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Tag Archive: garden

  1. How to Map and Plan a New Garden

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    The cusp of the New Year is not prime gardening season in much of the United States. But, it’s often an excellent time to map and design a new garden or planting border, even in areas that experience real winter. All that is required are bare ground, a relatively mild day, and a few common household items.

    Start by considering the garden’s location, size, shape, and desired plants and their growing needs. Roughly sketch out your basic plans. At this stage, don’t worry about precision or specifics. The finer details will be worked out later.

    Setting the Garden Perimeter

    A 50- to 100-foot tape measure with a tip that you can stake in place is extra-useful.

    Once you have sketched basic garden perimeter designs on paper, grab a couple of tape measures and a notepad and pen (or smartphone) and head out to the new garden site. A 50- to 100-foot tape measure with a tip that you can stake in place is extra-useful. If necessary, also bring a garden hose to mark portions of the prospective border’s perimeter that aren’t already defined by paths, walls, and the like. Place stakes along any hose-defined edges so that you’ll have something to refer to after you return the hose to its winter quarters.

    Curved garden edges have a freer feel but are more difficult to edge and map. Rectilinear bed edges look more formal and are easier to edge and map. (Image from Residential Landscape Architecture)

    A border with at least one long, straight edge is a cinch to map. At regular intervals (5 feet usually works well), measure the perpendicular distance from the straight edge to the opposite side of the border. Also, measure the distances to any extant plants and features that will remain as part of the new garden. Transcribe the data to graph paper and – voila! – you have an accurate map of your soon-to-be-border.

    A border with curving edges is somewhat trickier to map. In this case, extend the tape along the approximate “equator” of the border, and measure the perpendicular distances from the tape to both edges at regular intervals. Compared to the straight-sided border, a few more dots and a bit more freehand sketching are required to translate these measurements to graph paper.

    Mapping the Garden

    After taking measurements, put your design to paper.

    A landscape design template is an especially handy implement for the drawing and mapping stage. You can purchase one (as well as graph paper) from most art- and drafting-supply stores, as well as online. It also helps if you have an image of your home’s footprint and yard to sketch upon and include for perspective. This will also help ensure that your garden is placed within your yard’s boundaries.

    Plant renderings can be illustrated in many different ways. Have fun. Be creative.
    (Image from Residential Landscape Architecture)

    To map the border’s location relative to the house, measure the length of the nearest side of the house, and the distances from its corners to the ends of the border. Using graph paper and a ruler, compass, or landscape design template, lightly sketch a curve representing the distance from the one corner of the house to one end of the border. Repeat for the distance from the other corner of the house. The intersection of these curves pinpoints the end of the border. This technique also works if you’d like to map the border’s relationship to other landscape features such as property lines.

    Choosing Plants for the Garden

    Choose colorful, attractive plants that meet the site’s requirements and your aesthetic goals.

    Next comes the really fun part – choosing plants. Given the border’s conditions and surroundings, what would grow and look well there? Compile a list of candidate garden plants that would provide a pleasing mix of flowers, foliage, shapes, sizes, and textures. When you’re happy with your list, start to play around on paper, beginning with the major “keystone” perennials, shrubs, or trees that will form the backbone of the new planting. A composition of rhythmically spaced “keystone” specimens – interspersed with clumps of smaller companion plants – generally works well. Lightly pencil-in a circle for each plant, spacing the circles according to plant size and vigor. Use a complete circle to represent individual specimen plants (often trees or shrubs), and fused circles (omitting their inner portions) to depict clumps.

    Once the soil warms, start cutting and de-sodding your beds.

    Once you have a good handle on the design of your new border, you can start planning how to execute it. It’s never too early to start sourcing and ordering plants (especially rarities that are likely to sell out early). You also need to consider how you’re going to prepare the border site. Is the site currently occupied by grass or by other plants that will need removing? Now’s the time to formulate a strategy.

    Perhaps you’ll decide to rent a sod cutter come spring to remove turf from the site. Or maybe sheet composting is the way you’d like to go. Solarization – blanketing the site with heavy plastic to fry the existing vegetation as well as the weed seeds that lurk in the soil – is another excellent approach that works particularly well if you plan to hold off on planting until fall. A soil test might also be in order, whenever as the ground is workable (most state extension offices offer soil testing at a reasonable price). Finally, what’s your mulch of choice going to be? Now’s the time to find a source.

