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Archive for Focus on Flowers

December 29, 2011

Container Shapes: It's All About Proportion

Flowers and containers should always complement each other.

December 22, 2011

"Focus On Foliage" In Holiday Arrangements

In December, there are varied types of evergreen foliage that can be used to contrast form, color and texture in vases and centerpieces.

December 15, 2011

Plant Sitting: Cacti, Orchids, And Worms?

I often plant sit for friends who spend the cold months in warmer climes, or who escape the humidity of the Midwest summers for cooler destinations.

December 8, 2011

Jewel Orchids As House Plants

Jewel orchid's foliage guarantees a handsome house plant even when it is not in bloom.

December 1, 2011

Plant Standards: Trained And Standing At Attention

We sometimes see a plant with an elongated, smooth and usually skinny, trunk with a round mop of foliage at the top.

November 24, 2011

Botanical Names

During the winter, gardeners usually read a lot of plant catalogs, most of which list the botanical, as well as, the common names of plants.

November 17, 2011

Creating A Thanksgiving Centerpiece With Texture

As the cold weather comes into my Midwestern garden, I grow somewhat mournful because it will be months before I see the results of the bulbs planted this fall.

November 10, 2011

Goat's Beard

This perennial is cold hardy, settles in easily and plays well with others.

November 3, 2011

Tried And True Plants

As I look at my fall garden, I am reminded of the plants that persist year after year regardless of both neglect and challenging weather conditions.

October 27, 2011

Fall Divisions: A Good Time To Fill In The Blanks

Survey your garden and try to imagine it in spring and summer, and identify dead spots and relocate new perennial divisions to those.

October 20, 2011

End Of Season Sales

The fall is a good time to plant trees and shrubs, and it is fun to cruise the aisles of stores and nurseries to see if there are good deals available.

October 13, 2011

The Deciduous Holly Called Winterberry

Fall is a good time to plant new shrubs that will improve the winter landscape. Some shrub genera include both evergreen and deciduous species.

October 6, 2011

A Living Wall

Walls of plants, both indoors and out, are trendy, though they were actually featured by the Brazilian designer Roberto Burley Marks over 100 years ago.

September 29, 2011

After The Rain...Many Opportunities For Gardeners

After heavy or prolonged rain, we gardeners venture outdoors and revel in how refreshed the plants look and how easily weeds can be extracted from the soil.

September 22, 2011

Pleasing Color Schemes

When we consistently plant the colors we like it usually happens that the color scheme pleases us overall.

September 15, 2011

Vigorous Morning Glories

The plant will grow in relatively poor soil and once established is drought tolerant. All parts of the plant are poisonous so immune to foraging deer.

September 8, 2011

Tasty Portulaca

Often called moss rose, this succulent was first introduced from South America to European gardens in the early 1700’s.

September 1, 2011

Open All Night: Fragrant Four-O'Clocks

Mirabilis jalapa are a well known cottage garden flower and have a common name that reflects an atypical blooming pattern.

August 25, 2011

Wits End - A Vincennes, Indiana Garden

It is difficult to choose a favorite part of this eclectic garden...full of must-see areas and plants so that visitors are overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.

August 18, 2011

Good Old Marigolds

Like chrysanthemums, marigolds are such serviceable flowers, and as one becomes a seasoned gardener “serviceable” becomes a most welcome descriptor.

August 11, 2011

Quirky Quince: Old Vs. New Varieties

New and improved quinces are not as quirky as their predecessors and perform well in all seasons...and they're thornless!

August 4, 2011

Clivia: The "Indestructible" Houseplant

Clivia hails from South Africa where it is known as the Kaffir lily, the bush lily and the fire lily.

July 28, 2011

Plumes And Cockscombs Of Celosia

Celosias make good companions for other strong colored annuals in the cutting garden, such as zinnias and marigolds.

July 21, 2011

Uses For Lilies

Different varieties of lily bulbs can be planted to provide a succession of flowers from June through August in well-drained, sunny areas of a garden.

July 14, 2011

The Native North American Paw Paw Tree

It is native to woodlands from Michigan to New York state and south to Florida and Texas.

July 7, 2011

Japanese Kerria Has Multi-Season Appeal

If you need color in your shady woodland garden consider planting Japanese kerria either as an accent or as a massed shrub border.

