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More Recent Episodes

October 15, 2020

 

Scabiosa caucasica

Pincushion Flower

A plant that attracts butterflies to our garden is the pincushion flower. The botanical name is Scabiosa, and these plants usually have blue, white, or pink flowers. As their common name suggests, the shape of the flower resembles a pincushion as the central florets form a rounded shape.

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October 8, 2020

 

Ironweed

A Surprising Uninvited Guest in Gardens

One often sees Veronia, a.k.a. ironweed, on roadsides and in fields and ditches. The wind disperses the seeds, which explains why it is a surprise when it appears in our gardens like an uninvited guest.

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October 1, 2020

 

Garden tools

Cut Them Back

We should cut back most perennials in the fall. They don’t look good once it gets cold, so it is best to cut them to the ground and they will come back well next spring.

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September 24, 2020

 

Tall native plants: Joe-Pye Weed, Goldenrod, etc.

Tall Natives

Joe-Pye weed looks great next to a splash of sunshine yellow from goldenrod or helianthus.

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September 17, 2020

 

Japanese Anemones

Late Summer Color

As summer transitions into fall, we usually rely on mums and asters to give us color as the growing season wanes. But here are some other reliable bloomers.

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September 10, 2020

 

Surprise lily

Lycoris Does, Indeed, Surprise Us!

Surprise lilies bloom from late summer into early September, and their cool pink flowers do indeed surprise us when their pale lily-type blooms suddenly appear on their long bare stalks.

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September 3, 2020

 

Goldenrod blooms

Goldenrod

Goldenrod is a perennial that is native to Europe and Asia, but it has naturalized throughout Northern America to the extent that it seems as if it has always been here.

August 27, 2020

 

Sunflower in a field of sunflowers

Helianthus annuus

“Heli” means sun and “anthus” means flower.

August 20, 2020

 

Lantana

No Deadheading

Many annuals need to be deadheaded to keep blooming all season. While snipping off the spent blossoms can hardly be described as hard work, it is easier not to have to remember to do this chore. For that reason, many of us try to buy annuals that do not need deadheading in order to re-bloom all season long and right into fall.

August 13, 2020

 

Painting of a scene from A Midsommer Night's Dream by Edwin Henry Landseer.

Shakespeare's Plants

William Shakespeare included so many botanical references in his plays that there are about 175 mentions of flowers, fruits, grains, grasses, seeds, weeds, trees, spices, herbs, and vegetables in his works.

August 6, 2020

 

hot & dry-xeroscaped yard

Hot & Dry

I don’t have a watering system, so I get tired of watering when there are long periods of hot, dry summer weather. Here in the Midwest when it is over 90F, potted plants need watering twice a day and beds on slopes do too. It is a chore that makes me wish I had more drought tolerant plantings.

May 7, 2020

 

hot & dry-xeroscaped yard

White In May

White blooms combine so well with other flowers and help make their companions pop!

April 30, 2020

 

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 23, 2020

 

Backyard Wildlife Habitat

Gardening Trends

More and more gardeners are seeking information about sustainability.

April 16, 2020

 

White blooms of the invasive Bishop's weed.

Perennial Challenges

A novice gardener once told me that she was only going to plant perennials, as they did not need any care. If only that was true!

April 9, 2020

 

White Easter Lily.

Easter Lily

These trumpet lilies are fragrant, and the pure white blooms are lovely in flower arrangements.

April 2, 2020

 

Allum, purple blossoms

Planning Ahead for Summer Alliums

Allium ‘Millennium’ can be planted in the spring and reliably bloom in the heat of summer.

March 26, 2020

 

Daffodils caught in a surprise snow.

Frost

Remember the danger of sudden spring frosts and wait to set out your tender annuals.

March 19, 2020

 

Outdoor thermometer

Air Temps

Do not take risks by setting out your annual plants too soon.

March 12, 2020

 

Frost

Outwitting the Weather

Frost dates are very important.

March 5, 2020

 

Red clay soil

Clay is Okay

Many of us with clay soil complain loudly about it, and it’s true that gardens with clay soil can be hard to dig. Nonetheless, it has its virtues.

February 27, 2020

 

Pink-peachy colored coral bells plant

A New Generation of Coral Bells

Photos of this new generation of Heucheras are irresistible. I plan to order as many as I can afford for spring planting!

February 20, 2020

 

Deadheading a plant.

Deadheading: It Keeps the Color Coming

The whole garden looks better if plants are deadheaded, so it is a good thing.

February 13, 2020

 

Roses in Words

Roses in Words

In February, it is appropriate to think about roses.

February 6, 2020

 

The purple bloom of Iris reticulate in early spring.

Tiny but Tough

The earliest iris to bloom is the petite Iris reticulata.

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