    Whatever strategy you choose, you’ll likely need compost and soil amendments to improve the soil. If so, you’ve come to the right place! Fafard offers a bevy of such products, including Fafard Premium Natural & Organic Compost Blend and Fafard Premium Topsoil.

    Happy planning – and planting – in 2020!

  2. Mini Indoor Cactus and Succulent Gardens

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    The beauty of succulent house plants is that they demand little attention. The beauty of little succulents is that they demand little space. When placed in an indoor terrarium or rock garden, they create quaint little easy-care landscapes to enjoy year-round.

    Mini cacti and succulents are basically comprised of those that form rosettes, clumps, or gently spread/cascade. Just be sure that you know growth habits–final heights and widths–before creating your planting. Stay with small, slow-growers to avoid fast overgrowth. Some plants may be able to withstand close quarters, but overpacking your pots will eventually smother the least aggressive plants in the group.

    Choose plants with varying shapes, habits, and colors, but be sure not to overstuff the pot.

    When designing your potted succulent garden, include little plants with varying shapes, habits, and colors. Play them against colorful pots, add pebbles, rocks, or shells for interest, and you’re set. You can also use rocks to create varying topographies within the pot to add drama and interest.

    Because the design process requires that you know your plant palette, here are a few plants to consider to get your project started.

    Some Miniature Succulents

    Aloes

    Lace aloe is small and delicate.

    Some aloes are tiny, compared to the common Aloe vera and lack medicinally useful foliage. Aloes are known for their impressive red, coral, orange, or gold spikes of tubular flowers as well as their attractive clumps of foliage. Here are two good small ones that can be found at garden centers or online.

    Lace aloe (Aloe aristata) is named for its dark rosettes of foliage decorated with lacy white edges and spots. It reaches just 3 to 5 inches high and 6 inches wide. If given good sunlight indoors, or brought outdoors in summer, it will produce stems of pendulous, coral-orange flowers in midsummer.

    Little Gator Aloe™ (Aloe ‘Jimmy’) is a very tiny variety that reaches just 3 to 5 inches. It has silvery foliage with white markings. If provided good, consistent sunlight, it will produce a spike of Creamsicle-orange tubular flowers in summer.

    Cacti

    Thimble cactus creates a mound of thimble-sized balls that are just slightly prickly.

    There are hundreds of very small cacti perfect for indoor potted landscapes. Types that are less prickly and/or bloom well inside are good choices.

    One for all-round good looks is feather cactus (Mammillaria plumosa), which is tiny (to 4 inches), round, and covered with feathery white plumes that are finger-friendly (no spines). It is cuter than cute, reaches just 3 to 5 inches and produces yellowish-white flowers in spring. Over time, it will form a clumping mound.

    The flowers of the Easter sea urchin cactus are huge compared to the little cactus.

    Small urchin cacti (various Echinopsis spp.) are also good bloomers, and the little Easter lily sea urchin cactus (E. subdenudata ‘Dominos’) is spectacular when in bloom. The plant stays between 3 and 4 inches high and looks like a green, ribbed sea urchin with sparse tufts of white spines. In spring or summer, huge, white tubular flowers are produced that are very fragrant and bloom at night. (In the wild they attract bat and moth pollinators.) The flowers can reach between 6 and 8 inches long!

    A good one that’s just lightly prickly and very textural is the thimble cactus (Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis). It creates a 2- to 4-inch high mound of many thimble-sized balls with few spines. In late winter, expect a flush of tiny, pale-yellow flowers that are as cute as the plant itself.

    Crassulas

    Tom Thumb rosary vine is a compact trailing crassula. (Photo by David Stang)

    Lots of crassulas become quite large, like the common jade plant, but others are tiny and terrarium-worthy. Tom Thumb rosary vine (Crassula rupestris ssp. commutata ‘Tom Thumb’) is one. Its short chains of succulent leaves are bright green and edged in red. Expect it to reach between 6 to 8 inches long.

    The impressive miniature spiral jade (Crassula ‘Estagnol’) is even smaller and more visually impressive. It has dense clusters of brilliant green leaves that spiral into beautiful patterns. The maximum height is just 3 to 5 inches. On occasion, it may produce small clusters of white flowers in the fall.

