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Dave's Garden Articles: By Todd Boland

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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Saturday, March 24, 2012

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Brunnera - Woodlander for Foliage and Flowers
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Not all gardeners are familiar with Brunnera or Siberian bugloss, but if you have shade issues or woodland gardens, then this is the plant for you! Pretty delicate blue flowers in spring are delightful but the colourful, bold, heart-shaped leaves are perhaps their main claim to fame. Read on to learn about the varieties that exist.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

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Sea Pinks - A Coastal Beauty
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Sea pinks or thrift are one of the most satisfying perennials due to their carefree culture and lack of pests and diseases. Suitable for rockeries, containers and coastal gardens, they really are a useful flower for almost any garden. If unfamiliar with this plant, this article will hopefully introduce you to a new garden friend!

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

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Red-twig Dogwoods: a Shrub for All Seasons
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Wildflower enthusiasts throughout the northern hemisphere will be familiar with the distinct red stems of red-twig or red-osier dogwoods. Gardeners too, appreciate these colourful stems, especially during the winter months. These dogwoods also provide a modest floral display, fruit display and many have excellent fall colour. Recently, there has been much selection within these dogwoods for colourful summer foliage as well as more diversity in stem colours. They really are a shrub for all seasons.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

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The Lesser-Known Hardy Ericaceous Shrubs, Part 2: Ledum to Zenobia
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Part 2 of this two-part series will introduce you to more of the lesser-known ericaceous shrubs, from Ledum to Zenobia.

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

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Cremanthodium.....a Personal Experience in Growing this Himalayan Daisy
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Every once in a while a particular plant will catch the eye of a gardener. For me, the rather obscure genus called Cremanthodium was such a plant. There was some sort of allure created by its nodding yellow daisies. This article describes my journey in obtaining and growing this plant.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

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Siberian Cypress - Groundcover of the Future
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Not all gardeners may be familiar with Siberian cypress but this evergreen groundcover is enjoying an ever-increasing popularity due to its hardiness, insect and disease resistance. And to think it was only introduced to Western gardeners in the 1970s! Read on to learn more about this versatile shrub.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

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'Botanical' Tulips - Go Wild!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

We are all familiar with the classic tulip, but not all of us have grown the wild counterparts or 'botanical' tulips. They deserve more attention as they are often longer-lived and more carefree than the high breed standard tulips. There are a surprising number of 'wild' tulips in the trade, along with selections/hybrids from the dwarf T. kaufmanniana, T. greigii and T. fosteriana. This article will hopefully peak your interest in trying some of these 'botanical' tulips or to expand on those you currently grow.

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

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The Beauty of Weigela
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Weigela are often considered an old-fashioned shrub, but in recent years, they are enjoying a revival. Today there are many wonderful cultivars to choose from, ranging in size from a minute 30 cm to over 2 m. Colours range from white, multiple shades of pink to red. Foliage may be green, yellow-variegated, golden, chartreuse, bronzy-chocolate to deep purple-black. They are certainly one of the key landscape shrubs in many temperate regions of the world. This article will introduce you to the up and coming 'stars' in the Weigela world!

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

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Mountain-ash - A multifaceted Tree
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Mountain-ash or rowans are popular garden trees. They can provide both flowers, decorative fruit and an attraction to wildlife. While we think of them as small to mid-sized, orange-red fruited trees, there are many other mountain-ash species that are suitable for today's smaller gardens. Many of these sport white, yellow, pink or even peach-coloured berries! Several also have outstanding fall foliage. Read on to learn about some of these more uncommon mountain-ash species.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

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Groundcover Cotoneasters...Multipurpose Shrubs
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Name a shrub that can have an attractive floral display, showy fruit production, excellent fall colour, can be used as a groundcover, foundation plant or rockery specimen and is attractive to wildlife. It's a short list but the low-growing Cotonester species would be one correct plant. Read on to learn more about the various groundcover type cotoneasters which can grace your garden.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

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The Three 'C's' Among Fall-flowering Bulbs: Colchicum, Crocus and Cyclamen
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Does fall get you down? Looking for a way to extend the blooming season? Then try growing fall-blooming bulbs: they can provide color in the garden from September to November!

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

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Lungwort Revisited
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Lungwort are no doubt among the most popular spring-blooming perennials. This article will revisit lungwort looking as some interesting botanical aspects of the genus as well as introduce you to some specific cultivars.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

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Anemone, the Windflower: Part 3 - The Fall-flowering Species and Hybrids
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

In part 3 of this 3 part series, I will discuss the fall-flowering anemone, commonly called the Japanese anemone. For extending the blooming season in your garden, this group of plants is indispensible as they will often bloom well into October or even November.

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Saturday, July 9, 2011

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Rock Cress for the Rockery...and Elsewhere!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Arabis and Aubrieta are well-known to most gardeners as rock cress or wall cress. These mustard relatives are wonderful plants for the rock garden as well as other places in the garden. Read to to learn more.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

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The Spectacular Flowering Dogwoods
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

One of the most showy and long-lasting flowering trees for temperate gardeners are the flowering dogwoods. There are three species in the world from which many cultivars and hybrids have been produced. White, pink to reddish flowers and wonderful fall foliage are two of their main attributes. This article will describe the flowering dogwoods in more detail.

