It's getting pretty hard for me to make my plant swap buddies say "Wow," but I did it last fall. The Ruellia in my sunny flowerbed blew their socks off. They'd never seen Mexican petunia in any local garden center. I got lucky, and caught the first wave of this perennial to hit our shores. With the plant now re-emerging in my garden, it's time to post my Ruellia user review. While I'm still happy with this plant, your mileage may vary... (cue the impending-doom music)
"DURING recent years, there have crept into the trade a bewildering number of Philadelphus species and varieties." So wrote Donald Wyman, in 1936. in the an Arnold Arboretum (Harvard University) newsletter. He goes on to state that the 1931 "Plant Buyer's Index " lists 68 different mock-oranges. From your grandmother's garden to the new nursery down the street: what's tried and true, and what's new, in the delightful mockorange.
Stop and smell the lilac - then prune it. Lilac, azalea, forsythia, and other spring flowering shrubs must be pruned right after the flowering period is over. Improper pruning will rob you of blooms. Good pruning habits will keep your spring flowering shrubs in top condition for years.
America's National Park Service system showcases our country's best features, from Acadia, Maine to Zion Canyon, Utah. Celebrate natural and manmade wonders of the United States during National Park Week every April.
Spring flowering bulbs really get your attention while in bloom. Many homeowners debate how best to care for them afterwards, to keep them blooming and multiplying for years to come. Maximize the return on your investment in spring bulbs by knowing what to do for them when the petals fall.
Dozens of kinds of vegetables grow in home gardens. But nearly all of those crops have their "roots" in just a few plant families. The cucurbit family includes all of the squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, and melons in your garden. Understand the special needs and attributes of Cucurbitaceae when planning and tending your garden.
Invasives are here to stay; that much is painfully obvious. For years we've heard about acres of wild lands lost to invasives, about the inevitable occupation of native "niches' by foreign species. What does the current research say? You may be surprised by these news items related to invasive plant species.
When one gets excited about plants*, its easy to be impulsive. Unfortunately, if you don't think twice before planting certain specimens, you may have second thoughts afterward. Leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), also known as Beale's barberry, is a second thought kind of plant.
Potatoes and peppers would seem to be strange bedfellows in the vegetable garden. Surprise! They're actually kissing cousins. Along with tomatoes and eggplants, they are the vegetable representatives of the family Solanaceae, the nightshades. Understand the special needs and attributes of the nightshade family when planning and tending your garden.
Dozens of kinds of vegetables grow in home gardens. But nearly all of those crops have their "roots" in just a few plant families. Look at vegetable gardening with a family focus. Understand the special needs and attributes of vegetable families when planning and tending your garden. In this article: tips and tidbits about beans, peas, and other legume family members.
Dozens of kinds of vegetables grow in home gardens. But nearly all of those crops have their "roots" in just a few plant families. Look at vegetable gardening with a family focus. Understand the special needs and attributes of vegetable families when planning and tending your garden. In this article: tips and tidbits about onions, garlic, and other members of their family, Alliaceae.
Dozens of kinds of vegetables grow in home gardens. But nearly all of those crops have their "roots" in just a few plant families. Look at vegetable gardening with a family focus. Understand the special needs and attributes of vegetable families when planning and tending your garden. In this article: tips and tidbits about cabbage, broccoli, and the numerous members of their family, Brassicaceae.
Play with your seeds even in the face of frigid forecasts. Some seeds like it cold. The seeds of certain plant species must endure cold and wet in order to grow. Skilled gardeners know how to plant seeds before the snow flies. This method allows the economical growing of perennials, wildflowers, shrubs, and trees from seed.
The cookie tin is bare, the gifts are opened...Christmas is on the wane. Did you get a Poinsettia, Amaryllis, or other gift plant from someone special? Proper care tips will keep your Christmas gift plants, and Christmas memories, alive and well.
Spring was a mad rush, summer was a long, hot slog. The yard work had no end in sight. But when chilly days arrive and all the plants are put to bed, we just want to enjoy the garden a bit longer. Bring on the fire! Adding a firepit extends and enhances the usefulness and beauty of your outdoor living spaces.
