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Black Plants for Goth Gardens

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, you’ll want some black flowers – or as close […]

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Sustaining a Fall and Winter Butterfly Garden

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 discovered the golden hop tree (Ptelea trifoliata ‘Aurea’, USDA Hardiness Zones […]

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Jurassic Perennials

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 lush, bold foliage provides ample interest […]

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Growing Hops at Home

Growing Hops at Home

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 a member of the Cannabis family), hops (Humulus […]

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Vining Vegetables for Vertical Gardening

Vining Vegetables for Vertical Gardening

Don’t have as much space for growing vegetables? Then maybe it’s time to go the way of Jack with his beanstalk. Numerous veggies are vines perfectly suited for training up a trellis, thereby taking advantage of upright, aerial space. Vertical veggies also hold their fruits clear of the ground, reducing their susceptibility to rot. Three-dimensional gardening offers multiple advantages.

There are a couple of common […]

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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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Easy, Attractive Edibles for Any Garden

For a horticultural and culinary adventure this stay-at-home spring, try planting a few of the following relatively unknown, easy-to-grow greens, herbs, and veggies that also feature colorful leaves or fruits. Within a few weeks, you’ll have a rainbow of edibles representing a broad spectrum of the world’s cuisines.

Amaranth

Young red amaranth (Amaranthus cruentus) inflorescence closeup […]

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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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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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How to Map and Plan a New Garden

The cusp of the New Year is not prime gardening season in much of the United States. But, it’s often an excellent time to map and design a new garden or planting border, even in areas that experience real winter. All that is required are bare ground, a relatively mild day, and a few common household items.

Start by considering the garden’s location, size, shape, and desired plants and […]

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