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Best-Looking Plants in my July Garden

I’m in the mood to post photos of the plants that are doing the best in my garden right now, starting with these sun-tolerant Coleuses (with one ‘Rubrum’ Pennisetum  in the mix). They were stars in these pots last year, so I’m sticking with them. One more. ‘City Lights’ and ‘Earth Angel’ in their third season, […]

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Posted by on July 30, 2015 at 6:41 pm   This post has 16 responses.

Another reason to avoid turfgrass?

Conversations over the Garden Walk Buffalo weekend lead me to believe that—knock on wood—my lack of turfgrass may also be a reason for my lack of plant-destroying and other pests. I know that Japanese beetle grubs feed on grass and I rarely see any of the adults—maybe one or...

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Posted by on July 28, 2015 at 7:47 am   This post has 8 responses.

Bring on the Ferns

First, I recommend to you Adrian Higgins’s recent love letter to ferns – Fronds with Benefits:  A Guide to Ferns.  The article includes his favorites, a tour of the ferns at Chanticleer Garden, and some reasons for their growing popularity – they’re easy, untouched by critters and disease, and...

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Posted by on July 17, 2015 at 8:19 am   This post has 6 responses.

Stellaaaaa!

Sometimes even ProfessorRoush tires of his opinions, his interminable rants about disease or weeds or flower color or poor performance that keep him from enjoying the garden.  Is it really necessary to constantly pontificate about whether this rose is better than that one, or how one grass is a thug,...

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Posted by on July 7, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Favorite evergreen natives – Ragwort and Bignonia

Today I’m showing off two plants that are not only native to me in Maryland but share two traits I wish were more common among native – they’re evergreen AND vigorous growers in the garden. First up, the unfortunately named Ragwort, a/k/a Golden Groundsel, officially Packera aurea. Here’s what it looked...

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Posted by on May 29, 2015 at 7:36 am   This post has 14 responses.

Groundcovers Make the Rose Garden

I’m happy to see that (some) rose gardens are looking better these days, thanks to their good-looking and super-performing groundcovers. To my eyes, they cover all sorts of rosebush deficiencies throughout the year.  (Love the blooms; the plants not so much.) Here are some of my favorites, all appearing now...

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Posted by on May 22, 2015 at 7:15 am   This post has 14 responses.

Year Three in my Garden: Are the Perennials Leaping Yet?

You know what they say about perennials – that in year one they sleep, in year two they creep and in year three they finally leap. So let’s see how that’s working out in my new(ish) garden. Even with a small townhouse garden like mine, going lawn-less is much...

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Posted by on May 8, 2015 at 6:41 am   This post has 19 responses.

A Grower of Regionally Appropriate Plants is Hard to Find

“Nothing will grow here if you don’t water it.” That sentence, which I hear everywhere and not just here in the desert, points out a person who has not yet met the right grower(s). Growers are a bottleneck in this business of changing the way Americans landscape. If a...

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Posted by on April 15, 2015 at 1:41 pm   This post has 32 responses.

On Lady Bird Johnson, Beauty, and Tulips v. Daffodils

 Photo by John Taylor.  Title: Lady Bird’s Gift Another great column by John Kelly for the Washington Post – this time about Lady Bird Johnson’s “beautification” program. Lady Bird’s beautification campaign started in the spring of 1965. She was involved with a group called the Society for a More...

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Posted by on March 27, 2015 at 8:26 am   This post has 14 responses.

The Other Garden

  A person’s relationship with a garden can be one of the most profound relationships we can have. Just as profound as the ones we have with our husbands, our wives, our children. A connection with a garden can be like the one we have with a lover –...

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Posted by on March 25, 2015 at 12:12 am   This post has 31 responses.

Let us now praise evergreens

The more I garden, the more I want plants that look like something all year – namely evergreens.  Compared to the much flashier flowering plants, they’re pretty underwhelming at the garden centers but boy, do I appreciate them right about now. Take, for example, this scene just outside my...

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Posted by on February 27, 2015 at 8:38 am   This post has 10 responses.

Trees, In Memorium

A year has passed, and tonight we will usher in a new one. If there is a tree of life, tonight its trunk gets another ring. I was recently spending some quiet time in an old cemetery- not a funeral park, but an actual old cemetery – unplanned, diverse,...

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm   This post has 24 responses.

In lieu of

Sad fact—as the years go by, there are more wakes and funerals to attend. Increasingly, we have been recognizing the passings of friends and relatives, or supporting our friends and relatives in their losses. Acknowledging death is just another part of living, but it’s not one of my favorite...

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Posted by on December 2, 2014 at 7:49 am   This post has 12 responses.

THANKS,

This year is a special year for me. The day after Thanksgiving, I will celebrate half a century on this planet, so I am being extra thankful. I am thankful that one day, 22 years ago, I walked outside of my newly purchased home and started looking at the...

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Posted by on November 26, 2014 at 12:44 am   This post has 14 responses.

Garden clean-up for dry-climate groundcovers

Lawn replacement is getting some well-deserved buzz and I’m an advocate myself. Unfortunately, ground’s gotta be covered, so what groundcovers do the job with few or no inputs and little to no care? (Something other than English ivy, please.) That’s the big question in the less-lawn movement, and it’s...

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Posted by on November 6, 2014 at 6:58 pm   This post has 9 responses.

Trashing Out with Kudzu and ‘Sherman’s Ghost’

Kudzu is the poster child for invasive plants. The vine that gobbled up more than seven million acres in the south became the unintended consequence of the USDA’s plan to stop erosion. When African-Americans, in 1910, began their migration from the rural south to northern cities, the vine would...

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Posted by on October 22, 2014 at 6:15 am   This post has 18 responses.

Amsonia, Aster and Capital Columns at the National Arboretum

I’ve been waiting eagerly for these plants to reach their peak of fall color and yesterday they dee-livered!  After posting this on Facebook I learned that the designer is well-known plantswoman Angela Treadwell-Palmer.  Great example of the kind of native-plant design being promoted by Thomas Rainer, who just turned...

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Hail the anti-mums

Actually, I do have two gigantic pots of mums that were purchased from a work colleague’s kid (to fund a soccer team or something). At only $8 each, they are way huge for their tiny pots—indeed scarily so. (I have to think they’re overfertilized.) Nonetheless, I brought them home...

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Posted by on October 13, 2014 at 7:42 am   This post has 17 responses.

Potfuls of Coleus

Like Ivette, I ignore the ubiquitous Thriller-Filler-Spiller advice for container plantings – because the more species in a single pot, the harder it is to keep the thing looking good. Ditto getting it to look good in the first place. For me, containers look best simplified, like the 3...

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Posted by on September 25, 2014 at 9:09 am   This post has 2 responses.

Judging

All I could think about was how defenseless—even pathetic—the flowers looked in their little bud vases. As I walked among them, they presented a bewildering array of colors and shapes—spheres, spikes, sprays, buds, gnarly tangles, full blooms. And then there were mixed containers of herbs and even a few...

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Posted by on August 12, 2014 at 9:52 am   This post has 12 responses.
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