25, 2013

“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
-Wendell Berry

Soil is a largely overlooked and misunderstood part of the garden ecosystem, and as a result is often mist...

Gardening Pollution Drought

What's in a Name?

By: Susan Handjian, 11:44 PM GMT on February 02, 2013

What’s in a Name?

Before you turn away, hear me out on the advantages of learning the basics of the scientific naming of plants. Latinized botanical names may be hard to spell, hard to remember, and in some cases, impossible to pronounce. In my experience, almost nothing strikes as much fear in the hearts of "dirt" gardeners like me as facing the botanical names of plants. During the years that I taught plant identification, it pained me to see the dis...

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Garden Coach's Blog for Gardeners

About gardencoach

Susan Handjian is a garden educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a contributing editor of Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates.