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Archives for January 12, 2013

Plan to build a statue tribute to ‘Gentleman Jim’

And now supporters are pushing for a 9ft statue to pay tribute to Pompey legend Jimmy Dickinson.

Dickinson, who played left-half, made 828 appearances for the club and scored 10 goals.

He was nicknamed ‘Gentleman Jim’ as he was never booked by a referee during his 20-year career.

The proposed statue would go on the corner of Milton Road and Alverstoke Road, in Milton.

Graham Farmer, 49, of Milton, is a fan who is spearheading the project.

He said: ‘Jimmy is synonymous with everything good about the club and football in general. So it’s time, I feel, he was recognised with a statue.’

Artist Roger Holman has been picked to design and build the statue.

Mr Holman, 50, has recently made a bust of Charles Dickens, which is in Portsmouth’s Central Library.

He has made a maquette – a mini model pictured above – to show what the statue will look like.

Mr Holman said: ‘The family came to see the maquette, approved it and gave consent for the statue. It’s an honour to make the statue. We want to try and give something accurate. It was great meeting Jimmy’s family and looking through the family albums, as this really helped me with the maquette.

‘It’s been 30 years since he died, so it’s a fitting time to have this tribute.

‘He was a great man, he never got a yellow card, red card or was even spoken to by a linesman. He’s a tremendous part of Pompey’s story.’

Fans say they have planning permission from Portsmouth City Council and have three years to build the statue.

Now £75,000 needs to be raised in order to pay for the plinth, statue and landscaping.

Work is under way to come up with fundraising ideas, including a website that people can donate money to.

Graham said he recognises that it is a difficult time to ask for money when fans are being asked to contribute to the takeover of the club, but said he hoped supporters would back him.

He said: ‘I think it was a missed opportunity before, but the fans I’ve spoken to support it and think it’s about time and it’s 30 years too late. I’m confident fans will get behind this.’

Neil Weld, a spokesman for PFC, said: ‘Jimmy is arguably the greatest player ever to pull on the famous blue shirt – that’s why his face adorns the Fratton End. We can think of no more deserving a recipient of this honour than Jimmy.’

Teenage star who became a Fratton Park favourite

JIMMY Dickinson made his debut for Pompey on May 1, 1943, at the age of 18.

He took a three-year break from football to join the Royal Navy, before returning to the club in 1946.

Three years later on May 18, Dickinson won his first cap for England, as the side won 4-1 against Norway.

It would be the first of 48 international appearances.

In September 1976, Dickinson took over as manager.

He died in November 1982, aged 57, after suffering from three heart attacks.

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Founding Fathers planted more than ideas

Having stopped in Ashville, N.C., on last week’s garden tour, let’s head north into Virginia for a stop in Charlottesville. There, you will find the home and gardens of our third President, Thomas Jefferson. Monticello is a testament to the brilliance of the man and the extraordinary efforts to save, restore and maintain such a valuable part or our history.

Monticello was carved out of the top of a mountain, by slave labor, a subject that is fully acknowledged and presented, warts and all. Great care has been taken to ensure that everything here is as accurate as possible to the time when Jefferson built and lived here.

The gardens were all laid out to his specifications, working with the slopes and swales of his mountain. He planted in a way to make the most of the growing season to feed all who lived at Monticello as well as having crops to provide income. Jefferson was man ahead of his time. He brought in seeds and plants from around the world, using his gardens as a laboratory. He kept incredibly detailed records of everything that happened at Monticello — including what he planted, success and failures — and those records helped with the restoration of the home and gardens.

You are going to need more than one day to fully explore all there is to see and do. There are also other Jefferson properties nearby. If you can make time, you should go see them. You will need several hours to explore the Monticello website, It grabs you from the home page, pulls you in and won’t let go. You can also purchase historic plants and seeds, some that are known to have been grown at Monticello. Click on the “Shop” tab to learn more.

Two and half hours north and east is Washington, D.C., a history lover’s Nirvana. Throw in a few gardens and you have yourself a vacation.

