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Garden-Path Fillers: Plants for Cracks and Crevices

Sedums (Sedum spurium shown), thyme, and even a little blue rug juniper act to fill and cover the crevices in this appealing rocky garden path.

Nature abhors bare ground and will happily (and quickly) cover even the smallest bare spaces with weeds.  Keeping those weeds at bay in the cracks and crevices between pavers, stepping stones, or along rock walls can be a perpetual battle. 

It […]

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What Perennials and Shrubs To Plant in Fall

Summer perennials and potted shrubs are great to plant in fall!

“Perennials (both woody and herbaceous) are shifting energy from their tops to their roots, preparing for their fall underground growth spurt.” -Russell Stafford

Gardeners tend to do the bulk of their planting and planning in spring when the horticultural hormones are running high. For many plants and purposes, however, fall is the perfect time to get […]

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Perennials with Decorative Fall Seedheads

Some fall seedheads bring life to changing, late-season gardens, whether by adding structure and texture to beds or bringing beauty to dry arrangements. Many also do double duty by providing fatty, nutritious food for wildlife. Our favorites even continue to look attractive into the colder months.

Part of enjoying fall seedheads is knowing which should not be cut back. Fastidious gardeners need to hold back […]

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Native Hellstrip Gardens

The Highline in New York City is filled with some of the toughest natives for urban hellstrips, such as purple leadplant, native grasses, and coneflowers.

Where there’s a sidewalk, there’s often also a hellstrip – that narrow planting space between the walk and the street. Flanked by baking pavement and blessed with soil composed of compacted sand, construction rubble, and the like, it’s not the most […]

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10 Common Garden Flowers that Feed Birds

Coneflower seeds are a favorite of goldfinches.

Birds–chirping, whistling, and singing—are integral contributors to the daily symphony of garden sounds.  Their presence is also a sign of a healthy ecosystem.  Attract them by using the right combination of flowering plants and focusing on a succession of blooms and seeds. The end result will be a beautiful landscape and a smorgasbord for birds.

The majority of bird-friendly blooms […]

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Best Native American Shrubs for Feeding Birds

Gindfinches are primarily seed-eaters, but they sometimes enjoy seedy berries as well, as this young goldfinch is doing.

The best forage plants for wild birds are appealing natives that provide nutritious fruits, seeds, and nectar. Our top picks offer even more bird food because they attract favorite insect and caterpillar bites. Planting just a few of these shrubs in your yard will supplement bird-feeding efforts […]

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Homegrown Mints for Cooling Libations: Mojitos and Juleps

Mojitos have become a favorite tart, herbal summer drink!

Parched summer palates demand refreshments that are icy cold, wet, and flavorful.  For sophisticated adult palates, the mojito, a classic Cuban cocktail, and the julep, beloved in the American South, check all the right summer boxes. Mint, muddled or crushed with sugar prior to the addition of liquid ingredients, adds distinctive flavor notes to these drinks.

But, which mint […]

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The Patriotic Perennial Garden: Planting in Red, White, and Blue

Native perennials in red, white, and blue!

What could be more American than a planting of native perennials that flowers red-white-and-blue in summer? If you have a sunny to lightly shaded garden spot with reasonably decent soil, you could celebrate next Independence Day with your own floral fireworks, courtesy of the following perennials. All are native to eastern North America, and hardy to USDA Zone 5. […]

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Effortless Everlasting Cut Flowers for Crafting

Glistening straw flowers come in many bright colors.

True everlasting flowers hold their shape and color for a long time after drying. Most are grown as annuals, but a few are also perennials that will return yearly. Crafty gardeners should grow some of these each year for arrangements and crafting. They are so bright in the garden and beyond.

I first took an interest in everlastings […]

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Surefire Perennials for Shadier Gardens

Bowman’s root is an underused perennial that tolerates both sun and some shade.

Where have all the flowers gone? If your shade garden has you asking this question around late June, you might consider adding a few of the following perennials to your plantings. They’ll answer the “where have they gone” question with an emphatic “They’re still here!”.

Of course, even the most shade-tolerant perennial may […]

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