Debunking Garden Myths

Garden Myths Not Worth Repeating

Myths, old wives tales, and folklores abound even in the world of gardening. Gardening lore often gets passed from neighbour to neighbour as homegrown tips based on little or no scientific research. The myths start out as common sense conclusions and keep getting perpetuated time after time. Pretty soon they are part of the global gardening consciousness and they are believed to be true. Once this happens it is almost impossible to undo the belief. The poinsettia poison myth is still being trounced after eighty years. Well, here’s my attempt to dispel some popular garden myths.

Myth: Botanical “natural” pesticides are toxic to pests and harmless to other living things (including gardeners). Not true, in fact some botanical pesticides that are derived from poisonous plants are even more toxic than commercially prepared ones. Both pyrethrum (made from Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium) and rotenone (made from two tropical

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Creating a Tropical Oasis in a Northern Garden

Hardy Plants to Create a Tropical Looking Garden

Tropical-looking, but hardy and native Poke in a Philadelphia area garden (warning poisonous if eaten)

One of the hot trends in gardening for the last couple of years has been to create a lush, Southern tropical oasis right in your own back yard. Transforming a ho-hum garden into a tropical paradise by using masses of brightly coloured blooms or attractive berries set off by a rich tapestry of foliage is possible to achieve, even in northern climates. Combining colour and selecting plants for their strong architectural value allows gardeners to create dramatic scenes in the garden giving the image of a tropical paradise from far, far away.

Tender variegated ginger and 'Dragon Wing' begonia in an Oklahoma garden

The trend toward creating exotic, tropical gardens around northern homes has been made become popular by gardeners who want to create a

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