Pollinator Gardening

Winter Garden Plants for Wildlife

Mockingbird and beautyberryMockingbirds eat beauty berries as well as many other fruits of winter.
 
The winter garden is not dead and desolate, as some may imagine it to be. The fruits of summer and fall still linger, providing vital food to wildlife in the deepest depths of winter. More often than not, these plants for wildlife also offer seasonal interest for homeowners and gardeners as well, making them win-win additions to our landscape.
Winter Seeds for […]

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Effortless Garden Asters

Clouds of ‘October Skies’ asters decorate the fall gardens at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA.

Late-summer fields and meadows dotted with clouds of soft purple, violet, and white daisies are the surest seasonal sign the native asters are in bloom. These welcoming, cool-hued composites counter the warm oranges, yellows and burnished shades of goldenrods, perennial sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. Garden-variety asters are even prettier, crowned in blooms that may delve into pink and magenta shades. For […]

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Everblooming Bedding Plants for Heat and Drought

ZTwo Zinnias, ‘Macarenia’ and ‘Mazurkia’ , comprise the bright, heat-wise Sasiando Mix. (Photo care of National Garden Bureau)
Finding garden flowers that bloom effortlessly through the hot, dry summer months can be a challenge for those new to gardening. So many popular bedding plants are tender and water needy. Impatiens, coleus, dahlias and even petunias will quickly flag when the heat and drought ramps up. But, have no fear. Lots of bedding plants will make […]

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A to Z Organic Rose Care

TakeItEasy_1The new rose Take it Easy™ is highly disease resistant and a great choice for organic rose growing. (Photo Courtesy of © Weeks Roses)
Roses have a bad rap when it comes to pests and diseases—causing ecologically minded gardeners to avoid growing these seemingly needy, unsustainable garden beauties. But this need not be so. With the dawn of more resilient rose varieties and better rose-care products, it is easier than ever to successfully grow roses […]

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Autumn Sage for All Seasons

habitAutumn sage matures into a large plant that reaches three feet in height and width.
 
When nature gives you lemons, it’s time to make lemonade.  There’s nothing more powerful than drought to bring some really great plants front and center.  In lieu of thirsty annuals this year, plant water-conserving perennials that live long and bloom even longer.  There is no better choice than a rugged Texas native called Autumn sage (Salvia greggii), which has become the […]

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Landscape Lessons from a Fremontia

fremontia blossomDifferent flannelbush species are endemic to different California climate zones, from the West Coast foothills to the eastern mountain ranges.
For almost twenty years I lived on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada where the flora was rich in the most outstanding native flowering shrub species for drought resistant landscapes. The most valuable observation was seeing where they chose to grow in the wild.  When you study the habitat of any plant closely enough, […]

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Which Witch Hazel Should You Grow?

The coppery flowers of Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' are very fragrant and pretty. (image by Jessie Keith)The coppery flowers of Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’ are very fragrant and pretty. (Image by Jessie Keith)
If you were to take a random survey of ten of your neighbors and asked the question: “When you hear the words ‘witch hazel’, what do you think of?”, the answer will most likely not be a plant. The answer will probably […]

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Winter Flowering Plants

Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ adds delightful fragrance and color to the winter garden. (photo by Leonard Foltz)
Recently a friend asked me what my garden looks like during the winter months. I replied that it is “rather bleak”. After thinking about my reply, I decided to take a closer look at my own garden and those around my neighborhood. I am glad that I did because my garden is not as bleak […]

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Gardening for Bats

4.21A hylocereus triangularis flowerThe foot-wide blossom of Queen of the Night (Hylocereus triangularis) has many stamens that bats must wade through to reach nectaries deep inside.
It’s curious that an agave that flowers once at the end of life produces such an enormous bloom stalk.  These can range from 5- to 15-feet tall, depending on the species.  Many of the flowers are clustered at the very top, which is an adaptation for one particular pollinator, […]

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Reviving Late-Summer Flowers

Rosa 'Perfume Delight' 2 JaKMPMDespite the high heat here in the Pacific Northwest, the roses have done well. (photo by Jessie Keith)
Perhaps we have been through the “dog days of summer” here in the Pacific Northwest with our daytime temperatures reaching 90+ degrees. Not only have those of us without air conditioning suffered, but many of our plants did as well.

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