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Lifestyle

May 24, 2013

North Shore Gardener: 30 years: The more things change

This month we celebrate the 30th anniversary of North Shore Gardener. Thirty years has gone by in a flash; now we’re dealing with a few changes. We have genetically modified seeds and grafted tomato plants. In the garden, we have seen sweet corn developed that you can grow in containers on the patio, and blooming plants that bloom and then bloom again, like lilies and iris and hydrangeas.

And some things remain the same. We’re still growing the old favorites because they grow best in the Northeast. I still get many of the same questions about bulbs, tomatoes and geraniums, and lots of questions about pests. We’ve all got them, but how do we deal with them? Now we’re using safer insecticides instead of poisons, and our children and pets are healthier.

We still plant geraniums at Memorial Day and tulips in the fall, but we’re getting more adventurous indoors, growing orchids and other tropical plants on the windowsill. We still move the houseplants out in June for their brief holiday in the sun and take them back in September.

Contact with my readers means so much. I don’t have all the answers to your gardening quesions, but boy, do I have a network of resources built over the past 30 years. I thank you for reading.

Q: As with everyone else around here, my impatiens were just awful last year. I am trying to figure out what to plant this year in the spaces where I always put impatiens. I know you suggested begonias and I might try that, but the area in front of my house gets constant sun, so I don’t know. Impatiens there sometimes wilt, but do quite well if I make sure they get plenty of water. I assume you meant the smaller begonias (not tuberous). Unfortunately, there aren’t very many attractive colors in the small-leaf variety. Any other suggestions? Are there other flowers that can be infected by the same mold that damages the impatiens? Is it possible to get rid of the mold by replacing most of the dirt in that area? Thanks for writing a very helpful column. Can hardly wait to get my hands into some warm earth.

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