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Archive for Focus on Flowers

December 31, 2015


During Monet’s lifetime, his two chief priorities were his painting and his flower gardening, but they were actually inseparable.

December 24, 2015

Holiday Red

A single bloom cut from a poinsettia plant, with a short stem in a low vase, is also a space saving and inexpensive decoration for the holiday dinner table.

December 17, 2015

Latin & Greek Terms

Botanical Latin has a large number of words for the colors yellow and white...

December 10, 2015

Accidental Unification

I have a number of plants that, when in bloom, are repeated throughout the garden...

December 3, 2015


Color combinations can make plant neighbors “pop” and show us that more of the one thing is not always better.

November 26, 2015

Plant Origins

Sometimes plants are given names that identify them with their geographical origin.

November 19, 2015

Eupatorium Species

Many gardens don’t have room for such big plants! But in those that do, Joe Pye weed is sure to please both humans...and butterflies.

November 12, 2015


Their flowers have two lips, a bit like snapdragon blooms, and there are approximately 250 species in the genus.

November 5, 2015

carpeting plants Sedum

Carpeting Plants

The denser the "plant carpet," the better suppression of weeds it will provide.

October 29, 2015

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Thugs Of The Garden

These so-called thugs are plants that cover the ground so fast that if left to their own devices they eventually crowd out every other plant in a bed.

October 22, 2015

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Flowers For Shade

It’s possible to have colorful shade gardens that have a continual sequence of bloom.

October 15, 2015

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Thalictrum Species Do Well In Shade

All meadow rues offer height in a shade garden.

October 8, 2015

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Unusual Bulbs That Draw The Eye

Fall is the time to be thinking about next spring and especially which new spring-blooming bulbs to plant.

October 1, 2015

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Botanical Heirlooms: Peonies

You may think that you have little that is valuable to bequeath to family and friends...

September 24, 2015

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Some speedwells are low growing but most are upright with flower spires of blues, violets, pinks and whites.

September 17, 2015

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September Planting

Now is the perfect time to walk around your yard and find spaces that need more color or interest at this time of the year.

September 10, 2015

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False Economy

Late last fall I bought a lot of perennials at the end of October, and not one of them came back this past spring.

September 3, 2015

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Plant Partners

Bright accents will make any blue/grey background plantings pop!

August 27, 2015

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It's also a good idea to amend heavy clay soil by mixing in sand and vegetative matter.

August 20, 2015

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Durable Plants

Silver-leaved plants like Artemisia and sage are heat and drought tolerant as well as being unappetizing to deer and rabbits.

August 13, 2015

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Tall, Skinny, Sun-Loving Verbena Bonariensis

This plant looks a bit like a stick figure with arms and a small mop of lavender blooms on top, mimicking hair.

August 6, 2015

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Mexican Sunflowers

These easy-to-grow plants are sometimes used as a flowering screen or hedge for privacy in small yards.

July 30, 2015

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Everlasting Flowers

Strawflowers, sometimes called “everlasting flowers,” can be used in fresh arrangements, as well as dried for winter bouquets.

July 23, 2015

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A lot of the best plant combinations in my yard have occurred without my conscious intervention.

July 16, 2015

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Making Mistakes

In the garden, it seems easier to remember that perfection is not the goal.

July 9, 2015

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Empress Josephine

Josephine’s name will always be synonymous with roses.

July 2, 2015

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Mulch that has already been paid for is like money in the bank.

June 25, 2015

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O Rose So Fair And Sweet!

This is the time of year to enjoy roses in our gardens. Here are some poems about these lovely flowers.

June 18, 2015

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Modern gardeners benefit from the patient work of centuries of flower breeders.

June 11, 2015

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Talking To Plants

I often mutter to myself and also to the plants in my garden, and perhaps you do too.

June 4, 2015

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Names For Roses

About 2,500 years ago, the Greek poet Sappho called the rose the “queen of flowers.”

May 28, 2015

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Fairies' Gloves

The botanical name Digitalis is from the Latin for finger, and “folk” refers to fairies, hence the common name of folks' gloves or fairies' gloves.

May 21, 2015

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Lilac Breeding

Although non-native, lilacs are a much-loved and well-behaved import to North America.

May 14, 2015

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Deer-Proof Hellebores

Common names for these wonderful plants are Christmas rose or Lenten rose, depending on the species and time of bloom.

May 7, 2015

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Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a truly floral holiday.

April 30, 2015

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Misleading Myths

As well as wonderful quotations, C. L. Fornari's handy book contains a lot of useful advice.

April 23, 2015

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Bulb Flowers

For flower lovers, the ability to step out into the garden and pick a fistful of blooms for a vase, is one of spring’s great pleasures.

April 16, 2015

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Earth Day

We should ask questions before we purchase our plants this spring. It's important to know whether pesticides that put our bees at risk have been used.

April 9, 2015

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The Passion Of Alice Waters

Because Earth Day is coming up, let’s pay homage to Alice Waters.

April 2, 2015

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Fragrance In Our Gardens

Scientists have found odor receptors in nearly every organ in the human body!

March 26, 2015

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Winston Churchill's Love Of Nature

I love the informality of Churchill’s flower paintings, with simple vases containing bunches of garden blooms.

March 19, 2015

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Japanese Tree Lilac

Japanese Tree Lilac is a useful, adaptable ornamental tree.

March 12, 2015

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Carolina Silverbell Tree

Carolina Silverbells used to be hard to find and were rarely seen in home gardens, but now I'm determined to find one!

March 5, 2015

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Japanese Snowbell Tree

This tree has multi-seasonal interest with attractive branching and lovely pink blooms in the spring.

February 26, 2015

Star magnolia

Star Magnolia

This star magnolia is certainly a spring “star” but fades into the adjacent greenery a bit once her precocious flowers fade away.

February 19, 2015

Star magnolia

My Dear Magnolia Virginiana

Sweetbay Magnolia flowers have a citrusy fragrance that makes me want to sniff them whenever I am nearby.

February 12, 2015

Star magnolia

American Yellowwood

This is an adaptable native tree with no serious disease or pest problems and a lovely branching pattern.

February 5, 2015

Star magnolia

Evergreen Trees

The texture of evergreens contribute significantly to the winter landscape.

January 29, 2015

Star magnolia

Early Women Garden Photographers

Early women garden photographers created a new art form in the 20th century.

January 22, 2015

Star magnolia

Tall And Thin

I am dreaming this winter of tall, thin trees, ...and these need no trimming.

January 15, 2015

Star magnolia

Dropping And Curling Of Broad-Leaved Evergreens

“My ‘rhodos’ are doing a good job of protecting themselves from photoinhibition.”

January 8, 2015

Star magnolia

Rooftop Gardens

Rooftop gardens are becoming more and more popular in big cities where space for ground-level gardens is not available.

January 1, 2015

Star magnolia

Wood Ash

At this time of the year when we are using our fireplaces frequently, we generate a lot of wood ash.

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