This relative of hollyhock loves growing along the dry edges of cactus and succulent gardens.
The American Southwest is rich in wildflowers, and a few have proved to be exceptional choices for arid gardens. When wildflowers perform well and are beautiful, they are ideal candidates for home landscapes filled with existing drought resistant plants. They also make exceptional problem solvers in desert gardens of cacti, succulents, and rocks where many […]
The grand French Chateau de Villandry Ornamental Parterre Garden is in the foreground with the Ornamental Kitchen Garden in the background.
As with most things French, even vegetable gardens can be decidedly beautiful. What makes them so special are parterre potagers, a practice of creating symmetrical, geometric patterns with beds of vegetables of different colors and textures. Within the geometric beds, which are often lined with […]
Every seed has a story. When it comes to heirloom vegetable seeds, those with great stories have been nurtured for hundreds and thousands of years by diverse peoples worldwide. Many heirlooms have been lost in time, but some have been preserved, bringing with them wonderful traits that tell us something about the people who grew them and the […]
Salvia greggii (autumn sage) (photo by Maureen Gilmer)
Hummingbirds rely on the nectar of many fall-blooming salvias to assist in their late-season migration. The striking beauty, bright colors, and architectural statures of these plants also make them great for the garden. Most cultivated salvias are from Mexico and the Southwest United States, which is why pollinators migrating south are attracted to them. Their relationship is […]
This composition of mixed succulents may look pretty, but the gang-potted group will not survive unless transplanted into their own Terracotta pots.
Those big, popular succulent collections sold in pots and troughs (otherwise known as “gang pots”) are dying out all over. Each container may be packed with a dozen or more species of succulent plants that often originate from vastly different locations and have different cultural needs. Many are […]
Repurposed wood crates become one pot herb gardens featuring thyme, rosemary, cilantro, chives and more
Fresh-from-the-container culinary herbs turn a New York loft, a Chicago studio, or a Los Angeles condo into flavor central. Nothing is quite like fresh mint in your mojito, just-picked basil on a mozzarella sandwich, or cilantro in your salsa. No store-bought herb carries this intense flavor, because once cut, the essential oils immediately begin to lose pungency. Cut and eat […]
Distinguished by long thin wand-like flower stems, English lavender is the most hardy of them all.
The Serenity Prayer asks us to “accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, with the wisdom to know the difference.” If you’ve tried growing lavender with little success, maybe it’s time to identify what you can change to make this year’s garden a fragrant bee filled blend of drought resistant lavenders for […]
Buffalo Bird Woman of the Hidatsa tribe.
Along the flood plains of America’s rivers, indigenous tribes cultivated crops for centuries. Before levees, rivers spread out far and wide, yet shallow, with each spring flood depositing yet another layer of rich silt upon those from millennia past. These tribes grew the three sisters of Native American agriculture: corn, squash and beans. Growing in the three-sisters style is a great way to teach youngsters or to […]
A single large clay pot easily supports cabbage, parsley and Swiss chard for porch or patio.
Until recently, collard greens were known only in the South and among African Americans who brought this “soul food” into northern cities during the Great Migration a century ago. Today collards and kales are heralded as “fresh super foods” due to the high nutritional value of these large-leaved members of the cabbage family. These “pot greens” are eaten stewed, steamed, […]
The yellowing of this formerly green pepper plant is a sign of nitrogen deficiency that often crops up at the end of the growing season when soil is depleted.
Organic gardeners must be readers of signs, which are the silent and often subtle ways plants communicate their needs to us. Summer vegetable garden nutrient deficiencies appear as changes that indicate something isn’t right. They’ll show up during the heat of midsummer vegetable gardens because plants are […]
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