    Haworthias

    Star window plants have translucent regions on their succulent leaves.

    These popular little succulents are largely native to southern Africa, and there are lots of different varieties available. Some look like tiny aloes while others look more like little, rounded hens-n-chicks with translucent leaf markings. Sizes vary, but many stay compact.

    Zebra plant (H. fasciata) is one that looks a bit like an aloe. It has dark spiky leaves with knobby white stripes and reaches just 3 to 4 inches high and 4 to 6 inches wide. The variety ‘Super White’ has extra bright stripes. Zebra plant almost never blooms indoors, but if it does, it puts forth delicate stems of white spring flowers.

    Star window plant (H. cuspidata) and cathedral window plant (H. planifolia) are both squat, fat-leaved, and have variable, translucent markings at their leaf tips. Both are slow-growing with rosettes that reach 3 to 5 inches. Their flowers are comparable to those of zebra plant and equally uncommon in indoor specimens.

    Senecio

    Mini blue chalk sticks are low-growing but will spread over time.

    There are several very cute succulent senecios, but most of them are aggressive spreaders. The small and bright mini blue chalk sticks (Senecio serpens ‘Mini Blue’) does spread, but slowly. It has slender, upright, dusty blue stems that reach 3 to 5 inches. Be sure to give it some room to roam.

    Purchasing Mini Succulents

    Be cautious. Small pots don’t always mean small plants.

    Visit any purveyor of succulents to discover lots of other interesting finds, but get informed before you make a purchase. Succulents sold in tiny pots don’t necessarily stay tiny. Some can become very large specimens, so check the plant tag for size parameters, and if the tag doesn’t say, then ask a staff person or look the plant up on your phone.

    Mini Succulent Garden Preparation and Care

    Start with the right pot and growing mix. Large planting bowls or bonsai pots look most impressive. These may be ceramic, plastic, or fiberglass. Be sure that they have good drainage and a watertight saucer below to catch excess water and protect table surfaces.

    Pleasing decorative pots and pebbles will make indoor succulent gardens look really sharp.

    When it comes to potting mix, it must drain very well but also have some organic matter. A good recipe for succulents contains three parts Fafard Professional Potting Mix to one part perlite. The addition of crushed granite (Gran-i-Grit) is also recommended to add extra weight and increase drainage.

    It’s also smart to top the soil with fine, decorative gravel to keep the surface dry and attractive. Pebbles and gravel for terrariums, potted plants, or fairy gardens come in different sizes, textures, and colors. Those in light or neutral shades let plants stand out without overstatement. A bold shell, geode, or another natural decorative element may also lend the final piece appeal and distinction.

    Take your succulent gardens outdoors in summer, so they can soak up with summer sun.

    Grow your plantings in bright or indirect sunlight. A south-facing window or sunroom is ideal. Give them once-weekly water in summer and little water from late fall to winter. Even moderate watering in the winter months can cause cacti and succulents to rot. Taking your potted creations outdoors in summer will help with their overall growth and performance.

    These little gardens take some time and investment to create but their beauty will reward you through the seasons. Give them good care and clip and divide them as needed, to keep them in bounds. Reserve any leftover pieces as welcome gifts to share with other plant-minded friends.


  3. Hardy Terrestrial Orchids for the Garden

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    If you love orchids and outdoor gardening, then it’s time to welcome some beautiful hardy orchids into your garden this season! There are a surprising number of garden-grown orchids available at garden centers and specialty nurseries these days and many are surprisingly easy to grow. Once they put forth their first delicate blooms of the season, you’ll be hooked.
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  4. Luscious Lilies of Late Summer

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    Tiger lilies (Lilium lancifolium) are spectacular tall bloomers that appear in late summer. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

    Most gardens can use a visual lift in the dog days of late summer.  This is where late-blooming lilies come in.  When their voluptuous, often deliciously scented blooms make their grand entrance in July and August, it’s like a royal fanfare in the landscape.  Goodbye, garden doldrums.

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  5. Hugelkultur Layered Vegetable Gardens

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    Garlic, herbs and squash have been planted in this newly planted garden hugel. (Garden by Annalisa Vapaa)


    Looking to create truly sustainable vegetable gardens? Try a layered hugelkultur garden! These raised gardens layer in organic material to create deep reserves of truly rich soil for vegetables. They also allow gardeners to use yard waste, such as leaves, grass clippings, logs, and branches, for no-waste vegetable growing.

