Jerusalem artichoke is a unique sunflower with delicious, nutty, edible tubers.
Gardeners who have grown Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) have a love-hate relationship with it. The tall, fall-blooming sunflower puts on a big show but spreads aggressively by root and rhizome and sends up 8-10-foot stems that tend to fall over at bloom time. Its delicious edible tubers make up for any bad traits. They have a nutty, […]
When planting bulbs in fall, plant small. “Minor” bulbs can have a major impact in the spring garden. Individually, they may not measure up to bulbous divas such as Darwin tulips and large-cupped daffodils. But combine a few divas with a chorus of lesser companions, and the real magic happens. Why have a quartet when you […]
In late spring to early summer, sage produces purplish or violet flowers (far right).
For better or worse, we live in the age of multitasking, when the ability to do at least two things at once has become a common goal. As we multitask through our days, we gardeners can’t help but ask our plants to do […]
Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, pioneering garden designers like Wolfgang Oehme, James van Sweden and Piet Oudolf sparked an interest in garden grasses. That spark turned into a wildfire of bold, ornamental garden grasses, and now they can be found in public and private gardens all over the world.
Of course, colorful trees produce the biggest show of fall, but it doesn’t have to end there. Lots of non-woody plants change color and pack just as big of a punch in a smaller package. Here are plants that you need if you want to electrify your waning garden with impressive shocks of perennial leaf color.
Think of chaste tree (Vitex agnus–castus) as an equally showy but less invasive alternative to the ubiquitous butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). A shrub or small tree that behaves as a dieback perennial in the coldest fringes of its USDA Hardiness Zones 5b to 9 hardiness range, it bears candelabras of lavender-blue flowers from summer into fall, […]
Artful garden blending is combining a diverse collection of plants, hardscaping, and art into a larger, living, inspiring work of art. The greatest gardeners are master blenders that work magic to bring a garden design idea to life.
The Gertrude Jekylls and Christopher Lloyds (two famed and accomplished garden designers) of this world are […]
Pruning flowering shrubs makes people crazy. Even experienced gardeners hesitate when confronted with a shrub in need of attention. Why? Most of the pruning-phobic are afraid of cutting off next year’s flower buds or even maiming or killing the plant.
Instead, gardeners should focus on other worries because it is hard to cause death by pruning if a shrub is otherwise healthy. The worst that can happen is […]
Vegetable gardens with a good mix of companion plants can perform better.
Some attractive and useful companion plants really do help ward off certain insect pests from specific crops. Plant these companions in quantity, and they can serve to reduce the populations of common insect pests of vegetables.
Research has shown that some companion plantings reduce the number of insect pests that attack vegetable crops. Some companion plants are trap […]
Caladium can come in shades of pink, red, white and many shades of green.
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Summer color is always a challenge in the shade garden. Among the most valuable plants for filling the summer color void are the many showy-leaved hybrids of the tropical American native, Caladium bicolor. Available in a range of flamboyant hues, including flamingo-pink and flaming red, these tender perennials kick into […]
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