June 30, 2011

Add Presence In A Woodland Garden With Fothergilla

Woody shade-tolerant plants provide an architectural presence under tall deciduous trees and can be massed in groups of shrubs or used as accents.

June 23, 2011

Mahonia aquifolia.

Mahonia Shrubs Gathered By 19th Century Explorers

Mahonias are robust, small shrubs that combine well with other evergreens such as conifers and hollies.

June 16, 2011

Black Haw Is A Small And Versatile Tree

Black haw is native to woods and stream banks from Connecticut to Wisconsin and south to Texas and Georgia.

June 9, 2011

Dwarf Fragrant Sumac

Dwarf fragrant sumac is a low-growing native shrub with yellow flowers in the early spring and has scented bark and foliage that are responsible for its name.

June 2, 2011

Calycanthus: A Sweet Shrub For A Woodland Garden

The North American native Calycanthus belongs to a small genus.

May 26, 2011

Phlox covering the ground.

Groundcover Phlox

There are about 70 different types of phlox, both short and tall. The short ones are used as groundcovers, and their palette is made up of the cool colors.

May 19, 2011

Vitex shrub.

Vitex: Commonly Known As Chaste Tree

Flowering shrubs are invaluable in the garden, and many have pleasant perfumes as well as lovely flowers.

May 12, 2011

Conditioning Stems: Preparing Cut Flowers For The Vase

Whether you pick flowers from your garden or buy them, all cut flowers benefit from being conditioned before they are arranged.

May 5, 2011

Cornell's Combinations: Camouflaging Spring Bulb Foliage

Unless the foliage of other perennials grows up to mask the bulb foliage as it decays, the garden looks a mess.

April 28, 2011

Showcasing Supports In Your Flower Arrangements

There are various types of items that are used in flower arranging to stabilize the stems of flowers.

April 21, 2011

Hollow stems in a jar of water.

Hollow Stems: Preparing Them For Arrangement

Flowers from bulbs are easy to arrange informally in a vase.

April 14, 2011

Container Preparations: New, Rich Soil And Good Drainage Holes

Growing plants in containers is an alternative for those who have no garden space.

April 7, 2011

Pre-Bloom Time: Anticipating Those First Signs Of Spring

Each of us has our own personal method by which we confirm the onset of spring. For me it is when my ground-hugging yellow aconites bloom.

March 31, 2011

The Song Of The Bugle Fairy (Ajuga)

Ajuga is hardy zones 3-9 and prefers light shade and evenly moist well-drained soil.

March 24, 2011

Host Plants For Butterflies

Different species of caterpillars have specific plants or plant families they need for their food.

March 17, 2011

"Morning Thanks" By John Drinkwater

English writer John Drinkwater wrote the following poem many years ago.

March 10, 2011

"Pruning In March," A Poem By Vita Sackville West

There is an old saying that the time to prune the roses is when the forsythia blooms. Here in my Midwestern garden our forsythia blooms in March.

March 3, 2011

Ginkgo Biloba Has An Ancient History

One of the earliest trees on earth, identified through fossils, was the Ginkgo biloba, which was one of the predominant trees on earth 250 million years ago.

February 24, 2011

Tree Pollination

Since trees are well and truly rooted to their spot, they must rely on other agents to help them cross pollinate, or they must self pollinate.

February 17, 2011

A Few Facts About Trees

As well as living longer than any other organism on our planet, trees can grow into the largest organisms.

February 10, 2011

Tap Roots: The Deeper The Better For Drought Tolerance

It is hard to transplant plants with taproots, so look for small new plants or offsets near an established plant and dig a deep circle around them.

February 3, 2011

Contour Planting Slows Runoff And Reduces Erosion

Contour planting is also popular along highways, in public parks, and in private gardens as a method of conserving water and avoiding water pollution.

January 27, 2011

Flower Names As Feminine Names

Many of the people I know who do have flower names are mature women, though it does seem there is a resurgence in these flower-related names for baby girls.

January 20, 2011

Hoya Rhymes With Moya

Hoya plants enjoy indirect light and weekly watering, with fertilizer every second week.

January 13, 2011

Winter Views

Garden designers suggest that a third of garden plants should be evergreen so that there is winter interest.

January 6, 2011

Cats And House Plants

Look for the following symptoms if you suspect a cat has been poisoned: vomiting, diarrhea and a staggering gait.

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