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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Now You Don’t
Creative ways to put air conditioners and other equipmen

Over the past 30 years I have been snapping images of the ways gardeners hide the necessary evils – pool equipment, meters, propane tanks, air conditioners, and electric boxes. Solutions fall into three basic groups – plants, enclosures, and walls/screens. I hope some of these ideas will work for you.

>> read “Now You Don’t”       #Design   #Hardscaping
It’s All About the Berries

If you have ever seen a beautyberry in fruit, you are not likely to forget it. The brilliant, iridescent purple berries that cluster along the stems of Callicarpa dichotoma and C. japonica in late summer and fall will stop you in your tracks.

>> read “It’s All About the Berries”       #Fall   #Fruit   #Shrubs
The Tall and Skinny
Gardening with columnar and fastigiate evergreens

It is no secret that plants come in many shapes, sizes, and growth habits. For those of us who are fortunate enough to know the joys of gardening, we get to take advantage of this great variety when creating our own personal Eden. Two nearly identical groups of plants that are both fun to work with and practical, are columnar and fastigiate evergreens.

>> read “The Tall and Skinny”       #Landscaping   #Trees

Interest in native plants, such as Coreopsis, continues to surge as gardeners realize their benefits. Breeders respond with a dizzying array of new cultivars, but which one is right for you? A research report issued in December 2015 by Mt. Cuba Center can help you decide. They trialed 67 different varieties of perennial coreopsis over a three-year period, and after speaking with George Coombs, research horticulturist at Mt. Cuba Center, it’s clear that only the toughest survived.

>> read “Tickseed”       #Flowers   #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Yellow
Spider Mites

The thought of spider mites can bring chills to an avid gardener, rekindling memories of the damage inflicted to a favorite plant by tiny creatures you can hardly see. Of all the pests in the urban landscape, spider mites are probably the most difficult to manage.

>> read “Spider Mites”       #Insects   #Pests
Perfect Scents
Don’t throw out those clippings! Make a great potpourri!

Every week I make my rounds, pinching things back and trimming as needed. Needless to say, I end up with a lot of material. By the end of the day, visitors have snatched up most, but what’s left gets stuffed in a bag, and I bring it home to make potpourri.

>> read “Perfect Scents”       #Crafts   #Fragrant   #Pruning
Blessed Are the Aggressive
For they shall inherit the garden

Ideally, good, aggressive garden plants are tough, spread nicely and can be controlled easily by pulling, cultivation or herbicides. The thicker and taller they are, the better they suppress weeds. But what exactly are ‘good’ aggressive plants?

>> read “Blessed Are the Aggressive”       #Advice   #How to   #Invasives
Great Containers
How to create your best containers ever.

For every puzzling garden area, a great container or two (or three) might provide the ideal solution. Containers enhance patios, decks, porches and other places with no soil. Do not limit yourself to those areas — containers work well throughout the yard and garden.

>> read “Great Containers”       #Containers   #Decorating
The Garden Backbone
How hardscape contributed to a good garden design

The Melby home is a two-story house with a screened-in back porch and detached carport. A large swimming pool occupies a strip of land beyond the carport with a lattice fence and landscaped flowerbeds surrounding the pool. It was always a popular spot for outdoor gatherings when their children were teens, but a part-time job in a garden-themed gift shop piqued Terri’s interest and Jeff’s creativity, which started them on a journey that changed their backyard into an exciting landscape.

>> read “The Garden Backbone”       #Design   #Garden Profile   #Hardscaping   #Waterscaping
Parsley Hawthorne
Crataegus marshallii

Parsley hawthorns are handsome, hardy large shrubs or small trees with attractive bark and lacy parsley-like foliage that turns orange and gold in autumn. The thorn-tipped branches are covered with white flowers (sporting red anthers) that attract pollinators in spring. The red fall fruits are eaten by mammals and birds. Parsley hawthorn is also the larval plant of the gray hairstreak butterfly.

>> read “Parsley Hawthorne”       #Hot Plants   #Natives
Fatsia japonica

Learn about Fatsia in this plant profile video.

>> read “Fatsia”       #Plant Profile   #Shade   #Video
A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Garden
The garden of Mike and Jane Brown

Most people spend their first weekend in a new home unpacking and settling in, but not Jane Brown. When she and her three boys – ages 8, 14, and 16 – moved into their home in 1999, they spent their first weekend replacing boring, foundation plants. In the weeks before her move, Jane made no decisions on draperies or interior paint colors. Instead, she purchased a myriad of azaleas, hydrangeas, and crapemyrtles. Her first priority was getting them planted.

>> read “A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Garden”       #Design   #Garden Profile   #Hardscaping

New from our Bloggers:

Renovate a Neglected Perennial Garden
Steps to renovate a perennial flower bed

[+] North Country Gardening