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Favorite Shade-Loving Flowering Shrubs and Perennials for Fall

Reblooming hydrangeas, yellow waxbells, and fuchsias are three reliable bloomers that flower into fall.
We’ve had a long hot and dry summer here in the Pacific Northwest, so those plants that relish the sun and take drought have performed beautifully. In turn, shade lovers, that thrive in cool, moist environments have needed extra care. In my garden, we have a mix of areas with blazing afternoon […]

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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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Bountiful Fall Berries for Gardens

Bountiful Fall Berries for Gardens
As a child, we had golden raspberries in our woods in southern Indiana. Each fall, as I passed them in the morning to meet the school bus, I would see how many were ready to pick and pop the ripened fruits in my mouth. The lingering memory of their warm, sweet, raspberry taste makes them my ultimate autumnal berry, but there […]

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How to Plant and Site Trees and Shrubs

The key to successful gardening is to go (and grow) with what you’ve got. If your garden has acid soil and lots of shade, go with acid- and shade-loving plants. If sunny, dry, alkaline conditions dominate, then plan and plant accordingly. This also holds true for the garden’s aesthetic. For example, more “naturalistic” settings (such as a woodland edge) call for more informal, nature-evoking plantings. Beautiful and bountiful things happen when a garden is in harmony with its surroundings.
Understand Your […]

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Late-Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden

Late-Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden
Sometimes this time of year is referred to as the “dog days of summer”; however, I do not think of it in these terms. Yes, it is hot, many garden flowers are flagging, and there are garden tasks to do, but August is also a month when there is much for us to enjoy in […]

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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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Green Roof Essentials for Home Gardeners

Any green roof added to a home, such as this stylish patio green roof, should be fully or partially professionally installed.

“A roof of asphalt shingles is a desert wasteland compared to a living, cooling, vital green roof.” -Jessie Keith

Even small-scale green roofs need specialized knowledge for success. You can’t […]

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Soil pH Testing From Home Made Easy

 
Soil pH Testing From Home Made Easy
When asked about soil and gardens, the most common question I receive is about how to determine soil pH. Garden professionals emphasize the need to measure soil pH because it can be so important if the soil pH errs towards the extremes–too acid or too alkaline. Soil pH testing is certainly useful when you are getting to know your […]

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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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Early Summer Garden Tasks for a Happy Garden


By the time the month of June arrives, I like to think that I have many of my early-season garden tasks completed. However, this is rarely the case because in a garden, there is always something to do and a project that has not been completed. And, this has been quite a spring.
The spring of 2020 has been nothing like […]

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