Primula for the Midwest: Five Easy Favorites
by Gene E. Bush

Primrose, cowslip, oxslip — no matter what you call them, these old-fashioned favorites are easy-to-grow early spring bloomers. Here a few to consider for your own shady garden.   >> read article
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Alliums for All
by Alan Branhagen

Alliums or ‘ornamental onions’ come in all sizes and colors—from giant globe-shaped purple spheres to delicate yellow sprays. The best part is that deer, squirrels, voles and rabbits find them foul-tasting. Here are some awe-inspiring alliums to add to your garden this year.   >> read article
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The Annual Review
by Jim Nau

Just as they review their yearly financial statement, many gardeners do a plant assessment as they consider their gardens for the following year. This is no different than the trialing done at the Gardens at Ball Horticultural. The few new varieties that follow have been chosen from the broad range of annuals (plus one crossover perennial) that are available for the 2012 market.   >> read article
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‘Black Velvet’ Petunia
Petunia x hybrid ‘Black Velvet’
by Alice Longfellow

‘Black Velvet’ is the latest petunia to hit garden centers and is sure to be a big hit among gardening enthusiasts this spring. This unique black petunia has great potential in the landscape as it looks spectacular mixed with white, yellow and pink colors. Use other colors of petunias or accent ‘Black Velvet’ with delicate flowers like gaura, ‘Snow Princess’ lobularia or euphorbia.   >> read article
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Plan Your Cutting Garden Now
by Karen Atkins

I used to consider my cutting garden a luxury. I think of it as a necessity now, as it has contributed so much to my quality of life. Reveling in my new ability to fill vases throughout my home, I assemble arrangements of blooms coordinated specifically to work with the colors in my interiors. It is wonderfully satisfying to bring fresh bouquets to friends, neighbors and my children’s teachers and coaches ...   >> read article
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Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ Ivory Prince
by Chris Nejelski

A new Plant of Merit Introduction for 2011 — and one of the earliest bloomers for spring (I’ve personally seen blooms the end of February). Helleborus ‘Walhelivor’ is commonly sold in commerce by the trade name of Ivory Prince. It was selected in 1995 in Sussex, England, from a controlled breeding program designed to produce new Helleborus sp. plants that exhibited ...   >> read article
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Forcing Bulbs
For Those Who Just Can’t Wait
by Stacey Mollus

I am counting the days until spring. I watch the weather forecast like I am watching the lottery numbers being read, hoping the meteorologist is going to give me some good news. Once the holidays are over, gardeners start dreaming about the beauty that lies beneath the surface of the soil, knowing there are bulbs under there just waiting for the right minute to bust out.   >> read article
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Floral Arranging American Style
by Charlotte Kidd

Is it a bit cheeky to think I can create bouquets like White House Chief of Floral Design Laura Dowling after hearing her speak once? Foolish, perhaps. Fun, certainly.   >> read article
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