Start with the U.S. Botanic Garden. George Washington envisioned a botanic garden in our nation’s capitol and in 1820 Congress granted the land. In 1850, the USBG was formally founded and is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. Visit their website at

There are three public parts to the USBG. The Conservatory, built in 1933, is just shy of 29,000 square feet of growing space under glass. You will find plant displays covering rare and endangered, medicinal, world deserts, orchids and so very much more.

Outside, the National Gardens are three acres with plantings focused on mid-Atlantic gardens. Those include a rose trial garden, butterfly garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, the lower terrace and amphitheater.

Across the street is Bartholdi Park, named for its stunning cast iron fountain created by the same Auguste Bartholdi who created the Statue of Liberty. That alone is worth seeing, but here you will find demonstration gardens surrounding it, all centered on home landscaping. These beds are all focused on sustainable horticulture, using the principals of Sustainable Sites Initiative’. There will be an article on that forthcoming!

When you are done at USBG, head on over to the Smithsonian and start at the Castle. You’re going to need a map or perhaps the book, “A Guide to the Smithsonian Gardens.” Yes, I have it, and if I get back to D.C., it’s going with me along with a new pair of sneakers. Their gardens include the grounds of the Castle, along the Mall and throughout the city. These include the National Zoo, the Folger Rose Garden, The Heirloom and Victory Garden, The Sculpture Garden and Plaza and The Butterfly Habitat Garden, to name a few. It amazes me to look at a map of this city and realize how many gardens there are. Visit their website,

If you are fortunate enough to visit some these wonderful locations, especially the historic sites like Monticello, take a moment to thank the people there for what they do and for all that was done by those who came before them, who had the passion, determination and the guts to save these places from destruction. It is because of their devotion that our children and grandchildren will know who and where we come from, and what it took for our country to become the United States of America.

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Discover fresh, new ideas at 11th annual Spring Home & Garden Show at The …

THE WOODLANDS – Experts and exhibitors at the 11th annual Spring Home and Garden Show at The Woodlands will share new ideas and products that can both beautify and add value to your home.

The show will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3 at the The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel Convention Center at1601 Lake Robbins Drive.

Tony Wood, president of Texwood Shows, Inc. and producer of the event, said this year’s show will have a lot to offer.

“Sometimes a small improvement to a home or yard can make all the difference, and spring is the perfect time of year to spruce things up.”

Wood welcomes Massarelli’s Fountains, to the show for the first time. “They are a top-of-the-line producer of fountains and fine stone garden statuary, with each piece handmade by master craftsmen. Each piece is an original.” Locals can find Massarelli’s one-of-a-kind products at Spring Home Outdoor, who will feature a 88″ Massarelli fountain with a 8′ fiberglass pool in their booth. They also carry other landscaping water features, such as disappearing fountains, Talavera and other pottery, benches and urns; along with potted arrangements to complement any decor from The Potted Shop.

Wood said attendees can get creative ideas to transform a backyard into an oasis at the feature landscape exhibit by Stewart Land Designs. “Also, the Belgard Hardscapes Mobile Display is one of our new show features and literally is a semi truck filled with ideas to create your own picture-perfect patio,” said Wood.

Brandon Lynch, a certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, will be featuring the Easy Living by Design booth. “Brandon is with Keechi Creek Builders and will share products and ideas on how to update a home to make it more accessible to meet an owner’s changing needs – a trend as baby boomers age,” Wood said. Discover new products such as walk-in tubs and control centers to adjust lighting and make life more comfortable.

Visitors can stop by the Whirlpool Cooking Stage for live cooking demos and quick and easy recipes from a Whirlpool culinary instructor. Also get an update on the latest convection and easy clean ovens and cook tops, all in one, from Whirlpool Corporation.

“And for a special treat, get a sneak peek of the works of Rick Loudermilk, the featured artist of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival 2013,” said Wood.

“We are proud of our lineup of expert speakers. They are enthusiastic, experienced and have what it takes to get you started on the right track with your home improvement projects.”

