A simple water feature can make a large impact even in small spaces. The addition of a container water garden will transform, beautify and diversify your existing garden into an oasis that brings relief during the dog days of summer and beyond.
Smoketree, the common name for the genus Cotinus, aptly describes the hazy, smoky look of the flowers sported by this fabulous plant. Best described as a deciduous large shrub or small tree, Cotinus boasts species with varying heights, unique summer flowers, outstanding fall color and low maintenance requirements, all features that can make it an excellent addition to your landscape.
Adding structure and an aspect of year-round permanence to any yard, small shrubs are excellent for enhancing the perennial border. Thought of as the spine and bones of good landscaping, small shrubs hold the soft body of flowers together and add consistency between areas.
Tall or short, red, pink, purple, blue, white and shades in between, few shrubs provide the versatility of hydrangeas. Generations of gardeners have loved and designed their gardens using these showy shrubs as summer privacy screens, landscape focal points and beautiful cut flowers. Now, thanks to new hydrangea introductions, there are even more ways to use them.
There's an unfounded rumor that raspberries are difficult to prune. This isn't true if you understand the type of raspberry in your garden. Summer-bearing raspberries produce only one harvest per year while everbearing, or fall-bearing, raspberries can produce two harvests.
Many gardeners assume that the brightest flowers are only seen in spring, but there are many stunning shrubs that have great color all through the summer. Some feature outstanding blooms while others have equally showy foliage and can brighten up any yard. But which will look best in your yard?
An undeniably beautiful shrub in any season, mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) explodes into bloom in late spring to early summer. One of our nation’s greatest contributions to the botanical world, mountain laurels possesses beautiful, shiny, deep green foliage.
Do you work all day in an office, on the road or even in the garden, but never have the time to enjoy the beautiful plants you spend time nurturing? Evening gardens are meant to help us relax, encourage savoring a refreshing evening and wrap us in their brilliance, and one of the best ways to enhance your nighttime garden is with the right lighting to make it shine even in the darkness.
Hydrangeas and are widely acclaimed for their large, showy blossoms that lend fabulous color to gardens from mid- to late summer. Their luxuriant dark green foliage offers a striking background to their large round or smooth blossoms.
Plants don't have to be hidden away at night, and there are many different plants that can be dramatic in the evening or well after dark. While the most obvious way to enhance the darkness is to use flowers that are light or white in color, you can also add plants with fragrant flowers or foliage.
Have you wondered why some of your plants die in the winter, even when you provide winter protection? Many plants die during winter because they dry out, or desiccate. As temperatures drop, the ground freezes and plant roots cannot take water from the soil. This causes the plant to use stored water from the leaves and stems as part of the transpiration process, during which water exits the plant through the leaves.
Obviously, we love trees. What’s not to love about a tree? As they grow, their photosynthesis removes and stores CO2, thus maintaining a safe oxygen level for us. Additionally, they provide beauty in our gardens and parks. Many provide shade, fruit, syrup, nesting places, animal refuge, even the subject for poems!
When a bird’s natural plant food has waned or withered away in late winter, a few well-placed feeders can entice a feathered friend to stay nearby. There are four basic types of feeders, but the type of feeder and food it’s filled with will determine which birds will visit. Which do you want in your […]
Raised beds have been around for years, but have become increasingly popular recently because they make the landscape orderly, organized and easy to maintain. You can readily reach over and pull weeds as they appear, plant more comfortably and enjoy the new tiered depth and dimension of your lawn and garden. Raised beds are also […]
The best gardens provide interest all twelve months of the year. In the spring and summer, gardens are full of color with bright, cheerful bulbs, pastel spring-flowering trees, vivid, multi-colored bedding plants and striking perennials; fall gives us shades of yellow, gold, orange, red and purple with the changing of the season, as well as […]
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese philosophy that believes in attracting and guiding the flow of cosmic energy to influence your health, wealth and happiness. If you are already familiar with Feng Shui, you should know that it is assumed by many that the same fundamental principles that apply to your home also apply to […]
Quick ... look out your window! How does your winter landscape look from inside your home? If it's bleak and uninteresting, we have some suggestions for you. Treat it like your home! Perk it up by using your indoor decorating skills outdoors.
As wildlife habitats are threatened by development, the creation of a bird-friendly environment that provides food, water and shelter is crucial to the existence of our wild bird population. Caring for our feathered-friends is an educational and enjoyable activity for the entire family that brings beauty and song to our lives.
A fresh cut tree can be a wonderful addition to your holiday décor as well as a treasured Christmas tradition. Unfortunately, with poor care a cut tree can be looking wilted and worn long before December 25, but if you know a few tricks, you can keep your tree looking vibrant and lush throughout the season. Extend the life of your cut tree this Christmas and enjoy the beauty of the season much longer!
Have you wondered why left-handed gardeners have difficulty using "regular" pruners? It's because of the way the thumb and index finger have to push together to make the cut. It's hard to control it for detailed work plus incorrect pruners often cause bruises and painful calluses to form.
