Growers Guide for Spiderwort – Tradescantia

Commemorating John Tradescant (died 1637), gardener to Charles I (Commelinaceae). A genus of 60 species of hardy perennial and greenhouse plants from North America and tropical South America. The hardy varieties are commonly called spiderwort, flower of a day, Moses-in-the-bulrushes, or devil-in-the pulpit. According to some botanists thegarden plants grown under the name Tradescantia virginiana belonging to a hybrid group […]

AUBRIETA THE PURPLE ROCK CRESS

Fine Plants for Spring Bloom in the Rock Garden and at the Front of the Flower Border Hardy, perennial, more or less evergreen, low-growing plants which bear a profusion of bloom in early spring. They are invaluable in the rock garden and wall garden, as edging to flower borders, and as groundwork for taller plants in spring flower beds. Unfortunately, […]

Growers Guide for Viola – Perennial Plant

An old Latin name for violet (Violaceae). A genus of some 500 species of hardy perennials, mainly from northern temperate regions, including violas, pansies, and violets, of which there are many hybrids and strains. Species grown today Where to plant and grow Violas Violas do best in moist, well-drained soil and in light shade. Propagation of cultivars is by cuttings […]

Growing Guidance for Bougainvillea Vine

Climbing leaf-losing shrubby plants, from Brazil, which belong to the family Nyctaginaceae. They are cultivated outdoors in the far South and in colder climates in greenhouses. The slender woody stems are furnished with small, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, green leaves and sharp thorns. The small inconspicuous flowers which are produced in summer, are surrounded by large colored bracts which form the […]

Growing Guide for Bergenia Plant

Named for Karl August von Bergen, 1704-60, German botanist (Saxifragaceae). These hardy perennial herbaceous plants with large evergreen leaves were at one time called megasea, and were at another time included with the saxifrages. The flowers which come in early spring are showy in white, pink or red-purple, borne in large heads on long stems. The large leathery, glossy leaves […]

Growers Guide for African Violets

African violet is perhaps the only full-blown paradox that can survive on a windowsill. On one hand, it is a celebrated show plant, with new cultivars eagerly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. It has its own organization, the African Violet Society of America, and its own magazine, African Violet. A quick Internet search reveals that there are almost as […]

Planting Clematis

Every gardener is familiar with the extraordinary effectiveness of vines in a proper setting, but most of us become discouraged after bad luck. The daintier vines have a habit of developing some unknown illness and dying back unexpectedly, while those which thrive usually do too good a job of it. Many a porch has collapsed under the weight of a […]

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 […]

Growing Pansies

Pansies are annual garden flowers (blooms for only one year, then dies) that are usually the first you find for sale in stores in spring.  Pansies have been around for many years and are popular, being easy to grow and so colorful during the cooler days of spring and fall. In cool northern climates, pansies will bloom well into summer […]

Columnar or Fastigiate trees

Columnar or Fastigiate trees To the botanist, the word fastigiate means ‘with parallel, erect, clustered branches’. It has become more widely used in a more generalized sense for trees with narrow crowns. All those mentioned are derived from natural sports and do not come true from seed (if that is produced). They are propagated as cultivars. They generally need careful […]