Aspiring green thumbs can meet Kathy Huber, the Houston Chronicle’s gardening editor and listen to Randy Lemmon, popular host of AM 740 KTRH’s GardenLine, who will broadcast live from the show on Saturday until 1 p.m.

John Ferguson, author and organic gardening expert, will share his knowledge on how to use natural materials to create a greener garden.

Ellen Delap, professional home organizer, will offer tips to help you organize your home and life, while certified color consultant Catherine Falgoust will share the latest in color trends.

LaVerne Williams, AIA, LEED certified architect, will give advice for creating a more energy efficient and sustainable home. Mary Scalli, a home staging professional, will share secrets for making homes sell quickly, and John Johnston, president of Designer Kitchens, will provide insight into the latest developments and trends in kitchen design.

“This year’s show is truly a fun event for the entire family – with lots of new ideas to take back home and plenty opportunities to shop,” Wood said.

About the 11th annual Spring Home Garden Show in The Woodlands

The 11th annual Spring Home Garden at The Woodlands will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel Convention Center at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive, 77380. Tickets are cash only and are $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and free for children under 12. An ATM is located near the ticket window.

FREE parking in the Parking Garage behind the Convention Center next to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Six Pines and Lake Robbins, with a covered walkway to the Convention Center. More information about exhibitors, speaker schedules, discount admission coupons and exhibitor special offers available at

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Over the Garden Fence column | New gardening class offers life skills

The start of the spring semester at Penn State also brings the beginning of an exciting new adventure for my colleague Dr. Elsa Sanchez and myself. We are teaching a new course titled “Gardening for Fun and Profit.” The course is a three-credit course and has two lecture periods and a lab period. As my readers know, there is a lot of money spent on the gardening hobby.

Last year, I approached Sanchez, who is also in the department of plant science, about an idea for the course, and she became excited about pursuing it. I had been letting this idea ruminate in my mind for some time and finally decided that the time to launch the course was 2013. My rationale for developing and offering this course is that almost if not all the students enrolled at Penn State, regardless of their college or respective majors, will ultimately be engaged in some form of gardening whether they realize it right now.

They may have a vegetable garden to supply fresh veggies, or may be planting and maintaining a small fruit planting or a home orchard. Almost all of these future homeowners will be involved in landscaping their homes with ornamental shrubs and trees, caring for their lawns, or planting annual or perennial flower beds or container gardening if they reside in an apartment complex.

It is important that they have an understanding and appreciation for the “art and science” behind gardening enterprises so as to be able to maximize their own efforts or be able to ask the appropriate questions of professionals hired to perform services, such as landscaping around their home or property, for them. Regardless of their ultimate vocation after graduation, students can benefit from the course. Not only can they learn to garden for their own enjoyment and to discover all the positive benefits derived from gardening, but they can also understand how to potentially market the results of their labors at a farmers market and realize additional cash flow, thus the profit part of the course.

Gardening goes all the way back to the ancient civilizations, which in many instances gardened to produce crops to eat. As the centuries unfolded, we see the advent of the large structured ornamental gardens and conservatories in Europe, which then migrated over to the United States.

Many of these gardens are located right here in Pennsylvania, and include Bartram Gardens — the home and gardens of John Bartram (1699-1777), a Quaker farmer whose passion, over time, made him America’s first great botanist. His lifelong passion for science began when, as a boy, he looked closely at local wildlife and read every book he could find. Bartram was blessed with profound curiosity and energy. So he set himself a staggering goal, make a complete discovery of the native growth in America. Bartram Garden is a 45-acre garden that is a National Historic Landmark and is the oldest continuous garden in the United States.

Lastly, I firmly believe it is important for students to learn how to grow their own food, etc. just in case it becomes necessary due to unforeseen circumstances or a natural disaster that might arise in the future, where they might indeed need to produce their own food for their families.

Both Sanchez and I are looking forward to teaching the course and interacting with the future homeowners of tomorrow.

