Bloom Fest and Gardening Tips | News

BILLIGNS, Mont. – As the Roots Garden Center prepares for their third annual Bloom Fest this Saturday, the team there is busy setting out new shipments of plants, bulbs, garden tools, and just about anything else that relates to what you would need to get your landscape in tip -top condition.

They’re also busy answering questions from customers about what this recent weather swing in south-central Montana is going to do to their existing plants.

“‘Can I plant? What can I plant? How do I protect the things that I’ve already planted?’ Those are the three main questions that we’re getting,” explained co-owner, Jon Switzer. “As it gets down to below 30, potentially in the next couple of days, it’s not the end of the world for most plants. What can happen is that plants can get a little crispy from that because they’ll get some frosting on them .There’s frost blankets for that so we have that as an option.You can also pull stuff inside at night.The ground itself, too, is probably hovering around a constant 45 degrees right now and so plants are safe in the ground.”

A lot of gardening and landscaping is trial and error. And that’s ok. But Jon is emphatic about one specific spring faux pas.

“Don’t turn on your sprinklers yet,” Jon proclaimed loudly. “That’s one thing to know. The ground has enough saturation, we have enough water for a little while and we’ve still got some freezing temps. So particularly if you have some exposed pipes that come right out of the house, that’s the part that’s at risk. Those things can create a lot of damage. A lot of people are like oh my gosh the sun is out, we just had an 80 degree day, we need to turn on the sprinklers…it’s ok. Stuff has enough water in the ground to be pulled from it.”

If you’d like to ask Jon and his team more questions, or check out the 2023 edition of Bloom Fest at Roots Garden Center in Billings, you can head over this Saturday, April 15, from 9 am to 5 pm They will have more than 30 small business owners and hands, 4 food trucks, and thousands of blooms to choose from.

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Feeling stressed? Gardening might help

SAN ANTONIO – When people ask me why I love gardening? My answer is always, “It’s my escape.”

Whether I’m rushing out to get to work or letting my dogs outside, I love opening my front door and stepping out and seeing my flower garden for that brief moment.

It gives me a sense of peace, almost reminding me to take a deep breath. Another favorite part of mine is that it’s one-on-one time with nature.

I love discovering the Monarchs and caterpillars, to the family of toads living in my plants.

Science shows that gardening or just spending time in a garden or with plants doesn’t just reduce stress, but it also has several benefits for your mental health.

Texas A&M AgriLife experts say it can help fight depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, promote creativity, reduce the effects of dementia and even boost your self-esteem.

One study showed participants found spending time gardening just twice a week for an hour to an hour and a half helped them with their mental health.

So here is the good news. You don’t even have to be an experienced gardener or have a garden. Researchers say this is because just being in a garden helps you relax, by being in such a beautiful and tranquil place. It makes you feel peaceful in your mind and soul.

But why does being around plants make us feel good? A study out of Florida suggests the answer might be found in the important role of plants in human evolution and the rise of civilization.

The study says as a species, we may be innately attracted to plants because we depend on them for food, shelter and other means of our survival.

If you are a beginner gardener and want some tips on soil, how to plant a veggie garden or pollinator garden, check out the Gardening with KSAT segments here.

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Walking through beauty in Hidcote’s hidden gardens | Gardens

If the previous owner of your garden came to visit, which part would you show them first? That’s what somebody asked Lottie Allen recently. She took a moment to think it over.

Allen is head gardener at Hidcote, in Gloucestershire, one of the National Trust’s flagship destinations – and the first to be acquired, in 1948, specifically because of the garden rather than the house. Since then, visitors have drawn inspiration from its ingenious architectural layout – a series of small rooms divided by hedges – as well as the dense, colorful planting, which includes many rare varieties.

Allen is keen to raise the profile of the man who created all this. On the 75th anniversary of its acquisition, the Trust is putting on a series of major exhibitions. “Lots of people have heard of Hidcote, but not of Lawrence Johnston. This was his only garden. If it wasn’t for him, this wouldn’t exist.”

'If it wasn't for him, this wouldn't exist': Lawrence Johnston with gardeners and his dogs at Hidcote in the 1930s.
‘If it wasn’t for him, this wouldn’t exist’: Lawrence Johnston with gardeners and his dogs at Hidcote in the 1930s. Photo: National Trust Images

So the first thing she would show Johnston, if he happened to visit, would be something that reflected continuity with his original vision. But with so much variety, what would that be? The old garden? The white garden, maple garden, pillar garden? Gazebos? Red borders? Bathing pool? One of the terraces, stream gardens or wildernesses? The great lawn? The souvenir guide lists 37 separate highlights.

