SCABIOSA – Pineushion flower – Mourning-bride, Annual Flower Information

The long stems and tufted flowers of the annual Scabiosa (S. atropurpurea) are charming. The colors also are pleasing in all cases white, light pink, rose, fiery scarlet, pale yellow, azure blue, and deep blackish-purple. The stamens are light in color and in contrast with the petals appear like pins stuck into the flower, hence the name Pincushion flower. The […]

Lupine – Perennial Plant, How to grow

From the Latin lupus, a wolf (destroyer), because it was thought that the plants depleted the fertility of the soil by sheer numbers (Leguminosae).  Lupine. A genus of over 300 species of annuals, perennials, and subshrubs, mainly from North America, though there are a few Mediterranean species which, since Roman times, have been used for green manuring. This is surprising […]

The Primrose Path

The other day I was at my local mega-merchandiser’s 9,000,000-square foot store looking for a prosaic yet essential staple of the indoor garden—potting soil. Fortunately for me, othe really big bags were at the rear of the cavernous indoor nursery area. Trudging towards those distant sacks, I spotted a fully loaded merchandise cart bearing scores of potted primroses in an […]

Pulsatilla – Perennial Plant, How to grow

The name was first used by Pierandrea Mattioli, a sixteenth-century Italian botanist, and physician, and possibly means ‘shaking in the wind’ (Ranunculaceae). This genus of 30 species, distinguished from Anemone only by minor botanical differences, includes some of the most beautiful of low-growing flowering plants, and one in particular, P. vernalis, which is so lovely that it must have converted […]

Bergenia – Perennial Plant, How to grow

How to grow Bergenia (ber-gen-i-a) 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. […]

Growing Bougainvillea vine

BOUGAINVILLEA (Bougainvillea). 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 […]

Viola – Perennial Plant, How to grow

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 cultivated V. adunca, hooked spur violet, to 4 inches, violet or lavender with white eye, spring, North America. V. arvensis field pansy, 6 inches, cream, […]

AUBRIETA THE PURPLE ROCK CRESS

AUBRIETA: THE PURPLE ROCK CRESS Fine Plants for Spring Bloom in the Rock Garden and at the Front of the Flower Border (Aubrie’ta). 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, and as edging to flower borders, and groundwork for taller […]

Herb Gardening – Harvest, Design, Storing Herbs

The form and size of a herb garden is determined by the interest these plants hold for the individual. It can be a tiny border of commonly used culinary herbs such as mint, parsley, sage and thyme or an elaborate garden designed to house a wide collection of herbs. Many plants could legitimately be included in one of these large […]