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Trowel & Glove: Marin gardening calendar for the week of Jan. 12, 2013 – Marin Independent

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• Lenore Ruckman of Marin Master Gardeners speaks about “Rose Pruning and Bare Root Planting” from 9 to 10 a.m. Jan. 12 in the greenhouse at the Falkirk Cultural Center at 1408 Mission Ave. in San Rafael. A work party follows. $5. Call 473-4204.

• West Marin Commons offers a weekly harvest exchange at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Livery Stable gardens on the commons in Point Reyes Station. Go to www.west

• Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Muir Woods or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 561-3077 or go to $5.

• Growing Excellence in Marin (GEM), a program providing horticultural vocational training for Marin residents with disabilities, has a weekly plant sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays at 2500 Fifth Ave. in San Rafael. Items offered include garden plants, potted plants, cut flowers and microgreens. Call 226-8693 or email

• The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 663-8590, ext. 114,

or email to register and for directions.

• Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the Micro Gardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to www.opengarden or email

• Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps homeowners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

San Francisco

• The Conservatory of Flowers, at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, displays permanent galleries of tropical plant species as well as changing special exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $2 to $7. Call 831-2090 or go to

• The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park, offers several ongoing events. $7; free to San Francisco residents, members and school groups. Call 661-1316 or go to www. Free docent tours leave from the Strybing Bookstore near the main gate at 1:30 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekends; and from the north entrance at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Groups of 10 or more can call ahead for special-focus tours.

Around the Bay

• Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations by international landscape designers on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to www.corner

• Garden Valley Ranch rose garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at 498 Pepper Road in Petaluma. Self-guided and group tours are available. $2 to $10. Call 707-795-0919 or go to

• The Luther Burbank Home at Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues in Santa Rosa has docent-led tours of the greenhouse and a portion of the gardens every half hour from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $7. Hands-on rose pruning demonstrations are from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 12 and 19. Call 707-524-5445.

• McEvoy Ranch at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma offers tips on planting olive trees and has olive trees for sale by appointment. Call 707-769-4123 or go to www.mcevoy

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903.

Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 1 megabyte and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.

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At Your Library: Library has resources for gardeners

When I was a renter, I dreamed about being a homeowner. Among my reasons for wanting this was so I could decide the types of flowers, shrubs and trees in the yard. My goal was to have something blooming each season of the year.

One of the benefits of living in coastal North Carolina is that this is actually possible. We have a growing season of more than 250 days, which allows us to have blooming plants in our yards virtually year round!

If you have an interest in gardening, or are simply interested in an attractive and well-landscaped yard to add to your curb appeal and property value, the library provides resources to help you plan and undertake gardening projects.

North Regional Library has a series of programs planned for spring. We lead off on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. with “Landscaping in the Sandhills.” An attractive yard and garden requires thought and planning. Join us as Brad Goodrum, instructor of horticulture at Fayetteville Technical Community College, discusses the environmental challenges of the Sandhills, plants that thrive in this area, and how to develop a landscape plan to meet your lifestyle, aesthetics and location. Supplement what you learn from Goodrum by going to a library and checking out books such as “Landscaping Your Home: Creative Ideas from American’s Best Gardeners,” “The Four-Season Landscape,” “The Front Garden,” “Landscaping Makes Cents,” and “The Border Book.”

Each year the library works to improve its overall collections, but we also select a specific topic on which to expand and improve the holdings. Gardening was the topic selected for this year; currently there are more than 800 entries pertaining to gardening. There are guides for selecting annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees.

Interested in organic gardening? We have books for you – “The All You Can Eat Gardening Handbook: Easy Organic Vegetables and More Money in Your Pocket” and “Step by Step Organic Vegetable Gardening.” Recent additions and books on order include “Fun Gardening for Kids,” “The Better Homes and Gardens Quick Color Gardening,” “Perennial Vegetable Gardening With Eric Toensmeier,” “Landscaping Solutions for Small Spaces” and “Landscaping for Privacy.”

The staff is not only updating and expanding our holdings in this subject area; we are highlighting it with our programming, too. In the coming months at North Regional Library, look for programs on growing roses, vegetable gardening, container gardening, urban chickens, and creating and watering with rain barrels.

