All Posts In [I Heart Gardens]

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Image courtesy of Doring Kindersley Limited. © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

There’s nothing like the addition of some freshly-chopped cilantro to a bowl of guacamole or some black bean dip to bring out the flavors. Well, if you’re among those of us who love this green, parsley-like herb, that is! Cilantro has a long history and is gaining popularity in American cuisine. Here’s the scoop on the history of cilantro…as well as how to grow it in your garden.

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An attractive baffle close to a window or patio provides instant privacy.

In this weekly feature gardening expert and certified wit Felder Rushing answers your questions and lays down some green-wisdom. You can get more of your Felder fix at


I am looking for a way of adding privacy in my backyard. I sit low under my neighbor’s kitchen windows, but I don’t need trees because my house is so tall and I need all the sun for flowers and vegetables. Can you help? 
- Katheryne of Colorado


Sometimes horticulturists are blinded by our love of plants – which are not always the best solution to landscape challenges. A tree can be difficult in a small space where you also want sunlight; plus, even the fastest trees take a long time to fill up and out.

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Indulge us here a moment at HGTVGardens, as we say goodbye to our HGTVGardens blog and prepare to say hello to our new and improved website which debuts February 18.

We thought we’d take this opportunity to stroll down memory lane and remember some of our favorite blog posts from the past year, starting with everyone’s favorite fowl-fan, Mick Telkamp. As an editor with the unique pleasure of reading Mick’s posts each week I have loved discovering the complexity of chicken-rearing. It’s hard not to read Mick’s posts and urgently want a coop of chickens of your own. One moment Mick is waxing emotional about chicken psychology and the special bond that can form between a man and his chick.  And the next minute, Mick’s all business as he details how to prepare your flock for winter. Mick is a real Renaissance man, freezing his surplus of chicken eggs one minute and putting up peaches the next. What can this fella not do?

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Box of chocolates? Check. Roses? Check. There may even be some jewelry in store. All that’s left is the perfect meal. One that will elicit those three words you’ve been longing to hear…

“Dang, that’s tasty!”

While beet and cabbage soup may not be one’s first thought when plotting a romantic evening, allow me to make a case for serving up a delicious bowl of this Ukrainian classic to your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. 

It’s red. Be it rose petals, a heart-shaped card or a hearty bowl of soup, red is the color of romance. Don’t mess with the classics.

 Homemade wins. Sure, dinner out in a fancy restaurant has its merits, but when wooing that special someone, a meal thoughtfully planned and prepared for the occasion shows just how much you care.

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Congratulations to Robyn R., yesterday’s giveaway winner who was taught to garden by his father. “He grew up on a farm, but now lives in a suburban area. He just finished the Master Gardener course.” Way to go Robyn!

In 6 days our HGTVGardens blog becomes our website, with new features, a communal spirit and plenty of ways for you, our fellow gardenistas, to share your gardening pictures and experiences.

To celebrate the launch of our new site, we’re staging a giveaway.  Each day one lucky winner, chosen at random, will receive a $25 Lowe’s gift certificate by answering our question of the day. For our giveaway rules check here.

Our question of the day:

Who taught you to garden?

Respond in our comments section below. And good luck!

No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 5:00 p.m. ET on February 17, 2013. For full official rules, visit Sponsored by Scripps Networks, LLC dba HGTV Gardens, 9721 Sherrill Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37932.

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hobbit house

This “Hobbit House,” was created by writer, artist and professor Rena Upitis. Located near a glacially carved lake punctuated with beaver dams, the Hobbit House accommodates guests at Wintergreen Studios, an “off-grid education and retreat center” says Upitis, on 200 acres of woodlands in southeastern Ontario.

“I wanted to create a magical place in the middle of the forest, a way of walking into a fairy tale designed especially for grown-ups,” says Upitis, a writer, artist and education professor with a small architecture and design practice specializing in ecologically sensitive residences, schools and retreats. “This spot was just calling out for a building to grow up from the ground. And so it did.”

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horse tank

Sure it works for watering your horses. But this galvanized tank from Blain’s Farm and Fleet would also make a gorgeous outdoor planter.

I am deeply enthralled to the rustic farmhouse aesthetic, and nothing spells farm-chic to me like galvanized metal.  You can source galvanized planters or decor at the usual design-centric stores. But big box home stores and farm supply shops like Tractor Supply Company, Rural King or Blain’s Farm and Fleet — purveyors of the galvanized horse tank (above) — are great resources too. At these farm supply retailers you’ll find galvanized bins that make great planters or let you bring the outdoors in, as clever solutions for drink storage or toy-organization.

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Rich in vitamins C and K, a good source of fiber, and loaded with folic acid and antioxidants, pomegranates (and especially the juice of this leathery fruit) have surged in popularity in the last fifteen years. A favorite ingredient in everything from salads, desserts and soup to cocktails or even hair conditioner, the reputation of this “modern day” superfood as a staple of healthy living in the 21st century. Even as recently as the 1990s, many Americans were unfamiliar with this sweet-tart favorite.  Thought to have been among the first cultivated fruits and revered in Middle Eastern culture since the Bronze Age, it makes you wonder why it took so long to catch on here in the United States.

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