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Divide and Conquer Your Garden Perennials

Dividing perennials allows you to share them with friends or move them to new garden spaces.

In the time of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, “divide and conquer” was a battlefield technique that defeated the Emperor’s enemies and expanded the Roman Empire.  You can expand your own empire—or at least your supply of ornamental plants—by dividing mature clumps of perennials.  This technique, which does not require much […]

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Four-Season Perennial Garden Design

Joe-Pye weed, purple coneflower, pale pink Culver’s root, and flowering sedums are all summer-to-fall-blooming perennial powerhouses.

Perennials are garden workhorses that save money by returning yearly, but most do not bloom nonstop. That’s why seasonality is an essential design factor when creating perennial gardens. Designing a beautiful bed with seamless seasonal appeal takes a little skill and knowledge, and it all starts with knowing your plants. […]

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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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Five Stellar US Native Shrubs for Pollinators and Wildlife

These shrubs are tough, beautiful through multiple seasons, and excellent for wildlife.

Some shrubs look beautiful in their natural form. Those on this list are elegantly beautiful in the wild or a garden. They offer aesthetic value and benefit our yard’s ecosystems.

These five shrubs are givers, providing season-long beauty as well as food for multiple pollinators and wildlife at different times of the year. They’ve […]

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Wonderful Winter-Blooming Shrubs for the Garden

Winter jasmine has beautiful fragrant flowers and a pleasing cascading habit.

January showers bring winter flowers. No – really. Plant the right shrubs, and you can have midwinter bloom whenever the weather turns mild, provided you’re in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b or warmer. Boston, Rochester, Columbus, Detroit – wherever. And, all feed early bees and other essential pollinators.

Witch Hazels

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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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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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Native Viburnums: Great Shrubs for Fall

Possumhaw has fruits that turn from pink to blue-black in fall. (Image by Proven Winners)

In spring they give us clusters of fragrant white flowers. In summer, their lush foliage and appealing habits take center stage, but fall is when native viburnums really perform. Their leaves turn glowing colors, and fruits of red, orange, yellow, or black, make a decorative statement before they are picked off […]

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Sustaining a Fall and Winter Butterfly Garden

Optimize your garden as a fall migrating butterfly refueling station for monarchs.

Your summer garden has been a haven for butterflies. Painted ladies and orange sulphurs have flocked to your purple coneflowers and white cosmos, and monarch and swallowtail caterpillars have munched on the showy milkweeds, Dutchman’s pipevine, and bronze fennel. Then there were the giant swallowtails, which discovered the golden hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata ‘Aurea’, […]

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