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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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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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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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Growing Gooseberries and Currants

In Europe, people have long celebrated the unique flavors of gooseberries and their colorful relatives, currants.  Children drink Ribena and adults enjoy kir cocktails, both made with black currants.  At breakfast, many people spread red currant jelly on their toast.  Later in the day, they may enjoy a gooseberry fool, an old-fashioned dessert made with sweetened gooseberries, cream, and custard.

Fruitful European gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa, USDA […]

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The Ten Most Beautiful Edibles

Ornamental vegetables look pretty when planted in tidy, geometric arrangements.

The traditional French potager, or kitchen garden, combined both edible and ornamental elements to create beds that were both beautiful and productive. Given the array of fruit, vegetable, and herb varieties available now, just about anyone can do the same thing. 

Grow The Edibles That You Love

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Divide and Conquer Your Garden Perennials

Divide and Conquer Your Garden Perennials Featured ImageDividing perennials allows you to share them with friends or move them to new garden spaces.

In the time of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, “divide and conquer” was a battlefield technique that defeated the Emperor’s enemies and expanded the Roman Empire.  You can expand your own empire—or at least your supply of ornamental plants—by dividing mature clumps of perennials.  […]

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The Busy Gardener’s Survival Kit

Busy Gardener's Survival Kit Featured Image

With the arrival of good weather, most of us who dig in the dirt want to spend as much time as possible doing it.  Life sometimes has other ideas.  Jobs, families, housekeeping, and annoying little chores like filing tax returns tend to interfere.  The only way to confront those realities and make your garden grow is to create a “survival […]

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Plants with Heart-Shaped Leaves and Flowers

Plants with Heart-Shaped Leaves and Flowers Featured Image

Hearts are on sleeves–and everywhere else–in February.  Valentine’s Day, arriving at mid-month, is a high point, celebrating love in its many forms.  But Valentine’s hearts are not the only ones in the spotlight. The American Heart Association has designated February as “American Heart Month” to raise awareness of heart health nationwide. Clearly, warm hearts rule in mid-winter.

It is a […]

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Hot New Vegetable Varieties for 2021

Hot New Vegetable Varieties for 2021 Featured ImageChinese-cabbage lovers wishing for a little more excitement will relish the purple-leafed ‘Merlot’.

With the holidays in the rearview mirror and the New Year launched, it is time to check out the new vegetable varieties from seed vendors.  Most 2021 catalogs are up now online, and many companies still send paper editions as well.  Whether you aim to grow […]

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Cheerful Red House Plants

Cheerful Red House Plants Featured ImageAnthurium is one of many cheerful red house plants.

December—when the days are short and light is low—calls for maximum winter cheer. Holiday decorations are great spirit-boosters, but to add some long-term uplift, there is nothing like a splash (or two or three) of red. One of the best ways to create those cheerful splashes is to invest in a few […]

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