As flowering plants, most perennials are a mixed blessing. To their credit, they produce some of the garden’s signature blooms, on plants that return reliably year after year. What would spring be without primroses and trilliums, or summer without bee-balm and black-eyed Susans, or fall without asters and Japanese anemones?
Seasonality of bloom does have its downside, however. Many perennials are as fleeting as they are […]
Cowslips are easy-care European native wildflowers that lend a cottage-garden look to spring beds.
Primroses (known botanically as Primula) have a reputation for being garden prima donnas. Often, this characterization is deserved. Many Primula are fussy garden dwellers at best, hailing from specialized habitats such as alpine crevices and glacial screes. Don’t let this fact keep you from the numerous easily cultivated and highly rewarding members […]
Edible landscaping can be a kick – especially if you take full advantage of the dizzying diversity of fruiting trees and shrubs. While old-time (and often pest-prone) favorites, such as apples and pears, certainly have their place, so too do scores of lesser-known but equally rewarding fruit-bearing species, including those portrayed below. They’ll bring excitement and new flavors […]
Winter jasmine has beautiful fragrant flowers and a pleasing cascading habit.
January showers bring winter flowers. No – really. Plant the right shrubs, and you can have midwinter bloom whenever the weather turns mild, provided you’re in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b or warmer. Boston, Rochester, Columbus, Detroit – wherever. And, all feed early bees and other essential pollinators.
Shrimp begonia hybrids have lovely leaves and blooms.
If the dark days of December have you pining for flowers, foliage, and fragrance, might we suggest some trailing begonias? These fibrous-rooted members of the Begonia tribe include dozens of evergreen species and varieties that burst into aromatic bloom during midwinter. Bless their hearts.
‘Scarlet Curls’ Contorted willow is beautiful outdoors, and its branches look fine in flower arrangements.
Some trees are just twisted – literally. Rather than growing in the usual linear pattern, their stems crazily zig and zag, each segment veering in a different direction from the previous one. If you’re in the lumber industry, this is not a […]
What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than to design and plant a Goth Garden? Admit it: you need one.
Of course, you’ll also need plants that look the part. Spiky or bizarrely shaped or ghostly hued plants are obviously essential (a contorted beech – Fagus sylvatica ‘Tortuosa’ – would fit to a twisted tee). Most of all, though, […]
Optimize your garden as a fall migrating butterfly refueling station for monarchs.
Your summer garden has been a haven for butterflies. Painted ladies and orange sulphurs have flocked to your purple coneflowers and white cosmos, and monarch and swallowtail caterpillars have munched on the showy milkweeds, Dutchman’s pipevine, and bronze fennel. Then there were the giant swallowtails, which […]
The large leaves of Prairie dock (Silphium terebinthaceum) add a bold look to a native perennial planting.
Most garden perennials are bit players, chiming in with their month or two of bloom before fading from the scene. That’s why every perennial border can use a few plants that provide spring-to-fall presence. Among the best such plants are the giant-leaved perennials profiled below. Their […]
If you’re into brewing your own beer, perhaps it’s time to start growing its components, too. Hops – the cone-like fruits that give most brews their signature flavors and aromas – are a cinch to cultivate if you have lots of vertical garden habitat such as a pergola or large trellis. A close relative of “weed” (it’s […]
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