Landscape Tips

  1. The Best Reblooming Shrubs for Summer

    Flowering shrubs do lots of good things in the garden, but their length of bloom often disappoints.  Exceptions do occur, with hybrid roses being the most obvious and ubiquitous example.  They’re not the only shrubs that bloom long and well, though.  Here are seven of the best of the rest.  Their individual flowers may not …

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  2. Pruning Apple Trees in Spring

    An unpruned apple tree is a snarly-branched, puny-fruited thing.  One of the best ways to keep that from happening to your apple trees is to give them an annual late-winter pruning. Fortunately, backyard apple trees don’t need the complicated pruning regimens followed by commercial orchards.  A couple hours of pruning per year can keep your …

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  3. The Best Spring Anemones

    Winter winds leave an untidy legacy in the early spring garden. Cleaning up those broken branches and dead leaves is a chore, but the job is a lot more pleasant if you have another kind of “wind” tickling the toes of your garden clogs—windflowers or spring anemones. Planted in borders or containers, they emerge just …

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  4. The Best Maples for Maple Sugaring

    It’s sugaring season across much of southern Canada and the northern United States.  The sun is climbing higher, temperatures are moderating, and maple sap is starting to flow. You don’t need sugar maples to make good maple sugar, however.  Purists may blanch at the thought, but several other maple species have sweet-flavored sap that flows …

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  5. Non-Invasive, Native Evergreen Groundcovers

    It’s time for American gardeners to move beyond Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis), English ivy (Hedera helix), and periwinkle (Vinca minor).  It’s true that these ubiquitous landscape plants make excellent evergreen groundcovers, rapidly forming dense swaths of handsome foliage.  But, in addition to being tiresomely common in American gardens, they’re a nuisance outside of cultivation, invading …

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  6. Hazelnuts for Edible Landscaping

    Clusters of autumn hazelnuts look like brown caps surrounded by green, lacy husks. The sweet nuts are a pleasure to pick for drying, roasting, and winter eating, and the attractive trees and shrubs look beautiful in the landscape. Hazelnut Basics Hazelnuts (Corylus spp.) are trees and shrubs that originate from temperate regions across the globe. …

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  7. Pruning Hydrangeas

      Timing and method are essential when it comes to pruning hydrangeas, and they differ depending on the species being pruned. If done improperly, you may prune off next year’s flower buds or cause your shrubs undue stress. On the other hand, making the right cuts at the right time will help keep them looking …

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  8. Mixed Hedges for Beauty and Biodiversity

    Say “hedges” to most people and they will think of an unbroken line of shrubs—most often evergreens—that hide a foundation, define a boundary, or separate lawn and garden areas.  Tidiness and uniformity are a must and pruning is a constant. But, there is no law that decrees that hedges should be monocultures of just one …

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  9. Moth and Moon Garden Plants

      If you spend evenings relaxing on your porch or patio, then consider planting a moon garden nearby. These fragrant late-day gardens glow in the evening light, attracting luminous moths, such as luna moths and sphinx moths, which is why they are also considered “moth gardens”. Moth-pollinated plants have several shared floral characteristics. Their blooms …

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  10. The Best Trees for Bees

    Are you looking to give your local bees a much-needed boost?  Then why not give them a tree!  Plant any of the trees described below in fall or spring, and they’ll provide a banquet of nectar- and pollen-rich blooms that will have your neighborhood honeybees, bumblebees, and other hymenopterans buzzing with appreciation.  Their attractive foliage …

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