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Northeast Gardening 99 Stories

Swings of temperate weather have brought patches of exposed earth, liquid puddles and soft expanses of mud that freeze and thaw, but winter's grip is still with us. On mild days it's...
Swings of temperate weather have brought patches of exposed earth, liquid puddles and soft expanses of mud that freeze and thaw, but winter's grip is still with us. On mild days it's...
Great Design Plant: Actaea Racemosa
There are so many reasons for eastern U.S. gardeners to grow black cohosh (Actaea racemosa). One of the few summer-blooming plants that grow in shade, it has tall and elegant white candlestick flowers that contrast beautifully against...
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...
Great Design Plant: Lonicera Sempervirens
Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is an adaptable and well-behaved vine native to woodland edges in the eastern U.S. that will grow in any moisture-retentive soil with plenty of sun. Unlike Chinese and Japanese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis...
Great Design Plant: Asclepias Incarnata for a Butterfly Garden
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is one of my favorite milkweeds. It’s a well-behaved, clumping stunner that brings in far more monarch eggs than other gardenworthy species I’ve tried. With wintering monarch numbers in Mexico for 2015 at...
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,...
Great Design Plant: Corylus Americana Awakens the Woodland Garden
American hazelnut (Corylus americana) is one of the first native shrubs to flower in spring. Before the leaves emerge, the separate male and female flowers begin to develop on the bare branches. The male flowers, in particular,...
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: Ceanothus Americanus
New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a beautiful native flowering shrub rarely seen in the U.S. East, but it’s a valuable landscaping plant because it stays low without pruning and thrives in dry, lean or rocky soils. New Jersey tea is a...
Great Design Plant: Gentiana Andrewsii
With blooms that never open, closed bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) is about as different as they come. And those blooms can come in a range of hues, from reddish purple to mauve to dark blue — sometimes in stages as the flower fades, sometimes...
Great Design Plant: Tradescantia Ohiensis Adds Shades of Blue
Blue is a hard color to come by when designing or planting perennial gardens. Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis), an eastern U.S. native, helps solve this color deficit by providing clusters of blue flowers in early spring. Use this finely...
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: Mitella Diphylla Provides Snowflakes in Spring
The delicate flower stalks and snowflake-like flowers of this underutilized woodland native plant will rustle in the slightest breeze and provide spring interest to your shade garden. Feature bishop’s cap (Mitella diphylla)...
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: Winterberry Rouses Frosty Gardens
Most people have never heard of the deciduous holly called winterberry — evergreen hollies are much better known and more commonly found in residential landscapes. But for gardeners in cold climates, winterberry offers a lot. It's easy to love this...
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