When it comes to flowering vines, few can rival the excellent performance clematis provides with its profusion of colorful blooms, and this plant is largely pest- and disease-free. With a few tips, you can successfully grow America’s favorite vine in your garden this spring!
Plants with berries add winter interest to the garden and also attract many different types of birds. But which berries are best for your yard, and how can you ensure a bountiful buffet for your feathered friends to enjoy? Caring for Berries No matter which berries you choose to add to your landscape, opt for […]
Although many gardeners plant trees and shrubs in the spring, knowledgeable gardeners plant in the fall to take advantage of all this fabulous season has to offer. But why is fall planting better than spring planting? Stress Reduction Transplanting causes stress as plants are removed from containers, balls or established locations and changed to new […]
Winter provides us the opportunity to examine our landscape silhouette, the flowing lines and overall shape of our landscape design. Combining varying heights, shapes and forms not only increases winter interest, but it also provides the framework for summer leaves, flowers and colors. So, how's your garden's silhouette shaping up?
Holiday lights are, by far, the most popular holiday decoration, adding sparkle and elegance to the season. Whether you use classic strings of lights, themed light displays or elaborate light dances, follow these important precautions when illuminating your home this year, both indoors and out, then sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season.
One of the most popular deciduous flowering shrubs, and certainly one of the most nostalgic, lilacs herald the arrival of spring. When we reminisce about this old-fashioned favorite we recall large panicles of sweetly scented, pale purple blossoms. Today, however, lilacs are available in an incredible variety of sizes, growth habits, flowering times, bloom sizes, […]
Although the blooms of summer are a distant memory and the splendor of fall is neatly raked into the compost pile, don’t think your yard has to be dreary from now until spring. Background planting, berries, bark and even blooms are the secrets of a colorful and interesting winter landscape.
From the ancient palace gardens of China comes an elegant empress, the tree peony. Native to China, the tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) has been grown by Chinese herbalists, gardeners and nobility for more than 1,500 years. In 1994, China named this beauty as its national flower, giving it a treasured place in history and sparking […]
There’s something about putting a tree in the ground that just feels right. In many cases, you start with just a bare trunk with a few branches and then, rather quickly, it begins sprouting new growth. You nurture your new acquisition and each year it increases in height and girth. Finally, one day, you look […]
It’s early spring – time to survey the damage that winter has produced. In some areas, shrubs may still be hiding under piles of frozen snow, and could be crushed or compacted. Severed tree limbs may lie scattered across the landscape, and bark may be torn and stripped from trunks. It’s difficult to know what […]
If you have a black walnut tree on your property, you know how difficult it can be to find anything that will grow anywhere near this plant. Black walnuts release a substance called juglone into the soil, which is toxic to many ornamental and edible plants and can stunt their growth significantly – in fact, […]
Often mistaken for one another, heath (Erica) and heather (Calluna) look amazingly similar. To confuse things further, heath is frequently referred to as “spring heather” and some landscapers, garden centers and nurseries may use the names interchangeably. Both types of plants belong to the Ericaceae family, and they share many similarities. Which is Which? The […]
When choosing an evergreen for your landscape project, it is always best to select a plant that will not outgrow its designated space, crowding out nearby plants or distorting its own shape without enough room to shine. Proper research can help you choose – you should know the ultimate height, width and growth rate of […]
Evergreens are a very important addition to the winter landscape. During the coldest months of the year, when most other plants have been stripped of their leaves or have died back to the ground, evergreens are the stronghold in the garden that provide stunning texture and color, shelter for winter wildlife and the hope of […]
Ferns are magnificent, whether in the wild or under cultivation. Among the oldest plants on earth, ferns can be traced back to the Coal Age, over 300 million years ago. Today, ferns are one of the most overlooked and under-utilized perennials in the garden. Types of Ferns Eastern North American native ferns are available in […]
We love camellias! An Asian native and an old southern standby, they are now a favorite in the northern states as well. In recent years, new varieties have been developed for their increased cold hardiness, giving northern gardeners even more opportunities to enjoy these charming beauties.
All containerized plants that are considered hardy in your zone can spend the winter outdoors, but you do need to take a little special care to keep them safe and comfortable as temperatures drop. Despite their hardiness, winter is still a challenging season, but it is possible to keep your container plants healthy until the days grow longer and warmer again.
