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Beautiful, Blooming, Cascading Begonias for Hanging

The Belgian ‘Double Apricot’ pendulous begonia is a showstopper.
By February, I am longing for some beauty when I look out of the window.  It’s the worst month of the year here in the Midwest, with its dead and bleak outdoors. So,  now’s the time I start dreaming of the flower beds and containers for the coming year. This year I plan to focus on cascading Begonias […]

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Inspirational Classic English Gardens

Inspirational Classic English Gardens
I have always been in love with English gardens, from the informality of cottage gardens, filled with hollyhocks and climbing roses, to more formal gardens around estates and castles, with tidy clipped evergreen topiaries, tree allées, and flower borders.  In many of England’s most famous gardens you find a mix of both informal and formal garden styles. Some designs are attainable and […]

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Winter-Fruiting Trees for Lasting Beauty

‘Winter King’ green hawthorn has persistent fruits that are loved by cedar waxwings.
Now that fall has passed, it is a dismal thing to look out the window and see no color. But, this does not have to be the case if you plant beautiful trees that still offer bright colorful fruits to the garden in winter. The first one everybody thinks of is holly, but […]

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Planting Spring Bulbs Late: Rules and Tips

You can tell the health of daffodil bulbs by squeezing them. Healthy bulbs are firm. Planting these bulbs a little late is not a problem.
If your spring-blooming bulbs are sitting around somewhere, like mine, or you have not even bought them yet, you will be glad to know that it is not too late. Bulbs can be planted as late as November or December, as […]

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Victorian Cemeteries and Flowers that Honor the Dead

Many angel statues can be found at Victorian cemeteries, like Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, MA). (Image by Dedarot)
The language of flowers was essential to Victorian-Era (1837-1901) cemeteries. At that time, plantings and gardens for the dead were common, and cemeteries had become park-like places where people in US cities could enjoy a Saturday picnic. The flowers planted for a passed loved one had meaning.
Since I […]

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Fall Garden Flowers of the Prairies

The golden strands of the prairie native, wrinkleleaf goldenrod, look right at home in a fall flower garden.
So many favorite summer garden flowers were originally natives of the American prairies–purple coneflowers, black-eyed-Susans, and blazing star among them. Fall is no exception. Whether you plant wild forms or garden varieties, flowers of the prairie are generally easy, tough landscape plants. (If they could withstand trampling and […]

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Favorite Summer Flowers for Butterflies

A tiger swallowtail perches and feeds on a purple coneflower.

One joy of summer is the butterflies that flit around our flower gardens. They do not mind the heat as long as they have plenty of moisture and nectar-rich flowers. There are many flowers that butterflies like best, both annuals, […]

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Perennials for Dry Shade

Japanese anemones are excellent shade perennials with late-season blooms.

Here in the Midwest, we have had unusually dry weather from August to October in the past few years.  Last year we had no rain, except for one sprinkle, for ten weeks.  My water bills exceeded $200, with the water company […]

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Cottage Gardens for American Gardeners

An old cottage garden border contains peonies and oriental poppies, among other old-fashioned flowers.
I am a person who looks at all the new perennials available in local nurseries each spring and always find new ones I cannot live without.  When I get home, I look for a spot in my already full flowerbeds and stick my new purchases in. With intention, my carefree, fragrant, flower-filled […]

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The ABCs of Hanging Basket Creation and Care

Dark Eyes Fuchsia is a stellar variety with glowing flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Spring is finally here, and many of us have been bitten by the Flower Bug. We are looking forward to beautiful pots on the deck and hanging baskets on the front porch full of gorgeous flowers. It is fun to make up your own hanging baskets, using last year’s baskets or new ones. […]

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