Gardenwise

Divide (And Conquer) Weak Plants

[caption id="attachment_38759" align="aligncenter" width="600"] With a hori-hori knife, division of this spiderwort is a snap.[/caption] By Susan Tito The proverb “The cobbler’s children have no shoes” could have been written to describe my life. You see, I’ve come to the realization that I help others beautify their gardens, yet I often don’t take the time to tend to my own outdoor spaces. That became glaringly apparent to me recently after
Gardenwise

Gardenwise: Horror in the Garden

[caption id="attachment_38125" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Houttuynia: The Godzilla of the Garden[/caption] By Susan Tito [caption id="attachment_36454" align="alignright" width="223"] Susan Tito[/caption] When I was a child, one of my greatest pleasures was watching horror movies with my father. The films we fancied were not the gory fare that’s so prevalent today but campy motion pictures featuring plodding creatures and razor-thin story lines. Our favorite beast was Godzilla, the King of the Monsters.
Gardenwise

Gardenwise: Testing the Waters of Conservation

[caption id="attachment_36860" align="alignnone" width="600"] One rain garden design.[/caption] By Susan Tito By her own admission, a dear friend of mine has a black thumb. I would be hard-pressed to disagree with her, as most everything she plants quickly withers and dies. In fact, one day I expect to see some tumbleweeds, a campfire and a harmonica-playing cowboy on her property. It’s easy to discern why her yard looks like the
Gardenwise

Gardenwise: Oh Deer!

[caption id="attachment_36451" align="aligncenter" width="500"] White-tailed deer love your landscaping.[/caption] By Susan Tito Attracting wildlife to your property is embracing the gardenwise lifestyle. Many birds, frogs, small mammals and insects occupy important niches in the local ecosystem, and their daily activities give you a front-row seat to nature’s grandest show. But there is one animal visitor that not only strikes fear in the hearts of gardeners, the mere mention of it
Asclepias tuberosa
Gardenwise

One Garden ‘Weed’ We Need

[caption id="attachment_34756" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Asclepias tuberosa[/caption] One Garden 'Weed' We Need by Susan Tito It was Shakespeare’s Juliet who famously uttered “what’s in a name?” — and so it goes for Asclepias tuberosa — perhaps one of the most overlooked and underused perennials native to our region. Butterfly weed (which also is known as milkweed and pleurisy root) may never go down in the annals of plants with catchy names,
Dandelions and clover are part of a biodiverse lawn.
Gardenwise

Loving Your Biodiverse Lawn

[caption id="attachment_34636" align="alignnone" width="600"] Dandelions and clover are part of a biodiverse lawn.[/caption] Our lawns are contributing to making Long Island’s water supply sick. One hundred and seventeen pesticide-related chemicals appeared in Long Island’s aquifer during a groundwater study conducted between 1996 and 2010 by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Suffolk County Water Authority and United States Geological Survey. The aquifer provides our sole source of fresh water,