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Five Delicious Lemon Scented Herbs

Low-growing variegated lemon thyme makes a lovely and tasty addition to herb or container gardens.
If I had to pick my favorite scent in the garden, it would be difficult to select just one, and it might depend on what scent I was smelling at the moment. There are many plants in my garden that have a pleasant scent I enjoy. Common Heliotrope comes to mind, […]

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Little Aloe World: 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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Wine Grape Growing for All Gardeners

There are wine grapes for practically any growing situation!
If you have a sunny patio arbor or pergola, then you have enough room to grow wine grapes. Most wine lovers will recognize the names of standard grape varieties, like ‘Pinot Noir’ and ‘Chardonnay’, but new wine grapes, like ‘Itasca’ and Pixie® Cabernet Franc, are continually being introduced, with desirable traits like cold hardiness and compactness. New […]

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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 at crucial spots to please the eye. These […]

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Growing Miniature Roses

Pots of miniature roses brighten up a nursery display.
Miniature roses are perfect for small-space gardeners that love the look of classic roses. They come in all colors, and newer varieties are disease resistant and bloom continuously through summer.
There is a cloud of mystery concerning the exact origin of the miniature rose. It is most likely a descendant of the Chinese rose, Rosa chinensis var. minima, and for some unknown reason it made its […]

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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 container gardens.
So Many Succulents!
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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 shows why it is a no-brainer house plant; […]

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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 house. That is not so today, with gardeners […]

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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 Mexico. These are the plants hummers fight over, guard jealously, […]

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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 that pansies and violas were the only annuals […]

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