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!
People may not realize that Newfoundland, considered way north, has a botanical garden. In fact, our botanical garden is over 30 years old and houses some 2500 taxa. Read on the learn about this jewel of the north.
Many of us are familiar with the deciduous azaleas. Many of the wild forms hail from eastern North America but a few choice species also hail from Eurasia. This article will introduce you to these Old World azaleas.
Many gardeners think blue flag iris, I. versicolor, are only useful for water gardens but as long as the soil remains evenly moist, they make admirable plants for the standard garden. With over 20 selections to choose from, this iris demands a second look.
Most of you are familiar with Siberian iris but todays array of hybrids had humble beginnings. This article will introduce you to the wild Siberian iris species. While not as flamboyant as the modern hybrids, they have a certain grace that allows them to be included in any beardless iris collection.
Filipendula have long been popular among temperate gardeners. Surprisingly, there are only a handful of members from this genus commonly grown. In this article I will introduce you to this wonderful genus which includes the Queen of the Prairie, Queen of the Meadow and the various Meadowsweets.
Most gardeners are familiar with bellflowers from the genus Campanula. Perhaps not all of you are familiar with their close relative, the Chinese bellflower aka balloon flower, of the genus Playtycodon. If you want a tough, long-lived, carefree, hardy perennial with large blue flowers in late summer, then look no further.
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.
While we are all familiar with iris, you may not be aware that there are several iris look-alikes native to more tropical environments. These iris wannabes include the Walking Iris (Neomarica) and the Cape Iris (Dietes)These may be grown as outdoor plants in zone 9 and warmer or as houseplants which may be kept outdoors in the summer. If you would like to learn more about these tropical iris relatives, continue on.
Previously I described the campions and catchflies from the genera Lychnis and Silene. In this article I will introduce you to their other close cousin, the soapworts. While they are also mostly pink-flowered, they have the added bonus of fragrant flowers. Read on to see which might be suitable for your garden.
Last week I introduced you to the genus Lychnis. This week I will discuss the other campions and catchflies from the closely related genus Silene. This genus , like Lychnis, was and still is, very popular among our temperate gardens.
Members of the genus Lychnis have long been popular plants for the cottage garden. Today, they are still popular and the variety available continues to increase. Read on to learn more about the diversity of catchflies and campions.
Candytuft are a group of low plants found mostly in southern Europe. They include both annuals and perennials which may be grown in mild to cold regions. While the flowers are white to purple-tinted, they are often highly fragrant. If you are not familiar with these plants, read-on!
One of the few flowering vines that us gardeners in cold climates can utilize in our gardens are the twining honeysuckles. There are quite a few available. They may be grown for their long flowering season, intense fragrance of their attractiveness to butterflies and hummingbirds. This article will introduce you this multi-faceted vine.
Generally gardeners avoid spiny or prickly flowers (a notable exception are roses!) but there is one group of 'spiny' flowers that provide a long season of bloom, easy care and use as both fresh and dried cut-flowers. I am referring to the sea hollies, Eryngium. Not only are the flowers interesting, the silvery-blue colour is also quite unique. Read on to learn more about this wonderful garden ornamental.
Last November, LariAnn Garner introduced you to the very popular peace lily. This article will revisit this wonderful plant providing you with some details of the more popular cultivars available on the market as well as insights into the floral biology. The flowers may seem simple but their pollination is quite involved. If you want to see peace lily with fresh eyes, read on!
Mountain avens are a familiar sight throughout the northern Rockies, the higher mountains of Europe and the Arctic regions. If you have ever traveled in these areas, you will have encountered these delicate yet tough alpines. If not, let me introduce you to these dwarf members of the rose family.
Ever wonder why rock garden plants are typically short, evergreen, mat or mound-forming? Why are they often so prolific in their blooming? It all comes down to adaptations that allow them to survive in rigorous alpine climates. After reading this article, you will hopefully have a better appreciation of this choice group of garden plants and why they often present challenges in their cultivation.
The hardy flora from the mountains of South Africa is just starting to come to light in regards to their ornamental potential. One group of plants from this region that are proving to be wonderful garden plants are the hardy ice-plants or Delosperma. For xeric gardens, they make a bold splash of colour all season, but even gardeners as far north as zone 5 can enjoy these South African succulents. This article will introduce you to this relatively new group of garden ornamentals.
Wild gingers are often more appreciated in the wild than in gardens but between the beauty of their foliage and the fascinating blooms of the newly introduced Asian species, the Asarums are enjoying a surge in popularity. This article will introduce you to the diversity that exists among the genus Asarum.
