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Zesty Edible Flowers for Good Looks and Good Eats

Signet marigolds are small, beautiful, and tasty.

Some edible flowers pack a big ornamental punch in the garden and an equally large flavor punch in the kitchen. These include the blooms of a few traditional garden annuals as well as the flowers of some lesser-known ornamental herbs that should be a mainstay in any edible ornamental garden. Add them to salads, flavorful herbal butter, and vegetable dishes to provide […]

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Climbing Roses for Garden Romance

For garden romance, nothing surpasses a climbing rose cascading over an
arbor, its arching canes laden with a torrent of voluptuous blooms.

Sadly, many climbing rose varieties do not live up to this promise. They
are – after all – roses, which are rightfully notorious for their
susceptibility to pests and diseases. Arching canes dripping with roses aren’t
nearly as romantic when they’re also dripping with fungal spores and sawfly
larvae.

On the other hand, […]

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Growing Serviceberry for Fruit and Beauty

The summer fruits of serviceberry are tart and sweet.

Well-loved plants tend to collect lots of descriptive common names.  Serviceberries (Amelanchier spp.) have amassed quite a few, including Juneberry, shadbush, shadblow, May cherry, servicetree, and sarvisberry.  No matter what you call them, trees and shrubs of the Amelanchier species deserve attention and appreciation from home gardeners. It is hard to beat them for hardiness, adaptability, four-season interest, and fruits, […]

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Favorite Fragrant Early Spring Flowering Shrubs

Some shrubs produce flowers that do more than draw the eye; they also
delight us with their delicious scent. The most obvious examples are hybrid tea
roses and common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), which owe a good deal of
their renown to the legendary bouquet of their blooms. Yet many other shrubs
offer equally alluring fragrance, often at seasons when lilac and rose are at a
lull.  Here’s a seasonal summary of a few
of […]

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Japanese Flowering Cherries for Every Yard and Garden

A Historic Spring Gift

In 1912, the people of Japan donated over 3,000 flowering cherry trees to the people of the United States as a gift of enduring friendship. Planted around and near the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., the trees delighted visitors and gave birth to a festive seasonal tradition. It is no surprise that home gardeners clamored for Japanese cherry trees.

Most of us don’t have room for […]

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The Best Shrubs for Container Gardens

There are lots of reasons to grow shrubs in containers.  You may have a small garden or no garden at all.  The only sunny spot on your property may be covered with concrete, or your soil may be so poor that even poison ivy fails to thrive.  Then again, your “garden” space may be a porch, terrace or balcony.  Perhaps you have acres of space but want distinctive […]

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How to Plant and Site Trees and Shrubs

The key to successful gardening is to go (and grow) with what you’ve
got. If your garden has acid soil and lots of shade, go with acid- and
shade-loving plants. If sunny, dry, alkaline conditions dominate, then plan and
plant accordingly. This also holds true for the garden’s aesthetic. For
example, more “naturalistic” settings (such as a woodland edge) call for more
informal, nature-evoking plantings. Beautiful and bountiful things happen when
a garden is […]

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Late-Winter Garden Flowers for Bees

Amur Adonis is a very early bee flower with very showy flowers.

The late-winter blooms of glistening snowdrops, golden witch hazel or the earliest crocuses are all bee-pollinated. Most of the first American woodland wildflowers are also pollinated by native bees. These pretty flowers are vital early forage for bee populations everywhere, which is why they should […]

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Garden Journaling: How To Plan Your Dream Garden

A journal is one of the best tools for achieving the garden of your
dreams. Your recorded observations of what’s happening today will give you a clearer
vision of what to do tomorrow – and many years beyond.

Starting Your Garden Journal

A note pad, smartphone, and/or computer are all you need to build your journal. Use them to record the dates and details of significant garden happenings, such as the following […]

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