Landscaping and gardening can be challenging and rewarding experiences. Whether you love to spend time tending your shrubs, flowers and vegetables or prefer a low-maintenance garden, the library has resources for you. Come visit us. North Regional Library is at 855 McArthur Road, Fayetteville. For information on programs, call 822-1998 or check out events on our website at

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Weekend Gardening: Tips for January

January 12, 2013

Here are gardening tips for the month of January from the Santa Rosa Extension Service:


  • Refrigerated bulbs such as tulip, daffodil and hyacinth should be planted in prepared beds.
  • Start seeds of warm season flowers late this month in order to have transplants in March.
  • There’s still time to transplant some cool season annuals such as carnations, foxglove, pansies, petunias and snapdragons.
  • Re-fertilize cool season flowerbeds, using a liquid or dry form of fertilizer. Be careful not to apply excessive amounts and keep granules away from the base of stems.
  • Finish dividing crowded perennials. Don’t wait until spring for this job.
  • Plant bare root roses immediately after they are purchased.

Trees and Shrubs

  • Plant trees and shrubs. This is an ideal time of year for transplanting larger specimens.
  • Plant bare root plants such as deciduous ornamental shrubs and trees.
  • Prune dormant shade trees, if needed.
  • Stick hardwood cuttings of fig, grape, honeysuckle, Althea, Catalpa, Forsythia and Wisteria.

Fruits and Nuts

  • Apply dormant oil spray to peach, plum, nectarine and other deciduous fruit trees. This practice is necessary when growing the stone fruits in locations along the Gulf Coast. Note: This applies to the flowering peaches and cherries since they are susceptible to the same pests as their fruiting cousins.
  • Plant bare root deciduous fruit trees
  • Prune dormant fruit trees if needed

Vegetable Garden

  • Start seeds of warm season vegetables late this month in order to have transplants in March.
  • Lime (if needed), and begin preparing vegetable gardens for the spring planting.
  • Cool season vegetables that can still be planted in the garden are: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, Chinese cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, leek, mustard, bunching onions, parsley, English peas, Irish potatoes, radishes and turnips.
  • Irish potatoes can be started from January through March by planting seed pieces 3 to 4 inches deep in rows. Always purchase certified seed potatoes.


  • Check soil moisture during winter and water as needed.


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Tips for creating color in the winter garden

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Conifers with blue foliage add color to the winter garden.


Beyond plants with brightly colored blooms or berries, winter landscapes can benefit from color from a variety of other sources.

Some ideas:

Plant conifers with red, gold, purple or blue foliage in winter: Chamaecyparis thyoides ‘Red Star’ (white false cypress), which is plum red); or all year: chartreuse Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Wilma Goldcrest’ (Monterey cypress) and Picea pungens ‘Sester Dwarf’ (Colorado spruce; icy-blue needles).

Build paths and patios with colored concrete, bricks or flagstone of red, orange or speckled with shiny quartz.



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Place a pot or piece of art in a saturated color such as red or cobalt blue somewhere in the garden, in a spot that you see often.



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Paint a portion of your fence or a wall of a garden shed or garage in a bright shade. A mural is another option.

birch-bark cherry.JPG

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Prunus serrula


Use plants with stunning bark. Stalwarts include stewartia (S. pseudocamellia or S. monodelpha; birch-bark cherry (Prunus serrula); and crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia species and hybrids).


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Orange Carex testacea (New Zealand sedge) adds color and texture.


Choose broadleaved evergreens with blue, silver, gold and copper foliage, including rhododendrons with strong red or silver indumentum (fuzzy growth that’s usually under leaves but can be on top); bright-yellow Acorus gramineus ‘Minimus Aureus’ (dwarf sweet flag); orange Carex testacea (New Zealand sedge); and many heathers such as Calluna vulgaris ‘Firefly.’

