November Articles

Noteworthy Perennials for November Shade Gardens

Patchwork Blanket: Evergreen Perennials for Temperate Gardens

Straw Bale Gardening

‘Lucky Charm’ Spiderwort


October Articles

Great Fall Color from Perennials and Shrubs

Thieves in Your Garden

Spruce Up Your Sidewalk

Carex ‘Spark Plug’




Ohio Gardener

Noteworthy Perennials for November Shade Gardens
by Gene E. Bush - November 2014

While it may be true that Midwestern gardens are not exactly crowded with bloom come November, there is plenty of colorful bloom rewarding a walk in my garden.

Weather always plays a part in how the garden looks at any season of the year, and is even more critical to overall appearance of the foliage and blooms in November. The most important factor in weather is timing and the severity of first frosts or freezes.

My garden is located in southern Indiana, but that is not so far south that we have palm trees lining the local Blue River. My fall garden is different each year, as our first frost date is around the second week of October. The severity of the frost/freeze, its duration, and the perennials overall toughness to withstand the low temperatures while in bloom make the mix a renewal of surprise each year. A surprise I look forward to each fall ...   >> read article

Patchwork Blanket: Evergreen Perennials for Temperate Gardens
by Caleb Melchior - November 2014

After the explosion of color that blazes through the autumn garden, it’s easy to let things lapse into senescence and gray. Blustery afternoons and dark evenings make it tempting to just melt into the sofa, pushing thoughts of the garden off the bottom of the priority list. But, for the spots that you see every day, coming and going from the house or directly out of your kitchen window, it can be incredibly cheering to have something nice to look at on even the gloomiest days. And, no, I’m not talking about a nice duvet of mulch.

In my family’s country garden, plants have to have presence for multiple seasons, or else they’ll soon be discarded for something more enduring. Covering the ground is essential — bare winter soil offers ample opportunity for weeds to establish and overtake the plantings. Here are three of my favorite perennials with winter presence ...   >> read article

Straw Bale Gardening
by Lynne Steinhour Habig - November 2014

The phrase “a perfect storm” usually suggests a disaster. Mine was an epiphany of sorts. With Baby Boomers downsizing, Millennials wanting less garden to maintain, and folks migrating from the suburbs to urban spaces – space, or lack of it, has become a new paradigm! The challenge becomes how to get the most garden in the least amount of space. The options depend on how you define “garden.” From the tiniest terrarium, bonsai garden or kokedama (Japanese string garden) to a patch in a community garden, the possibilities are endless. My current mini-garden is a straw bale.

I work in a greenhouse and overhear visitors complaining that because they lack (fill in the blank) they cannot garden successfully. One visitor had sun only on her driveway, another had rocky, inhospitable soil in his only shady spot. A third had no soil at all, just an apartment balcony. Now, here’s a one-size-fits-most solution to each of these challenging situations: straw bale gardening ...   >> read article

‘Lucky Charm’ Spiderwort
by Barrett Wilson - November 2014

‘Lucky Charm’ spiderwort (Tradescantia ‘Lucky Charm’) is a recent introduction and is part of a complex of spiderwort hybrids called the Andersoniana group. This group consists of hybrids between T. ohiensis, T. virginiana and T. subaspera, all of which are native to the eastern United States and are hardy throughout Pennsylvania to USDA Zone 5. In a trial plot at Longwood Gardens, ‘Lucky Charm’ flowers from June through early October in a full-sun location. The violet-blue flowers contrast with chartreuse foliage, which brings early season color even before flowering begins ...   >> read article

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