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

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Columbine Species for Woodlands and Borders
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Last winter I wrote about dwarf columbines which could be used in the rock garden or front of the border. This article is a companion, discussing the taller species more suitable for woodland gardens, wildflower gardens and perennial borders. Many of these are the ancestors to today's modern hybrid columbines. Hopefully this article will stimulate you to grow some of the 'wild' columbines.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

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Ornamental Onions Part 1 - the Summer-Blooming Types
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Ornamental onions encompass a vast number of species...some 750 in fact! They are broadly divided into two groups; the fall planted-spring blooming-summer dormant types and the 'summergreen' types that bloom in summer. The focus of part 1 in this 2 part series, will be the summer flowering ornamental onions. We all know chives as an example, but there are lots more to introduce you to!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

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Woodland Fairy-Bells - The Genus Disporum
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

There are many perennials that will tolerate shade, yet gardeners often seem to be at odds as to what to grow in shady locations. Hosta and Astilbe immediately come to mind. One group you might not think of are the fairy-bells or Disporum. They have a subtle beauty with small flowers but they do offer wonderful foliage effects. Read on to learn more about this group of woodlanders.

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

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'Glorified' Buttercups: Globeflowers and Marsh Marigolds
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

The buttercup family is among the most important for their many 'ornamental' plants, but only a few members actually look like a buttercup. Perhaps the closest look-alikes are the globeflowers and marsh marigold. Long believed best for bog garden settings, these two plants can lend their early-season beauty to any reasonably moist border.

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

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Periwinkles for the Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Periwinkle or creeping mrytle (Vinca minor) is one of the few groundcovers that can tolerate full sun to full shade. However, periwinkle selections can have flowers that range from white, blue to purple in single or double flowers. Besides shiny dark green, foliage may be variegated in yellow or white. This article will introduce you to the variation that exists among this tough groundcover.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

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Wood Anemone - Dainty Spring Bloomers for the Woodland Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

If your garden is has dappled shade and you are looking for a lovely spring woodlander to combine with spring bulbs, Trillium and Hepatica, then try growing wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa. Available in white, pink or blue shades, this charming spring flower is sure to delight you!

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

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Anemone, the Windflowers: Part 1 The Tuberous Species
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

There are some 120 species of Anemone in the world. They can be divided into three main groups; the tuberous rooted, fibrous rooted and fall-flowering. Part 1 of this 3 part series will deal with the tuberous kinds which include the popular Anemone blanda and Anemone coronaria, but there are also a few others. For alpine gardeners and container gardeners, these are probably the most important anemone group.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

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Miscellaneous Dogwoods for the Garden
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

There have been several articles on DG devoted to dogwoods; red-osier varieties and flowering dogwood have been covered before. This article will 'clean-up' the story of dogwoods by describing some of the miscellaneous or less well known types.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

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Trout Lilies, Fawn Lilies and Dog's-Tooth Violets - The Elegant Erythroniums
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Erythroniums are among the most graceful of the spring-flowering bulbs yet are not grown nearly as much as they should be. If you have a lightly shaded garden or rockery, then these bulbs are ideal. Turk's-cap like flowers, lovely mottled foliage...what's not to love about these plants? Read on to learn more about these under-utlized bulbs.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

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Hardy 'African Violets' - Ramonda, Haberlea and Jankaea
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Could you ever imagine growing African violets outdoors in zone 5? That is just a fantasy...or is it? As it happens , there are several hardy gesneriads (African violet relatives) that will surive outside in zone 5, and maybe even lower! Read on to learn more about these hardy Mediterranean "African violets," the Ramonda, Haberlea and Jankaea.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

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Blue Hollies: Premier Evergreens for Northern Gardens
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

For gardeners in northern climates, there are relatively few broad-leaved evergreens for us to use. The development of the blue hollies in the 1960 and '70s was a blessing since they provided a hardy plant with very attractive year-round appeal. The red berries, often carried through the winter months, was an added bonus, especially during the Christmas season. There are a surprising number of blue holly selections on the market, varying from under 75 cm to over 5 m. This article will introduce you to the wonderful diversity of the blue holly.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

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Growing Orchids for their Foliage
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Most people recognize that orchids are grown for their exotic and in many cases, extremely showy blossoms, but few indoor gardeners would think of orchids as potential foliage plants. Yet there are many that have stunning foliage with flowers being only secondary. Meanwhile, others have both lovely foliage AND great flowers. Read on to learn more about the potential orchids which may be grown as foliage houseplants.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

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Snowdrops - Signs of the New Blooming Season
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

For many gardeners, the first blooming snowdrops mark the beginning of the new flowering season. If you don't grow these charming bulbs, then this article will hopefully entice you to try them.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

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Amelanchier - Spring-flowering Shrubs for Multiple Uses
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Amelanchiers are a group of large shrubs and small trees that are quite versatile in the landscape. Ornamental flowers, excellent fall colour, edible fruit....read on to learn more about this group of woody plants!

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

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Canadian Bred Roses: The Explorers and Parklands
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you live in a cold climate like the Canadian Prairies of US Mid-west? Does growing roses with no fuss seem a fantasy? Well your problem is solved! Why not grow the Canadian bred roses: the Explorers and Parkland roses are among the hardiest hybrids on the market!

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

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Yarrow - a Star is Born!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Who would have ever thought the lovely (and often despised) yarrow would become a premier garden ornamental? Well they have! This article will introduce you to this rising star.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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'Shrubby' Penstemons
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you love Penstemons but live in an area appears to be too wet? Then don't despair! There is at least one group of Penstemon that thrive in wet-summer areas. They are dwarf, mostly evergreen and make wonderful additioons to the front of the border or in the rockery. This group is called the 'Shrubby' Penstemon or botanically, species from the subgenus Dasanthera.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

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Japanese Maples 101
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Japanese maples are often considered one of the most lovely garden trees. Certainly few garden plants exhibit such variation in habit, leaf form and colour. This article will be the first of several devoted to this most elegant of garden plants. Here will be described the cultural requirements of Japanese maples, how to plant and how they are placed into their various groups, based on size or leaf shape.

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