Do you love the look of large, stunning hydrangeas? Do they evoke wistful images of summer and floral nostalgia? Don’t you wish they would last longer in the landscape? Unfortunately, many hydrangeas have relatively short bloom cycles, but there are amazing cultivars you can investigate that provide longer lasting blooms without losing any of their […]
Now is the time to start planning your entry garden. This welcoming patch has the power to set a warm and friendly tone for those who pass through your garden on the way to your front door. It does take some planning to set the proper mood, however, and you need to consider architecture, setting, […]
Azaleas are true garden favorite and are popular in all types of landscape designs. To keep them blooming prolifically and as beautiful as they can be, however, you will need to follow a few special directions for their best care. Planting Azaleas Azaleas need a well-drained location, as they will not thrive in an area […]
Gorgeous yellow, pink, red, orange, white and purple blooms put on a show in early spring from plants like forsythia, lilac, azaleas, rhododendron, mockorange, weigela and bridal wreath spirea. Summer then greets us with bold blossoms in hues of purple, magenta, blue and red from butterfly bush, hydrangea, crape myrtle and rose-of-sharon. These deciduous shrubs […]
More water is always good for plants, right? Wrong! When water stands in the soil, air is displaced, which in turn smothers the plant roots. Once the roots are damaged many symptoms appear on leaves and shoots including wilting, marginal and inter-veinal browning of leaves (scorch), poor color and stunted growth. But the excess water […]
Forsythia is a true spring favorite and never disappoints with its shocking yellow blooms atop a mass of unruly branches. This early-flowering shrub can thrive for decades on neglect but there will come a time, whether out of want or necessity, that your forsythia will require pruning. But how can you do so without dampening […]
Crabapple trees in flower are a sight to behold. Their unrivaled spring beauty can take your breath away, frequently budding in one color with the flower opening in another. To add to their appeal, they perform again, in the fall, with a fabulous display of hanging showy fruit.
Beautiful additions to any landscape, Japanese Maples will look their best when given some protection during our hot, dry summers. As the weather becomes hotter and drier, your Japanese Maples may show signs of heat stress with the development of crispy leaf edges and/or leaf drop.
No yard or landscape should be without a crape myrtle, or two, or three, or… many! How wonderful to have something that blooms so profusely during that time of year when most other plants are looking tired and worn from the summer heat and drought. Crape myrtles blooms in late summer and can be found in flower colors of pinks, lilac, white, reds and purples.
Beginners often become confused with the many recommendations and suggestions for growing roses. However, it is important to start with the basic guidelines for successful rose growing. Roses can thrive under many conditions, but they are sure to grow better, with more luxurious blooms and fewer problems, when you follow the basics. Prepare the Soil […]
Becoming increasingly popular, there is now an over-abundance of ornamental grasses available at garden centers. So many choices can make the selection process difficult. There is, however, one that takes the cake. Pink Muhley Grass is arguably the most colorful ornamental grass around and it is sure wow your friends and neighbors.
The durability of some plants is absolutely amazing. A number of them are so robust that they may even be tread on! These are the plants to choose when filling in the space between pavers, walkways, patios and steps. Placing plants in the gaps of your hardscape will soften its appearance and will keep weeds […]
Espalier is the process of training trees or shrubs, by pruning and trellising, to create a vertical, two-dimensional, formal pattern. The purpose of espalier is to artfully train a tree to grow in limited space, to provide pattern and texture on a solid wall, to grow fruit in a limited space and to create privacy […]
What could be more enjoyable than relaxing in your favorite lawn chair or hammock, your sunglasses on and a cool beverage in hand, staring at an enchanting array of colorful butterflies milling around their favorite plant? What could possibly be an easier way to accomplish this vision than by planting a simple butterfly bush?
Beautiful, showy clematis are not as difficult to grow as you might think. Learning when to prune your clematis and giving a little attention to their few requirements will reward you with a magnificent show of colorful blooms. Planting Clematis A beautiful clematis starts with proper planting. Clematis prefer to have their roots in the […]
When choosing flowering trees for the landscape, we often tend to make our selections from the long list of ostentatious spring blooming trees that are all so common and familiar in every yard. At the same time, we tend to overlook the more reserved, yet exceptionally elegant, summer blooming trees that can add so much drama and beauty to every space.
Vines are valuable and versatile plants that provide a remarkable vertical display while using minimal ground space. Offering an extensive mixture of decorative foliage, flowers, fruits and fragrance, vines are generally fast-growing, relatively pest-free and require minimal maintenance.
Variegated shrubs can brighten up a dull or shady border and add interest in the garden when flowers are scarce but more drama is desired. But which variegated shrubs are best for your landscape, without creating too much patterning or distractions?
Viburnums are one of the most outstanding groups of shrubs for use in landscape planting. Varying in height from 2-30 feet, viburnums can be found to suit most any planting location. Their varied growth habits, excellent foliage, striking and fragrant flowers, showy fruit and interesting winter appearance make them an excellent choice for most gardeners. […]
Dwarf conifers are some of the most versatile and popular plants of today’s modern garden and landscape. These fantastic plants add interesting texture, color and form to rock, pond and container gardens as well as a mixed border. Dwarf conifers are virtually carefree and often provide four seasons of interest.
Brewing your own beer is a popular hobby and great fun for any brew aficionado, but for the very best results, you need the finest, freshest ingredients. What better way to be sure of the quality of your hops than to grow your own right in your home garden? It’s easier than you may think! […]
Gardening can be a relaxing, therapeutic hobby as you nurture seedlings, encourage growth and bring your harvest to fruition. But if you just want to take a moment to breathe, reflect and center yourself, it isn’t necessary to get out the garden clogs, sharpen your hand tools or get dirt under your fingernails. Creating a […]
Bulbs are some of the easiest and most dramatic flowers you can add to your landscape and containers, and you can make them even more spectacular when you create layers of bulbs for lush growth and bursts of brilliant color. But how can you go about layering bulbs for the best results? Why Bother With […]