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Archive for Focus on Flowers

December 30, 2021

hellebores emerging in snow

Hardy Hellebores

Cold-season bloomers are rare in the flower world.

December 23, 2021

Squirrel

Squirrels

Squirrels are such fun to watch!

December 16, 2021

Windsor Castle garden

An Ancient Poem

James I of Scotland wrote a poem in 1413 describing his view of a densely screened pleasure garden set in a corner of the castle wall.

December 9, 2021

Wardian case

Wardian Boxes

Dr. Nathanial Ward, a naturalist and physician living in London, discovered a way to transport and protect plants from the sea air and adverse temperatures during long sea voyages.

December 2, 2021

deer eating evergreens

More on Deer

In the fall deer start on the woody plants and most often go after evergreens in the winter.

November 25, 2021

Floating hellebores

Flower Arrangers Speak

Quotes from Violet Stevenson and Gertrude Jekyll.

November 18, 2021

Cut euphorbia stem

Cutting Flowers

When cutting flowers from your home garden, it is important to remember that you are subjecting the plant to surgery.

November 11, 2021

Shadbush

Shrubs for Shady Gardens

It is hard to find shrubs for deep shade, as few will persist at all...but here a few ideas.

November 4, 2021

Toad lily in filtered shade

Filtered Shade

Shade gardens are usually at their best in the spring, but filtered shade gardens can provide summer color, too.

October 28, 2021

planting pine seedling

Fall Planting

Conifer shrubs and trees need warmer soil to get their roots growing, so plant them as early as possible in the fall.

October 21, 2021

separating allium bulbs

Divide to Multiply

There are only a few perennials that thrive for many years without being divided and replanted.

October 14, 2021

Geranium Pelargonium

Tender Geraniums

Fall is the time to bring indoors all of those houseplants that have been spending the summer outside. I usually also dig up a few annual geraniums that I have had in my beds all summer.

October 7, 2021

Painted daisy

New World Mums

By the end of the 1800s, most types of chrysanthemums had arrived in America.

September 30, 2021

Chrysanthemums

Mums

The name chrysanthemum is from the Greek word for gold “chrysos” and “anthos,” which means flower.

September 23, 2021

False dragon head

Wet Feet

Plants that can tolerate boggy, wet soil exist!

September 16, 2021

Shovel and rake

Autumn Checklist

It is easy to get a renewed sense of enthusiasm for gardening when the hottest weather has passed.

September 9, 2021

Coreopsis

Always Cheerful Coreopsis

Our native perennial coreopsis is a stalwart in many American gardens.

September 2, 2021

Amaryllis in greenhouse at botanical garden

Rebuilding Amaryllis

Amaryllis bulbs can be rebuilt so that they can bloom well the following winter indoors.

August 26, 2021

Deer munching on some flowers

What's Left?

My current garden is a shadow of its former self...thanks to the urban deer population. However, a few stalwart plants persist.

August 19, 2021

Globe amaranth drying

Amaranthus

Globe amaranth dries beautifully for winter bouquets.

August 12, 2021

Achillea (yarrow)

The Plant Named for Achilles

Yarrow, “soldier’s woundwart,” “milfoil”—Achillea has many names and many uses.

August 5, 2021

Cracked clay soil

Dry Gardens

During our hot Midwestern summers, it is good for pots to get some afternoon shade. Also, pots dry out more quickly, so it is best to plant annuals in the ground.

July 29, 2021

raindrops on leaf

Surviving Heat

In very hot weather, remember to water your potted plants twice a day as the soil in pots dries out quickly.

July 21, 2021

Mailbox garden

A Mailbox Garden

Choose just a few plants that will need minimum attention, and plant something vigorous around the base of the post to soften it.

July 15, 2021

Backyard pond

Types of Gardens

If I were to start over, and knowing what I now know, I would start with a plan and a clearer idea of the type of garden I wanted.

July 8, 2021

White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot

It was not until the 1920s that it was recognized that cattle that grazed on white snakeroot caused humans to die if they drank the cow’s milk.

July 1, 2021

kalanchoe-blossfeldiana

Harmful Plants

The garden is full of plants that are poisonous. Most are not lethal, but a few are, so it is wise to err on the side of caution.

