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Iberis simplex

Iberis simplex: photo by Robert Pavlis

Iberis simplex: photo by Robert Pavlis

Iberis simplex is an easy to grow alpine that forms a loose bun and flowers a long time. It is a great addition to a rock or scree garden. —————- Read More —————-

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10 Tricks for a Low Maintenance Garden

The holly grail in gardening is the perfect beautiful garden that exists without any maintenance. I see titles for books and blog posts all of the time claiming to be “no-maintenance”. Any real gardener knows that is baloney but there are things you can do to have a low maintenance garden.

As gardeners age, maintenance becomes more of a chore, but we don’t want to give up our gardens. Making some simple changes in plant selection and attitude can reduce your work load significantly and allow you to keep the garden longer.

In this post I will describe 10 things any gardener can do to reduce maintenance to a minimum.

Aspen Grove Gardens - a low maintenance garden

Aspen Grove Gardens – a low maintenance garden

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Aquaponics – Grow Vegetables in Your Pond

Imagine growing vegetables in your pond. You never have to water them, or fertilize them. Since ponds stay cooler than soil, cool growing crops like lettuce can be grown over a longer period of time. Ponds are a natural source of nutrients, especially if they contain fish, and these nutrients help vegetables grow aquaponically. Not only do you produce food but the growing vegetables help keep algae levels low.

Vegetables can be grown right in the pond or in an associated bog garden without any extra equipment. Or you can get more serious about this and pump water to an external hydroponic growing area.

Lettuce ready to harvest from a Styrofoam raft floating on a pond

Lettuce ready to harvest from a Styrofoam raft floating on a pond

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10 Top Gardening Stories of 2017

2017 has come and gone and it was another successful year – but then again my opinion is very biased. We posted numerous in-depth articles and lots of Favorite Plants. And Garden Fundamentals YouTube manged to add a new video before the end of the year; the myth of leaving leaves on the lawn.

You are going to see changes this year and I think you will like them all.

  • I will continue posting on this blog so nothing will really change here except that you can expect more posts about garden design.
  • Early in the year I will be posting several new videos on YouTube.
  • The new Facebook Group; Garden Fundamentals now has 334 members and is growing quickly. If you have not joined yet, do so right now so you don’t miss any of the great discussions going on there.
  • You might have noticed a change in the site header and our logo. I’m trying to brand all of the Garden Fundamentals sites into one family. I also hope to give this site a whole new look this summer.

Please join Garden Fundamentals Facebook Group now!

Around the middle of January I will be sending out the first issue of Garden Fundamentals News – our new monthly newsletter, which will be chocked full of gardening information. This will be an important way for me to communicate with you. If you have not already subscribed you can do so using the form on the banner to the right.

It is now time to look back at 2017 and review some of the best posts of the year: the 10 Top Gardening Stories of 2017.

Aspen Grove Gardens, my garden, 2017

Aspen Grove Gardens, my garden, 2017

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Clematis alpina

Clematis alpina, by Robert Pavlis

Clematis alpina, by Robert Pavlis

Clematis alpina is a very hardy, early flowering vine that adds a great splash of color to your spring garden and then goes on to make interesting seed heads in late summer. As seen in the picture below, I grow it in a planter, in zone 5 and leave it outside all year. You can also plant it in the garden and just about forget about it. It doesn’t need to be pruned, and it will not take over most trees and shrubs the way some larger clematis do.

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