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Winter Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden- 2022

January is a good time to remove old Helleborus leaves, just be sure not to accidentally snip flower stems.
December was a month of trying to get my winter garden tasks all done before the end of the year. Here it is January, and I have not completed all my December tasks. Getting everything done is something that I have never been […]

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Forever Jolly Winter Hollies

Sparkleberry winterberry forms a cloud of tiny red berries in December, and birds love them. (Image by Jessie Keith)
Berried holly branches are a ubiquitous holiday symbol, but these festive trees and shrubs come in more colors than just red and green, and many offer landscape interest beyond the winter season.  My favorite winter hollies (Ilex spp.) are forever beautiful, whether berried at the end of […]

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Effortless Junipers for Practically Every Garden

Ground cover junipers look handsome when planted in spacious containers.
There are few plants that come in as many different forms as the juniper. The Genus Juniperus includes plants that are grown as ground covers with some that hug the ground at just several inches and others that may reach 2-3 feet in height. Another category is the shrub types, and these can range in […]

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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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Mike Darcy’s Fall Garden Tasks For a Happy Garden

As potted annuals and vegetables die back, it is time to clean them up for the season. Mike Darcy’s Fall Garden Tasks For a Happy Garden
RAIN! We actually had rain. Not just rain but enough to clean the dust off of the leaves, wet the soil, and make both gardeners and plants happy. I was thrilled to see such heavy rainfall. […]

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Pretty Perennial Ornamental Grasses For Late Summer

Blue fescues are lovely, steely blue grasses that form tidy clumps.
It’s August and here in Indiana we often have days in the 90s.  Many summer perennials, such as daylilies, salvias, and Shasta daisies, are past their prime or have disappeared until next year. Perennial garden grasses, however, are still colorful with their bold plumes and blades. There are many species and varieties available to fit […]

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Cooling Garden Water Features

I snapped this photo of a hummingbird enjoying my cooling water fountain. (Image by Mike Darcy)
The sight and sound of water in a garden can lift it to a new level. When I am in a garden and hear or see water, it can, almost instantly, create a calming, serene atmosphere. Whether it is a simple birdbath, a splashing fountain, a flowing stream, or a […]

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Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden


July, 2021 –If ever there was a time that showed the benefits of adding compost to the soil, this past week was it. With temperatures in the Portland, Oregon area setting records for all-time highs, plants suffered just as people, pets, and wildlife did. We generally experience mild summer weather, but one afternoon this week our outdoor temperature was 114 […]

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How to Prune Spring-Flowering Shrubs

Unless you are removing dead or dying stems, it is best to prune spring-flowering shrubs just after they bloom.
When we think of pruning shrubs, we probably think of late fall and early winter as the ideal time, but this is not always the case. For many spring-flowering shrubs, late spring is the best time to prune because pruning must happen shortly after flowering. Prune off-season, […]

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Heavenly Non-Invasive Honeysuckles for Pollinators

Many native honeysuckles are adapted for hummingbird pollination.
 
I love the honeysuckles (Lonicera japonica) of old. Their fragrance is unmatched, and their nectar-filled flowers sweet to taste. But sadly, the rampant, rambling wild vines are Asian in origin and unfriendly to North American landscapes. They take over; smothering native landscapes in a sweetly-scented blanket of blooms. There is, however, an upside. There are loads of native, […]

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