Dealing With Drought
Because plants require moisture to grow and thrive, your garden will probably suffer during periods of low rainfall and intense heat. Insufficient soil moisture will result in smaller flowers and fruit, stunted plant growth, decreased root development and increased plant disease and insect damage. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to minimize the impact of drought on your garden.
Long-Blooming Perennials for Summer
By choosing long-blooming perennial plants, you can capitalize on the best of both worlds - plants that come back from growing season to growing season, and those that bloom for an extended length of time.
Growing and Storing Herbs
Growing herbs, whether inside or out, may be one of gardening’s most gratifying experiences. Because of their beauty and versatility, herbs may be grown amid vegetables, ornamentals or in a garden dedicated strictly to their kind.
Perennials for the Cutting Garden
The classic gardener’s dilemma is whether to cut flowers for enjoyment or leave them to look nice in the garden. Often, removing flowers from the border can make it less attractive and leave an unsightly hole in the overall garden design.
Simple Water Features for Small Spaces
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.
Grasses With Gusto
Ornamental Grasses lend a unique dimension to any landscape with their texture, sound, motion and architecture. By planting ornamental grasses, you can also add multi-seasonal excitement to your landscape.
Small Shrubs for the Perennial Border
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.
Blossom End Rot
Nothing is more disheartening than grabbing a beautiful tomato only to find the entire bottom is soft, black and rotten. Blossom end rot (BER) affects tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash and melons.
The Cotinus Craze
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.
Goji Berry (Wolfberry)
Touted by some as the "fruit from the fountain of youth" because of its high antioxidant, carotene and essential amino acids content, the goji berry, also creates a large sensation in the garden.
A Taste of the Tropics
It only takes a few plants to cast a tropical look upon a garden. Although our gardening zone here isn't strictly tropical, it's still possible to include some tropical and tropical-looking plants in our landscapes to create a lush summer oasis that hints at a vibrant paradise.
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.
Summer Watering Tips
As the days heat up, watering can become a dreaded garden chore and too many gardeners use wasteful techniques that use plenty of water but don't give their plants the moisture they really need. Make watering plants easier and more efficient with the proper practices and tools...
What to Do During a Drought
Dire warnings about drought conditions can worry even experienced gardeners, but there are easy ways to save water and save your trees, flowers, vegetable patches, herb gardens and decorative landscaping at the same time.
Pruning Red Raspberries
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.
Bringing Butterflies to the Backyard
In spring, female butterflies will be mostly concerned with finding their species’ specific host plants on which to lay fertilized eggs. Instinctively, they know they must find plants to ensure that their caterpillars will have appropriate food for survival after hatching. Both male and female butterflies will be looking for flowers with nectar for their own survival.
Eliminate Water Garden Algae
During the summer months you can eliminate algae easily, effectively, naturally and attractively with the simple addition of appropriate pond plants to your water garden. Three factors contribute to excess algae growth: sunlight, nutrients and low oxygen.
Less Pain, More Gain: Ergonomics in the Garden
Merriam-Webster defines ergonomics as: An applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely. Experts in ergonomics strive to design and produce items that better match the capabilities, limitations and needs of the people who use them.
For those of us who work and play outdoors in deer tick-infested areas, Lyme disease is a reality. If caught early, the disease is usually cured with antibiotics. If not detected and treated early, Lyme disease can be a debilitating condition that may linger for months or years.
Dealing with Powdery Mildew
One of the most common and easy to recognize plant diseases, powdery mildew, is caused by fungus spores that overwinter in garden debris and are spread by wind the following season. In late spring and early summer, the warmer days and high humidity provide perfect conditions for spore germination.
Periods of drought, heat waves and rising water bills can make any gardener more interested in saving water. Fortunately, there are many ways you can be water-wise without skimping on the moisture your plants need to thrive.
Vegetable Gardening Tidbits
Are you ready to make the most of your vegetable garden? Try these tips and tidbits for everything from easier weeding to stopping pests to enjoying a hearty harvest!