— Kym Pokorny

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Ask A Master Gardener

Nancy H. (Tarboro) asks – The weatherman is calling for highs in the mid-70s over the next few days; what effect will this have on my ornamental plants and should I be concerned? Will the warm weather wither my plants?

The quick answer is: It depends. On how long will the warm temps last and will the temps drop gradually after the warm-up or will there be a severe quick drop in temperature after the warm up.

In addition, it depends on the particular plants involved and your location, how your plants fare depends on how quickly cold temperatures return, how cold it gets, and other environmental factors.

A sudden drop to below-freezing temperatures following the warm weather in early January would severely stress many plants. But most plants should acclimate OK with a gradual return to more normal winter temperatures.

It is likely some flower buds will be killed. So we may see fewer blooms on flowering trees and shrubs this spring. That would be a grave concern for commercial fruit growers, as they will harvest less fruit if too many flower buds die. But for most of us, it just means we’ll see fewer flowers.

With regard to your lawn, the good news, say turf specialists, is that warm temperatures in early winter encouraged root growth in existing lawns and strong establishment of young seedlings in new lawns planted last fall. The bad news is, if temperatures drop too fast, lush top-growth may be more prone to freezing damage. So you should avoid walking on lawns as much as possible until the soil dries out and grass starts growing again in spring.

While the picture is more complicated concerning fruit trees, in general, flower buds on fruit trees won’t be as cold-hardy this year due to the combination of warm weather and fluctuating temperatures, say fruit specialists. Many flower buds could be killed if temperatures drop rapidly below freezing, reducing flowering in spring and fruit harvests later.

It’s a similar story for ornamental trees and shrubs. Most woody plants have evolved to deal with a brief spell of unseasonably warm weather. With most woody plants in the Northeast, buds won’t open during the first warm spell and then get killed by a return to cold temperatures because buds require a period of cold temperatures to break dormancy. But we now grow many ornamental trees and shrubs far from their native range. Some of these trees and shrubs have shorter chilling requirements, and may begin to flower prematurely if we have prolonged warm weather in winter. So we’ll lose some of those flowers for this season, but the long-term health of most plants probably won’t be affected.

There are a lot more details regarding warm winter effects on the following site:

“Ask A Master Gardener” is a weekly column providing our readers solutions to common problems concerning horticulture, gardening, and pest management.  Trained Extension Master Gardener Volunteers have access to the research that provide answers.  

Submit your questions by email to  Or call the local Extension Center at 252-641-7815 and tell them you have a question for a master gardener; a volunteer will return your call with a solution to your problem, or write to “Ask A Master Gardener”, c/o The Daily Southerner, P.O. Box 1199, Tarboro, NC 27886.



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Garden Tips: Keeping poinsettias alive from year to year possible, but takes work

You can keep your Christmas poinsettia and have it bloom again next year, but it will take a little work. If you wish to try:

January-March: Keep watering your poinsettia when the surface is dry.

April: Gradually reduce the water it gets, letting it completely dry between watering. Move it to a cool spot, like your garage. The desirable temperature is about 60 degrees.

May: Cut the stems back to about 4-5 inches, and repot the plant in the next-size-larger container. Continue watering when the surface of the soil is dry.

June: Move the poinsettia outside to a partially shaded location. You can keep it in the container or plant it in the soil.

July: Cut back each stem about 2 inches, to encourage new shoots and a compact plant.

August: Bring the plant back indoors where it can get some sunlight, and check it for insects. Cut the plant back, leaving three to four leaves on each stem.

September: Continue to water when the surface dries out. Also, start to fertilize every two weeks with a liquid all-purpose houseplant fertilizer, such as Peters, Miracle Gro, etc. Follow fertilizer directions for the size of container.

October: Poinsettias are short-day plants, meaning they need about 10 weeks of complete darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. to produce color. Any exposure to light during this time will delay blooming. Many homeowners put their plants in a closet at night. Make sure you take the plant out during the day and put it back in a sunny window.

November: Around the last week, stop the dark treatment and let the plant remain in the window. You should start to see color.

December: Keep watering and treating your plant as you did when you brought it home in bloom.

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