June 24, 2021

Purple Loosestrife

Beautiful But Noxious: Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife clogs wetlands and waterways, choking out other plants and eliminating food sources for native wildlife. The plant is classified as a federal noxious weed.

June 17, 2021

Hibiscus moscheutos

Native Perennials

Native plants are important to preserve native wildlife and the ecology of our landscape, but some natives will suit our particular climate and garden space better than others.

June 10, 2021

Plant swap

Pass-Along Plants

Some of the best plants in my garden were given to me by other gardeners or came from plant swaps held by garden clubs.

June 3, 2021

Calamintha Nepeta

Lesser Calamint

Dainty and durable and deer resistant—just my kind of plant!

May 27, 2021

Alstroemeria

Cut Flower Favorite: Alstroemeria

There are bound to be some times of the year when there are no flowers in our gardens, and that is when we just have to buy some! A good reliable flower to buy is the South American native alstroemeria.

May 20, 2021

Brunfelsia in bloom

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Brunfelsia is a long-blooming shrub from subtropical Australia, and it triggers lots of memories for me.

May 13, 2021

Angel's Trumpets

Angel's Trumpets

The spectacular blooms known as Angel’s Trumpets grow on plants that are vase-shaped shrubs or small trees.

May 6, 2021

Flowering tobacco

Flowering Tobacco

Flowering Tobacco--for minimum effort, a gardener gets maximum results!

April 29, 2021

Colorful pinwheel

Thinking About Color

It's is a good idea to think about color before you buy a bunch of news plants in springtime.

April 22, 2021

Cold-tolerant annuals

Righting Wrongs

Springtime = Transplant, delete, cut back.

April 15, 2021

Pieris japonica

Lily-of-the-Valley Bush

All Pieris shrubs are evergreen and are related to rhododendrons and mountain laurels.

April 8, 2021

Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus is a fine sweet shrub that also goes by the name of Carolina allspice.

April 1, 2021

Black chokeberries

Native Aronia

Our native red and black chokeberry shrubs provide four seasons of interest and are drought tolerant once they are established in gardens

March 25, 2021

Spicebush swallowtail caterpillar

Native Spicebush

Lindera is a host plant for the promethean moth and the spicebush swallowtail butterfly.

March 18, 2021

Various shrubbery

Siting Shrubs

Shrubs are easy-care and long-lived stalwarts in our landscapes in all seasons of the year.

March 11, 2021

Avoiding chaotic garden beds

Avoiding Chaos

How do we avoid a messy medley of too many plants creating chaos in the garden? I can tell you from personal experience that it isn’t easy!

March 4, 2021

CPB inspection of imported roses

Imports

Now, only about 20% of our cut flowers are grown in California, Washington State, and Oregon, where most used to be grown for domestic sale.

February 25, 2021

harvested flowers in buckets

Harvesting Flowers

Where do our cut flowers come from? Often, South America. Workers in greenhouses cut each stem individually and immediately place each flower in a bucket of water...

February 18, 2021

Flowers at market

Flower Longevity

Refrigerated trucks and unheated holds of planes are cold, helping cut flowers from abroad to stay fresh during their journey to the U.S.

February 11, 2021

Red roses with bow

Valentines Flowers

Over one-hundred million roses are purchased in the United States for Valentine’s Day each year, and nearly all are red and long stemmed.

February 4, 2021

Snow-covered trees

Winter Landscapes

What we see from our windows all through the cold days of winter is our garden’s architectural structure formed by the trees and shrubs that are the long-term residents of our gardens year round.

January 28, 2021

Azaleas, henry mitchell

Henry Mitchell Says...

For twenty years Henry Mitchell’s column “Earthman” was a weekly feature in The Washington Post.

January 21, 2021

Purple African violet bloom

African Violet Propagation

African violets are quite happy growing in pots in many of our homes and are easily propagated.

January 14, 2021

Map of the Gardens at Duke University

The Duke Gardens

Visitors are not charged to see the 55 acres of gorgeous organic plantings in the heart of this major research university.

January 7, 2021

Emily Dickinson house, view from the garden.

Emily's Garden

Emily Dickinson was a renowned poet, but during her lifetime she was known more for her gardening skills.

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