Tropical Outdoor Living Room
This year, discover the pleasure of tropical plants by transforming your courtyard, balcony, flat roof or deck into a wonderland oasis. If you haven’t experienced the hot colors and unusual textures of plants like mandevilla, dipladenia, stephanotis, passion vine, bouganvillea, oleander, hibiscus, lantana and Pandora’s vine, you’re in for a treat!
Think Outside the Window Box
Do you want to add more plants to your yard but think you're out of space for any more gardening? No matter how large or small your outdoor living area, no matter what types of plants you favor, you can always find the space for a new garden when it's housed in a container – and that container doesn't have to be the same old window box or boring planter
The Enabled Gardener
As we age, many activities that have brought us joy are lost as physical limitations set in. Gardening does not have to be one of those lost hobbies. With a little planning, gardening can be made accessible for everyone. No matter what your needs or abilities, there are ways to modify your practices, situations and tools so that you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of gardening.
"Ugly" "disgusting" "gross" and "creepy" are just a few things gardeners say when they see tent caterpillars. Not only are they visually unattractive, but the hundreds of caterpillars within a tent can defoliate a shrub or tree in a matter of days. Fortunately, the attack is seldom fatal.
Shrubs for Summer Color
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?
Shade Gardening With Perennials
Many gardeners with shady, low-light landscapes mistakenly believe they can't enjoy beautiful gardens and flowerbeds because of the lack of sunlight. In reality, however, many stunning perennials thrive in shady spots and can bring elegance, color and beauty to what was formerly a drab corner of the yard.
Magnificent Mountain Laurels
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.
Lighting Up Your Nighttime Garden
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.
Landscaping the Pond
So, you've just installed a water garden and you're wondering how to landscape around it without looking like the pond was a mistake or haphazard addition to your yard. A pond looks best if it appears to "belong" in your landscape.
Ladybugs: The Good Guys
Did you know that a ladybug can devour up to 50 aphids or more in a day? They also attack scale, mealybugs and leaf hopper, but not on your precious garden plants or seedlings. Invite ladybugs to your garden – they dine only on insects and won't harm your plants in any way.
Gardening With Children
By gardening with your children or grandchildren, you can give them an awareness and appreciation of nature and the world around them that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Even very young children enjoy helping with simple garden chores such as weeding, spreading mulch and harvesting.
Landscape accents have become increasingly popular as many of us have discovered the joys of outdoor living. Used creatively, accents can turn your garden into a magical wonderland. This summer, we invite you to view our many new and exciting garden accent product lines, including popular items such as...
Fabulous Hydrangeas for Show-Stopping Summer Color
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.
Daylilies… Easy to Grow, Fun to Collect!
Few perennials can match the daylily (Hemerocallis) for versatility and durability. One of the most popular perennials, daylilies have become a collector plant for novice and experienced gardeners alike.
Crazy for Coneflowers
Beautiful and dependable, Echinacea purpurea, or purple coneflower, is the crowning glory of the summer perennial garden. A member of the Aster family, all Echinacea species are native to North America. The genus Echinacea is derived from the Greek ‘echino’ meaning hedgehog, a reference to the spiny center disc flowers.
Choosing Evening Plants for Fragrance, Color and More
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.
Battling the Bugs of Summer
In the summer months, insects can take their toll on your plants if you are not on the alert for problems. If the right product is used at the right time and under the right conditions, however, pesticides can be reduced to a minimum and your plants will be well-protected.
Naturescaping With Regional Perennial Wildflowers
There’s no need to sacrifice beauty when designing or redesigning your yard or garden to be more nature-friendly. Naturescaping is an approach to garden and landscape design that will help save time, money and energy while providing an attractive and healthy habitat for wildlife and people.
Zucchini is one of the most popular vegetables choices for growing in the home garden. Not only is zucchini easy to grow, it is also tasty and nutritious, as well as versatile in a number of recipes. All summer squash, including zucchini, are rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, vitamins C and E and numerous healthful minerals.
