Fleabane Plants Really Do Repel Dog Fleas

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Free eBook reveals a natural way to control fleas that dog pets in yard and garden at http://www.moplants.com/   When pets frolic in aromatic herbs that naturally repel fleas, the oils remain in the dog’s coat to keep them more pest free without chemicals. Fleas have been the bane of humans as well as dogs through the ages.  Before pesticides, it was common to strew fresh cut herbs over the floor of home, pub or castle to control vermin.  The oils in many garden herbs are historic flea repellents, leading many to be dubbed “flea bane”. Oils in certain fresh cut herbs are unappealing to insect pests. You can use these same plants to discourage fleas from inhabiting your yard, doghouse or dog bed.  You’ll need to grow your own to obtain enough fresh material to make a difference.  Simply cut and use the sprigs to line the bottom of the doghouse.  You can also strip off the leaves and use them to stuff an indoor dog bed.  Dry the severed leaves and they’ll keep dog beds flea-free year around. For a list of the best flea bane plants and how to use them to give you and your pet a pest-free environment naturally, download our free e-Book at http://www.moplants.com/  

Dog Conscious Garden Design FREE

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Gardens for dogs and people satisfy the needs of both!  Nobody speaks for Fido when it comes to the backyard landscape.  Yet he spends more time there than the rest of the family.  What I call K-9 conscious garden design blends amenities for you and your dog into a harmonious space.  It also addresses the most common safety problems that can hurt your pooch and send your vet bill into the stratosphere!   Download our new FREE e-Book at www.MoPlants.com Inside you’ll find: Create a summer heat flop spot to keep your flower beds safe. Design your dog house and run where Fido wants it.  Plants that repel fleas. Plants that are good for your dogs to eat. Creating adventurous spaces that keeps dogs busy! And much, much more… To create the ultimate K-9 conscious yard that looks great and works for the entire family, download the information packed free e-Book at www.Moplants.com

Off To The Portland Oregon Garden Show

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  I’m off again, this time to the Portland Garden Show.  I’ll be giving presentations every day at the Monrovia Stage where you’ll catch: Designing with Four Season Foliage  Gives you the tools to create fantastic foliage color and effects all year around.  Friday 2:00 and Sunday 3:30 Right Plant…Right Pot  Shows how to make truly outstanding potted architectural pieces to add elegance and spice to any yard or garden.  Friday 11:00  Sat. 5:00 I’ll be at the Monrovia Marketplace booth to meet everyone and answer your questions -  Friday  4:00-7:00 PM   Saturday 1:00-4:00   Sunday 10:00 AM-1:00  See you at the garden show!   Mo

Mardi Gras and Sunflowers in Russia

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Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day of good living until the austerity of Lent.  This time of penitence links the Old World with New World sunflowers in a most unexpected way.   In Medieval times the eastern church determined that the forty days of lent would be a time of abstinence from fats and oils.  An official document detailed all the types of foods believed to contain appreciable amounts of these nutrients.   The American sunflower of the Midwestern plains grown by Native Americans for centuries soon found a home in Russia.  It didn’t catch on immediately, though.  At least not until the Catholics realized that the sunflower was not on the “banned fats” list because it was too newly introduced.  As a result, the demand for seed and oil during the Lenten season drove this crop into the fields.  Russia would become a producer of sunflowers and breeding would yield some of the largest hybrids in the world.    

Mexicolor Tropical Wins At The Northwest Garden Show

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It was truly an honor to be invited to judge the incredible gardens at the Seattle based Northwest Garden Show last week.  The effort to create so many exquisite landscapes out of nothing on a convention floor is incalculable, with enormous stones and structures requiring feats of engineering to accomplish in record time. The hands-down favorite for best of show as a feast of color and form inspired by the Mexican Riviera.  Dense and diverse, the little garden house with its corrugated metal roof stood at the center of the little landscape.  Surrounded by tropical and subtropical plants of large scale and maturity, every inch of this garden offers a new idea to conetmplate.   The “jungle” is alive with painted Oaxacan carved animals that frolic and hide in the most ingenous ways.  Furniture and overhead arbors made of simple fresh cut twig work are draped in bright Mexican textiles.  Even the floors of viewing areas were carpeted in synthetic Persian style outdoor rugs.  This was indeed the brightest spot in the Northwest during the cold, rainy Seattle weekend. Stay tuned to our blog for a look at many of the other great garden design ideas from Seattle!   

Off to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show

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I’m delighted to be judging the gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle over the coming week.  So the MoZone blog will be on hiatus until my return.   I’ll be giving three seminars at the show for anyone planning to attend. Your Own Private Sanctuary: Creating Gardens for Contemplation  Wednesday, Feb 14  10:00 AM Rainier Room Outdoor Decor:  Adding Style to Outdoor Spaces   Thursday Feb 15  2:30 PM Rainier Room Small Space Design Inside and Out:  Integrating Your Home and Garden  Friday Feb 16  10:00 AM Rainier Room Hope to see you there!   Mo

Bees Love Wild Bergamont Flowers

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The flower is called “bee balm” because no other blossom lures them as irresistibly.  Whenever my lavender flowered Monarda fistulosa is in bloom, it’s a virtual biology lesson on how many tiny bee species live in my area.  Wild Bergamont, aka Monarda fistulosa is a good choice for drier western gardens. This native perennial is as tough as they come and survives my clay soil, hot summer and neglect, growing larger by the year.  It is a wildflower that ranges from Canada to the deep South, growing in woods, thickets and prairies.  If it can thrive in the wild, just think how well it will do in your garden! There are two native species, the lavender form in my garden and a red flowered one that prefers slightly moist soil, Monarda didyma.  The leaves of this species were a medicinal tea of Native Americans that was later taken up by colonists after the Boston Tea Party as a substitute for imported English tea.  Oswego tea, aka Monarda didyma is a native of the northeastern states and prefers more moist conditions. Both Monarda species are ground hugging mats of foliage that spread by underground roots.  In the spring tall flower stalks bolt upright to as much as four feet tall, each topped with a broad headed blossom up to three inches across.  As it opens bees arrive to pollinate.  The only downside to these plants is that the stalks are so tall, if brushed they fall over, so plant Monarda well away from walks and paths where they won’t be disturbed.  And this also keeps the bees well away from you and your visitors.  Buy your plants in one gallon size at the garden center to get them off to a good start this spring.  They’ll easily naturalize where conditions are right, but in the dry west Monarda fistulosa will require a bit of summer water.  You can also buy Monarda right now online at Park Seed and Wayside Gardens in our Cool Links section.