Specifically the natural world around me. I recently moved back to California (southern, but interested in all) and have a growing desire to know and understand the 'natural' world around me. The flora and fauna (ID & cultural/commercial/ethnobotanical qualities), weather, and the changes to this aspect of the world, all interest me, especially in an environment so dynamic and exceptional, yet heavily culled and altered by human hand. Books, articles, websites, film, writers; any and all resources are welcome. Thank you. [more inside]
I have a large west-facing window and I'd like to set up some large leafy plants/trees set up in front of it. What would you recommend, based on the parameters below? [more inside]
I think my husband would like more plants and his birthday is coming up. Help me figure out what to get him? [more inside]
What vines/climbing plants are native to the Pacific Northwest? I've found a few in random google searching but feel like I'm missing some. Or are they just not super common to the region? Consider PNW to be Oregon to British Columbia.
One of my succulents(some type of aeonium,not sure) has developed weird black marks. Cannot figure out what they are. Green thumbs, please help! [more inside]
When I moved in to my flat a few years ago, I inherited a tiny plot that was mostly weeds and managed to develop a nice-ish lawn. Now it's worse than before. How do I fix this on my own? [more inside]
Our neighbors have these two perennial plants growing on the side of their hill, next to the sidewalk. They seem to be the only hillside plants that really gain any traction and spread from year to year. What are they? [more inside]
A roach crawled out of my orchid pot today. I killed it but want to make sure any eggs it may have left behind are also D-E-A-D. How? [more inside]
If I have some relatively newly sprouted seeds growing in the yard, should I just be watering the top few inches of soil? I know deep watering is good for root growth, but is it just a waste of water to water, say, 8-12 inches down? Is it preferable to slowly increase watering depth as time goes by?
I'm looking for blogs about unusual plants, collecting plants, growing plants...but not gardening blogs (necessarily). [more inside]
We have a line of 5 birch trees along our driveway. They are beautiful all year long, screening the neighbor's house from our living room view in the summer, dropping leaves and letting in more light in the winter, but still a lattice of branches to screen a bit. They are all dead or dying. Bronze boring beetles. Nothing can be done. According to more than one expert, "Birches are no longer a sustainable species in our part of the world." What can we plant instead? [more inside]
I have an older house in Seattle with an old tree in the back yard. It has vines growing 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the way up it. (Here are some pictures.) Should I try to remove the vines or leave them alone? I do have vines growing along a nearby fence and perpetually trying to climb anything they can get on, as well as the tree. [more inside]
I am on the hunt to learn more about nature! I live in southwest michigan. I'm hoping to find a book (supplemented by an app maybe) that will help me identify plants. My criteria are: (a) pocket/bag sized (b) more information than just what the plant is named (c) good form factor/durability, (d) good for a beginner - I don't even know the difference between a beach and a birch, I probably don't need a book that has 107 different types of maple tree listed out - but maybe I do! Please help a beginner
We live in East Tennessee, zone 6 in planting. The area is a creek that is low sometimes but most always very wet, can not get a lawn mower in that area or it gets stuck, weed eating is being done but I really don't like disturbing the wildlife (frogs, crawdads, etc). [more inside]
I have been put in charge of beautifying a tiny patch of land in nyc, what should I plant in it? [more inside]
I have a small apartment balcony and I hope to be able to have all the walls covered in green this summer. I feel like there is a lot of potential for it to go well, maybe, but I just have no idea what to do! I've been researching, but I could really use some help in weighing my options. Gardeners, plant lovers, apartment dwellers, please help with your insights! [more inside]
Help me make my balcony feel like a welcoming outdoor space without any live plants. [more inside]
Short version: I have a crate that is 50 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 35 inches deep. What plants have roots that can take advantage of the depth, but don't need much space to spread laterally? Long version: [more inside]
I'm actually more wondering if these plants are poisonous. Pics inside. [more inside]
Just moved to a place in SF south bay (mediterranean climate) with an empty raised bed garden, approx 10' x 5'. There are a couple of trees over it and fences/buildings blocking the west and east, so it only receives filtered light in the middle of the day. Any recommendations for edible plants (including herbs) that will grow well here? [more inside]
Can someone identify this plant? For the record, everything that looks red in the photo is actually a dead brown colour. It's looked mostly like this since I moved into this house in October, but the green bits on the ground are new. I'd like to know what it is so I know how to manage it. [more inside]
Looking for suggestions for uncommon plants that will do well in the specific environment of my very dry, well-lit, well-ventilated, cool office. Specifications within. [more inside]
Can you identify this house plant? [more inside]
My apartment complex gardner planted 4 "white catawba rhododendron" bushes (?) in January. Two of them seem to be doing great, and two look like they're dying (?) This makes me sad but I know just about nothing about plants. Pictures after the jump. [more inside]
I want to make a food-producing container garden on our (rented) apartment's small balcony. The good news: the balcony gets tons of sun. The bad news: the usable footprint is about 6'x6' and 6' of vertical space. What can I do to grow the most vegetables in this space? [more inside]
My condo has a deck that will probably need to be restored in the next few years, but I can't afford it now. The wood is shrinking some, which is enabling many plants to come up through the slats. Weeding the deck all summer is a real drag, but I believe that bunnies and groundhogs sometimes move in underneath, and I don't want to harm them. Also there are small trees. More inside. [more inside]
It's freezing and I want to look at happy green things. Recommend me some gardening blogs?
