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Homegrown Mints for Cooling Libations: Mojitos and Juleps

Mojitos have become a favorite tart, herbal summer drink!

Parched summer palates demand refreshments that are icy cold, wet, and flavorful.  For sophisticated adult palates, the mojito, a classic Cuban cocktail, and the julep, beloved in the American South, check all the right summer boxes. Mint, muddled or crushed with sugar prior to the addition of liquid ingredients, adds distinctive flavor notes to these drinks.

But, which mint […]

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What Are Some Low-Maintenance, Noninvasive Groundcovers For Shade?

Pennsylvania Sedge is a lush, grass-like, non-invasive groundcover that grows well beneath trees.

“I need a straight answer. I have read so much, I am confused after reading so many articles. I need a low-maintenance, noninvasive ground cover on a mostly shady hillside. If it is invasive, it will end up causing me issues as I am unable to maintain anything that needs to be […]

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The Patriotic Perennial Garden: Planting in Red, White, and Blue

Native perennials in red, white, and blue!

What could be more American than a planting of native perennials that flowers red-white-and-blue in summer? If you have a sunny to lightly shaded garden spot with reasonably decent soil, you could celebrate next Independence Day with your own floral fireworks, courtesy of the following perennials. All are native to eastern North America, and hardy to USDA Zone 5. […]

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Effortless Everlasting Cut Flowers for Crafting

Glistening straw flowers come in many bright colors.

True everlasting flowers hold their shape and color for a long time after drying. Most are grown as annuals, but a few are also perennials that will return yearly. Crafty gardeners should grow some of these each year for arrangements and crafting. They are so bright in the garden and beyond.

I first took an interest in everlastings […]

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Easy Okras for Hot Summer Gardens

Red, burgundy, and purple okra varieties are extra pretty in the garden.

Okra is a southern staple crop for several reasons. The tasty podded vegetable thrives in heat and even drought, and it is so easy to grow. Newer varieties are more tender, prolific, and lack painful spines. As an added bonus, you can let the pods mature and become woody at the end of the […]

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Growing Gooseberries and Currants

In Europe, people have long celebrated the unique flavors of gooseberries and their colorful relatives, currants.  Children drink Ribena and adults enjoy kir cocktails, both made with black currants.  At breakfast, many people spread red currant jelly on their toast.  Later in the day, they may enjoy a gooseberry fool, an old-fashioned dessert made with sweetened gooseberries, cream, and custard.

Fruitful European gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa, USDA […]

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Garden Perennials That Don’t Stop Blooming

As flowering plants, most perennials are a mixed blessing. To their credit, they produce some of the garden’s signature blooms, on plants that return reliably year after year. What would spring be without primroses and trilliums, or summer without bee-balm and black-eyed Susans, or fall without asters and Japanese anemones?

Seasonality of bloom does have its downside, however. Many perennials are as fleeting as they are […]

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The Ten Most Beautiful Edibles

Ornamental vegetables look pretty when planted in tidy, geometric arrangements.

The traditional French potager, or kitchen garden, combined both edible and ornamental elements to create beds that were both beautiful and productive. Given the array of fruit, vegetable, and herb varieties available now, just about anyone can do the same thing. 

Grow The Edibles That You Love

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Growing Hybrid Tea Roses for Cutting

Long-stemmed roses grown for their big, lush blooms are hybrid tea roses. They are noted for their open, upright habits, and long-stemmed roses, which are ideal for cutting. Earlier in the 20th Century, these were the most popular roses for gardens, but times have changed. Now, they are underplanted, relative to popular shrub, grandiflora, and floribunda roses, which are denser and flower-covered. Hybrid tea blooms […]

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How Do You Grow Waterlilies in Containers?

“I would like to know more about waterlilies, container-growing, and how to plant them.” Question from Uma of Wellington, Florida–

Answer: You are in luck! There are quite a few tropical, compact waterlilies that grow beautifully in containers. Tropical lilies would be best for your zone and climate.

Tropical Waterlilies for Containers

There are many great options available, which may be listed as pygmy or miniature tropical […]

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