Aprils Remembered
by Troy B. Marden

As I was scanning my photo library, considering the many garden plants I could write about for this article, I came across a file of photos, all taken during the month of April – not all in the same year, but all in April – gardens ranging from Jackson, Miss., to Louisville, Ky. It reminded me just how abundant the garden is this time of year. This is the season when gardening seems effortless. Well, almost. The weeds are as high-spirited as the annuals and perennials, so diligence in their control is necessary; but still, the garden is lush and growing rapidly, and the vibrant green of spring radiates from its very heart. There is a certain pristine quality about all of the plants emerging fresh and new.   >> read article
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Dahlias for Smiles, Not for Show
You don’t have to be ‘serious’ to grow dahlias
by Caleb Melchior

My grandfather’s neighbor grew dahlias – giant things, with huge, coarse leaves. Their stems were trussed to stout bamboo poles, held captive to protect the hope of a flower. He’d pinch out most of the flower buds, trampling them into the ground, squeezing the plant’s energy into one tremendous effort of bloom. I don't grow these dahlias.   >> read article
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11 Plants that Love the Cold
by Ben Futa

As the Director of the Allen Centennial Garden, a public garden on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I’m always on the lookout for plants that extend the season of interest for our visitors. Plants that are hardy, easy to grow and dependable rank high on this list of some of our favorites.   >> read article
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A Wonderland of Color
Add some color to that bland winter landscape
by Stephanie Knipper

Adding color to your garden in winter can be a challenge. For many gardeners, barren beds are something we learn to live with until spring. After all, our winters can be harsh with temperatures frequently dipping below freezing. Most flowering plants do not survive in these conditions. However, there are some that flourish, and even thrive, in cooler temperatures. Brightening a winter garden doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to pick the right plants for your conditions.   >> read article
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Everything About Azaleas
by Donald W. Hyatt

Azaleas are more than a harbinger of spring. All across the Southeast, masses of red, white, pink and purple azaleas boldly proclaim that the season has arrived. Many people think azaleas come in just four colors, and some may even criticize their use as commonplace. Discriminating gardeners know better. This article cannot possibly discuss everything about azaleas, but it may foster an appreciation for their amazing diversity while providing some practical advice.

All azaleas are really rhododendrons, and fall into two general categories: evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen azaleas are very common in American gardens but they are not native plants. They all originated in western Asia, primarily Japan and China. North America is home to 17 native azalea species and they are all deciduous shrubs. Surprisingly, most are native to the Southeast! Admired in Europe since the 1800s, they have been woefully underrepresented in our gardens.   >> read article
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‘Ruby Falls’ Redbud
Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’
by Bob Hill

Gardeners hungry for great plants in small spaces will quickly welcome the ‘Ruby Falls’ weeping redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ruby Falls’) into their landscapes.

‘Ruby Falls’, bred at North Carolina State University from other purple-leafed redbuds ‘Covey’ and ‘Forest Pansy’, has the strong pink flowers of its parents – and their deep purple to shiny burgundy leaves that fade to green.   >> read article
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Designing with Ornamental Grasses
for Showy, Year-Round Intrigue and Ease
by Sheryl Hovey

Whether you’re planning a new landscape or rejuvenating an established one, ornamental grasses can add surprising pizzazz. They are dynamic, versatile and carefree in ways that few other plants can match. Widely known as the stars of autumn with their showy, long-lasting plumes, they can provide almost year-round interest. These grasses not only bring structure to the landscape, but sound and movement as well ...   >> read article
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The Underappreciated Biennial
by Carlotta Paulsen-Boaz

Fans of perennial flowers admire both their longevity in the garden and their capabilities. Where they once planted a daylily, by division, they can have three or more clumps in a few years. Fans of annuals tout their quick results and their lengthy bloom period. Pop in your six-pack and, if it isn’t blooming already, it soon will be – and will bloom for months on end. No wonder biennials are the Rodney Dangerfields of the flower world ...   >> read article
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