Shakespeare’s Flowers
by Garry V. McDonald

William Shakespeare not only knew his human nature, he also knew his plants. Visual imagery played a prominent role in much of Shakespeare’s work and no more so than his descriptions of plants that would have been instantly recognized by original theatergoers to the Globe Theater in London. Many of our common and beloved garden flowers have been mentioned by Shakespeare in works ranging from comedies to tragedies with so many being listed by name that whole gardens devoted to Shakespeare’s flowers have been built worldwide.   >> read article
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Everything About Azaleas
by Donald W. Hyatt

Azaleas are more than a harbinger of spring. All across the Southeast, masses of red, white, pink and purple azaleas boldly proclaim that the season has arrived. Many people think azaleas come in just four colors, and some may even criticize their use as commonplace. Discriminating gardeners know better. This article cannot possibly discuss everything about azaleas, but it may foster an appreciation for their amazing diversity while providing some practical advice.

All azaleas are really rhododendrons, and fall into two general categories: evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen azaleas are very common in American gardens but they are not native plants. They all originated in western Asia, primarily Japan and China. North America is home to 17 native azalea species and they are all deciduous shrubs. Surprisingly, most are native to the Southeast! Admired in Europe since the 1800s, they have been woefully underrepresented in our gardens.   >> read article
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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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Myrtle Mania
So many new crapemyrtle varieties to choose from
by Allen Owings

New varieties of crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) are currently available in abundance. We could almost say, “Enough is enough.” Yes, it is overwhelming with the numbers of new crapemyrtle varieties. Developers are introducing plants with the goals of smaller growth habits, dark foliage (such as burgundy and black), earlier blooms, and darker flowers (better red, purples, etc.). In one recent evaluation, new crapemyrtles went from fewer than 20 varieties to over 50 varieties in a very short period of time.   >> read article
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How to: Dividing Orchids
by Peter Gallagher

Here's an example of an orchid that has been in the same container for probably about ten years in the greenhouse. It really should have been divided 2 or 3 times in that period of time, but since it was not, we will try to show you what you would do to get that back in better shape.   >> read article
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Lilac Chaste Tree
Plant Profile
by Peter Gallagher

Lilac chaste tree also known as Vitex agnus-castus provides a dramatic flower display at a time when spring flowering plants have faded and prior to most of the summer flowering shrubs. In fact it has the potential for reblooming in the heat of summer.

The overall growth habit and twisted multi-stemed truck lend an aged look to the landscape similar to that of ancient olive trees of Italy or old established grape vines. Lilac chaste tree makes a great plant for the zones 7-10. Tolerating a minimum temperature above 0°F. This plant might be found in an older established garden where it performs very well in a dry exposed sunny spot. A loose sandy soil is quite suitable. A fresh layer of mulch is always helpful to avoid extremes of temperature and moisture loss.   >> read article
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Growing Wild: Eight Outstanding Wildflowers for Fluctuating Climates
by Gladys J. Richter

Weather in the Midwest can take its toll on plants, especially those less suited for its fluctuating conditions. Having an appealing four-season landscape often requires gardening with plants that adapt ...   >> read article
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Facts and Folklore About Late-Blooming Wildflowers
by Jill Sell

In October, we tend to think the native blooming plants’ seasons are completed. But there are a number of beautiful native wildflowers whose blooms, foliage and seedpods add interest to October and late fall woodlands and prairies. Several species adapt to home gardens and can be found in garden centers or ordered from specialty native plant nurseries. Plus, each has an old story to tell.   >> read article
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