Epimedium x versicolor 'Sulphureum' with Narcissus 'Thalia'-imp

Ask a Designer: What’s a Good Ground Cover for Shade?

When a local (DC-area) Yahoo group was asked for ground cover recommendations for shade, these plants were suggested: Ajuga, Hosta, Pachysandra (native and nonnative), Epimedium, and Lily of the Valley, ferns, Hellebore, “some phlox, some carex,” Dicentra (bleeding heart), Sedum ternatum, Tiarella, Acorus, Asarum canadense (ginger) and “lots of spring ephemerals.” But hey, isn’t a ground cover […]

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Posted by on June 2, 2016 at 10:31 pm   This post has 14 responses.

Something there is that doesn’t love a wall

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living with this brick bed enclosure for over sixteen years. But when you have an 1870 house, there’s something new to do every year, and certain jobs—new roof, new kitchen, window repairs—have to take priority. Finally, it’s time. This is coming down...

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Posted by on May 31, 2016 at 9:25 am   This post has 2 responses.

Fear of the Outdoors or Sensible Defenses Against Insects?

Gardeners and other outdoors-types have always had to deal with mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers, and many of us chose to pretty much ignore them. But then came Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus, which got even a diehard like me starting to worry. A friend contracted the dreaded Lyme...

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Posted by on May 27, 2016 at 10:42 am   This post has 22 responses.

Felder Rushing’s Mississippi Garden

You may know Felder from his radio show, his books, or one of his highly entertaining talks.  Actually, I’m entertained by everything Felder does so while researching for Good Gardening Videos I was delighted to find this 16-minute tour of his home garden, with plenty of bon mots from...

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Posted by on May 22, 2016 at 10:33 am   This post has 2 responses.

Tallamania!

Ranters have been talking to scientist Doug Tallamy, professor and chair of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware, since 2007. So, since this is Throwback Thursday, I’d thought I’d include some of our earlier discussions with the professor, as well as a recent...

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Posted by on May 19, 2016 at 7:50 am   This post has 2 responses.

Shopping for Annuals and Perennials

A few weeks ago, I posted a list of tips concerning shopping for trees and shrubs. I promised at that time to follow up with a list of shopping tips for annual and perennial transplants, so here goes. Shop at a well-run garden center. I am leery of big...

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Posted by on May 16, 2016 at 6:41 am   This post has 16 responses.

Mom and Dad’s Ohio Garden

Matt Adolph, shown here somewhere in Ohio with his mom, made a home video about his parents’ garden – his mom’s native plants and his dad’s vegetables – and I love it. I came upon this video tour of the Adolph family garden when I was looking for home-garden...

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Posted by on May 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Photography Lesson in a Garden

As an eager but very amateur photographer, I’ve attended all sorts of photography classes and talks, with little improvement to show for it. Then I stumbled upon a teaching method and classroom setting perfect for me – a “photo safari” with an extraordinary teacher and a small class of enthusiasts...

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Posted by on May 13, 2016 at 9:49 am   This post has 3 responses.

Bill Best Knows Best about Wonder Beans

Kentucky has a long distinguished history of seed selection and preservation. Before Bill Best got serious with heirloom green beans seeds, there were Native Americans who put Kentucky on the world map before there were maps: four thousand years ago. We seldom get credit for being a world center...

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Posted by on May 11, 2016 at 7:16 am   This post has 4 responses.

Do you have a Palafox borealis?

Of course you don’t. I am pretty sure it’s a made-up plant. I was reading about it in a novel by Angela Thirkell called The Old Bank House. Here’s the description of it: …a clump of rather ugly serrated leaves, fleshy and covered with a kind of whitish bristles...

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Posted by on May 10, 2016 at 10:11 am   This post has 8 responses.

In pruning old azaleas, is radical renovation too scary?

I sent my first New Videos! e-blast this week, featuring 14 videos added to Good Gardening Videos since its launch last month. Two of those videos teach azalea-pruning, but from different perspectives. Woody-plant specialist Phil Normany demonstrates going all the way down to the ground, being bold and trusting that...

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Posted by on May 8, 2016 at 4:01 pm   This post has 3 responses.

Report from New Zealand: How Plants Survived Moa Birds, and More

Scott Aker, head of gardens at the National Arboretum, toured New Zealand over the winter – their summer – with his teenage son, who must have been raised with a high tolerance for hort-speak because from the looks of Scott’s slide show, it was a plant-centric journey. Scott certainly...

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Posted by on May 6, 2016 at 6:32 am   This post has 4 responses.

#TBT The great compost tea debate

In June, 2007, we hosted a debate between horticultural professor Jeff Gillman (author of many books, including The Truth Abut Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening) and garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author of Teaming with Microbes. The topic was compost tea, and this is the first...

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Posted by on May 5, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has Comments Off on #TBT The great compost tea debate.

Who uses landscape fabric and why?

Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces,...

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Posted by on May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am   This post has 19 responses.

#TBT: Garden Guy, will work for Heteros Only

Landscapers refusing to work for LGBTs? Back in November 2006. when this was published, you bet, and the legality of doing that hasn’t changed. Indeed—note  recent legislation passed in North Carolina and other states—this kind of discrimination is still in play and often legal. It was Elizabeth, blogging then at Gardening...

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Posted by on April 28, 2016 at 7:18 am   This post has 10 responses.

Slices of Spring and Steak

I’ve been on the clock of Jelitto Perennial Seeds for nearly 21 years. I peddle perennial seeds (over 3,500 different items), but from time to time, with my colleagues there, I enjoy the pleasure of wildflowers, gardens, nurseries and even a good steak. It is a great gig. Georg...

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Posted by on April 27, 2016 at 12:06 pm   This post has 12 responses.

The tulip graveyard

It’s nice, as graveyards go. Colorful bulbs—species tulips, grape hyacinth, narcissus, erythronium—flourish in it throughout the later spring, followed by lush plantings of shade perennials—Solomon’s seal, ghost fern, bugbane (actea), brunnera, hellebores, and, of course, plenty of hosta. It’s unlikely that the casual passer-by could begin to imagine the...

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Posted by on April 26, 2016 at 7:59 am   This post has 5 responses.

Setting the Pace

What a great Spring it has been here in Boise — alternating periods of rain and sun, almost as if Mother Nature knew what the newly emerging and recently planted plants needed for optimal growth. The trees and shrubs are mostly leafed out, and the bumble bees just appeared...

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Posted by on April 20, 2016 at 11:29 am   This post has 7 responses.

See you in the Twin Cities?

By now, many of you must have heard about the yearly garden blogger get-togethers that have been running since 2008. Pam Penick of Digging got it started; the first one took place in Austin, which is home to great gardens and—at that time, anyway—quite a cohort of garden bloggers....

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Posted by on April 19, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 3 responses.

Plant Shopping Dos and Don’ts

Plant-shopping is a hobby for most addicted gardeners, but it’s also a craft. Years ago, when I wanted to sharpen my skills, I consulted with the buyer for a busy Long Island landscape installation company; this company depended for its reputation on installing only first class plants. The buyer...

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Posted by on April 18, 2016 at 9:41 am   This post has 9 responses.
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