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Dave's Garden Articles: By Todd Boland

Saturday, February 15, 2014

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The Best of the Dwarf Columbines
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you love columbines but lack the space? If so, then try your hand at dwarf columbines. There are many that mature under 30 cm making them ideal for the front of the border, rock garden settings or alpine trough subjects.

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

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Heaths and Heathers for USDA Zones 4-6
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you have acidic soil, full sun and live in zones 4-6? Think you can't grow anything in such an area except rhododendrons and azaleas? Well, why not try heaths, heathers and some of their close relatives? By planting a variety of these plants, they can provide attractive foliage colour and form in the garden year-round as well as blooms from March through to November. Few flowering plants offer the gardener such an extended display.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

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Snowflakes for the Garden...the Blooming Kind!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Not all garden 'snowflakes' orginate from the skies in winter! There are a group of garden bulbs called snowflakes. They belong to the genus Leucojum and Acis and may bloom in winter, spring or fall, depending on the species. Perhaps not as well known as other garden bulbs, they are still worthy of cultivation. Read on if you would like more information on the 'flowering' snowflakes.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

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Beguiling Bergenia
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Among the most popular late winter-spring blooming perennials are Bergenia. But while they have a modest floral display, their main claim-to-fame are their bold, evergreen leaves. Hardy, tough-as-nails and year-round interest are among the attributes of this modest genus.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

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Lovely Lamium
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

One of the up and coming stars in the ornamental plant world are spotted dead-nettles or Lamium maculatum. This multi-purpose plant is grown for both its flowers and lovely foliage display. Of low stature, this plant is useful for border edges, rock gardens, shady gardens and containers. This article will introduce you to the many cultivars which now exist.

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

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Sedum spathulifolium - for Foliage and Flowers
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

There are many Sedum in the world but few garden-worthy species hail from North America. Sedum spathulifolium is one exception. This article will introduce you to this delightful western North American native.

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

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Crocus to Brighten the Spring Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

We are all familiar with the standard Dutch hybrid crocus which grace our spring gardens, but there are many other crocus species and selections that we can choose from that will help extend the crocus season of late winter to early spring. These have smaller flowers than the Dutch crocus, but come in a rainbow of colours. Commonly, they are called snow crocus, as several bloom within days of the melting snow. Read on to learn about some of these less well-known crocus.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

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Redvein Enkianthus - Uncommon but Very Worthwhile!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Enkianthus may not be familiar to many gardeners but this small group of Asian deciduous shrubs provide garden value from spring through fall. Be it from their exquisite, delicate, bell-like flowers or from their brilliant fall foliage, this shrub is sure to please.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

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Phalaenopsis - the Beginner's Orchid
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Phalaenopsis or moth orchids, are among the easiest and most popular orchids to grow as house plants. This article will explain why they are so popular and how you can grow them inside to provide year-round exotic beauty.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

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Cymbidiums: Impressive Orchids for the House and Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Cymbidium are one of the most popular orchids, both as a cutflower and houseplant. Culturally, they are among the easiest orchids to grow. Mild areas can even grow them as gardenplants. Their grass-like leaves make them attractive even when not in bloom. Plants vary from relatively miniature to quite large. And always, their flowers make a bold impact. This article will introduce you to the beauty of Cymbidium!

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

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Lungworts and Bellflowers from the Genus Mertensia
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

You may be familiar with lungworts (Pulmonaria) and bluebells (Campanula) but there is another genus also known by those two names - Mertensia. If you love blue flowers, then this is another winderful group you should consider for your garden.

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Sunday, July 7, 2013

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The Lesser-known Hardy Ericaceous Shrubs, Part 1: Andromeda to Gaylussacia
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Ericaceous shrubs are among the most important plant families for providing ornamental shrubs. Rhododendrons, azalea, heaths and heathers are well known representatives. However, there are a host of lesser-known ericaceous shrubs which can make admirable companion plants for rhododendrons and the like. This two-part series will introduce you to these less well-known cousins.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

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Bleeding Hearts - Bizarre is Beautiful
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Few garden perennials have flowers as bizarre or beautiful as bleeding hearts. Nearly all gardeners recognize them. While the common bleeding heart is essentially a late spring bloomer, the dwarf species and hybrids bloom all season long, a feature rare among garden flowers. Read on to learn more about these wonderful exotic flowers.

