the show

Plants That Light Up the Night!

encore date: March 25, 2017

original air date: February 25, 2017

Often, it’s after hours when we head to the garden to wind down. Amanda Moon from It’s About Thyme makes it a fragrant voyage with plants that glow by moonlight. Daphne lightens things up with sambac jasmine that perfumes containers or garden beds with intricate white flowers. Plus, find out why trees leaf out at different times as we head into spring. Got weeds? Herbalist Ellen Zimmermann joins Trisha to pick the weeds that are good for you! On tour, from childhood, Whitney Nolen knew that she wanted a small urban farm. Now, in a standard backyard, chickens supply eggs, and Nigerian Dwarf goats provide milk that she and neighbors turn into yogurt, cheese, and soap. Visit her garden in person on the 2017 Funky Chicken Coop tour on April 15.

Episode Segments

On Tour

Dwarf Goats & Chickens: Whitney Nolen’s Backyard Urban Farm

From childhood, Whitney Nolen knew that she wanted a small urban farm.  Now, in a standard backyard, chickens supply eggs, and dwarf goats provide milk that she and neighbors turn into yogurt, cheese, and soap. See how she milks her Nigerian Dwarf goats and watch their frolics with the chickens! Her goats are also in demand to control the neighbors’ running bamboo.

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Question of the Week

Why do leaves on trees come out at different times?

A good question that I receive often, especially in times when the weather is off a bit, at least, compared to weather that we might be used to. Although we have a few tropical species, most of the trees in our landscapes are native to the temperate climatic zone, which means that their growth cycle is tied to our spring, summer, autumn, winter cycles.

In the temperate climatic zone, typically, our summers are very hot, compared to our winters. Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall, in response to the arrival of cooler temps and shorter days.

In the spring, when temps are warming up and days are getting longer, that’s a signal to deciduous plants that it’s to wake up from dormancy.  Their tender leaves, if they had them year-round, would be susceptible to frost damage if kept all winter, so the plants “go to sleep” and wait for better times.

Well, if spring weather arrives earlier than usual, trees and plants will be tricked and may think that it’s time to wake up. The warm days that we tend to have during winter now often throw a kink into our temperate zone plants natural cycles, causing them to wake up earlier than usual.

Also, many plants require a certain number of hours of cumulative cold during the winter before they will wake up in the spring. Our stone fruits, peaches and plums, as well as trees that form spring flowers before they form spring leaves, very typically have this growth habit, leading to different times of “waking up,” depending on both their internal time-keeping mechanism, and the weather.

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Plant of the Week

Sambac Jasmine

Sambac Jasmine

Sambac jasmine is a compact tropical shrub, with small, fragrant white flowers from spring to fall. Plant it near a patio or other conversational area to enjoy its perfumed jasmine scent. Listed hardy only to Zone 9, or 20 degrees Fahrenheit, Sambac jasmine is truly tropical and will be killed in harsh winters. In warmer winters, it can remain evergreen or simply die back a little in cold. If planted in a large container and protected in winter, it remains evergreen all year. But even if you have to replant every few years, Sambac jasmine is well worth the effort. It will do best if protected from the harshest late afternoon sun, but needs bright light to grow and flower well. In filtered shade, it will stay a little smaller and have few flowers, but is still quite lovely. Loose soil with a little compost is best, and in ideal conditions, Sambac jasmine will get up to six feet tall and four feet wide. Normally, it stays smaller. Prune in spring to shape and encourage lush growth. Water deeply during the hottest, driest times of summer, but be careful not to overwater, especially if your soil is heavy and not well-draining.