The cooler weather of autumn inspires many to harvest a few more glorious hours in the home garden. And why not, when there is so much gardening still to do? Check these tips to help you plan your precious gardening time in the last several weeks of the year.
Truly elusive, or surprisingly easy? What's the truth behind hickory syrup, and just what IS hickory syrup anyway? A lucky break gave me a head start on this topic, and now I can tell you about a recent food sensation -- hickory syrup.
Fungus and mildew: those words cause most gardeners to cringe. But good guys far outnumber bad guys in the soil fungus world. Autumn is the time of the big fall chores, mulching and fall leaf composting, and a good time to talk about beneficial soil fungus.
With all due respect to the legions of leaf peepers, there are specimens other than trees which can highlight your landscape with fall foliage color. Consider an ornamental deciduous shrub with sunny yellow leaves to brighten your autumn garden.
North of the Catskills and west of Vermont, in northeastern New York State, lie the Adirondack Mountains. Their rugged forests and sparkling lakes have a special wilderness beauty. This was a popular vacation spot and health retreat in the early nineteenth century. Home region of Lake Placid and and the headwaters of the Hudson River, this are was also the birthplace of an American classic, the Adirondack chair.
"For Gardeners...By Gardeners" In this case of a mystery volunteer wildflower, Dave's Garden sure was here "for me," and a part of Dave's Garden is now "by me." Figuring out the real name of my Eupatorium serotinum, (late-flowering boneset or late-flowering thoroughwort), gave me a personal lesson in botany and the chance to add some missing details to the storehouse of information that is Dave's PlantFiles.
Verticillium wilt: It's the V in "VFN" tomato plants, as in "resistant to Verticillium wilt." But other vegetables are attacked by this fungal disease, as are numerous varied trees, shrubs and perennials. What's a gardener to do?
Getting rainwater into a barrel is not too tricky. The challenges lie in avoiding drainage problems and getting the water out of the barrel to your garden. Hence rain barrel accessories.. Use the links in the article to see a variety of available products. Start shopping, or consider the choices before fabricating your own perfect rain barrel accessory.
Organic and virtually no cost: can insect pest control get any better than this? Home gardeners really should consider handpicking of insects as a great first offense in the battle with six-legged enemies.
Fireworks! The flammable kind can get you in trouble with the local authorities. Stay safe this Fourth and avoid the ones with gunpowder. Plant hybridizers have developed dozens of cultivars, named them 'Fireworks', and hoped for the excitement to translate into profit. The range of successful introductions to date give an opportunity for almost any plant lover to legally own and use 'Fireworks'.
"Saving the world, one barrel of rainwater at a time!" This is the mission of those selling trendy, fancy custom rain barrels. But the steep cost of the pretty manufactured barrels is shocking. I've estimated the dollar value of potential rainwater savings and compared it to the cost of a commercial rain barrel.
Common foxgloves have spectacular blooms and are fairly easy to grow. The flowers are finished all too soon, though. In early summer you may be looking at ugly dried spears of ripening pods. Instead of bidding "adieu" (farewell), say "au revoir " (till I see you again) to your Digitalis. Gather seeds, and guarantee a new crop of these lovelies next spring.
Don't look for this flower in your big gardening book, or the mass marketed catalogs that go to every house on the block. It just isn't there. South African Foxglove is waiting in the wings of the mainstream annual marketplace. I'd like to introduce it as a unique new annual for your border.
Herbaceous peonies are incredibly long lived and faithfully blooming perennial beauties, in the right situation. These same plants are long lived, but only sporadically blooming in other gardens. Understand the peony's needs and you can guarantee Memorial Day blooming peonies, or simply peonies that flower well every year.
Terra cotta flower pots are garden classics. But what is terra cotta, exactly? The words "terra cotta" are Italian, but does all terra cotta come from Italy? Are terra cotta flower pots still the best choice for all plants, or for any plant? Inquiring minds hardly know where to stop.
Alstroemeria, also called Peruvian lilies, are a staple in florist bouquets but not nearly as common in our gardens. With their free-flowering ways and fairly easy care, aren't these beauties worth a try?