Bareroot Roses Old English Style
by Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

Plant roses earlier this spring – plus, bring back the historic fragrance and romance of the old roses. Try mail-order bare-root English roses this season.

If you have had your fill of reliable, plain Jane, but popular shrub roses, allow me to introduce you to the English garden rose (Rosa hybrids). Once you’ve seen an English rose, you will easily recognize it.

Can you say exquisitely frilly? Can you say divinely fragrant? Can you say disease resistant? Can you say beautiful for fresh-flower arrangements? How about romantic roses with lots and lots of petals? Yes, those attributes all describe the English garden rose.   >> read article
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What is Lasagna Gardening?
by Larry Caplan

Lasagna gardening is also known as “sheet composting,” “sheet mulching,” or “no-dig garden beds.” This uncomplicated and easy gardening method is appropriate for everyone (including people who may be physically limited or unable to dig traditional garden beds). It’s also a good way to convert grassy areas to gardens without using herbicides or tillers. The sod is left in place, where it gets converted into soil organic matter. The process can be done at any time and at any scale, even piecemeal as materials are available.   >> read article
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Tablescaping: Celebrate the Season with a Centerpiece
by Peggy Hill with Trace Barnett

“Wow, that centerpiece looks good enough to be in a magazine. I wish I could put together something half that beautiful. I usually just plop some hydrangeas in a vase – pretty, but totally unimaginative.” That's what I said to my friend and talented designer, Trace, last spring. It was late February, when buds are swollen on bare branches and hyacinth flowers are only a promise, and I loved how the centerpiece celebrated that feeling of anticipation. Trace replied, “Thanks. It’s not that hard; I could teach you.” Thus began my yearlong training, learning how to create impressive centerpieces and tablescapes for every season.   >> read article
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Two Dozen Cut Flowers You Must Grow in 2016
by Jean Starr

No matter what size your garden, you can have a bouquet in the making if you plant a few key plants. From long-lasting coral bell leaves to daffodils or hellebores, it’s likely you’re already growing some of the best flowers for a stunning indoor arrangement.

Sizeable bouquets benefit from a focal point of large flowers — think Hydrangea spp., Dahlia spp., Paeonia spp. and Lilium spp. As extravagant as these show-offs tend to be, they’re often improved by some smaller flowers and greenery. In addition to the big, show-off flowers, tuck a few of these into your garden for great backdrops in a vase.   >> read article
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Teeny Tiny: Creating a Garden in Miniature
by Debbie Clark

Have you ever wanted a beautiful garden with arbors, water features, furniture and unusual plants? Maybe that garden you dreamed of is not in your budget or you just don’t have the space or time. Why not make that dream come true in a miniature garden? A miniature garden can be planted in a container or in a garden bed. If you are planting in a container, you will need soil and an unusual container for your garden. For both container gardens and in-ground gardens, you will need small-leaved plants, rocks, miniature garden accessories and lots of imagination. Creating a miniature garden in a container can take less than an hour to create. Larger in-ground gardens can take a bit longer, or be an ongoing project, depending on the size. Here is how to create a miniature garden in three easy steps.   >> read article
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Seeds in Situ
by Deb Terrill

There’s a special thrill that comes from saying “I grew it from seed.” Try it and see for yourself.

When I was a child, I spent many lovely, sunny hours in the garden of our neighbor Genevieve. It was a smallish yard, enclosed with a low picket fence, and made to feel private with great pools of annual flowers that bloomed all summer. There were clouds of tall yellow blossoms I recall, and red vining things that spilled over the fence. I remember being drawn to the low patches of pink and blue petunias that spread out over the sidewalk and perfumed the air on still afternoons.   >> read article
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Hottest Plants for 2016
by Maria Zampini

Check out these cool new plants for the new gardening season.

The kaleidoscope of autumn foliage has fallen and is replaced with those little white flakes. And while spring is several months off, there is no reason you can’t dream of spring — sun, warmer temperatures, birds chirping, digging in the soil and the smell of earth and rebirth. Of course you look forward to replanting favorites that perform well year after year. But you can’t help but ponder what “new” items you might want to incorporate into your landscape.   >> read article
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Lion’s Ear
Leonotis leonurus
by Karen LaSarge

Few plants give so much for so little attention. Native to South Africa, Leonotis leonurus is a tender perennial that produces a fall display of riotous orange, fuzzy tubular blooms on long velvety stems. The flowers are in compact clusters arranged in whorls around the stem, and are a beacon of nectar for hummingbirds and butterflies. White and apricot flower forms exist, but may be difficult to locate in retail markets. Fertilizing is beneficial, but many plants do well without it.

On its more mysterious side, it's said to have a multitude of spiritual and medicinal properties, but deer purportedly avoid it. It's also fairly drought tolerant to boot, making it suitable for xeriscaping. As it can grow at a good rate by root suckers, it's a perfect plant to share with your friends. But who would want to?   >> read article

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