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Gardening 791 Stories

I like having options — from which flavor of tea to drink after lunch to which route I’ll take to walk home. Gardening this month is no different. Whether you’re after garden chores or perhaps some seasonal puttering, it’s all about picking your own path. You can prep soil for spring planting, divide grasses...
Be a Butterfly Savior — Garden for the Monarchs
I had a 10-gallon aquarium sitting on our dining room table in 2011. I’d browsed Craigslist to find a rearing tank for monarchs. When I met with the seller in a McDonald’s parking lot, I discovered she was about 13, and her older brother came out...
10 Easy Edibles for First-Time Gardeners
The idea of growing edibles is always tempting. Photos of edible gardens promise you lush landscapes filled with a tantalizing mix of vegetables, herbs and flowers that will make all passersby stop and stare. Getting started with an edible garden can...
7 Reasons Not to ‘Clean Up’ Your Fall Garden
My belief in leaving the garden alone in fall was cemented last year on a December morning, when a robin landed on a garden chest where I keep my tools. It balanced on the edge where some snow was melting and dripping to the deck below. The robin arched...
5 Ways to Put Fall Leaves to Work in Your Garden
In fall my town holds leaf collection days, when homeowners (or their landscape services) blow or rake fallen leaves off their properties into big piles in the streets. Later a truck comes and vacuums them away. What I see being vacuumed up are dollar...
Great Design Plant: Gelsemium Sempervirens
The late-winter blooms of Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) herald the onset of spring in the south. Gelsemium sempervirens is a very common plant in gardens of the U.S. South, because it is a fragrant, native, evergreen climbing...
Great Design Plant: Small but Mighty Agave Victoria-Reginae
Queen Victoria agave (Agave victoria-reginae) is highly prized by gardeners throughout the U.S. Southwest and beyond for its beauty as well as its small size. Named after Queen Victoria, this long-lived agave is known for its ability to...
Great Design Plant: Silphium Perfoliatum Pleases Wildlife
Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is not for the faint of heart, especially gardeners who usually shy away from large plants. But use its size to your advantage. What perennial native plant grows to a height of 10 feet or more in as little as two...
Great Design Plant: Low-Maintenance Allium Cernuum
When the weather cools in fall, it’s time to plant spring-blooming bulbs. Most of the familiar ones are from faraway places: tulips have their origins in the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor (Turkey), and daffodils originate from southwestern Europe....
Great Design Plant: Encelia Californica
California brittlebush (Encelia californica) is a must for low-water habitat gardens. This vigorous and dependable subshrub shows off its exuberant mass of large daisy-like flowers in spring and fall. Its long, bountiful bloom periods,...
Great Design Plant: Chionanthus Virginicus
White fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is a large shrub or small tree with a native range across the southeastern United States, but it can tolerate temperatures in colder zones. Fringe-like flowers cover the tree for two weeks in late spring,...
Great Design Plant: Dasylirion Wheeleri
Often the most notable plants in the Southwestern landscape are those that have a distinct growth pattern. The spiky gray leaves of desert spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) have long been used by people throughout the U.S. Southwest for texture and color...
Great Design Plant: Rhododendron Canescens
The Southern garden wouldn’t be complete without azaleas. Every spring they make a big statement in every color you can imagine. The Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens) is a native woodland shrub with a pale pink color that will offset the...
Great Design Plant: Helianthus Maximiliani Attracts Beneficial Insects
Prairies really begin to shine in the fall as the native grasses turn copper, bronze or gold. The tall flower stalks of Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani) rise above this golden grass palette, unveiling clusters of large yellow flowers....
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...
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