Container Gardening

Discover Dwarf Aloes

Dense and colorful, Aloe juvenna (foreground) makes a great rockery subject or potted specimen.
While we ogle big fancy aloes blooming in frost-free gardens, their sensitivity to cold winters limits their cultivation elsewhere.  The plants in the same genus as Aloe vera, the popular Arabian species used for skin care, rarely survive the winters of sub-tropical zones.  For everyone who cannot grow succulents outdoors year round, […]

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Bold Waterwise Container Plantings

Pots of fine-textured Cape rushes define each tier of The Huntington’s California Garden. (Image care of The Huntington)
Do you need a big accent container plant for patio or garden that asks for little water?  In California, designs resulting from water cutbacks are changing the way we look at potted plants.  Now they are a bigger part of the landscape, nestled in the planting or set […]

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Succulent Container Gardening: Potted Xeriscaping

A colorful Aeonium is accented by cascading string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus). (Robin Plaskoff Horton)
Succulents—a broad group of arid plants that store water in their leaves or stems—are perfect for busy, forgetful, or novice gardeners because they are easy to grow and don’t require much water or maintenance. Some are hardy and others tender, and they come in a myriad of dazzling choices for tough, beautiful […]

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Sanseveria Reconsidered

Pots of Sanseveria planted into pots with annual color bring zest to shade gardens.
Extreme South African drought consumed everything except curious green, sword-like plants rising from barren ground beneath giraffe-pruned trees.  They survived because they are succulents.  While browsers struggled to find food, they did not touch the swords, which contained unpalatable toxins.
This is Sanseveria trifasciata, the old fashioned mother-in-law’s-tongue or sword plant. Its resilience […]

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Edible Landscaping

Pots of lettuce look great in spring or fall gardens.
As I visit gardens, it is a delight to see more and more gardeners incorporating edible plants into their landscape.  It has not been that many years ago that vegetables, fruits, berries and herbs would be grown in their own separate garden spots. In many cases, they would be away from the ornamental plantings around the […]

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The French Herb Garden


Some classic French herbs are common to American tables, and gardens, while others are less often used and grown. The key elements of the French herb garden let growers mix their own traditional herbal mixes, such as Bouquet Garni, Fines Herbes, and Herbes de Provence. These costly herbal blends are easy to make, and the herbs themselves are effortless and inexpensive to grow.
French cooking is […]

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Hummingbird Flowers for Hot, Dry Gardens

A female ruby-throated hummingbird feeds on littleleaf sage.
All red flowers draw hummingbirds, and tubular red-flowers make hummers go crazy.  The birds recognize familiar species that have co-evolved with them for eons for pollination, with flowers held in such a way that hummers can hover and feed freely during extended nectar flows.  Many hummingbird-pollinated species originate in hot dry parts of the American Southwest and […]

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Smart Spring Container Design

A simple arrangement of golden daffodils and purple viola will light up a spring container.
There’s something magical about a pot of spring flowers on the front step, porch, patio, or balcony. The colors, the fragrance, and just the act of getting our hands in the soil nurtures us gardeners as we reconnect with nature and start the new growing season.
Spring Container Plants
It used to be […]

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String of Pearls: Living Beads for Hanging Baskets

String of pearls is delicate yet tough, low maintenance and incredibly rewarding.
They are living jewelry no woman can resist, the most coveted house plant, string of pearls. This tender succulent is feminine looking, delicate yet tough, low maintenance and incredibly rewarding. There are two species that can transform traditional or modern spaces, indoors or out. Hang them like living necklaces to bring awe to your home.
Origins
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