A path through Rick Darke's garden.
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Gardenwise: Seeing In The Garden

Pictured Above: A path through Rick Darke's garden. | Rick Darke photo There’s an old gardening adage that you should never make drastic changes to your garden the first year you move into a place, but this adage is equally true if you are just taking a look at the land surrounding a house you’ve lived in for years with an eye toward gardening for the first time. Paying close
A scene from Rick Darke’s garden, part of the book “The Living Landscape,” co-authored with backyard habitat guru Doug Tallamy.
Community Gardenwise

CCE Spring Garden School Grows

Pictured Above: A scene from Rick Darke’s garden, part of the book “The Living Landscape,” co-authored with backyard habitat guru Doug Tallamy. An annual tradition for over 30 years, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Master Gardeners Spring Gardening School has sprouted this spring into a three-part package, “Spring Garden Trio,” which includes a virtual keynote program, the annual spring gardening school and in-person workshops on three Saturdays in Spring
A Canadian owlet caterpillar.
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Gardenwise: Make a Home for Nature’s Web

Pictured Above: A Canadian owlet caterpillar. Are you overwhelmed by the problems facing the planet and unsure where to start fixing them? It turns out that right in your backyard is one of the best places to start, and this is the perfect time of year to set your trowel to work. This year, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s virtual Spring Gardening School, held on the Spring Equinox, was
Spring Gardening School Keynote Speaker Doug Tallamy | Rob Cardillo photo
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Spring Gardening School Focuses on Sustainability

Pictured Above: Spring Gardening School Keynote Speaker Doug Tallamy | Rob Cardillo photo Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s annual Spring Garden School has been an opportunity for the past 30 years for people who love gardening to go back to school to learn more from local Master Gardeners. This year, for the first time, the now all-virtual program will be focused exclusively on sustainable gardening methods. “We have a
Mesclun greens about to take off.
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Don’t Panic. Your New Vegetable Garden Is About to Explode

“I don’t know what it is about fecundity that so appalls. I suppose it is the teeming evidence that birth and growth, which we value, are ubiquitous and blind, that life itself is so astonishingly cheap, that nature is as careless as it is bountiful, and that with extravagance goes a crushing waste that will one day include our own cheap lives, Henle’s loops and all. Every glistening egg is
Starting tomatoes indoors.
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Plant a Seed of Resilience

Pictured above: Starting tomatoes indoors. It’s a shame to see that so few people are taking advantage of the fully stocked vegetable shelves in our local grocery stores in this time of mass food-buying panic. While those shelves are fully stocked now, new federal immigration restrictions put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 could soon impact American farmers looking for a work force to plant their crops this
es, the bark of Japanese maple ‘Sango kaku’ is really that deep coral color.
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Gardenwise: Beautiful Bark Takes the Bite Out of Winter

Pictured Above: Yes, the bark of Japanese maple ‘Sango kaku’ is really that deep coral color By Susan Tito  As effective as they are in brightening a dreary winter, evergreens can only take you so far. So…much…green…and still more than a month to go before spring!  But if you think winter interest only comes from evergreens, think again. Just because a tree loses its leaves when temperatures drop doesn’t mean
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Gardenwise: A New Garden Mindset

 Above: prepare for spring by cooking up new color schemes with the help of Gertrude Jekyll’s “Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden” Cornell Cooperative Extension photo). By Susan Tito  Mother Nature has a timetable that we all follow to ensure continuity in the garden, yet it’s good for your soul to shake things up and try something new, if for no other reason than to have fun. Because a new
A closeup of variegated Japanese aucuba. Its colorful leaves look like they have been sprayed with gold-colored paint, enabling the plant to stand out in low light.
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Gardenwise: The Other Evergreens

Pictured Above: A closeup of variegated Japanese aucuba. Its colorful leaves look like they have been sprayed with gold-colored paint, enabling the plant to stand out in low light. By Susan Tito  Say the word “evergreen” and most people think of a pine, spruce, yew or other common coniferous plant. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all, but “evergreen” conjures up a different image for me: I think of
Hanging herbs to dry is one way to prolong summer’s bounty past the growing season.
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Gardenwise: What To Do With Your Herbs

by Susan Tito Strategically placed near my front door, my culinary herbs have served me well all summer long, seasoning many a tasty meal for my family and friends. Now that the days are getting shorter and nights are noticeably cooler, it’s time to decide what to do with these indispensable plants. Should they be overwintered indoors? Harvested and dried? Or should I (tearfully) bid them farewell and start from