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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Overcoming Drainage Problems

Have you lost any silver-leafed lavenders or ‘Silver Brocade’ artemisia or had tulip bulbs or Ruta graveolens ‘Blue Beauty’ just die, often after only one winter? You may be wondering why. Many plants benefit from “well drained” or “evenly moist” soils.

>> read “Overcoming Drainage Problems”    
Edible Chrysanthemum
They're yellow and they're tasty. Try the Chrysanthemum

Every family in the Gu's village where I spent my childhood had a row of edible chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum nankingense) along the north side of their house and very close to the wall. Starting in early summer we pick the tender tips, about 1 inch long, and use them in stir-fry or soup. It has a very refreshing taste. This continues until early or midfall, depending on whether we want flowers. Picking encourages more growing tips (and flowers later on) and keeps the plant short and rounded. It flowers in late fall if picking stops around early fall. In late fall, tons of tiny, 1/2 inch golden yellow flowers cover and fill the plant. [Edible chrysanthemum brings sunshine to the landscape in late fall.] Edible chrysanthemum is the most shade-tolerant and pruning-tolerant chrysanthemum that I have ever seen. It not only flowers on the outside, but also the inside of the plant canopy, probably because of its shade tolerance.

>> read “Edible Chrysanthemum”       #Hot Plants
Pink Velvet Banana

The cinnamon scent, exotic leaves and exceptional fruit color of Musa velutina (pink velvet banana or hairy banana) will add a tropical flair to any garden and are hard to resist once you have seen them. With adequate winter mulch, its cold hardiness makes it possible to be grown outside tropical zones.

>> read “Pink Velvet Banana”    
The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin

A place for everything and everything in its place: A playhouse, a winter sanctuary, a herbarium, an atrium and a structural winter solstice are all descriptions I have given to my “potting shed.” I have been a gardener since childhood, but it wasn’t until after my husband and I built our home I realized the need for a potting shed. I was spending a great amount of time walking to his shop to gather my gardening “things” before I could start on my project for the day.

>> read “The Potting Shed: A Place to Begin”    
Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines

I think this irrational fear stems from knowing my own slovenly ways — a recognition that if I let vines get out of hand, like I often do with weeds and overgrown bushes, there is the possibility of losing the house in a giant mound of vegetation. This unfounded fear probably stems from horror stories I’ve heard about kudzu. But take it as a cautionary tale. Many vines are aggressive growers that, left uncontrolled, can become a maintenance nightmare ...

>> read “Runaway Garden: Plan Thoroughly and Choose Wisely When Planting Vines”    
Watch Them Grow
Imaginations Blossom When Children Plant Gardens

True gardeners of every age find it fun to dig in the dirt, play with water, feel the texture and size of various seeds, plant them and watch them grow. Children are curious and want to know what is happening underground as well as on top.

>> read “Watch Them Grow”    
Sneeze-free Gardening
Avoiding allergy problems in the landscape

Let’s face it – it is almost impossible to avoid plants that cause allergies. For one thing, pollen can travel many miles in the wind. It is also unreasonable to expect our neighbors not to use certain plants in their landscapes just because we are allergic to them. However, with a little care it is possible to avoid heavy exposure to the pollens of allergenic plants and be able to enjoy our gardens most of the year.

>> read “Sneeze-free Gardening”    
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’

Are you interested in the unusual, or even the bizarre? If so, your curiosity (and that of your neighbors) might be piqued by the uniqueness of the contorted European filbert, a plant fondly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick ...

>> read “Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick”       #Hot Plants
Going Above Ground
Two Solutions For Amendment-Weary Gardeners

It’s trite but true: You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. When I lived in Illinois I took soil for granted. With 12 feet or more of black dirt, if you wanted a garden all you did was bury a seed, add some water and step back before the plant hit you in the nose.

>> read “Going Above Ground”    
How To Design a Historic Landscape

Romanticized in film and novels, the traditional plantation garden is often envisioned as a spacious ornamental landscape with sweeping lawn vistas and long allees of oak trees leading to an elegant manor. While this landscape may have been true in some cases, landscape historians report that this image is “gone with the wind,” as many plantations were really working farms and offered little time for maintaining vast ornamental gardens.

>> read “How To Design a Historic Landscape”    
Sweet Alyssum Wonderland Series
Lobularia maritima

Sweet alyssum, as the name hints, is certainly a sweet-smelling annual, but it’s often grown in such small quantities that the smell is overlooked. Butterflies are drawn to the fragrant small flowers that range in color from blue to lavender, pink, yellow and white.

>> read “Sweet Alyssum Wonderland Series”       #Hot Plants
 
 
 

New from our Bloggers:


Buds and Blooms.
Try these in your garden.

[+] The Passionate Gardener


Spring Slowy Awakens
A few early signs of spring are now here

[+] The Bluegrass Garden