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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Green Gap Perennials

Midwestern gardeners have a narrow gap between the cold of winter and heat of summer. But, because of the fickleness of spring weather, there is often a significant gap between the peak of spring bloom (bulbs, roses and early perennials) and the maturity of summer flowers (annuals and summer perennials, such as echinaceas and daylilies). This gap usually becomes apparent throughout late May and early June, when many people’s gardens are green and growing, but with few flowers ...

>> read “Green Gap Perennials”    
Starting Seeds Now

By March, we’ve dog-eared our seed catalogs and sense that the germination of the growing season is upon us. We’ve carefully ordered (or bought at the garden center) the seeds we will nurture from seedling into fruit. Decorated packets that rattle and hiss a bit as we jostle and inspect them, have landed at our doorstep ...

>> read “Starting Seeds Now”    
Diversify your Landscape
Making better choices for trees and shrubs

Don’t just plant something because all your neighbors have that plant. Think about diversity, and think outside the box. Here are some underused plants that might be better choices than the old standbys. Deciding which trees and shrubs to plant to create an aesthetic ...

>> read “Diversify your Landscape”    
Have You Ever Seen a Frost Flower?

Seeing a frost flower first hand is a privilege afforded only to the early riser. Once exposed to the morning sun, they quickly disappear. Touch them and they shatter. A frost flower is really neither "frost" nor "flower," but layers of ice squeezed from the stem of a plant ...

>> read “Have You Ever Seen a Frost Flower?”    
Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ Ivory Prince

A new Plant of Merit Introduction for 2011 — and one of the earliest bloomers for spring (I’ve personally seen blooms the end of February). Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ is commonly sold in commerce by the trade name of Ivory Prince. It was selected in 1995 in Sussex, England, from a controlled breeding program designed to produce new Helleborus sp. plants that exhibited ...

>> read “Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ Ivory Prince”       #Hot Plants
ZZ Plant
Zamioculcas zamiifolia

The genus Zamioculcas has but one species, Zamioculcas zamiifolia. Say that 10 times quickly! To make things easy, everyone else just calls it ZZ plant. And there couldn’t be an easier plant to grow, either ...

>> read “ZZ Plant”       #Hot Plants
Standing Up to Salt

It’s no accident that a list of salt-tolerant plants reads a bit like a list of seaside plants. Without even looking at lists of such plants compiled by arboretums and universities, I can begin my own list from memory. Past walks along the coast of Cape Cod provide me with a mental image of plants that live in constant sea spray ...

>> read “Standing Up to Salt”       #Advice
Morgan Oriental Arborvitae
Thuja orientalis ’Morgan’

The very rare, “nearly perfect” plant in the landscape, the compact Morgan Oriental arborvitae (Thuja orientalis ‘Morgan’) is slow-growing to 3 to 4 feet and offers shimmering lime-green foliage in the summer. Foliage turns to an attractive burgundy-orange color in the fall — beginning in September and October in northern areas ...

>> read “Morgan Oriental Arborvitae”       #Hot Plants
A Few Native Plants That We Call Weeds

Did you know that many of the weeds we pull from our gardens year in and year out are native plants that offer the same benefits as our much-loved butterfly weeds (Asclepias spp.) and coneflowers (Echinacea spp.)? I didn’t, until I resolved to learn more about the rampant volunteers in my garden community. What’s more, we think of Northeast natives as being mainly perennial forbs, shrubs and trees, but there are quite a few very common native annuals underfoot ...

>> read “A Few Native Plants That We Call Weeds”       #Natives
Viburnum ‘Cardinal Candy’

One of the showiest viburnums for the landscape is ‘Cardinal Candy’. Its bright-red fruit creates quite a show in the fall, not to be outdone by the cream-colored flowers in spring, as well as the dark-green lustrous leaves that turn maroon and linger until November.

>> read “Viburnum ‘Cardinal Candy’”       #Hot Plants
Sunny and Dry? No Problem!

The key to growing plants that love sunny dry conditions is not Zone hardiness but perfect drainage. Here’s how to create that perfect spot.

>> read “Sunny and Dry? No Problem!”    
The Gall of it All

Galls are the enlargement of plant tissue caused by injury or irritation by parasitic organisms such as insects, mites, nematodes, fungi and bacteria. They are also interesting looking — knotty, lumpy and sometimes colorful. Learn which ones are common in your garden.

>> read “The Gall of it All”    
 
 
 

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