    Hugelkultur

    Over time, hugel gardens naturally develop deep layers of organic-rich soil.


    Hugelkultur (meaning “hill culture” in German) is a European planting style that uses permaculture methods to create fertile planting beds rich in organic matter and microorganisms. Designed for food production, the raised “hugel” gardens rely on a base of hardwood logs, branches, compost, and topsoil which, as they slowly decompose, increase fertility and water retention.
    Hugels can be as small or large as desired and should be sited in sunny spot that’s flat and spacious. They can be built from reclaimed materials from your own property or a friend’s yard. This will help you save money and increase the garden’s sustainability. Here are the materials and directions for making one.

    Materials:

    1. Hardwood Logs (Decomposing logs hold more water and break down faster.)
    2. Trimmed Branches
    3. Grass Clippings, Leaves, or Leaf Mulch
    4. Fafard Premium Natural & Organic Compost Blend
    5. Fafard Premium Topsoil
    6. Straw
    7. Vegetable and Herb starts

    Directions:

    Outline the Bed: Create the hugel base by lining up your hardwood logs. Place larger logs along the outside and smaller logs along the inside. (You can also dig out a furrow to deeply set your logs, but this is not necessary. Large logs can create substantial outer supports for hugel beds. Some hugels are even outlined with rocks, logs, or even woven willow wattle for extra support.)
    Layer in Branches and Smaller Logs: Line up smaller branches within the log frame—trim large or unwieldy branches for a tight fit. A 2-foot layer is recommended.
    Compress Branches: Press and stomp down branches to reduce air pockets.
    Layer in Leaves and/or Grass Clippings: Layer in your leaves, leaf mulch, and/or grass clippings, being sure to pack everything between the branch layers.
    Add Compost: Add in a thick layer of Fafard Premium Natural & Organic Compost. Poke the compost down into any remaining pockets. Good soil-to-wood contact will help your branch layer break down faster.
    Add Topsoil: Add a final layer of Fafard Premium Topsoil and rake and shape your hugel to form an attractive mound. (Some hugelkulture guides recommend pyramidal hugel beds, but these are prone to erosion and difficult to plant. A rounded mound with a flatter top is better.)
    Water: Gently water in your hugel for at least an hour to allow moisture to seep deep down. This also encourages settling and will reveal any areas that might need extra topsoil. Let the hugel settle for a day or two before planting.
    Add Straw Layer and Plant: Cover the hugel with a 2- to 3-inch layer of straw, leaves or grass clippings to hold down the soil and reduce weeds. Simply move areas of straw aside to plant in your vegetables and herbs.
    Hugel beds will slowly break down over several years as the wood layers decompose, and as they break down, they will lose loft. Each year it helps to add a new layer of compost and straw to further enrich the beds and keep them weed free. In time, they will take on the appearance of more traditional bermed garden beds with the added benefit of very deep organic matter.

    Extra wood and rocks can be placed outside the hugel for added side support.


     

    Over time, hugels break down and take on the appearance of standard bermed beds.

  6. Best-Tasting Winter Squash

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    Fall time is winter squash time. Whether you plan to make squash soup, a pie, or pasta, some varieties taste better than others. Here are some of the very best to seek at the market and consider growing in the vegetable garden. Many are beautiful and all have outstanding flavor.

    Winter Squash Types

    Sunshine Kabocha Squash

    Several of the varieties mentioned were bred outside of North America, but all winter squash originate from the New World. Species were first cultivated by Native Americans and developed over thousands of years. There are three primary culinary species known to cultivation—C. maxima, C. moschata, and C. pepo. True pumpkins and acorn squash are C. pepo, butternut squash are in C. moschata, and turban and kabocha squash are in C. maxima.

    Across the board, the winter squash on this list rate at the top for flavor, according to countless formal and informal trials and reviews. Gardeners can be confident in choosing any one, if good taste is what they value in a squash. Most are also high performing in the garden.

