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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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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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Plum Yew and Japanese Holly: Better Shrubs for Shearing

Some garden settings are just made for the stylized, symmetrical look of sheared shrubs. Likewise, some shrub species take especially well to being sheared into dense, geometrical shapes

An essential ingredient of formal Japanese gardens, French parterres, English hedges, and other stylized landscape features, sheared shrubs excel at providing structure or at balancing other architectural elements (such as pillared entryways and granite walls). To fill this bill requires a […]

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Small Spring Bulbs with Big Impact

When planting bulbs in fall, plant small. “Minor” bulbs can have a major impact in the spring garden. Individually, they may not measure up to bulbous divas such as Darwin tulips and large-cupped daffodils.  But combine a few divas with a chorus of lesser companions, and the real magic happens. Why have a quartet when you […]

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Beautiful Culinary Sage

In late spring to early summer, sage produces purplish or violet flowers (far right).

For better or worse, we live in the age of multitasking, when the ability to do at least two things at once has become a common goal. As we multitask through our days, we gardeners can’t help but ask our plants to do […]

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Good Garden Bittersweet and Bad

Both the bad and good bittersweet seeds are spread by birds, such as this red-breasted nuthatch.

When it comes to garden plants gone wrong, few have gone wronger than oriental
bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus).  Introduced from East Asia to Western
horticulture in the early eighteenth century, this twining vine was widely
planted for its ornamental clusters of yellow pea-sized fruits that open in
fall to reveal brilliant-red interiors.  Now
it’s widely reviled for its ability […]

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Chaste Tree For Bees, Butterflies, and Summer Blooms

Think of chaste tree (Vitex agnus–castus) as an equally showy but less invasive alternative to the ubiquitous butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii).  A shrub or small tree that behaves as a dieback perennial in the coldest fringes of its USDA Hardiness Zones 5b to 9 hardiness range, it bears candelabras of lavender-blue flowers from summer into fall, […]

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10 Worst Garden Weeds and Their Management

Burdock is a very difficult weed that pops up along yard perimeters and in gardens.

What makes a garden weed the worst? Four attributes make weeds very difficult to manage. These are 1) deep perennial roots, 2) re-sprouting roots, 3) lots of fast-to-germinate seeds, and 4) fast robust growth. Then you have the added bonus of weed nasties that are toxic and prickly. These are the weeds that take […]

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Give Your Garden an Edge With Resilience®!

Sun Gro® Horticulture is proud of its exclusive potting mix additive, RESiLIENCE®, our trade name for horticultural silicon (Si), a beneficial plant substance. RESiLIENCE® is an all-natural, water-soluble mineral that is included as an ingredient in many Black Gold® mixes. RESiLIENCE®-enhanced growing mixes are enriched with beneficial silicon—a technology developed by the company’s own research horticulturists. Potting mixes fortified with RESiLIENCE® could offer gardeners real growing benefits.

Numerous trials have shown that plants grown in RESiLIENCE®-enhanced mixes […]

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