Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
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The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
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Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
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Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
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Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
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Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
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Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
You would have to move to Hawaii or Puerto Rico to experience truly tropical conditions, but you don’t have to go that far to get a hint of the tropics. In the extreme south and southwest it’s flip-flop weather before gardeners in most of the country have shed their sweaters. In Hardiness Zones 9 and 10 — in Miami, Phoenix, and San Diego, where low temperatures rarely fall below freezing — there’s always something blooming in the garden. In these areas, palms are part of the landscape; giant elephant’s ears add drama, and flowering vines cover arbors and clamber along fences.
Gardeners in Phoenix set tomato and pepper transplants out into the garden in February; and in early March, the ground is warm enough to sow bean seeds. Snow may still cover gardens in Milwaukee while Angel’s trumpet and mandevilla vines are blooming in Miami. Gardeners in southern California are pruning their roses while northern gardeners wistfully flip through catalogs and place orders for the coming season.
If you don’t live in these short-sleeve climates, you can still grow many of the plants that make tropical and semi-tropical gardens so lush — and, at least for a few months every year, you can experience the tropics in your own back yard. Here are a few tropical plants to try:
• Caladiums, which are grown for their colorful shield-shaped leaves, are cultivated by the acre around Lake Placid, Florida. Caladiums grow from tubers; they’re harvested in winter and shipped to gardeners in northern climates in spring. Plant them in the ground when the soil warms up, or start them in pots in a sunroom or greenhouse and move them to the garden in early summer. A transplanter trowel with inches marked on the blade makes it easy to plant them at the right depth, covering the tubers with one to two inches of soil. Hardy in Zones 9-12.
• Mandevilla vines are popular mailbox plants in many areas. They’re winter-hardy only in Zones 9-11, but they flourish in hot summers everywhere. In the past few years, hybridizers have introduced trailing varieties and new selections with bright red blooms. Look for plants in garden shops in spring, and give them plenty of sun.
• Canna lilies stand up to eight feet tall in a garden; their leaves may be bronze, green, or dramatically variegated, and their gorgeous, long-lasting flowers attract hummingbirds. They’re hardy only to Zone 8, but they bloom in bright sunny spots in gardens far from their native zone, until frost kills them.
• Hibiscus plants bloom for months; when the weather heats up they will produce more fancy, frilly flowers than you can count. Hibiscus plants are large shrubs or small trees, and many specimens at garden shops are trained as standards, on a single stem. A pair of hibiscus plants in pots brings a touch of the tropics to any garden. Give them plenty of sun, and prune them with sharp pruners to keep them bushy and lush.