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 […]
Shady spaces are a frequent source of frustration for flower-loving gardeners. Annuals, like impatiens (regular and New Guinea) and wishbone flowers (Click here to read more about wishbone flower), can help, but for a truly vibrant landscape, dependable flowering perennials are a must. Put your frustration aside, because the options are plentiful, even for the dreaded […]
This summer rain garden shows a mix of flower favorites. (Image by David Steakly)
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Any low, wet area in the yard where rainwater runoff collects after a storm has the potential to be a spectacular, flower-filled rain garden. Maintaining these landscape reservoirs as beneficial gardens rather than stressed turf will save time and headaches and improve your yard’s looks—as long as you plant the right plants and create a design for all-season […]
The flowers of Torenia Summer Wave® Large Blue look spectacular close up.
Gardeners the world over have long suffered from a common ailment—we covet plants, climate conditions, and time that we don’t have. This is especially true of gardeners with shady landscapes. Our gardens may support all kinds of ferns, but we want roses. Hostas the size of small houses sprout without any help at all while we pine for sunflowers. The list of “wants” […]
Muscari armeniacum is the luscious grape hyacinth that naturally spreads in the garden.
No group of plants does “adorable” and “blue” better than grape hyacinths. Most gardeners know these captivating little bulbs by way of Muscari armeniacum and its allies, whose elfin spires of chubby blue flowers do indeed resemble tiny bunches of grapes. But there’s another, equally delightful side to the Muscari tribe, with numerous species that are not at all grape-like in bloom. Botanists […]
Tropical pitcher plant (Nepenthes spp.)
Are you a house plant fanatic who wants new and different ways to show even more green specimens? Do you live in a small space with limited room for indoor greenery? Are you looking for new and different living accents to perk up your decorating scheme?
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