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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Three Great Fruit Trees for the Midwest Garden

As a kid, I didn’t care as much about the holiday meal as much as I looked forward to enjoying the homemade jams and freshly baked desserts. As an adult, I try to create something new for the holiday meal, while still including some traditional recipes.

>> read “Three Great Fruit Trees for the Midwest Garden”       #Trees
What’s in the Bag?

Potting soils are not all the same. It pays (literally) to pay attention to the contents.

>> read “What’s in the Bag?”    
Try Something New

Now that 2013 is drawing to a close, it is time to think about next year. New plants and new varieties are introduced every year. The new versions may be more disease resistant, cold tolerant, have bigger fruit or even flowers in a new color.

Try These in 2014 ...

>> read “Try Something New”    
Impatiens Disease Spurs A Hunt For Shady Alternatives

Impatiens—for years they have been your go-to solution for providing brilliant color in the shade. Bedding impatiens is by far one of the most popular annuals for shade. Drive down a shady lane and you’re bound to see these colorful pink, red, salmon, purple and white annuals bordering beds and pathways ...

>> read “Impatiens Disease Spurs A Hunt For Shady Alternatives”       #Edibles   #Feature
Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

Rainwater harvesting is one of the easiest ways gardeners can help save money and create beauty in their garden, while at the same time helping the environment.

>> read “Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away”    
‘Kingswood Torch’ Coleus
Piectranthus scutellarioides ‘Kingswood Torch’

There are several types of Coleus (Piectranthus scutellarioides) to choose from at garden centers, so here are a few quick tips. Seed-grown varieties are sold in 4- or 6-packs, and those grown from cuttings are sold in larger, usually individual pots. Seed-grown cultivars are less expensive, but are higher maintenance because they typically bloom quickly ...

>> read “‘Kingswood Torch’ Coleus”       #Hot Plants
10 Stunning Plants for Dazzling Effects

Like many ornamental gardeners, it took me a while to warm up to annuals due to their expense and the fact that they have to be purchased every year. Once I got out of the comfort zone of traditional petunias and impatiens and started exploring what I call “temperannuals,” I haven’t looked back! Here are 10 favorites that will truly make your containers and beds sizzle ...

>> read “10 Stunning Plants for Dazzling Effects”    
Mixing It Up with Cool Cosmos: Notes from My Garden Journal

Amid the autumn plantings, gardeners record plant ideas onto new journal pages this time of year. Cosmos found a way into my writings some time ago, and never left ...

>> read “Mixing It Up with Cool Cosmos: Notes from My Garden Journal”    
Limelight Panicle Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata Limelight

Of all the shrubs in my diverse landscape, the one my neighbors ask me about every year is Limelight Hydrangea paniculata. It dutifully screens my view of the neighbor’s house until it bursts into bloom, becoming the showpiece of my garden in mid to late summer. Elegant, plump panicles of creamy white to soft green flowers appear at the tips of arched stems lined with green foliage. In early fall, the flowers take on beautiful rose-pink tones.

>> read “Limelight Panicle Hydrangea”       #Hot Plants
What (Exactly) Is Shade?

Shade in the garden is not a malady, curse, or something less than optimal. It is an opportunity! Knowing what type of shade you are dealing with will help you select plants that will thrive.

>> read “What (Exactly) Is Shade?”    
The Annual Review

Just as they review their yearly financial statement, many gardeners do a plant assessment as they consider their gardens for the following year. This is no different than the trialing done at the Gardens at Ball Horticultural. The few new varieties that follow have been chosen from the broad range of annuals (plus one crossover perennial) that are available for the 2012 market.

>> read “The Annual Review”    
Majestic Pampas Grass

Pampas is actually a perennial grass, native to South America. It grows in large clumps 8 to 10 feet tall with silvery white, rose, purple or pinkish silken plumes that look like feathers sitting atop long stalks. There are dwarf varieties that grow to a height of 4 to 5 feet tall, which seems to be preferred by those gardeners with a smaller space ...

>> read “Majestic Pampas Grass”    
 
 
 

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