Become a Water-Wise Gardener
by Nancy Szerlag

Plant madness consumes gardeners in the months of May and June. But before loading that hot new plant on to your garden cart, give some thought as to what it needs in terms of care and how you plan to provide it. Will it be stuck into an empty spot in a perennial bed, with no thought as to its need for water? Or will it spend a couple of months in its pot, requiring daily watering, as it becomes root- bound and struggles?   >> read article
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Take a Garden Tour Vacation
by Virginia Terry

If you have a strong desire for traveling and a love of horticulture, you may want to consider visiting some premier gardens on your next trip. Our country has numerous exceptional horticultural gardens that are worth going out of your way to explore. I am going to highlight some of my favorites in the Midwest and on the East Coast, and hopefully you will have the chance to work these gems into your travels this year or in the near future ...   >> read article
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Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower
Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’
by Deb Wiley

Many gardeners are drawn to perennials because they only need to be planted once. But there are a few caveats. Perennials generally take about three years to reach maturity and may not bloom until then. Often, they cost more to buy as plants and can be difficult to start from seed. Many only bloom for a short time ...   >> read article
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To Mat or Not to Mat
by Dawn Seymour

To mat or not to mat is a question that has been plaguing well-intentioned gardeners since the creation of the weed mat. Now it is not only to or not to, but also the question of what kind of weed mat (also known as landscape fabric or weed barrier) to use? Let’s see if we can clear up a few basic facts about what types are available and some of the pros and cons of using weed mats ...   >> read article
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Impatiens Disease Spurs A Hunt For Shady Alternatives
by Susan Martin

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 article
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Commotion ‘Moxie’ Blanketflower
Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Moxie’
by Kelly D. Norris

For years, there was no love lost between me and blanketflowers. Despite their colors, proud garden pennants of my alma mater Iowa State, I just didn’t dig them. So many of the seed strains lack any sort of charm or panache—they melt in the summer, fall apart into a disheveled mess by fall and reseed on top of each other, resembling an unruly mosh pit. Blech ...   >> read article
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Jewelry for the Lawn
by Karen Atkins

Just as a strong necklace can change the look of any outfit, the right lawn ornament can change the mood in any garden. So, the question is, what kind of a mood are you in?   >> read article
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Backyard Grape Growing for the Freshest Wines
by Katie Ketelsen

Surely you’ve seen — in envious awe just as I have — fields of grapes sprouting along the Iowa plains and taken mental notes to stop by a winery or two some day. Or maybe you’ve already traveled to the corners of the state, enjoying sips from all our proud vineyards. You may have even wondered how our fellow Iowans manage to create such a picturesque landscape as if it were flown in from California ...   >> read article
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