Growing Lilies

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 / Leave A Comment

Everyone should grow lilies! They are colorful, fragrant and easy to grow. Whether you have lots of space or are limited to containers on your patio, lilies will add beauty to any garden for years to come. When planting lilies, the first thing to consider is location. Full sun is ideal, but even 1/2 sun will do the trick. Also, make sure you plant in well drained soil. This is important because lilies can be susceptible to something called botrytis which is a fungus that can cause the leaves to spot. You want your lilies to dry out fairly quickly after a bout of rain which means your site should have good air circulation. Continue reading...

Companion Planting

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 / Leave A Comment

Companion Planting for Herbs and Vegetables As gardeners, one of the most important things we can do is effectively manage our plots in order to achieve highly productive and healthy yields. Companion planting is a critical component of our management strategy. The right plants in the right location can help each other grow, can suppress weeds and can even serve as natural pesticides. Garden writer Barbara Pleasant offers this simple definition of companion planting, “Companion planting is the establishment of two or more species in close proximity so that some cultural benefit, such as pest control or increased yield, may be achieved.” Continue reading...

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 / Leave A Comment

I do a lot of baking and cooking and while waiting for my latest batch of croissants to rise, I was reading a recipe that called for extra virgin olive oil. It occurred to me that I have no idea what makes olive oil "extra virgin". Some snooty chefs like to say "EVOO" when using it, but what's the difference between "OO" and "EVOO"? Here is what I found out. Continue reading...

The Benefits of Garlic Garlic is certainly one of the most healthy and commonly used foods in the world. There are many varieties, grown both commercially and by the home gardener, that all fall into the category of a “super food”. Garlic is easy to grow and makes a good neighbor for other plants in the garden, but before talking about the varieties and how to grow garlic, let’s focus on the benefits. Continue reading...

Billie Introduces Dink

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 / Leave A Comment

As many of you may know, my name is Billie and I occasionally write posts for David's Blog here on the Agora Gardens website.  If you have read some of my older posts, you know that I am a female Jack Russell terrier, now approaching my eighth birthday and have been Hec's constant companion for my entire life.  If you go to www.billiebikes2.com or just click on Billie at the top of the Categories box on David's Blog,  you can learn more about the Pendergast family, including the pets. Continue reading...

Cold Frame Gardening

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 / Leave A Comment

For most home gardeners, the start of the growing season comes too slowly and the end of the season comes too fast. We certainly can’t stop mother nature, but there are ways to extend both the beginning, as well as the end of the the season. One of the best things you can do is use cold frames in and around your garden. By definition, a cold frame is nothing more than an outdoor structure consisting of a bottomless frame and a glass/plastic top, which is heated through sunlight and is designed to protect plants from cold and adverse weather conditions. They are simple to construct and can add weeks to your growing season. Continue reading...

Gorillas!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 / Leave A Comment

Biz and I have a niece, Ellie, who has been living with us for the past couple of months.  She graduated this past spring from the University of Virginia and was hired as an intern at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.  As payback for letting her move in for the summer, along with her pet hedgehog, Ellie arranged for us to have a private behind the scenes tour of the zoo and in particular, the gorilla facility. Continue reading...

School Gardens

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 / Leave A Comment

Fall of 2014 has finally arrived and while the growing season is winding down, many of us gardeners still have a lot of work to do. Our immediate concern is cleaning up this year’s garden and preparing the soil for the next planting season. This is also the time when we should start planning for expansion of our gardens and even constructing new beds to be ready for the spring. Continue reading...