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gourdsThink Gourds for Halloween

It's over this year for growing your own gourds, but you can be ready next year.

This year try and search out some gourds from your local farmer's market and decorate and craft them for the spookiest season of the year - Halloween. (more)

The Bit in the MIddleThe Bit In The Middle

Patrick Vickery, our gardening friend from the Scottish Highlands has generously written for EmilyCompost since early in this century. He has a new book out, "The Bit in the Middle," available on Amazon. They describe the book as "...charting the chaotic, absurd and often extraordinary aspects of everyday life..."

(more on Patrick or visit his web site or his blog)

Tree Trimming photo by Daniel X. O'NeilTree Trimming Tips

Fall may feel like the perfect time to rest after a long summer working in your garden but there is still plenty of work to be done. Gardens need to be put to bed, grass needs to be fertilized and trees need to be pruned.


PumpkinsThe Pumpkin Scoop

Both Halloween and Thanksgiving are associated with that great vegetable - the pumpkin. It is hard to imagine Halloween without a jack-o-lantern and Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

The pumpkin is one of our earliest American icons. It not only is famous for being on the Plymouth Rock dining table of 1621; their dining guests - the North American native Indians, cultivated it.


Beefsteak BegoniaBeefsteak Begonia

Beefsteak Begonia, Begonia erythrophylla, comes with a lovely romantic history that speaks about its success as a wonderful houseplant. Its crisp, watery leaves are as round as a pancake, born on watery stems ringed with fine hairs and growing from horizontally creeping rhizomes. (more)

Emily: Can I grow my lucky bamboo in dirt?

Lucky BambooDear Emily: Greetings from the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados. I have a question about lucky bamboo. Can it be grown in soil? If so, what kind of soil? Will the plant do better in soil or water?

A: The lucky bamboo, you might know, is not even a bamboo. It is a Dracaena sanderiana which we used to grow in soil in pots back in the 1970s. The way it is cut and sold as lucky bamboo, it seems to do much better directly in water, but it can be grown in very moist soil.

It is probably native to a tropical area where it is a rainforest plant in soil getting lots of moisture.