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Wonderful Wood Sorrel for Pots and Gardens

Candy cane sorrel (Oxalis versicolor) is named for its white flowers with red edges.

Wood sorrels – known botanically as Oxalis – include some of our most familiar and most annoying garden weeds. But this circumglobal genus has its good side too, encompassing dozens of outstanding garden and greenhouse plants.

Saint Patrick’s Shamrock

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Plants with Heart-Shaped Leaves and Flowers

Hearts are on sleeves–and everywhere else–in February.  Valentine’s Day, arriving at mid-month, is a high point, celebrating love in its many forms.  But Valentine’s hearts are not the only ones in the spotlight. The American Heart Association has designated February as “American Heart Month” to raise awareness of heart health nationwide. Clearly, warm hearts rule in mid-winter.

It is a perfect time to give a loved one, […]

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Miniature House Plants for Small Spaces

Some apartment dwellers, or those with small homes, may relish the idea of filling living spaces with big, clambering house plants for a jungle-like look, but others can take a subtler approach with space-saving miniature plants. They demand less care and provide more elbow room while keeping the water bills low.

A sunny tabletop can hold several small plants rather than one large specimen and still […]

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Hot New Vegetable Varieties for 2021

Chinese-cabbage lovers wishing for a little more excitement will relish the purple-leafed ‘Merlot’.

With the holidays in the rearview mirror and the New Year launched, it is time to check out the new vegetable varieties from seed vendors.  Most 2021 catalogs are up now online, and many companies still send paper editions as well.  Whether you aim to grow a simple pot of cherry tomatoes on […]

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Terrific Trailing Begonias, Indoors or Outdoors

Shrimp begonia hybrids have lovely leaves and blooms.

If the dark days of December have you pining for flowers, foliage, and fragrance, might we suggest some trailing begonias? These fibrous-rooted members of the Begonia tribe include dozens of evergreen species and varieties that burst into aromatic bloom during midwinter. Bless their hearts.

Brazilian Heart Begonia

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Cheerful Red House Plants

Anthurium is one of many cheerful red house plants.

December—when the days are short and light is low—calls for maximum winter cheer. Holiday decorations are great spirit-boosters, but to add some long-term uplift, there is nothing like a splash (or two or three) of red. One of the best ways to create those cheerful splashes is to invest in a few house plants with red flowers […]

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Versatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens

Versatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens

Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a historic Mediterranean evergreen that plays multiple roles in the garden. Where hardy, in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10, it serves as a fine specimen tree or tall hedge. In colder climates, it makes an attractive house plant and summer patio specimen. And, wherever it’s planted it serves as an essential culinary herb. Dried, bottled […]

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Growing Fragrant Eucalyptus Indoors

What do American gardeners have in common with the cute and cuddly Australian koala?  Both animals and humans appreciate the aromatic leaves of the eucalyptus or gum tree (Eucalyptus spp.).  Eucalyptus trees are primarily Australian natives, so Koalas have no trouble finding their tasty leaves that comprise their entire diet. But, Americans, especially those in cold winter climates, have to look farther afield to find eucalyptus […]

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Black Plants for Goth Gardens

What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than to design and plant a Goth Garden? Admit it: you need one.

Of course, you’ll also need plants that look the part. Spiky or bizarrely shaped or ghostly hued plants are obviously essential (a contorted beech – Fagus sylvatica ‘Tortuosa’ – would fit to a twisted tee). Most of all, though, you’ll want some black flowers – […]

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Pretty Pink House Plants for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Pink Stripe Spiderwort is one of the easiest Pink House Plants for Breast Cancer Awareness.

The color pink represents warmth and hope, like the rosy pink clouds of a summer sunset.  It is also the color chosen to symbolize breast cancer research, awareness, and support. Some gardeners may be planting Pink Ribbon spring bulbs or Pink Invincibelle III hydrangeas to commemorate October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. […]

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