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Foliage 118 Stories

Nursery tags can be confusing. When you’re thinking about the size of conifers — trees with cones and needle- or scale-like leaves — there’s the 10-year size, the ultimate size...
Nursery tags can be confusing. When you’re thinking about the size of conifers — trees with cones and needle- or scale-like leaves — there’s the 10-year size, the ultimate size...
Designing With Conifers: Layers of Texture for Your Garden
Texture is a component of an exceptional garden, one that is composed of many different layers, offering new discoveries with each visit. We all inherently know what texture is but sometimes have difficulty defining it. Texture is the feeling, appearance...
Great Design Plant: Tsuga Canadensis ‘Bennett’
So often shade gardeners feel shortchanged. Daylilies, roses, geraniums and larkspurs are all out of reach, so gardeners turn to conifers with colorful foliage, great structure and unparalleled texture. As frustrating as it is, even popular conifers like...
Designing With Conifers: Personality and Form in the Garden
Many of us have fond childhood memories of running through forests or parks, dwarfed by the large trees that towered overhead. Even as adults, if we are asked to close our eyes and picture a tree, similar images might spring to mind. But not all trees...
Great Design Plant: Juniperus Squamata ‘Blue Star’
Certain garden plants earn their designation as go-to plants, and usually for good reasons. Consider Blue Star juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’). It has a compact size and offers evergreen foliage with seasonal interest, versatility,...
Designing With Conifers: Exploring Color
Conifers are the workhorses and problem solvers of garden design. Much more colorful and varied than the Christmas trees that spring to mind, conifers offer year-round structure, texture and color, becoming the cornerstone of good garden design. Or so...
Great Design Plant: Comptonia Peregrina
Sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) is an apt name for this little shrub that’s native to northeastern North America. The arching form and deeply lobed foliage give it the appearance of a fern, but it is a woody shrub. It gives off a wonderful fresh...
Great Design Plant: Pinus Thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’
Pines, like red wine, can be an acquired taste. Many of us played in pine forests as children, never giving a thought as to what makes these trees special. But there are certain pines that can do for your garden what no other plant can do: They can provide...
Great Design Plant: Picea Abies ‘Nidiformis’
The winter garden can be a lonely place, as the frills and thrills of summer annuals and flowering perennials have disappeared from the solemn landscape. It’s at this time of year when garden structure, along with plant texture and shape, become more...
Great Design Plant: Woodland Garden Beauty Polystichum Acrostichoides
The woodland forest can be a study in death and decay during winter as it sleeps deeply until spring. Its floor is strewn with a tapestry of ocher and brown that creates an auditory crunch during a brisk morning walk. Every so often along the path a Christmas...
Great Design Plant: Cyrtomium Falcatum ‘Rochfordianum’
By late fall much of the woodland garden has gone to sleep until spring. Many ferns show only brown, lifeless remnants of their former seasonal glory, making the few evergreen fern species even more valuable this time of year. Let’s consider Japanese...
These Aren’t Your Grandparents’ Junipers
Let’s take a journey back to our favorite childhood memories. For many of us, those memories include playing hide-and-seek or kick the can with the neighborhood kids on sultry summer or crisp autumn nights. Inevitably we hid beneath trees and shrubs,...
Great Design Plant: Polystichum Polyblepharum
A well-designed shade garden makes up for its lack of raucous colors by providing subtle surprises at every turn. Here structure, texture and shape rule. While many plants provide only one of these qualities, there are some that rank high on all three...
Great Design Plant: Athyrium Filix-Femina
Within the world of ferns, some are thugs, spreading aggressively without asking permission, and some are shy introverts, sitting quietly without drawing attention to themselves. Then there is the lady fern. Well-mannered as she is, she brings beauty...
10 Boo-tiful Black Plants for Halloween
Halloween is around the corner, and if you're lucky, soon droves of candy-seeking ghouls and goblins will be at your door. Does your entryway show your holiday spirit? If not, here are some terrific black-hued plants to make a hauntingly memorable...
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