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

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Rodgersia - Bold and Beautiful
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

If you want a bold perennial to make an impact in your garden, then look no further than Rodgersia. These east Asian plants have lovely, large foliage and attractive plumes of white to red flowers. For the back of a moist border, a semi-shaded woodland or as a backdrop for a water feature, Rodgersia are second to none.

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

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Candelabra Primroses
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Are you a primrose addict? Looking for a way to extend the blooming season? With a little bit of work creating a reasonably moist area in your garden, you can grow the elegant Candelabra primroses and extend the primrose season into mid-summer.

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

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Pasqueflowers - The Flower of Easter
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

With the advent of spring, we think of the spring bulbs. But there is another perennial that is also a harbinger of spring....the Pasqueflower, so named due to its blooming season being near Easter. Few spring perennials have as impressive a floral display. And then in early summer, you get beautiful silky, plumose seedheads as an added bonus. For the front of the border or a rock garden setting, pasqueflowers are indispensible. Read on to learn more about this plant.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

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Colorado Blue Spruce: A Blue Conifer in All Sizes
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Among the most popular 'blue' conifers is the Colorado blue spruce. While most are tall, imposing trees for park settings, there are many smaller types suitable for our ever-smaller gardens. This article will introduce you to the variety that exists among Colorado blue spruce.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

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Shrubby Hydrangea for Northern Gardeners
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Hydrangea are wonderful flowering shrubs, most valued, by northern gardeners, for their late summer through fall floral displays. Most have white flowers but Hydrangea macrocephala has flowers in a range of colours from white through pink, purple and blue. A few even have the added value of excellent fall colour. Read on to learn which hydrangea are best for your northern garden.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

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Border Stonecrops from the Genus Hylotelephium
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

You probably never heard of Hylotelephium but you certainly are familiar with them! They are the border stonecrops, a group recently split from Sedum. 'Autumn Joy' is perhaps the most well-known but this group is enjoying a surge in the release of new cultivars suitable for nearly any sunny situation. Foliage, flowers, all-season attraction, drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant, butterfly attractant...these plants have it all!

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

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Lovely Leopard's-Bane
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Most gardeners are familiar with leopard's-bane. They are among some of the oldest cultivated 'ornamental' plants. They are mostly appreciated for their spring display, but there are a few that don't bloom until late spring or early summer. This versatile plant can be used in the border, woodland garden or rockery. This article will introduce you to this wonderful daisy.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

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Ornamental Elderberries
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Traditionally, black elderberry was grown for its fruit but over the years, some interesting colour and leaf forms have arose and horticulturists have been quick to take advantage of these. The American elderberry and red elderberry have similarly been selected for their foliage colour and forms. The end result is that elderberries are now a standard ornamental shrub for the landscape with some exotic colour and leaf forms. the newest, look almost like cut-leaf Japanese maples and can be used as substitutes in colder climates. Together with newer dwarf forms, elderberries are gaining more popularity with each passing year.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

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Spiderwort Hybrids - Tradescantia X andersoniana
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Few perennials offer a full summer of bloom but in the right location and with the proper care, spiderworts can provide colour all season. The blooms may last only a day, but the display goes on and on.

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

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Hardy Deciduous Shrubs with Colorful Foliage: Part 1 - Golden Foliage
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

This 3-part series will discuss the various hardy (zone 5b or colder) deciduous shrubs we grow primarily for their summer foliage. Part 1 will deal with those shrubs which have yellow or golden foliage. There are a surprising number available to northern gardeners with more being released each year. Depending on the species, these shrubs can vary from under 1 m to over 4m so are useful for both small and large landscapes.

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

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Calanthe - Hardy Orchids for the Woodland Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Only a handful of orchids are hardy and showy enough to grow in our gardens. The Calanthe orchids from temperate east Asia are certainly foremost among these. If you want to learn more about these exotic garden additions, continue reading.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

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Ornamental Onions Part 2 - the Fall Planted/Spring Blooming Types
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

With fall approaching we start to think about next spring's garden and which bulbs we will plant this fall. Tulips, daffodils and crocus immediately come to mind. However, a group which is starting to gain more popularity are the ornamental onions. There are quite a few fall planted-spring blooming types available these days. Size and colour varies tremendously but most flower in that in-between time when the main crop of spring bulbs fade and the first summer perennials begin. Don't think of them as stinky onions, as only the bulbs smell. Several have quite fragrant flowers and many are great cut-flowers. Overall, they are a very versatile group of bulbs.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