I'm looking for a drought resistant, shade tolerant, tall (at least 4 feet) perennial that can survive in a metal planter. [more inside]
I have a staghorn fern named Robert. I just noticed little brown bumps on Robert what are they? Here's a picture. [more inside]
I bought this mystery plant at IKEA about two months ago...and have no idea how to take care of it. There are no stickers or other ID on it; I've looked up various plants online and by searching IKEA's plants, but don't see a match. I haven't been able to figure out what it wants with regard to water, light, heat; do you have any advice? [more inside]
I have done several Google searches and checked many lists of common houseplants. I can't figure out what this is.
For a project I'm doing, I'd like an illustrated book with lots of information on the physical world of the Bible - particularly animals, plants, and insects. I can look up what's mentioned in the Bible on Wikipedia, but I want more than that. I want to be able to page through an illustrated work (color) - bonus points if there are commentaries from scholars - and to learn a lot about all of the creatures mentioned without having to turn to my computer for complete information. More below. [more inside]
I bought this sucker because it's supposed to be hearty. But lately, its leaves have been turning yellow and then shriveling up, one by one. I water it once a week or so- whenever the water doohickey said it needs it. And I'm pretty sure it gets enough sunlight. What am I doing wrong?! Poor plant. Here's a pic. Oh, also: my mom helped me repot it about a month ago, and she said some trauma is expected. But I've lost 3 big leaves so far, and I can see it happening again! Gah.
I have an older relative who enjoys gardening, but can no longer work in the yard. I would like to give him a small in-door plant that requires some amount of maintenance and care so that he can still enjoy his hobby. Difficulty level: the plant must be very allergy friendly. Bonus points if I can find this on Amazon. [more inside]
I'm looking for a giant book of life on earth for a kid. A book with real pictures (not drawings) that highlights the biodiversity of the earth. A book with 400+ pages that would have pictures of things like the dragon blood tree, the jewel caterpillar, the banyan tree, the cashew tree, the iridescent sky blue Hoplia coerulea. Not just pigs, zebras, and lions. And not anything framed as "weird!" If there was an updated version of the Illustrated Wildlife Treasury Cards, that would be fantastic and ideal. But I don't see such a thing, so a book will have to do. Any suggestions?
I have a practical need/personal desire to have some outdoor plants in containers -- some small, some medium, some large containers--as well as, preferably, some hanging baskets. However: I hate caring for outdoor plants in containers. What plants might a disinterested-but-interested gardener use with these constraints? [more inside]
I have a garden bed in Sydney, Australia, that is in part shade, but it's clearly now too hot for the rocket and other lettuces that were in there, as they are all bolting as soon as they mature. What should I replace them with for the summer months? [more inside]
I'm trying to ID a plant in my back yard that recently flowered. Photos of the plant in question. I'm located in southern Illinois. [more inside]
I want plants in my house. I tend to kill most plants. Also, I have hardwood floors and curtains and cats. Help. [more inside]
Can anyone identify this indoor plant, seen at an office in north Texas? Thanks!
We recently bought a 3 acre property near Ojai, CA. Over the next few years we will be building some new structures and rebuild the existing house. The land used to be an Apricot orchard but has been barren for decades. All the vegetation left are some beautiful Californian Oaks and two Olive trees. In May we planted the perimeter with 171 drought tolerant trees and bushes and have put a drip irrigation system on it (currently 1 X 30 min per week). This should take care of our privacy and hide the fence. [more inside]
I checked my plants on my porch today and noticed that one of my jade plants had folded over like a popped balloon. Looking around online I think it sounds like it got a bad case of root rot, but is that right, and can I do anything but throw it out? Picture here. [more inside]
This plant has sprung up as a volunteer in my friend's garden box. No tomatillos have been anywhere near the garden box, or the compost used to enrich the garden box. My husband claims it is definitely a tomatillo, because it looks remarkably like our tomatillo plant. I say it can't be, because that makes no sense, and it has to be some kind of weedy nightshade. Settle our bet, Metafilter.
My dog races to this plant and eats it every chance she gets. She acts like it's pepperoni! What is it and will it kill her?
I am designing a table centerpiece for an upcoming party, and I would like something very similar to the corked bottles in this Pinterest image. Can you identify the plants that are inside the bottles? [more inside]
I have an arbor that I'd like to have some climbing woody flowering vines or other plants on. I'm in hardiness zone 7a and the plants must be in containers. Jasmine, clematis, honeysuckle, climbing rose? [more inside]
I'm looking for images of residential gardens that embody high design standards--websites are fine; books are great. [more inside]
My sister and I are trying to figure out how to do raised bed gardening on the extremely cheap. I have proposed building the beds out of the cardboard boxes left over from our recent move. What are the likely consequences of this plan, and do you have a better and/or cheaper option? [more inside]
Asking for a friend who found these in his Los Angeles backyard: