Tomatoes are not only my favorite backyard crop -- they’re also the most popular among American home gardeners. And it’s no wonder: Have you ever compared a supermarket tomato to a backyard one? The homegrown scent alone will transport you straight to summer.
Gardening in the shade is often thought of as a Sisyphean endeavor, swimming upstream against all odds with limited plant choices and no hope for color.
But that notion couldn’t be further from the truth.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — LeighAnn Ferrara is transforming her small suburban yard from grass bordered by a few shrubs into an anti-lawn — a patchwork of flower beds, vegetables and fruit trees.
It didn't happen all at once, says the mother of two young kids.
The annual sunflower (Helianthus annus) has a long history in North America, with evidence of its cultivation for food, ceremonial and medical use by Native Americans dating back to at least 1,000 B.C.
When my family moved into a new home in the spring of 2005, the only plants growing in the garden were a rhododendron by the front door and a few scattered daffodils and ferns. I was delighted to see a stunning perennial pop up a month later.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A student-led grassroots effort to make Marshall University more sustainable in 2009 has grown into an entire Sustainability Department with bicycle sharing, a thrift store, and the first commercial compost facility in West Virginia.
Picture this: You step into your garden, and the beds are brimming with flowers that thrive on benign neglect.
You seldom need to water them, and they don’t require much in the way of fertilizer, either.
HODGENVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is seeking volunteers for its first Park Care Day.
The volunteer day is being held April 30 at the Lincoln boyhood home site at Knob Creek, the park said in a statement.
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle will hold a citywide “day of service” in May offering thousands of volunteer opportunities in an event Mayor Bruce Harrell hopes will be a symbol of how his administration plans to beautify the city.
ALMERE, Netherlands (AP) — Tulips herald the advent of spring — and the Dutch believe they can also highlight ways to fight climate change.
In Thornton Wilder’s 1938 play, “Our Town,” heliotrope flowers connect two sets of characters who gather to inhale their intoxicating scent in the moonlight. Heliotropes, then common, are, indeed, wonderfully fragranced.
I don’t have a giant property, so I strategize to get the most use of the garden I have, and that includes planting vegetables and herbs in raised beds and containers.
I’ve been growing edibles in two 4-by-4-foot cedar boxes that my husband built about 10 years ago, and every few years, I invest in copious amounts of compost and organic topsoil to refill them.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Wearing Duke and North Carolina gear, a family with split loyalties lined up outside the Superdome a little after 9 a.m. Friday, nearly an hour before fans were allowed in the stadium for open practices at the Final Four.
NEW YORK (AP) — If this was the last NIT championship game at Madison Square Garden, it certainly was a thriller.
Especially for Xavier.
Jack Nunge made the go-ahead basket with 3.1 seconds left and the Musketeers won their first NIT crown in 64 years Thursday night, rallying for a 73-72 victory over Texas A&M.
Gardeners are made, not born. If you want your children to become enthusiastic gardeners, take steps early to get them going down the proverbial path.
It isn’t difficult, but it might require an adjustment to your attitude about children in the garden.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Environmental regulators are moving to end a years-long cleanup along dozens of miles of railroad in two northwestern Montana communities where lung-damaging asbestos from mining has been blamed in hundreds of deaths.
For many gardeners, a large property with rows of green peppers and sun-kissed tomatoes as far as the eye can see is just a dream. Many of us either don’t have much soil to call our own, have limited mobility, or are new to gardening and feel intimidated.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — When is a potato not a potato?
When it's a tuber of a gourd, according to Guinness World Records.
Many gardeners don’t start all their plants from seed. We buy “starts,” or seedlings — nursery-grown plants to transplant into our gardens and containers.
These mostly consist of annuals and vegetables in plastic cell packs of four or six plants each.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers on Wednesday passed a proposal place a four-cap limit on the number cannabis plants that medical marijuana patients can grow in their homes.
The Republican-controlled House and Senate have debated for weeks what limits to place on the number of cannabis plants that may be grown in homes after a voter-passed law placed no limit on homegrown plants.
As winter winds down, gardeners collectively look for signs of life, whether from the green sprouts of fall-planted bulbs or the return of foliage as deciduous trees leaf out. But our gardens could retain interest year-round.
Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, seed racks are back! These harbingers of spring are now appearing in stores and nurseries all over North America, exciting gardeners with visions of a new gardening season.
When Girija Kaimal is feeling anxious, she often turns to crochet or fabric work to bring herself a sense of calm.
“I have certain patterns I love to do,” she says, “and it just reinforces for me that all is well in the world, and I can still contribute to it in a meaningful way.”
The achievements of George Washington Carver, the 19th century scientist credited with hundreds of inventions, including 300 uses for peanuts, have landed him in American history textbooks.
But many other agricultural practices, innovations and foods that traveled with enslaved people from West Africa — or were developed by their descendants — remain unsung, despite having revolutionized the way we eat, farm and garden.
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Crews are in the process of restoring Vicksburg’s Memorial Rose Garden.
