Doubles—it depends

The other day, while I was trying to look up why my L. tigrinum flore-plenos have white fuzz all over their stems and buds, I came across the following: “has double flowers, but, in my opinion, is rather coarse. The style and grace of a lily flower lies in its clean lines and simple architecture. […]

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Posted by on July 11, 2011 at 5:03 am   This post has 6 responses.

And it reblooms

It’s true, David Austin roses have their downsides. They are marginally hardy below zone 5, they have tall, leggy bushes that really would like to be climbers, and I guess they’re somewhat susceptible to blackspot and other rose-related ills. Nonetheless. I still love all the DA’s I’ve tried, including...

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 at 11:46 am   This post has 9 responses.

Cheerleading for lilium

These L. Robina (oriental/trumpet) were bred by Arie Peterse for their buds as well as their flowers. For years I have been wondering why more gardeners I knew did not grow lilium. Apparently, I’m not alone. A couple weeks ago, an electronic press packet representing a big lilium promotion...

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 at 3:50 am   This post has 23 responses.

Thanks to Dan Hinkley, Tony Avent, …

… and an extensive  roster of hellebore breeders, including Ernie and Marietta O'Byrne, Joseph Heuger, Glenn Withey and Charles Price, and many others, I now have something truly distinctive to admire when hardly anything else is growing in the slowly thawing Buffalo spring. Not to mention that even the...

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 at 4:41 am   This post has 12 responses.

I’ll never admire a city dogwood again

These trees are near a former homestead that has been preserved. Not after last week’s trip to the Great Smokies National Park and nearby Tennessee towns. Here, they are thriving at the edges of the forest, set off by Eastern hemlocks, tulip poplars, and other, much taller trees. Sure,...

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Posted by on April 18, 2011 at 5:13 am   This post has 18 responses.

Bulb forcing trials continued, out of necessity

These are some kind of parrot tulip from the big box. As the years go by, I am experimenting with forcing varieties of bulbs that aren’t recommended for forcing. It seems to be simply a matter of waiting longer. (Maybe I’ll move on to iris next year.) And judging...

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Posted by on March 24, 2011 at 5:02 am   This post has 6 responses.

Drinking the Witch Hazel Kool-Aid

Here's a guest rant from Kansas master gardener, blogger, and veterinary surgeon James Roush. And be sure to check out Michele's beautifully-illustrated essay on this plant in the current Garden Design.—Elizabeth One of my many, many pet gardening peeves (which should be differentiated from the many pets that peeve me in my...

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 at 4:32 am   This post has 39 responses.

On the Dissing of Knockout Roses

Yesterday I heard master gardening teacher Gene Sumi give his famous talk about basic pruning.  It's but a 90-minute summary of the full course he teaches on pruning at community colleges, but a great beginning for anyone afraid to pick up their first pruners and give it a go. ...

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Posted by on January 31, 2011 at 3:17 am   This post has 52 responses.

Dear Citrus Trees: We Have to Talk.

Now, don't say anything.  Just let me get through this. You knew going into this what kind of person I was.  You knew all about my history with houseplants.  Full disclosure, that's what I believe in. I told you I expected a plant to be able to take care...

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Posted by on January 5, 2011 at 5:47 am   This post has 33 responses.

Guest Rant: Step Right Up!

  Ladies and Gents!  Meet the circus clowns, magicians, and tattooed ladies of the green world!  From Paula Gross, assistant director of the University of North Carolina Charlotte Botanical Gardens, and Larry Mellichamp, professor of botany and horticulture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and with a...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling, Unusually Clever People
Posted by on December 23, 2010 at 3:13 am   This post has 10 responses.

Houseplants get the love in NYTimes—but will they love you back? Maybe.

  It’s a short story. If you’re not willing to pay some minimal attention to your indoor plants at least every couple weeks or so, they will die. I don’t care what kind of plants they are or how foolproof they are supposed to be.  Even with maintenance, some...

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Posted by on November 13, 2010 at 5:55 am   This post has 11 responses.

Mums: where’s the love?

Here's a guest post from James Roush, who hates mums as much or maybe even more than I do. James's blog is Garden Musings.—Eliz. My muse for today's blog is a coworker and friend who's also a new homeowner. She's faced with the dilemma of all non-gardeners who suddenly find themselves with a town...

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Posted by on October 17, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 19 responses.

Bloom says: too many plants

I and many in the industry believe that there are simply too many new plants introduced each year, with too few of them being proved garden worthy. Pity the poor gardener who, faced with an overwhelming choice of plants, can hardly know which are the best to choose. With...

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Posted by on October 12, 2010 at 4:47 am   This post has 22 responses.

Self-Seeded Pansies, November 22, 2009

Re Elizabeth's post below: I was very struck by this scene in an alley in Saratoga Springs, NY last Thanksgiving.  Pansy seed that had obviously dropped from the window box above yielded a sweet row of blooms at a moment when the rest of the plant world was in...

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Posted by on September 28, 2010 at 9:12 am   This post has 5 responses.

Dear winter pansy marketers: what do you take me for?

Photo from the Icicle Pansy site. Every year, right around now, near the end of the gardening season, we northern gardeners are being tempted by racks of very pretty six-packs that go by the name of “icicle” or “winter” pansies. The legend goes that you plant these in the...

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Posted by on September 28, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 19 responses.

Confessions of a sizeist

Roses can be depended upon to get high for me. It is getting harder and harder for me to find the plants that I need. It’s nobody’s fault, really. I have access to excellent garden centers, and they carry the hot new introductions as well as the usual suspects....

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Posted by on September 14, 2010 at 5:10 am   This post has 9 responses.

1,001 Whatsitsname Plants

Here is a guest post from Raffi, who runs the Gardenology plant encyclopedia. Puya alpestris I love going to botanical gardens at home and in my travels, always hoping to discover new plant gems that I might potentially add to my garden.  No garden center can match the diversity...

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Posted by on September 11, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 24 responses.

What’s in a name?

A guest rant by Dee/Red Dirt Rambling Lagerstroemia indica  Writing about gardening isn’t rocket science or even brain surgery, but it isn’t easy either.  It’s not enough anymore to correctly identify a plant by its botanical, cultivar and common name. In the last decade, plant hybridizers and propagators began...

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Posted by on September 7, 2010 at 5:00 am   This post has 20 responses.

Where Goldenrod is a Star

Late-summer border Greetings from Bavaria.  I’m here to celebrate my favorite aunt’s 80th birthday and am having tremendous fun with the federation of cousins. But I did take the time to tour the gardens at Weihenstephan, which are on the site of a former abbey, as well as the...

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on August 12, 2010 at 11:08 pm   This post has 17 responses.

If it’s August, it must be time for …

Hairy balls! Seeing these at the Botanical Gardens almost makes up for summer's passing. Surely this is one of the funniest seedhead plants.  Gomphocarpus  physocarpus or Asclepias physocarpus, take your pick. There are other common names too, but why bother.

Read more in: It's the Plants, Darling
Posted by on August 3, 2010 at 10:40 am   This post has 24 responses.
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