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A picture of ginger lily flowers.

How to Properly Care for Ginger Lily in Your Garden

With the burgeoning and often oppressing heat of summer having set in, I think it is time to start talking about a plant that not only likes this sort of heat, but thrives in it: the ginger lily (A.K.A. the butterfly lily). Though it is called a lily, the hedychium coronarium is genetically much closer to the first half of their name: ginger. You can even eat the tubers they produce, though from what I have heard they do not have much taste. They are native to tropical regions in Asia such as India, but since they have been introduced to many countries, they can also be easily found in the Southern United States. The flower is so popular that even though they are not native to the country, ginger lilies have been named the national flower of Cuba. But enough of the origins of the plant, let us talk about how to properly take care of one.
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A picture of ripening blueberries.

Tips on How to Protect and Grow Your Blueberries

We have a blueberry bush that has been growing in our yard since I was young. It seems to grow bigger every year and at this point we end up giving a good amount of the harvest away because it produces so much fruit. But it definitely didn’t start that way. It took years for it to grow to what it is now. It was well worth it though, so if you have been considering planting a blueberry bush yourself, here are a couple of things we learned over the years that could save you some heartache.
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A trio of acorns still on their branch.

Acorns: What are They Good For?

The oak tree is a staple for Charleston. Its leaves, the way its limbs stretch and twist, and, of course, its acorns, are all iconic. But during the Fall the acorns can be a nuisance, as they are everywhere and hurt to step on. Although they can sometimes get in the way of sitting under an oak for a picnic, acorns can be very beneficial. They act as an excellent food source if prepared correctly. They are full of nutrients and you can eat them in a variety of ways. However, they also contain a large amount of tannic acid. If you eat too many acorns you can become nauseous and have stomach pain. Luckily there are ways to remove the tannic acid in the nuts so that they are fit to eat!
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A close up of a fruit-bearing beautyberry.

Beautyberry and its Many, Many Uses

American beautyberry, or callicarpa americana, is one of my family’s favorite plants. Not only does it live up to its name, but it actually grows naturally in our yard. What really makes it special is that it is the only beautyberry in our neighborhood and in a spot that you would not think it would normally grow: in the metal lattice holding up our mailbox, between our drive and a small brick wall. Because of this, we call it a blessing from God. So when I saw its leaves growing back in, I knew exactly what I wanted to discuss this month. Turns out, not only is the beautyberry nice to look at, it has some really interesting uses for medicine and pest control to boot.
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A photo of Waterperry Gardens, Oxfordshire, UK.

Famous Women, Plant Lovers, and Writers in History: Beatrix Potter and Gertrude Jekyll

Over the centuries, women have been instrumental in making great strides in all areas of life. So, in honor of National Women’s Month, we are going over just a few who helped shape botany, horticulture, and other important fields into what they are today. These women had to work hard for their recognition but still managed to impact the world for generations. Thanks to their efforts, other women were able to follow suit, and the world is better for it. Without further ado, let us very briefly look into the accomplishments of Beatrix Potter and Gertrude Jekyll.
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