    Kabocha Squash

    Kabocha (C. maxima) are squat, orange, green or gray-green squash that originates from Japan. They have dense, dry flesh that is bright orange. Two of the more common, and nicest tasting are ‘Red Kuri’ (92-100 days) with its orange-red skinned fruits and smooth flesh that is less sweet but nicely flavored, and the gray-skinned ‘Winter Sweet’ (95 days), which has dry, sweet flesh.

    Acorn Squash

    Cream of the Crop Acorn Squash

    Acorn squash (C. pepo) are wonderfully sweet, deeply lobed, acorn-shaped, and great for roasting. The cream-, gold-, and dark-green-striped cultivar ‘Jester’ (95 days) is just as pretty as it is tasty. Another comparable variety with super sweetness is ‘Sweet Dumpling’ (90-100 days) with its smaller, squatter, ivory and green fruits, and honeyed orange flesh. A less sweet, but colorful, variety is the orange-, cream-, and dark-green-splashed ‘Festival’ (90-100 days). ‘Cream of the Crop’ is a pretty ivory colored variety with good, mild flavor.

    Pumpkins

    Baby Pam Pumpkin

    One of the finest pumpkins for pie is the tender-skinned C. pepo ‘Winter Luxury’ (105 days). Each year this variety, and the small, pie pumpkin ‘Baby Pam’ (105 days), are the pumpkins that I choose for making homemade pie. The ‘New England Pie’ pumpkin (105 days) is an old heirloom from the 1800s that is also highly recommended. The unusual, lumpy, blue-gray-skinned C. moschata ‘Marina di Chioggia’ (100 days) is an Italian heirloom turban squash with dense, sugary, orange flesh great for pies, soups, and desserts.

    Butternut Squash

    Butternut squash have some of the best flavor of all!

    Butternut cultivars are pretty consistent when it comes to flavor. All have richly sweet, nutty flesh favored for all kinds of fall and winter cookery. The compact variety C. moschata ‘Butterbush’ (75 days) is short-vined and bears small butternut squash that are dark orange, dense and very sweet on the inside. Vines are quite productive and early to bear.

    Other Winter Squash Types

    Delicata Squash

    The cream- and green-striped, elongated fruits of Cucurbita pepo ‘Delicata JS’ (100 days) are thin-walled and have sweet, nutty, golden flesh. The small, ornamental fruits of ‘Sweet Lightning’ (100 days) look like tiny pumpkins striped with cream. Its sweet, stringless, pale orange flesh is said to be even better tasting than that of ‘Delicata JS’.

    Cultivating Winter Squash

    Winter squashes need to be started in spring for fall harvest. Be sure to plant them outdoors after the threat of frost has passed. It pays to plant them on berms (click here to read all about berming) amended with lots of organic matter. Fafard Premium Natural & Organic Compost, and Fafard Garden Manure Blend are recommended for spring soil enrichment.
    Full sun and space are essential for these sprawling, vining plants. Many may require as much as a 12’ to 15’ patch to grow to their fullest. You will know the fruits are ready to harvest when they are hard, have full color, and their supporting vines start to wither.

    Winter Squash Pests and Diseases

    There are several pests and diseases that cause squash vines real trouble. Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that damages leaves and gives then a white, dusty appearance. (Click here to learn how to manage powdery mildew.) Squash vine borers bore into vines and cause them to quickly wilt and die. (Click here to learn how to manage squash vine borers.)

    By fall, you should be able to find these squash at farmer’s markets and orchards. You might also consider planting one or two in your garden next year.

    Cucurbita pepo 'Sweet Lightening'
    Cucurbita pepo ‘Sweet Lightening’
  7. Fantastic Fragrant Garden Flowers

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    Paeonia lactiflora 'Sarah Bernhardt' JaKMPM

    Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is an old-fashioned pastel pink bloomer with a heady sweet fragrance. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

    By the end of winter, gardeners long for the sweet scents of flowers.  Some of us take solace in cut flowers from the florist or supermarket while thumbing plant catalogs and indulging in flowery daydreams.  Convert those daydreams to reality by planning a few fragrant garden flowers to your beds, borders and containers.

    Scents of Early Spring

    The ultra-fragrant 'White Pearl' is an exceptional hyacinth for the spring garden.

