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February 22, 2024

 

Blue 'Spiky' clematis vine

Climbing Clematis

A Greek botanist cultivated clematis as early as 50 A.D. The name is from the Greek word "klema" meaning vine.

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February 15, 2024

 

forcing flowering branches in water

Forcing

In late winter, after months without garden flowers, we are eager to see flowers in our homes. However, there is a wonderful feeling we get when we force branches of early spring-blooming trees and shrubs.

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February 8, 2024

 

Antique floral wallpaper design

Roses From the Past

All of the poems I will read today are about roses and all are from times long past.

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February 1, 2024

 

St. Brigid, stained-glass window at St. Mary of the Rosary in County Mayo, Ireland.

February Saints

The flowers associated with St. Valentine's Day were, in Roman times, the yellow crocus and the tricolor viola that both bloom in the early spring in our gardens today. But there are also other saints associated with February...

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January 25, 2024

 

British garden designer Christopher Lloyd

Christo's Final Years

Christopher Lloyd and head gardener Fergus Garrett set up the Great Dixter National Trust so that the garden could continue in perpetuity. Christo died in 2006, but the garden continues to evolve, showcasing unusual plants and unorthodox combinations under Fergus's leadership.

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January 18, 2024

 

Great Dixter Garden's long border

The Long Border

Christopher Lloyd enlarged the border at Great Dixter to encompass a length of 200 feet and a depth of 15 feet. At the back were small trees, with flowering shrubs in the middle and low edging plants in front.

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January 11, 2024

 

Great Dixter house and gardens

The Great Dixter

One of Britain's most celebrated gardens, Great Dixter is a magnificent place where one can learn and be inspired. A trip there should be on every gardener's bucket list.

January 4, 2024

 

Man carrying turnips, Tacuinum Sanitatis, c.1450

Medieval Gardens

In AD 830, St. Benedict said that gardening was appropriate manual labor for monks and that all monasteries should have a psychic garden, kitchen garden, cellar garden, an orchard, and a private garden for monks of high office.

December 28, 2023

 

Bancroft Roman Villa aerial image

1st Century Gardens

The Romans were the first to create pleasure gardens in Britain.

December 21, 2023

 

Low sun of the winter solstice

The Winter Solstice

This winter solstice marks the day with the fewest hours of sunshine in the year.

December 14, 2023

 

'Stargazer' lily

Bioengineering

Bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects used to be the only creatures who transferred pollen from flower to flower. Nowadays, it is often a person with a fine brush.

December 7, 2023

 

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Eleanor of Aquitaine brought the idea of private pleasure gardens to England during the Middle Ages.

November 30, 2023

 

Plant with sticky tag to catch gnats

Gnats: Pesky Little Devils!

Most of us occasionally get little black flies that look a bit like fruit flies around our houseplants. They're fungus gnats and are essentially harmless, mostly...

November 22, 2023

 

William Robinson

Wild William Robinson

Horticulturalist William Robinson was one of the first to promote the idea of a wild garden. His informal cottage style approach became popular, especially with British gardeners who were influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement.

November 16, 2023

 

Baptisia seeds

Garden Cleanup

Fall is a great time to collect the seed pods from shrubs like baptisia and hardy hibiscus and store them in paper envelopes indoors until next spring.

November 9, 2023

 

Houseplants on windowsill

Houseplants That Bloom

Houseplants that bloom help us to get through winter while awaiting next year's flowers in the garden. But often houseplants suffer from problems that we must address promptly to save a plant's life.

November 2, 2023

 

Tree of Heaven junk tree

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith is the author of the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about a young girl who is inspired by a tree. Unfortunately, the tree happens to be an invasive species.

October 26, 2023

 

Mimosa tree seed pods

The Mimosa Tree

You do not want this junk tree anywhere near your garden, as it self-seeds aggressively and many people are highly allergic to its pollen.

October 19, 2023

 

Person picking up garden clean-up cuttings

Cutting Down Plants

Continually cut back those plants that are dying back to allow more room for those whose bloom period is yet to come. Every plant needs its time in the sun and to strut its stuff unimpeded.

October 12, 2023

 

Asters in bloom, purple

Continuous Color

If you want something in bloom all through the growing seasons in your garden, check that you have these plants.

October 5, 2023

 

Amaryllis belladonna

Naked Ladies

I pick Amaryllis belladonna for my vases and pair them with dark red coleus or maroon opal basil. They look stunning and last a long time indoors.

September 28, 2023

 

White blooms of crepe myrtle against the sky

Carefree Crepe Myrtle

Native to the Far East, crepe myrtles can be trees, but in my zone 6 garden, they usually die back to the ground each winter.

September 21, 2023

 

Clivia miniata

Clivia miniata

Clivia plants are very adaptable and can survive for months without water, but they can be finicky in terms of blooming.

September 14, 2023

 

Buttonbush

Shrubs for All Seasons

If you are looking for deer resistant shrubs to plant in your unfenced yard, the safest evergreens are spruce, juniper, and boxwood.

September 7, 2023

 

Planting marigolds

Recognizing Reality

Early on, I longed for all the more pretentious perennials, but now I prefer the tried and true.

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