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Gardenista’s 10 Most-Read Stories of 2018

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Gardenista’s 10 Most-Read Stories of 2018

December 26, 2018

You really love a list, don’t you? Reader, your favorite stories this year included many itemized recitations—10 secrets to soothe succulents, 18 garden design trends for ’18, and infinite ideas to organize your backyard shed (and yes, we included the one about putting in a Persian rug to make puttering feel posh).

The most popular story of the year, though, was about a humble houseplant, a Christmas cactus capable of boosting your holiday happiness. A modest flowering friend—is that what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown?

Have you checked off all the to-do items on your 2018 gardening list?  Double check: here are our top stories of the year. …Let us know if you have a favorite to add to the mix (all nominations welcome).

1. Christmas Cactus: A Houseplant That Will Change Your Life

Take it from Annie, who says, &#8\2\20;The Christmas cactus is a plant of magic and mystery.”  Throughout her childhood in Maine, a Schlumbergera bridgesii bloomed faithfully every holiday season. Read more in Gardening \10\1: Christmas Cactus. Photograph by Maja Dumat via Flickr.
Above: Take it from Annie, who says, “The Christmas cactus is a plant of magic and mystery.”  Throughout her childhood in Maine, a Schlumbergera bridgesii bloomed faithfully every holiday season. Read more in Gardening 101: Christmas Cactus. Photograph by Maja Dumat via Flickr.

With enthusiasm like this for seasonal succulents, we can’t wait for Easter cactus season to roll around.

2. 10 Things Nobody Tell You About Succulents

Are you scandalized when your succulents die? Stop beating yourself up over their bad behavior. Outwit their suicidal tendencies with Succulents: 8 Tips to Help Your Favorite Indoor Plants Survive Winter. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Above: Are you scandalized when your succulents die? Stop beating yourself up over their bad behavior. Outwit their suicidal tendencies with Succulents: 8 Tips to Help Your Favorite Indoor Plants Survive Winter. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

First, the good news. Any three potted succulents will look good together. Now, brace yourself: “Gray” succulents can be horrible houseplants. These are two essential things you need to know about succulents, and yet no one has thought to clue you in? Read more hard truths in 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Succulents.

3. Mosquito Repellent: 5 Flowers and Herbs to Keep Pests Away

Could it be this easy (and beautiful) to rid your life of annoying, buzzing pests? Experiment alongside us, with bug repellents otherwise known as lavender, marigolds, basil, rosemary, mint, and scented geranium. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Above: Could it be this easy (and beautiful) to rid your life of annoying, buzzing pests? Experiment alongside us, with bug repellents otherwise known as lavender, marigolds, basil, rosemary, mint, and scented geranium. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

We came up with a plan to bring the full power of your anti-mosquito forces to the deck or patio: a mosquito repellent floral arrangement. Pretty, and pretty powerful.

4. 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Houseplants

See more tips in How to Successfully Grow Houseplants: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.
Above: See more tips in How to Successfully Grow Houseplants: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design. Photograph by Mimi Giboin.

Do you see a trend emerging here? Watch for upcoming installments in our new 10 Things Nobody Tells You series.

5. 10 Best Garden Design Trends for 2018

Photograph by Laure Joliet. See more at Designer Visit: An Indoor-Outdoor LA Garden by Judy Kameon.

Back in January we confidently predicted the year’s top gardening trends. The mossarium, the statement gate, the deconstructed outdoor kitchen. …  How many did we get right?

6. 10 Best Landscape Design Software Programs of 2018

Above: Photograph by Michelle Slatalla.

“In the digital era, a slew of landscape design software will help you design your landscape like a pro,” writes our contributor Leanne Potts. Her sleuthing turned up 10 of the best.

7. Everything You Need to Know About Houseplant Vines

See more in An Insider’s Guide to Getting First Dibs on the Best Ikea Houseplants. Photograph via Ikea.
Above: See more in An Insider’s Guide to Getting First Dibs on the Best Ikea Houseplants. Photograph via Ikea.

“A houseplant vine can become curtains on a window, or add a layer of texture to a bare brick wall, or inject life into a sterile, tiled bathroom—if only you can convince it to actually grow indoors,” writes our contributor (and houseplant whisperer) Jane Perrone. She shares all the secrets.

8. Landscaping: 10 Clever Gardening Tips to Save Time

Organize, organize, organize (sheds included). See more of this garden in Before & After: A Garden Makeover in Michigan for Editor Michelle Adams. Photograph by Marta Xochilt Perez.
Above: Organize, organize, organize (sheds included). See more of this garden in Before & After: A Garden Makeover in Michigan for Editor Michelle Adams. Photograph by Marta Xochilt Perez.

It’s not that we’re in a hurry. It’s just that “anyone with a well-tended garden knows the endless hours that can be eaten up by chores,” writes our contributor Clare Coulson, who offers helpful advice to minimize the drudgery.

9. Your First Garden: What You Need to Do in Fall for a Lush Lawn in Spring

Don&#8\2\17;t be scared, it&#8\2\17;s just a robot taking over a human&#8\2\17;s job. Read more in Robotic Lawn Mowers: Are They Worth It?
Above: Don’t be scared, it’s just a robot taking over a human’s job. Read more in Robotic Lawn Mowers: Are They Worth It?

We’re so happy that Fan Winston, editor in chief of our newest sister site, The Organized Home, also not so long ago bought her first house (garden included). Our new series, Your First Garden, chronicles Fan’s adventures year-round. See more installments, including What to Do in the Garden in December, What You Need to Know About Raking Leaves, and What You Need to Know Before You Plant a Tree or Shrub.

10. 11 Garden Ideas to Steal from Hipster Homesteaders

Photograph by Greta Rybus.
Above: Photograph by Greta Rybus.

Let’s raise a glass to toast all the hipsteaders who’ve gone back to the land to farm (and post on their Instagram accounts), as well as to all seasonal settlers and weekend escapees who’ve left city life behind part-time. Hope to visit you again come spring.

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