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Primroses: Diversity is Their Key to Popularity - Part 2 : Primrose Selections
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Part 2 of this series will describe the most popular primrose groups that are readily available and easy to grow in the garden setting. Not all of the 500 plus species of primroses are easy to cultivate but there are enough to keep most gardeners happy!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

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London Pride and their Kin
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Many gardeners are familiar with London Pride. It is a very carefree groundcover for shady spots. However, for the most part, it is an under-used plant. Let me re-open your eyes to the beauty of London Pride.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

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The Story of Iris versicolor 'Murrayana'
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

The white-flowered blue flag iris, I. versicolor 'Murrayana' has an interesting history. Found in Newfoundland, lost, then rediscovered elsewhere and repatriated, this article may be of interest to plant history buffs! Certainly, beardless iris lovers will find this an interesting story.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

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The Charm of Burnet
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

While not the showiest flower, burnet does have a certain charm and elegance. If you have a damp site, then these plants are ideal for use as a garden ornamental. Some even have edible leaves for soups and salads. They are highly sought by floral arrangers. Let me introduce you to Sanguisorba, the burnets!

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

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Grow a Flurry of Fleabanes!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

The genus Erigeron, commonly called fleabanes, is quite large. Appearing much like asters, they bloom earlier in the season, helping to extend the 'daisy' season. They are also ideal for the butterfly garden. If you are not already growing some, hopefully this article will entice you to start!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

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Mugo Pines - One of the Most Popular Dwarf Conifers
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Mugo pines are among the most popular dwarf conifers for growing in both cold and milder climates. This article will introduce you to the variety that exists in this plant and the proper long-time care so your plants will stay compact and healthy.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

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Turtleheads - the Genus Chelone
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

If you have a moist site and want to extend the blooming season, then look no further than the turtleheads. This North American wildflower is an up and coming star in the plant world!

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Sunday, June 3, 2012

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Meadow Cranesbill - Standing the Test of Time
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Meadow cranesbill are among the oldest flowers in cultivation in the western world. With the recent surge of new cultivars this plant will be with us for many years to come. Let me introduce you to this tried and true ornamental!

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

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Miscellaneous Members of the Pink Family
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Over the last few weeks I introduced you to several key members of the Pink family including Lychnis, Silene and Saponaria. This article will introduce the less well-known members of the Pink family which include such genera as Agrostemma, Arenaria, Cerastium, Paronychia, Petrorhagia and Sagina. These are primarily alpine plants so if you are a rock gardener, this article will be of particular interest.

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

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Admirable Avens - the Genus Geum
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Avens or Geum are not the most showy of garden perennials but do possess a certain charm. While the hybrids are most popular, there are also some species that are ideal for the woodland/shade garden or even for rock gardens. This article will introduce you to the more popular or desirable species.

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

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Glorious Goldenchains
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Goldenchains are one of the most graceful flowering trees yet are rarely grown in North America. Why is this tree so uncommon when it is reasonably hardy and tolerant to wind, salt and pollution? Europeans have enjoyed them for years, as have I, but most North Americans only wish they could grow them. Read on to find out why.

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

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Squills, Bluebells and Glory-of-the-Snow...the Other Spring 'Blues'!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

A little while ago I described the grape hyacinths...now it's time to describe the other blue-flowered spring bulbs. These include squills, bluebells, glory-of-the-snow and a few other relatives. Again, these are staples for the spring garden providing rich shades of blue to contrast with the bright yellows and reds of tulips and daffodils.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

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Feeling Blue? Grow Gentians!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

One the the best 'blue' flowers for the gardener are gentians. Yet few people seem to grow them. Yes, some are finicky, but others are quite easy. For rock gardeners, they are indispensible but many lend themselves to woodland gardening as well. Read on to learn more about this ultimate alpine symbol.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

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Quamash or Camass Lily - the Genus Camassia
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Camassia is one of the few garden-worthy bulbs to hail from North America. They are ideal for filling the gap between the spring-flowering bulbs and the beginning of the summer bulbs. To learn more about this small group of showy blue-flowered bulbs, continue reading!

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

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Rock Garden Basics
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Are you trying to garden on a slope? Do you live in a wind-swept area where gardening is a challenge? Do you live on a mountain side or in a cold climate? Do you like to grow as many plants packed into one area as possible? Well rock gardening may be the solution! This article describes the basics in rock garden construction and the best plants to grow.

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