The Cottage Garden
English in origin, the primary function of the cottage garden was for growing vegetables, fruit and herbs for the home. Most herbs were used for medicinal purposes while the vegetables and fruit were a food source.
Protecting Trees From Drought Stress
Summer can be the most stressful time of year for landscape plants with heat and drought being the main offenders. When not receiving sufficient moisture, plants are much more susceptible to insect and disease damage.
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?
Sedum: A Sunny Ground Cover Solution
Is your landscape afflicted with poor, low-quality soil? Areas of scorching sun? A problematic bank or steep drop? Sedums can be the answer!
Summer Blooming Trees
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.
Perennial Flowering Vines
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.
Of the Variegated Variety: Variegated Shrubs for the Landscape
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?
The N-P-K of Fertilizer
Once upon a time, Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary grew her garden with silver bells and cockleshells, but nowadays, most gardeners use some other forms of fertilizer that are better formulated than nursery rhymes.
Watering When Away
It’s vacation time! You’re going to be gone for two weeks or more, your friends, neighbors and family members are all busy and the weatherman says it's going to be “hot, hot, hot.” What about your houseplants?
What a Knock Out!
Think you don’t have the time to take on all the upkeep, maintenance and care beautiful roses require? We have a fabulous solution and it’s a knock out, a Knock Out® rose that is. This shrub rose is the single greatest sensation to hit the plant market in years!
Do you enjoy making herbal or floral bouquets and wands to scent the house? Maybe you're into the lavender cooking trend or like to infuse playful summer drinks with a floral touch. Perhaps you recognize the aromatherapy or medicinal qualities of lavender.
Basil: King of the Herbs
It's edible, a member of the mint family and ornamental. Grown for over 5,000 years, it flavors foods around the world and is well-known in many household kitchens... Have you guessed yet?
Grow one of the oldest American cultivated plants and join the Incas and Aztecs who grew – and revered – sunflowers more than 4,600 years ago.
It can be tempting to create a rainbow of riotous shades in container gardens, but are they as pretty as you imagine? Too many colors can be distracting and disjointed, giving your containers a haphazard, messy look.
Summer Gardener’s Calendar
Continue planting trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs. Consider adding some exotic color to your deck or patio with tropical blooming plants. We have a great selection of color this summer. It’s time for your houseplant’s summer vacation! Take outside to a shady place. Repot if necessary, fertilize and check for pests and diseases. […]
Gussy Up the Veggie Garden
A vegetable garden is the ultimate in practical landscaping, and a thriving veggie patch can not only be a bountiful supplement to a grocery budget, but also an enjoyable hobby and great exercise as you sow seeds, nurture plants and take up your delicious harvest. One thing a vegetable garden does not need to be, […]
Grow a Salad in a Single Pot
You don’t need a large, sprawling garden to enjoy a crisp salad fresh-picked from your own plants. With careful choices and proper care, you can grow a healthy, delicious salad in just one pot! Best Pots for Growing Salads Ideally, larger pots with ample room for a variety plants are best for growing container salads. […]
Plant a Patriotic Flower Garden
A patriotic flower garden can be a great way to show off your national pride, support a military serviceman or servicewoman, or just add decorative flair to your yard or landscaping for summer holidays. With careful steps, your flower garden can be filled with red, white and blue pride for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. […]
Starting Up With Succulents
Succulents are charming plants and can be a great addition to your household jungle. Learning more about these popular plants can help you give them the best growing environment so they are sure to thrive and show off their unique foliage, amazing colors and fascinating structures. What Are Succulents? If you are familiar with aloe, […]
Light Up Your Landscape
When the sun goes down, your landscape doesn’t need to go dark with it. There are many energy-efficient, attractive options for landscape lighting that can showcase your favorite specimen plants, prized flowerbeds and unique landscaping features even long after dark. Why We Need Light Plants don’t need light 24 hours a day, so why is […]