Growing Guide for Ornamental Brassica

The students have returned to school, your mailbox is crammed with a new crop of seed catalogs, the leaves are falling, and the days are getting shorter. Drive by your local garden center or roadside stand and the displays are filled with ornamental kales and cabbages. Autumn has arrived. Long after the first snowfall and frost have erased most traces […]

A Guide to Planting Gaillardia

Commemorating M. Gaillard de Marentonneau, a French patron of botany (Compositae). Blanket flower. A small genus of annuals and perennials, natives of America, with a long flowering period, useful for cutting flowers. Somewhat untidy in habit, the long stalks fall about in wind and rain. Gaillardias need some twiggy stakes to help to keep the flowers clean and in full […]

15 of the Best Smelling and Fragrant flowers

Fragrance in flowers is such a desirable attribute that it’s a perennial complaint of many gardeners that modern varieties of various plants, particularly roses, lack all or most of the fragrance of the older varieties. This is demonstrably untrue of many varieties, of course, yet there is a good deal of truth in the generalization. Some varieties are certainly much […]

Growing Guide for Helianthemum

How to grow Helianthemum From the Greek helios, the sun, and anthemon. a flower (Cistaceae). Sun Rose. A genus of evergreen and semi-evergreen shrubs, sub-shrubs, perennial plants and annuals, very free flowering. Numerous named varieties and hybrids are grown and four species are native plants. Species cultivated Cultivation As the name implies, a sunny spot is essential for the sun […]

Vinca, A Hillside Groundcover

Vinca minor is, as my father used to say, neat but not gaudy. Sometimes known as periwinkle or myrtle, this creeping perennial appears everywhere. Like a good soldier, vinca hits the ground running, and does its task efficiently, even under adverse conditions. Parts of the suburbs are virtually upholstered with it, but you can even find this undemanding evergreen stalwart […]

Have your water and garden

Lately, it seems like every time you turn on the local weather forecast, the meteorologist is talking about drought conditions. If you are in a severely affected area, or under water restrictions, this doesn’t mean you have to give up gardening. By following some drought-wise garden water tips, you can have your water, and your garden, too. You may have […]

Growing Guide for Helenium

After Helen of Troy ; according to legend the flowers sprang from her tears (Compositae). Sneezeweed. Hardy herbaceous perennials from North America, good for cutting and popularly grown for their late summer flowers. The disc of the flower head is very prominent, a characteristic of the entire genus. Species cultivated Cultivation Almost any garden soil is suitable, but a stiff […]

SHOE FLIES AND CHINESE LANTERNS – Gardening

The catalogs are a little slimmer this year, but they are still full of the hope and glory of spring and summer. Flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs burst forth from the pages, each better than last year, allegedly foolproof and free-flowering, requiring little or no maintenance and a great return on investment. It all goes to show that gardeners are […]

Plumbago Passion

I am very prone to love at first sight. In fact, it happened just last week. I saw a tall southerner “across a crowded room”, as the song says. My heart stood still (as another song says). I was enraptured. The tall stranger was plumbago (Plumbago auriculata, also known as Plumbago capensis), which is sometimes also known by its extremely […]

ALIAS PRIMROSE

When I moved into my house in mid-February a year and a half ago, one of the first things I did was to walk around the yard, and try to figure out what the previous owner had planted. The winter had been exceptionally mild, and she had done little garden clean up, so it was easy to identify the remnants […]