It is that time of year when I start feeling desperate for flowers. Christmas, with all the decorations and lights, is past, and there are three whole months until April, with its early daffodils and crocus. So what is a perfect, ever-blooming houseplant, to brighten things up at this time of year? The answer is African violets, and they are easier to grow than […]
Spring holiday cactus varieties come in many colorful shades including orange.
Every year, holiday-house-plant lovers enjoy the sensational fall and winter blooms of crab or Thanksgiving (Schlumbergera truncata) cactus and winter or holiday cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi), but it does not have to end there. There are other Schlumbergera that bloom at different times of the year, particularly in the mid to late spring, making them outstanding […]
These days, poinsettias come in all shades of red, white, and pink. Some are even apricot and salmon hues.
‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Winter Rose Red’, ‘Whitestar’, ‘Cortez Burgundy’, etc., are just some of the names you might find on an exciting new poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plant this year. There is probably no flower more associated with a holiday in the United States than the poinsettia is for […]
Cold frames are like outdoor mini glasshouses for winter vegetable and herb growing.
Garden-fresh eating does not have to end in the fall. The onset of chilly weather means it’s time to enjoy cold-frame salad gardens filled with easy, cool-season greens, root vegetables, and annual herbs. These crops are fast to germinate and grow, and they will tolerate serious cold weather if your frame garden is […]
With summer winding down here in the Pacific Northwest, as I walk through my garden it is the fuchsias I notice. They have bloomed nonstop all summer, and on this September day, their blooms continue. Not only have they not stopped blooming, but they will flower through to October and beyond until we have had frost. It is just what the migrating hummingbirds need […]
These upright basketweave pots are texturally different, attractive, and add to the interest of the golden-edged ‘Laurentii’ snake plant and Aloe elegans they hold.
Some succulents have a real presence and panache. The best can fill a large pot, creating unmatched indoor or outdoor living sculptures. Most are long-lived and effortless to grow if provided a few cultural basics. These are the succulents to choose for […]
There is nothing more beautiful in the summer than sword lilies (Gladiolus hybrid) in a vase or the garden. Their stately stalks of glowing, fragrant flowers come in an array of colors that just can’t be beat! Most gardeners grow them for cut flowers, but glads can also be carefully worked into summer flower borders for floral impact. There are also compact types suitable […]
A combination of protective row covers, mulch, and drip hoses will dramatically reduce water loss.
Hot weather drains garden plants dry and reduces productivity, especially when rain is scarce. More and more gardeners have had to change the way they grow because heat and drought limit the season. Rather than getting discouraged, they have learned smarter gardening techniques and how to stretch resources. Approaching the garden […]
The fancy-leaved geranium ‘Mrs. Pollock’ is one of my favorites of all time!
While most gardeners usually focus on flowers in their garden beds, there is another group of plants just as beautiful. These are ornamentals with showy, variegated leaves in multi-colors. They include perennials, such as variegated Hostas, tender tropicals, such as Caladiums, and bedding plants, like everyone’s favorite leafy gem, Coleus. They are garden workhorses […]
Knock Out roses of all colors are everblooming and resist common rose diseases.
Roses are among the most beautiful flowers on the planet, but they are also prone to some of the nastiest foliar diseases as well. The three worst of these are rose black spot (Diplocarpon rosae), powdery mildew (order Erysiphales), and rose rust (Phragmidium spp.), but new roses are challenging their damage. Many of the largest rose […]
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