    The ultra-fragrant ‘White Pearl’ is an exceptional hyacinth for the spring garden. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

    Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) are the essence of spring and some varieties are delectably fragrant.  ‘Campernelle’ is one of them, a multi-flowered yellow species narcissus that blooms early and gracefully.  Towards the end of the daffodil season, luxurious ‘Rose of May’, a double-flowered white bloomer, lives up to its name, exuding a sweet scent.

    The legendary courtesan, Madame Pompadour, loved hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) and nearly three centuries later, they still carry the fragrance banner into mid-spring, with stocky heads of highly scented florets in an array of Easter egg colors.  At about the same time, intensely fragrant lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) scent shaded places with their unique “Muguet des bois” aroma, long a favorite of perfume makers.  If you already grow lily-of-the-valley, dig up a budded clump, pot it up with some Fafard Natural and Organic Potting Soil and enjoy the fragrance indoors while the flowers last.  Afterward, return the clump to the garden.

    Late Spring Fragrance

    The deep purple blooms of sweet pea 'Cupani' offer spicy fragrance from late spring through summer.

    The deep purple blooms of sweet pea ‘Cupani’ offer spicy fragrance from late spring through summer. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

    In pots or trained against walls or trellises, old-fashioned annual sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) send out a ravishing scent.  The maroon and purple Cupani types are among the most fragrant, but all varieties please the nose while tantalizing the eye with delicate orchid-like flowers.  Get a jump on the season by starting sweet pea seeds indoors in trays or cell packs filled with Fafard Natural and Organic Seed Starter.

    By late spring, fragrant garden peonies (Paeonia lactiflora) command center stage, with tall stems, handsome dissected leaves, and big, bountiful flowers.  Older varieties, like the rose-pink double, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, offer winning fragrance and make excellent cut flowers as well.  Well-tended peony plants will live for decades in the garden.

    Summer Scent Extravaganza

    Sweet scents abound in summer.  Biennial stocks (Matthiola incana) are sun lovers that grow one to three feet tall and bear colorful, dense clusters of spice-scented flowers.  Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) echo that clove fragrance, with familiar ruffled flowers in single and bi-colored combinations of reds, whites, yellows, pinks, and purples.  Both stocks and carnations can be grown from seed started indoors eight to 12 weeks before the last frost date, but are also available from nurseries in starter packs.
    Standing tall at the back of the early summer border, nothing perfumes the air like Oriental lilies (Lilium spp.).  Hybridized from several different Asian lily species, Orientals grow three to four feet high and may require staking.  The effort is worth it to support the enormous scented trumpets that are borne in profusion on mature plants.  Freckled pink ‘Stargazer’ and pristine white ‘Casa Blanca’ are among the best-known Oriental lilies.

    Evening Stars

    Nicotiana 'Domino White' (DOMINO SERIES) JaKMPM

    The Nicotiana alata hybrid ‘Domino White’ scents the air on summer nights.

    Fragrant night-blooming plants open their petals in the evening hours to attract pollinators.  One of the best is flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata), which bears long tubular flowers that flare into white or yellow-green trumpets.  Look for the fragrant species form, rather than unscented hybrids, and plant near seating areas or paths where evening visitors can enjoy them.

    Fall Scents

    Fragrance is harder to find as the growing season winds down, but plants that provide it are worth seeking out.  Perfume shady spots with cimicifuga, sometimes known as black cohosh or bugbane (Actaea racemosa).  Rising four to six feet tall, Cimicifuga bears elegant, deeply dissected foliage.  Sweet-smelling white flowerheads, each one bearing scores of tiny fragrant blooms, wave high above the leaves in the early fall.
    Dahlias are great garden and cutting flowers, but are not known for fragrance.  It pays to plant the few that combine beauty and The award-winning 'Honka' dahlia is surprisingly fragrant!scent.  ‘Honka’ is one.  Thriving in sunny spots, the single flowers sport eight narrow yellow petals apiece.  The combination of beauty, scent, and hardiness won ‘Honka’ the Royal Horticultural Society’s coveted Award of Garden Merit.

    Location is Everything

    Position fragrant flowering plants strategically throughout the garden and combine them with a selection of shrubs, trees and foliage plants that also exude distinctive scents.  Even weeding seems easier when the fragrance of flowers hangs in the air.

    Many Dianthus are highly fragrant. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

    Many Dianthus are highly fragrant. (Photo by Jessie Keith)

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