Spring Home and Garden


Goldsboro News-Argus - Spring Home and Garden

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Thursday, March 22, 2018 Goldsboro News-Argus — 11 when I saw these things (terrariums) getting popular," said Diandra Escamilla, a 28-year-old Boston resident who attended Plant Nite. "I was seeing them everywhere, on social media — my friends started having them, so I started to get interested." Terrariums are hot. Many major retailers — not just gardening stores like Home Depot — are selling them. Some IKEA and West Elm stores, for instance, have offered build-your-own kits full of electric-colored rocks, tiny animal figurines, moss and popular succulents — hearty plants adapted to live with little light or watering. Likewise, terrariums have a devoted following on many social media websites, such as Pinterest, Twitter and Face- book, where plant-lovers exchange pictures, ideas and opinions of the miniature glass gardens. The latest terrarium trend took off in the beginning of the decade, according to Maria Colletti, author of "Terrari- ums — Gardens Under Glass: Designing, Creating, and Planting Modern Indoor Gardens" (Cool Springs Press, 2015). "Everyone thought it would be a phase and even drizzle away," Colletti said. That wasn't the case. Colletti, who teaches classes on terrarium building through the New York Botanical Garden's adult education department, said terrariums' portability and low mainte- nance makes them greenery mainstays that are here for the long haul. "What could be better for an office or home to have a bit of nature where we view our miniature green world every day of our lives?" she said. "As our electronic digital world's requirements increase, terrariums remind us of the larger wonder of the planet we live on, Earth." Terrariums date back at least to the early 19th century. They enjoyed a pop-culture moment in the 1970s, said Megan George, author of "Modern Terrarium Studio: Design and Build Custom Landscapes with Succulents, Air Plants and More" (Fons and Porter, 2015). George and her mother own a Durham plant shop called Zen Succulent, where customers can partake in a DIY ter- rarium bar. Today's terrariums are different, she said. "The terrariums in the 1970s were in large globes that sat on the floor — they might have a large base to it," George said. "People are living in smaller spaces now and they want something that fits on the tabletop; something that also functions as decor." For Swetha Ramachandran, 28, of Boston, who attended Plant Nite, a terrarium's appeal is simple. "They're cute," she said, matter-of-factly. "And I like the containers they come in." Continued from 10 Associated Press This terrarium was created at Plant Nite at a bar in downtown Boston. Ter- rariums have gained in popularity so much that they are popular every- where. Major stories, and not just gardening stories like Home Depot and Lowe's, are selling terrariums. Some, like IKEA and West Elm, are now offering build-your-own kits that are full of electric-colored rocks, tiny ani- mal figurines and popular succulents. Photo submitted Now is the time to prune any crape myrtle bushes you may have in your yard. When pruning any plant, always start with removing the three Ds: Dead, dying and diseased branches. Then get rid of any crossing branches, even if they're not touching each other right now because they can eventually touch each other and cause wounds to open and allow disease and insects into the tree. Photo submitted It's time to get out your pruners and work on your plants, shrubs and bushes before new growth begins in the spring. Pruning techniques can vary, though, so you'll need to know what purpose your plant serves in order to prune it properly. Pruning Now is the time to get your plants, bushes and trees ready for spring and the new growth that will come with the warmer weather. By JESSICA STRICKLAND Horticulture Extension Agent Now is the time to dust off your pruners and start those late winter pruning chores. Late winter is the time many plants in the landscape are pruned before new growth begins in the spring. When it comes to what you can prune now, here is a list of plants: blueberries, crape myrtles, fruit trees, muscadine grapes, ornamental grasses, roses and summer-flowering shrubs. Summer-flowering shrubs would include ones like abelia, butterfly bush, hibis- cus, lantana, ligustrum, nandina, photinia and waxmyrtles. There is one group of plants that you would NOT want to prune now. Do not prune any spring-flower- ing shrubs and trees. Since they have already set this year's flower buds, pruning now would remove their spring show of blooms. Spring-flowering shrubs and trees to not prune now would include: azalea, dog- wood, forsythia, magnolia, quince and viburnum. Instead prune these spring-blooming plants after they finish flowering in the spring, but prune them before late July before they start setting next year's flower buds. Pruning techniques for these plants can vary some, so you have to remember what purpose the plant serves in order to know how to prune it. For land- scape plants like crape myrtles, ornamental grasses, roses and summer-flowering shrubs, their purpose is to provide flowers and beauty to the landscape. So when pruning you want to maintain an attractive shape and to have a nice display of flowers. For blueberries, fruit trees and grapevines the pruning techniques differ some in that you are train- ing the plant to result in good fruit production. You want a plant that has a strong main trunk or base in order to support the plant and fruit. Branches should be spaced out to allow the plant to intercept as much sunlight as possible. Full sunlight is needed for good fruit production. As when pruning any plant, you should always first start with removing the three D's: dead, dying and diseased branches. Next eliminate any crossing branches, even if the branches are not yet touching each other. Crossing branches can eventually touch each other which will allow for the branches to rub and open wounds that can allow access for disease and insects into the tree. Remove branches that are growing toward the center of the tree canopy or growing downward, instead of upward and outward from the tree's center. When pruning, there are a few pruning tools which all home gardeners should have. A pair of hand pruners is used for small branches 1 inch or less in diameter. There are two types of hand pruners. The by-pass hand pruners allow you to make very close cuts and would be used to majority of hand pruning cuts. The anvil-style hand pruners are used in a few cases where one would need to cut succulent or ten- der growth. A second pruning tool needed would be a pair of loppers with the ability to cut 1-to 2-inch branches. Lastly, a pruning saw or bow saw can be used for branches larger than 2 inches in diameter. Jessica Strickland is an agriculture extension agent specializing in horticulture for North Carolina Coop- erative Extension in Wayne County. Horticulture pro- gram information can be found at http://wayne.ces.ncsu.edu/. Forward any questions you would like answered from this week's column to Jessica.Strickland@waynegov.com. Terrariums If you'd like to try your hand at making a terrrarium, there are several social media websites that offer a multitude of ideas. Some of these are Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Plant lovers exchange pictures, ideas and opinions of the miniature glass gardens.

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