The speedwells exhibit considerable variation in size and form, from low and creeping to tall and narrow. This article will introduce you to the taller types of speedwells; the species, cutlivars and hybrids that make ideal plants to use in the middle or back of the border.
In part 2 of this 2 part series on my trip to Greenland, I will describe some of the amazing ornamentals and gardens I saw in this far northern region. It may be the land of snow and ice for 9 months of the year, but Greenland gardeners take advantage of 24 hour daylight summers to grow some amazing gardens during the other 3 months!
Certain garden ornamentals are primarily grown for their foliage, especially those suited to shade. One of the most spectacular and choice woodlanders are the mayapples. While the native North American species is not without its merit, the Asian species are the real stars. Read on to learn more about these fab (and often pricy) plants!
Polemonium are well known to many gardeners but you may not be aware of the many species that are commonly grown. With the variety that exist, they can be used in the border, woodland garden or rock garden. If you love blue flowers, then Polemonium are for you!
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.
Do you have naturally acidic soil? Have trouble find the right woody plant for such soils? Don't worry about amending your soil - work with nature! There are many woody plants that prefer or tolerate highly acidic soil. This article will explain how to care for such plants and what choices exist.
Most gardeners know that ferns are a great addition to the shade garden. However you may be surprised to learn that many are also suitable for sunny locations! The key to success is adequate moisture. This article will introduce you to the most sun-tolerant ferns.
Baby's-breath are well known to most gardeners for their 'filler' effect in the border or use as a cut-flower, but this diverse genus also contains some very desirable alpine species. This article will discuss the more traditional baby's-breath but also introduce you to some of the less well-known yet exquisite miniature species.
Do you have limited space AND shade issues? Then why not try some of the dwarf ferns! Suitable for rockeries, rock walls, alpine troughs and as groundcovers, there are quite a number of small (under 12 inches) ferns that make admirable garden ornamentals.
In recent years ferns have become popular as garden ornamentals. Wet, dry, sunny or shady, there is a fern out there which can be utilized in the garden. With their wide diversity of textures, size and delicate colours, ferns are second to Hosta for their use as garden foliage plants. This article, devoted to the large, bold Osmunda, will be the first in a series of fern-related articles.
Grape hyacinths are a staple in the spring garden. Few other lesser spring bulbs have flowers in such an intense blue (possibly excepting Scilla). They combine beautifully with daffodils and tulips. Most are easy to grow, multiple quickly and have lovely fragrances. There are a surprising number of lesser known grape hyacinths to choose from, some quite bizarre. This article will introduce you to some of the divesrity that exists among grape hyacinths.
In part 3 of this 3-part series, I will discuss those hardy deciduous shrubs whose main attractive feature are their variegated leaves. This will include those shrubs with white, cream or yellow edged leaves as well as those with marbled foliage. Unlike yellow and purple foliage shrubs, these shrubs often work well in shady sites, helping to brighten up dark corners of the garden.
Orchids have a complicated naming process, especially for hybrids. With grex and clonal names replacing cultivar names, entering them into the Plantfiles has been a real chore not to mention confusing! However, the DG Admin people now have the situation under control with new fields in the Plantfiles for both the Grex and Clonal Names associated with orchids. Even the database search engine now has a specific field for orchid grex and/or clonal names. This article will explain how orchids are named and the correct procedure for entering orchids in the Plantfiles.
In part 2 of this 3 part series, I will discuss those hardy (zone 5 and colder) shrubs whose main claim-to-fame is their red to purplish foliage. These shrubs are wonderful additions to the landscape, complimenting blue, purple and red flowers or contrasting with yellows, oranges and white. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, so any garden can utilize examples from this group of shrubs.
In part 2, I will discuss some of the fibrous-rooted anemone. Most of these are either alpine or woodland garden subjects. White is the most common colour. Several of these are native American plants, useful for today's trend towards gardening with natives. Several are dainty species with exquisite blooms, choice plants for the discerning gardener.
Do you love Japanese maples but don't have the space? Why not try growing them in conatiners! There are many dwarf to semi-dwarf cultivars that lend themselves beautifully to growing in pots. Nothing looks more elegant than a potted Japanese maple in a secluded courtyard or enclosed deck or just about anywhere! Read on to learn how to grow them and which selection work best.
A little while ago I wrote about the great attributes of the groundcover type cotoneasters, but the upright shrub types are equally useful for their fall colour, flowers, fruit display and attraction to fruit-eating birds. Read on to see which types of taller cotoneater might be suitable for your region.
If large imposing perennials are your thing, then you must grow Ligularia. Few garden perennials offer such decorative foliage and striking flower displays. For the back of the border, they are second to none! As long as they have steady access to soil moisture, Ligularia will provide you with the ultimate plant for Big, Bold and Beautiful!