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Archive for Focus on Flowers

December 27, 2012

Red Chokeberry

Our native Aronia arbutifolia with the common name of red chokeberry is a shrub that offers four seasons of interest in our gardens.

December 20, 2012

Natural Decoration

During the holidays it is interesting and fun to decorate with natural materials.

December 13, 2012

Quick Arrangements

If guests are expected and you have no flowers, just pick a few sprays of evergreens from the garden.

December 6, 2012

Tiny White Asters

Asters are aptly named, as the word aster means star.

November 29, 2012

Autumn-Blooming Witch Hazel

Witch hazel bark has traditionally been used, by steeping it in water to make an astringent, which Native Americans used to treat a variety of ills.

November 22, 2012

Spicebush Provides A Refined Softness To A Shady Landscape

Lindera benzoin, commonly known as spicebush, is a native multi-stemmed, understory shrub that can grow as wide as it is tall.

November 15, 2012

Lily Of The Valley Bush Offers Year-Round Interest

The evergreen shrub Pieris floribunda is native to the Southeastern United States and is related to rhododendron and mountain laurel.

November 8, 2012

Physocarpus Provides Cover For Songbirds

Physocarpus is a small genus of about ten species including our native ninebark shrub.

November 1, 2012

Intricate Patterns Offer Sense Of Order

During the busy gardening season, I spend so much time outdoors that order often eludes me inside my house.

October 25, 2012


A neighbor, who was moving, gave me a big box of vases...

October 18, 2012


The foliage of plants in this family is sometimes aromatic, and the flowers are mostly like daisies.

October 11, 2012

Re-Planting Perennials

Tips for planting or transplanting perennials in the fall.

October 4, 2012

A Bush That Burns

Could the biblical burning bush be Dictamnus albus?

September 27, 2012

The Consolida Genus Includes Larkspur

Most of the larkspurs we grow in our gardens are annuals, but they readily self seed so they can become almost permanent residents of our gardens.

September 20, 2012

The Papery Appeal Of Limonium

Limonium is the genus that includes plants with papery flowers commonly known as statice

September 13, 2012

Fireweed Thrives In Disturbed Soil

The native perennial fireweed produces spikes of magenta flowers July through September.

September 6, 2012


Anise is one of our most ancient herbs, dating to before the birth of Christ.

August 30, 2012

Unwelcome Bindweed

All bindweeds have arrow shaped leaves on long stems, and their underground rhizomes are hard to dig up.

August 23, 2012


Also known as knitbone, the name comfrey may come from the Latin word which means “knitting together” and refers to its use in healing fractures.

August 16, 2012


Modern researchers have confirmed that caraway oil has a mild antispasmodic effect in addition to its culinary appeal.

August 9, 2012

American Ginseng

This is a plant that produces tiny greenish white flowers in June and July in an insignificant cluster. Bright red berries follow the flowers in late summer.

August 2, 2012

Native Lobelias

These tall perennial wildflowers can be seen growing in moist pasture lands and on the banks of streams and rivers from southern Canada to Texas.

July 26, 2012

Bouncing Bet

The leaves and rhizomes of saponaria officinalis can be boiled in water to make a soapy lather.

July 19, 2012

Color Combinations

My formula when choosing plants for my garden: focus on my three favorite colors, plus or minus white.

July 12, 2012

Dame's Rocket

This pretty flower is a self-seeding biennial that can grow as tall as three feet, which is now on the list of invasive species in North America.

July 5, 2012

Berries For Birds

I am trying to grow more shrubs that fruit at different times of the year in order to provide a continuous buffet and attract birds to my garden.

June 28, 2012

Resilient Catmint

What is there not to like about a pretty, serviceable and deer-resistant plant that endures hot, dry conditions?

June 21, 2012

Potted Mint

Mint grows so well in the ground that it is difficult to grow just a little of it.

June 14, 2012


A story of conflict between one woman and a deer. Who will win?

June 7, 2012

Plants We Collect

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, and circumstances shape our preferences and thus our plant collections.

May 31, 2012

Hopeful Gardeners

As we plant, we envision a future full of fruitfulness and beauty – bounty and beauty.

May 24, 2012

Ballerinas & Angels

It is hard to beat achillea, commonly called yarrow, in a hot dry garden site.

May 17, 2012

Creepers: Exploring Groundcovers

May, in my Midwestern garden, is when a lot of creeping plants bloom.

May 3, 2012

Water Lilies: You Can Set Your Watch By Them

Each species of water lily has a unique built-in biological clock.

April 26, 2012

Pollen Stains

Some tips on avoiding pollen stains, as well as some dos and don't for when pollen meets fabric.

April 19, 2012

Preparing Now For September Color

Spring is the time to prepare for fall, so this month is a good time to think about your September garden.

April 12, 2012

Preparing For August Blooms: Top Midwestern Perennials

A list of the plants that carry my garden through the tough days of August.

April 5, 2012

It's Time To Divide And Move Perennials

Your summer and fall gardens will reflect your April efforts. This is our time to move things while they are still small.

March 29, 2012

"The Shepherd's Daffodil" - A Poem

Yellow is definitely the color of the month in my garden, and I suspect in yours.

March 22, 2012

"To Daffodils" - A Poem

We wait all winter for the daffodils to bloom in the spring.

March 15, 2012

Basket Of Gold

The perennial Alyssum is a cheerful harbinger of spring.

March 8, 2012

Earliest Spring Crocus

The earliest crocus flowers to appear each spring are the pale lavender ones with flimsy petals...

March 1, 2012

March Flowers

In much of the Northern Hemisphere, March is the month where every garden worthy of the name, does have some daffodils in bloom.

February 23, 2012

Bill Larkin's Seeds

In the summer of 2011, I visited Bill Larkin's garden in Loogootee, Indiana, and saw 30,000 colorful annuals in bloom.

February 16, 2012

Hybrid Witch Hazel

Flowering quince and forsythia are better known for forcing but witch hazel is great too.

February 9, 2012

Modern Garden Design's Roots In The Past

The elevation of function as an important design principle has its roots in the 20th-century modernist movement.

February 2, 2012

The Modernist Movement In Garden Design

What is known as the Modernist Movement in Garden Design evolved during the twentieth century. It is well described by Jane Brown in her book The Modern Garden.

January 26, 2012

The Golden Age Of Botanical Art

During this period there were great advances in the techniques available to reproduce botanical art—in fact, all artwork.

January 19, 2012

Sold On Salvia

There are over 900 species of salvias, and it is the largest genus in the mint family.

January 12, 2012

Oenothera, Commonly Known As Evening Primrose

All evening primroses are cheerful and easy to grow flowers that pop up unexpectedly in our gardens.

January 5, 2012

Underground Storage

Each fall we plant our bulbs for spring bloom...

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