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Carefree American Wildflowers for Sunny Summer Gardens

My favorite carefree American wildflowers of summer are untamed, grassland natives that blow in the breeze and bring color to less formal, airier plantings. Their waves of flower color glow on warm days when pollinators are most active. These are flowers that you slow down to look at along roadside meadows but are tame enough for […]

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Everblooming Summer Vines for Gardens

Common (pink and purple) and blue morning glories are two everblooming summer vines.

Savvy gardeners know that flowering vines do more than just hang around. No matter how thick their stems, vines are masters at pulling their weight in the garden, brightening vertical spaces, and providing small-space gardeners with a larger plant canvas.

Everblooming or nearly […]

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Collectible, Colorful Coleus for Containers and Beds

The colorful coleus ‘Henna’ is so pretty that it is a stand-alone container plant. (Image by Jessie Keith)

If coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) did not already exist, it would be necessary for gardeners to invent it. Its virtues are numerous—beautiful, easy to grow and propagate, repellent to varmints, available in endless varieties, and lovely from early spring through the first hard frost. You can even overwinter plants that you are […]

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Ten Tips for Beautiful Container Gardens

Good care will keep your potted plants looking pretty.

You have purchased your pot, invested in potting soil, planted up your plants, and your container garden is well underway. In the cool of late spring, as container plants are rooting in, there are few stresses to disrupt your plantings. But, as plants grow and the summer heat ramps up, lots can go wrong. Here are tips for getting it […]

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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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