Allen has been a head gardener at the National Trust for 20 years. But coming to Hidcote was a “massive, daunting” prospect. Its sheer complexity required her to write a five-year plan. “It would be so easy to come in and be scattergun,” she says.

On my first visit, in March, I walked around the garden before going in, on a path provided for dog-walkers. Keeping tightly to the perimeter, it provides tantalizing glimpses of what’s inside. Most striking, high above the rest, was a giant Magnolia campbellii waving its big pink hands to welcome me inside.

The lily pool at Hidcote.
‘Spaces to arouse curiosity’: the lily pool. Photo: James Dobson/National Trust Images

Map in hand, I entered the mazy garden and instantly felt a slightly anxious thrill: how could I possibly manage to see it all? And that Fomo is built into the design quite deliberately.

Johnston was born to a wealthy American family. His parents divorced when he was 12, and his mother brought him to England. He made a career in the army, but was always interested in gardening: three years before buying Hidcote, in 1907, he became a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society. He was influenced by Thomas Mawson’s idea of ​​creating a series of spaces to arouse curiosity, rather than a panorama that can be grasped in one view. –

He built out gradually from the house, adding a series of garden rooms. It’s easy to imagine that without an initial design for the finished garden, he might have ended up with something boxy and

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EnviroProjects Named SBA’s Maryland Home-Based Business Of The Year

EnviroProjects LLC in Severna Park has been named the 2023 Maryland Home Based Business of the Year, by Stephen D. Umberger, district director of the US Small Business Administration’s Baltimore District Office.

Aaron Keel, principal of EnviroProjects, along with 13 additional award winners from Maryland, will be honored at the 37th annual Maryland Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on June 8 at Martin’s West in Woodlawn, Maryland.

The company assists clients with advanced environmental compliance needs through strategic, cost-effective, accurate and productive solutions. Since 2009, EnviroProjects has specialized in providing natural resource services and regulatory and cultural services while conducting due diligence and contamination assessments. Keel has more than 25 years of experience working with both private development and public infrastructure projects throughout the mid-Atlantic region. He is a member of numerous environmental and civic organizations, most recently serving as chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Baltimore District Regionalism Committee, and volunteers with local restoration efforts of the Severn Riverkeeper and Patuxent Riverkeeper organizations.

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year, the dates are May 1-5, with national events planned virtually and in select cities across the country.

For information on the 2023 Maryland Small Business Week Awards Luncheon or for tickets, visit or contact

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Gardening expert shares what peace lilies ‘need’ – without it the plant ‘won’t flower’

Peace lilies fail to bloom again because of improper care. Owners need to provide these houseplants with adequate light, moist soil, and the correct temperature and humidity to bloom again. Blooming can also depend on the variety of plants, as some peace lilies only bloom once a year during their blooming season.

Ben Hilton, founder and editor of The Yard and Garden has shared several mistakes peace lily owners should avoid, so that they can encourage their houseplants to bloom.

1. Overwatering

Improved watering has adverse effects on the overall health of the peace lily. Overwatering is a common mistake that keeps the soil damp most of the time. This leads to root rot as the roots suffice by staying in the damp soil all the time.

The roots fail to function and provide water and nutrients to the plant, creating an extremely harmful environment. Therefore, an overwatered unhealthy peace lily fails to grow or bloom.

The expert said: “Peace lilies are sensitive to overwatering, as they prefer moist soil, not soaking wet, and certainly not sitting in water. It’s only essential to water when the soil is drying out.

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“Use the finger test, push your finger one inch into the soil, and feel for moisture. If it’s dry, water the plant thoroughly and allow the water to drain into the sink.”

2. Lack of drainage

Soil could also be the reason why the peace lily doesn’t flower. If the soil has a poor drainage system, it can cause overwatering.

Soil with a high clay content will cause overwatering as the clay will hold more water for an extended period, whereas sandy soil will drain water very quickly, making the soil dry too quickly.

Ben explained: “Insufficient drainage can cause the soil to become waterlogged, leading to root rot or other forms of bacteria or fungal infection.”

He noted that if a peace lily “has to battle with any form of disease”, it has “no chance of producing blooms”.

Adding compost to the potting soil can help make a sound drainage system. It will help in both retaining moisture and draining water.

3. Insufficient light

Peace lilies are “in need” of bright, indirect, filtered light in order for them to bloom. The expert said: “They are often placed in full direct sun or dark corners, where they simply won’t perform.

“Aim to locate them in a bright room or near a North or East facing window.” These directions will give the plant the right amount of sunlight.

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For those who keep them near a south or east facing window, use curtains whenever the sun rays become intense.

Pull down the curtains to create a filter for direct sunlight. This will give the plant perfect indirect sunlight.

4. Low humidity

Peace lilies are native to tropical regions and therefore enjoy humidity. If the air is too

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