The garden is home to roses and other flowering plants, monuments honoring the city’s war dead and has hosted ceremonies on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, The Vicksburg Post reported.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Cam Heyward was helping one group of children plant in the garden at the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, while Harrison Phillips was lobbing passes to another set of kids.
The two defensive linemen were among a group of NFL players who turned out Friday for the annual Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year event, a chance for the league to honor and promote volunteerism.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China (AP) — Her mom and dad wanted a name that stood out. A strong name.
Since the aerials skier was born in December, and since her parents loved the way the snow sparkled on northern Michigan mornings, “Winter” felt like the perfect name to give their baby girl when she was born in 1998.
February marks the midpoint of winter, and with spring just over the horizon, many gardeners are dreaming of sunny days and dirty fingernails. For those looking to get a jump on the growing season, starting seeds indoors offers the most gratifying – and productive -- option.
Easter has lilies. Thanksgiving has gourds. Christmas has poinsettias. And Valentine’s Day should have amaryllis.
For the uninitiated, amaryllises are big bulbs that can produce among the biggest and showiest flowers a gardener can grow indoors (maybe outdoors too).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Gardening products on the store shelves? In January?
That's the case at Lewis Drug in Sioux Falls, where Christmas trees and snow blowers are displayed next to the seed rack.
After the houseplant heyday of the 1970s, the penchant for potted green companions faded with all but the most dedicated plant parents. But over the past decade, as many young adults began filling their homes -- and social media feeds -- with indoor plants, a cross-generational audience started to take notice.
NEW YORK (AP) — Colson Whitehead's “Harlem Shuffle,” Honorée Fanonne Jeffers' “The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois” and a debut story collection by Anthony Veasna So, a promising writer who died before his book was published, are among this year's nominees for National Book Critics Circle awards.
Something miraculous happens to gardeners at this time of year. I don’t know what triggers it. Perhaps it was the sight of Christmas trees and lights, or the presence of all those poinsettias. Whatever the cause, by January, gardeners have let go of last year’s gardens and start to dream about this year’s effort.
Houseplants have been keeping a lot of us company during the pandemic, and the good news is there's a plant for any home, big or small, well-lit or not.
There's also a virtual jungle of stylish containers in which to show them off.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis home and estate of the late businesswoman and philanthropist Christel DeHaan has hit the market for $14 million.
The luxurious estate, described in the listing as “almost holy, a true sanctuary,” sits on more than 150 acres that was once the grounds of the Benedictine Monastery of St.
ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. (AP) — The Audubon State Historic Site is looking for volunteers interested in helping tell the story of the location where naturalist John James Audubon once stayed.
The Louisiana Office of State Parks said in a news release that the site will be holding a training on Saturday, Jan.
Farewell, fellow gardener. After almost 30 years of sharing my gardening experience, expertise, and enthusiasm in columns for The Associated Press, I’ve decided to focus my time and energy in other directions.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom picked up litter and painted over graffiti in Los Angeles on Wednesday to highlight California’s $1.1 billion initiative to clean areas near highways, roads and other public spaces, an effort he promised to expand next year to address homeless encampments.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Nannies, house cleaners, gardeners and other San Francisco domestic workers must be given paid sick leave under a groundbreaking law approved by city leaders this week.
The city's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously passed the legislation, which the San Francisco Chronicle said is the first of its kind in the U.S.
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — It’s time to agitate the oysters at St. Stanislaus High School on Mississippi's Gulf coast.
Students on a platform below the school’s long pier gently shake their oyster garden's wire cages as they pull them from the water, loosening mud and algae that might keep water and nutrients from baby oysters clinging to those shells.
MILAN (AP) — While many European theaters remain closed due to the pandemic, the famed Teatro alla Scala on Tuesday opened its new season with the gala premiere of Verdi’s “Macbeth” to a fully seated house.
Windowsill herb plants would seem a perfect antidote to winter's visual and culinary blandness, except that such plants rarely do as well as billed.
The ideal windowsill herb thrives despite dry air and relatively low light conditions to offer intense aroma and flavor.
There are some trees whose showiness does not end once they’ve lost their leaves in autumn. Some trees have an attractive bony framework that is then revealed. Ginkgo tree, for instance.
Leafless, a ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) tree, soft and green in summer, appears as if each main limb knows where it is going, jutting boldly and alone into space to give the whole tree a coarse yet pleasant appearance.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — With a destructive barrage of power punches in the waning minutes of a difficult fight, Canelo Álvarez added another achievement to his overflowing list of boxing accomplishments.
The Mexican pound-for-pound superstar is the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world.
MARSEILLE, France (AP) — When Yaizid Bendaif moved to the Cité SNCF public housing project seven years ago, he got permission to turn a patch of grass outside his home into a garden. Today, the small communal plot between a block of concrete apartments and a high-speed railway in Marseille, France is full of zucchinis, radishes and cabbage rows.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were weeding their garden in New Zealand when Colin's hoe struck something huge just beneath the soil's surface.
As the couple knelt down and began digging around the object, Colin wondered if it was some kind of strange fungal growth, a giant puffball.