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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry

During the summer months, I can see the results of those tiny seed envelopes that I excitedly purchased in March from ambitiously dog-eared catalogs. A quick inventory of the garden reveals my successes and failures — summer squash overrunning the garden path and tomato seedlings that just stopped trying between my June vacation and Independence Day ...

>> read “Seeds of Simplicity: The Shaker Seed Industry”    
Wildlife-Friendly Gardening
Helping Little Creatures So They Can Return the Favor

Ask any gardener what their definition is of a garden and you will get a different answer each time. For most of us, it’s a place of beauty, a place of serenity, somewhere to let out our frustrations, get some exercise or all of the above.

>> read “Wildlife-Friendly Gardening”    
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”    
Do Not Touch These Backyard Bugs

While you are in your garden, you will come across a great variety of bugs and insects. Some look so soft and furry you just want to cuddle them. Others appear downright scary and dangerous and send some running in fear. Yet, when it comes to backyard bugs, looks can be deceiving.

>> read “Do Not Touch These Backyard Bugs”    
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
Ornamental Envy
Plan for Fall Interest with Ornamental Grasses

Fall is the season when many of us envy our neighbor’s gardens. You know what I’m talking about. One morning, you step out the front door and stroll through your front yard, which is just about done showing off for the year. While you are picking up the morning paper, you see something through the corner of our eye: your neighbor’s garden is still outperforming the rest. Something is swaying in the breeze with its beautiful blooms, just daring you to ask the neighbor, “Where did you learn that trick? What design school did you attend?”

>> read “Ornamental Envy”    
Foxgloves in the Southern Garden

The transition from the riot of color during spring’s awakening of the garden to the lazy days of summer is one of my favorite periods. Though the calendar tells us it is still spring, the flowers and the warmer temperatures inform us another spring will soon pass into the record books. It is during this transitional period that many old-fashioned favorite garden plants bloom. Irises, peonies, hollyhock and especially foxgloves make their presence known during this period.

>> read “Foxgloves in the Southern Garden”    
The Ways of Water
Keeping Your Water Garden Beautiful in the Summer

A water garden is exciting in every season, but ponds and streams are most beautiful and dynamic in the summer. The water and its surroundings teem with life — thriving plants, growing (and always hungry) fish, serenading frogs, colorful birds and industrious insects. The often brutal heat in the South drives many folks indoors to air-conditioned spaces but ...

>> read “The Ways of Water”    
Invasives in the Trade
The threat in your own yard

Plant exploration has been an alluring and exciting facet of the horticultural world for millennia. Centuries ago, exotic plants moved along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia. During the age of sailing, individuals paid a king’s ransom for rare specimens for their glass houses and royal estates. During the Victorian era, the up-and-coming ...

>> read “Invasives in the Trade”    
Yellow Bells
Tecoma stans

Flowering shrubs such as Tecoma stans (esperanza, yellow bells) have a dramatic impact on a landscape, whether they are used for a colorful accent or planted along a boundary for a showy border.

>> read “Yellow Bells”       #Hot Plants
Nandina Flirt
Nandina domestica ‘Murasaki’

Good looking and oh so easy – no wonder they call this one Flirt. New leaves emerge deep red, transition through burgundy and finally age to green. At times, all three colors are present on the same plant. Normally you would need two plants to get contrasting foliage, but this one does it all.

>> read “Nandina Flirt”       #Hot Plants
 
 
 

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