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Sweet Spring-Garden Primroses

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 […]

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Four-Season Perennial Garden Design

Four-Season Perennial Garden Design Featured ImageJoe-Pye weed, purple coneflower, pale pink Culver’s root, and flowering sedums are all summer-to-fall-blooming perennial powerhouses.

Perennials are garden workhorses that save money by returning yearly, but most do not bloom nonstop. That’s why seasonality is an essential design factor when creating perennial gardens. Designing a beautiful bed with seamless seasonal appeal takes a little skill and knowledge, and it all […]

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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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Landscape Your Home With Fruiting Edibles!

Landscape Your Home with Fruiting Edibles! Featured Image

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 […]

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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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Five Stellar US Native Shrubs for Pollinators and Wildlife

Five Stellar US Native Shrubs for Pollinators and Wildlife Featured ImageThese shrubs are tough, beautiful through multiple seasons, and excellent for wildlife.

Some shrubs look beautiful in their natural form. Those on this list are elegantly beautiful in the wild or a garden. They offer aesthetic value and benefit our yard’s ecosystems.

These five shrubs are givers, providing season-long beauty as well as food for multiple […]

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Wonderful Winter-Blooming Shrubs for the Garden

Wonderful Winter-Blooming Shrubs for the Garden Featured ImageWinter 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.

Witch Hazels

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Versatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens

Versatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens Featured ImageVersatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens

Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a historic Mediterranean evergreen that plays multiple roles in the garden. Where hardy, in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10, it serves as a fine specimen tree or tall hedge. In colder climates, it makes an attractive house plant and summer patio specimen. And, wherever it’s planted it […]

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Specimen Trees and Shrubs with Elegantly Twisted Branches

Specimen Trees and Shrubs with Elegantly Twisted Branches Featured Image‘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 […]

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Bayberry for Landscapes and Candle Making

Bayberry for Landscapes and Candle Making Featured ImageBayberries are tough, shore-side shrubs with the most fragrant, waxy berries. Bayberry for Landscapes and Candle Making (Image by Jessie Keith)

When we visit Cape Henlopen, Delaware along the Atlantic coast in fall, I always enjoy plucking a few waxy bayberries to rub between my fingers on the way to the beach. Their warm, familiar scent quickly fills the […]

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