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Archive for Focus on Flowers

December 26, 2019

Landscape architect Thomas Church standing in Martin Garden, 1949 (black and white image).

Thomas Church in California

Thomas Church (1902-78) was a garden designer whose style was a response to California's specific type of lifestyle and climate.

December 19, 2019

Coffee mug on a winter windowsill.

Winter Words of Wisdom

This winter I have been reading some garden writers’ words of wisdom, which now I will share with you.

December 12, 2019

Rose floating in glass bowl.

Sweet & Simple

Just one rose floating in a small bowl, presented with a heartfelt message, written or verbal, will be treasured.

December 5, 2019

Vintage photo of two small children next to an enormous smooth hydrangea.

Smooth Hydrangeas

Most of us are familiar with the old-fashioned, white mop-head blossoms of the popular hydrangea variety ‘Annabelle.’

November 28, 2019

Hydrangea shrub with both pink and blue flowers.

Changing Color

Sometimes soil can be just slightly acid or neutral with a PH of 6 or 7 and you will get a mix of both pink and blue flowers on the same plant.

November 21, 2019

Climbing hydrangea.

Old Wood, New Wood

Hydrangeas are some of the most beautiful as well as durable shrubs in our gardens.

November 14, 2019

Copacabana promenade in Rio de Janeiro designed by Roberto Burle Marx.

Living Art

In 2019, The New York Botanical Garden mounted an exhibit honoring Brazil’s greatest landscape designer 25 years after his death: “Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx.”

November 7, 2019

Hummingbirds fighting


Male hummers are extremely aggressive. They even stab each other!

October 31, 2019

David Austin Roses, The view in a commercial rose-growing nursery near Albrighton, England.

David Austin (1926-2018)

David Austin was fond of saying that a rose without a fragrance is only half a rose.

October 24, 2019

Iris spuria.

Iris Facts

I grow more iris than I used to because deer leave them alone, and I’ve discovered that there are many things I did not know about these flowers.

October 17, 2019

White flower Narcissus 'Mount Hood'.

White Flowers

I have been planting more white flowers recently because I already have so many other colored flowers that bloom in my yard across the growing seasons.

October 10, 2019

Native Foamflowers, Tiarella wherryi

Native Foamflowers

If you are looking for more natives to plant in your shady spots this fall, consider our native North American foamflower.

October 1, 2019

Awesome Allium giganteum

Awesome Alliums

As you think about what bulbs to add to your garden this fall, don’t forget about buying some alliums.

September 26, 2019

Azalea on a frosty morning.


It is important for gardeners to know their hardiness zone.

September 19, 2019

Monarda (bee balm) in a garden bed.

Many Happy Returns

Perennials are plants that, hopefully, return in our gardens each spring after being dormant during the winter.

September 12, 2019

Orange and yellow nasturtiums in a flower bed.

Nasturtium Nostalgia

Nasturtiums can make pretty cut flowers.

September 5, 2019

Close up of the painting “Mercie Cutting Flowers” by Edmund Charles Tarbell, 1912.

Grow Your Own

Even just one flower stuck in a bottle makes me feel happy!

August 29, 2019

compost is gold

Compost Is Gold

Plants benefit from growing in good soil, and the addition of compost is an effective way to condition it.

August 22, 2019



Common names of plants vary greatly, but officially, each plant has two Latin names.

August 15, 2019


Happy With Blues

Blue is such a calming shade and happily combines with any other color.

August 8, 2019

Angelonia angustifolia.

Prolonged Color

Thanks to many years of dedicated plant hybridizing, it is now possible to have four seasons of color in our gardens.

August 1, 2019

Gunnera manicata.

Waterside Wonders

Water features are commonplace in formal gardens.

July 25, 2019

Yucca filamentosa, leaves with filaments.

Architectual Form

Evergreens that carry a garden through ice and snow are not the only candidates to create architectural form in our plantings.

July 11, 2019

Ninebark, a.k.a. Physocarpus opulifolius 'Diabolo'.

Foliage Effects

When I began gardening, my aim was to have as many flowers as possible, but the longer I garden the more I appreciate the impact of colorful foliage.

July 4, 2019

Two yards before and after naturalizing


Experienced gardeners know that benign neglect results in an unkempt garden.

June 27, 2019



Some people love specific plants just because of their scent.

June 20, 2019


Waves In The Shade

I love plant names that rhyme!

June 13, 2019

Lambs Ears, Variegated Hostas, and Dark Red and Pink Coral Bells

Lovely Leaves

Foliage colors are especially good for creating interesting beds and borders.

June 6, 2019


Coleus Enhances Everything!

I love coleus for their showy colorful leaves...

May 30, 2019


Wedding Bouquets

June is the month for weddings!

May 23, 2019



It is interesting to watch sunflowers turn their heads to follow the sun.

May 23, 2019


Sunshiny Yellow Sunflowers

It is interesting to watch sunflowers turn their heads to follow the sun.

May 13, 2019

pink hydrangeas in a row

A Color Theme

At this time of year we are tempted by all of the plants that are available, and we want to grow them all!

May 9, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

All Annuals

I recently saw a lovely bed in my neighborhood devoted entirely to annuals. It was full sun and composed predominantly of pink and blue flowers. At the back were tall cleome, commonly called spider plant.

May 2, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Moisture-Loving Natives

Filipendula rubra produces airy rose-pink flower clusters that can be between 4-10 inches wide and rise above the plant’s deeply divided leaves presenting a regal appearance befitting its common name, Queen of the Prairie.

April 25, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Planting And Division

Digging up the root ball of an established plant completely and cutting it into sections actually benefits the plant.

April 18, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Stem Cuttings

Starting plants from existing ones is fun as well as economical.

April 11, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Perennial Gardens

A perennial is a flowering plant that lives for three or more years.

April 4, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Long-Term Residents

Perennial beds need to be well dug initially to loosen the soil and then amended with compost or other organic material.

March 28, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

True Love, Forget Me Not

There is a legend about a knight in armor who is walking along the bank of a river...

March 21, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Wordsworth's Garden

“True taste has an eye for both weeds and garden flowers.”

March 14, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Not By Design

Sometimes plants have minds of their own.

March 7, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

A Granddaughter's Memories

Vita Sackville-West's granddaughter Juliet Nicolson says that her grandmother's "presence still fills the garden."

February 28, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Vita And Harold’s Garden

Vita Sackville-West's planting philosophy : "Cram, cram, cram, every chink and cranny.”

February 21, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Beguiling Begonias

Begonias are beloved because of their textured, colorful foliage, as well as their pretty flowers.

February 14, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

In My Dreams

During the winter when I can’t actually garden outdoors, I plan many garden improvements and most of them include buying new plants.

February 7, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Georgia O'Keeffe

O’Keeffe is an art world star and her paintings of larger-than-life flowers are unique.

January 31, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Azalias & Mums Indoors

Azalea mollis is sometimes successful as a houseplant.

January 24, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Bulb Glasses

Hyacinth are some of the most popular bulbs to force in bulb glasses.

January 17, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Lady Clive

Clivias have attractive thick, strap-like dark green leaves.

January 10, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Streptocarpus' Blooms Are Cheerful

Cape primrose is a wonderful houseplant because it blooms for a long period of time.

January 3, 2019

a barrage of cleome flowers

Lush And Velvety Gloxinia

Gloxinia plants look lush and there are many varieties.

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