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Garden Articles by C.L. Fornari

Myths, Lies and All The Latest Dirt
Digging deep into garden myths was such fun and I hope you’ll find the debunking as entertaining as these long-cherished practices.

A Foodie’s Garden
If you love great food, you have to grow these vegetables!

Why Doesn’t my Endless Summer Hydrangea Bloom?
Wondering why your blue hydrangea has so few flowers?

Garlic Makes it Good!
How do you grow garlic? Easily!

Turning Black Thumbs Green
Do you think you have a black thumb? Can’t keep your plants alive? It might be a matter of changing a few simple practices. Green thumbs tell you how it’s done.

Landscape Local 5-10-5
What if plants could unionize?

The Too Large Rhododendron
One solution for rhododendrons that have grown too large is to turn them into small trees.

Fornari’s Favorites 2010
Twenty Ten was a great year for my plant trials. So good, in fact, that I’m tempted to repeat these choices for 2011…

Holiday Plant Hell
Do you think that every Poinsettia or Cyclamen that enters your house during the holidays is doomed to die? Maybe not…

The Wisdom of Waiting
Think you should fertilize your lawn in April or May? If you live in the northeast or upper midwest, think again!

The Irritation of the Irrigation
Do you have an automatic irrigation system? We have to talk.

Gardening In Rock and Clay
If your plants are growing in rocks and clay, welcome to the club. There are ways of dealing with these growing conditions, however, that result in beautiful gardens.

Dealing With Winter Moth
If your maple, cherry, birch, or oak foliage is being eaten in May, or if your roses, blueberry and apple leaves are disappearing, read this. The winter moth larvae are on the move.

Tomato Troubles
If you have a large black scab on the bottom of your tomatoes, you have blossom end rot. No worries…read on.

Carefree Perennials
All perennials aren’t the same…some are high-maintenance, some are picky prima donnas, and others aren’t often perennial! Here are some suggestions for reliable, low-maintenance plants.

Fornari’s Favorites 2009
Here are some of my favorites for 2009.

The Frugal Gardener
Think that gardening is out because money is tight? Think again…

How to Prune Hydrangeas

It’s the question I hear the most on GardenLine: How do I prune my hydrangeas? Find out here.

Speaking about Gardening

Whether the group I’m speaking to has green or black thumbs, I aim to entertain…and get them hooked on plants.

Fornari’s Favorites 2008

I moved to Poison Ivy Acres in 2008 and spent the summer planting, planting, planting. Here are some of my favorites from this first-year garden.

Gardening in Tough Times

Where to go when things are uncertain? To the garden of course.

A New Garden

I’ve been planting new gardens and although I’m not making the same mistakes as in years past, I’m sure I’m making new ones.

Petunia Problems

Are your petunias a leggy mess by the beginning of August? Is your hanging basket of petunias looking like it belongs in the dumpster instead of your front porch? Learn how to prevent pathetic petunias.

Beating the Weeds

Let’s face it: if you have a garden you will have weeds. But don’t despair – there are ways to keep them to a minimum!

Is Green the New Black?

Why should we encourage people to get into their gardens? How is gardening important to you?

Gobble Your Garden

You don’t have to plant a huge garden to enjoy home grown vegetables and fruit…learn how to include edibles in your landscape.

Softening the Corners

Choosing the right foundation plants to soften the hard edges of your house.

Watering Container Plants

Be it a houseplant, outdoor pot of annuals, or even a small, containerized tree, the guidelines for watering are the same.

Knowing The Numbers

When it comes to buying fertilizer, it helps to understand the numbers on the package.


Find out why you don’t have to cut the old daffodil flowers off when they finish blooming.

Basket of Grass

How to grow a living Easter basket or charming spring centerpiece: an easy plant project for all ages.


Some perennial plants are more reliable than others…find out why!

Puzzled About Pruning?

Learning a few basic guidelines for the pruning of shrubs and trees will help you to be a barber, not a butcher…

Preparing Soil for Tomatoes

There is nothing as good as a homegrown tomato, and the success of your tomato crop depends on paying attention to the soil.

Rooting out the Truth

To loosen the roots or to leave them alone…that is the question!

New Dirt for Old

When planting your containers and window boxes in the spring, do you really have to use new soil?

Saving Seeds

Be adventurous and thrifty by saving seeds from your garden.

From Pillar To Post

Adding a vertical element to your garden is an easy weekend project. How to create a fun and functional ornament for your landscape.

Deadheading Perennials

Do you really have to cut off wilting flowers on your perennial plants? The pros and cons of deadheading.

The Tomato Code

If you’ve ever looked at a packet of tomato seeds or the tag on a flat of tomato seedlings, you may have wondered about that string of letters after the name. VFNA…what could it mean?

Success With Annuals

Some general tips for success with these long-flowering plants.

Containing the Overly Vigorous

Some plants are well-behaved, and some are thugs! Dealing with over-enthusiastic growers.

Composting In the Garden

You say you don’t want to fuss with a compost pile? Take those kitchen scraps right to the garden!

The Prevention Potion

Why garlic and red pepper belong in the garden shed as well as in the kitchen.

Seedlings Under Lights

You say you want to grow plants from seed but you don’t have a sunny window?

Keeping Poinsettias

Every January people wonder: “Should I keep my poinsettia or toss it into the compost?”

Planting Shrubs For Screening

Find out why a long line of arborvitae or Leyland cypress may not be the best screening…

Growing Paperwhite Narcissus Indoors

They bloom in the winter, they smell nice, and best of all, they’re easy!

Preventing Houseplant Problems

You can have beautiful, healthy plants even if you don’t have a green thumb: some tips for success with houseplants.

Waiting for Winter

Gardeners are more likely to relish the coming of winter, I think. My thoughts on welcoming the snowy season.

Creating New Beds

New flower beds and vegetable gardens don’t have to start with tilling the soil…learn about an easier way.

First Year Sleep

We gardeners can be an impatient lot: we often want our gardens to be glorious from day one. Our plants, however, often have a different agenda.

Superior Oil

Looking for lest-toxic insect and disease control? Start with a summer-weight oil.

pH Explained

Why the acidity, or alkalinity of your soil is important to you and your plants.

How to Choose a Healthy Plant

When you go to nursery to buy plants, which should you choose? The largest ones? The ones that are in bloom? This article helps you to pick healthy, robust plants.

Fornari’s Favorites 05

I might just have to rave about my favorites every year…

Fornari’s Favorites 04

I love these plants! I want to plant them again! A review of the new and tried-and true, 2004.

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