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Can a Garden Contest Teach and Inspire? by Susan Harris

We bash Homeowners Associations regularly for their crazy, backward-looking rules against growing edibles, eliminating lawn, growing wilder-looking plants (horrors!) and more. But what if a condo or coop association used their collective...Show More Summary

Flowering maple keeps blooming after freeze

16 hours agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

I’ll soon be posting pictures of my Japanese maple, as its leaves are starting to redden. But for now the flowering maples, aka abutilons, are stealing the show. A few light freezes don’t slow them down. Cool weather is their time to shine. Show More Summary

Growing Amaryllis: Easy for Everyone (and a giveaway!)

Hippeastrum 'Gervase' For as much as I dread winter every year, there are some things about it that I look forward to. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Fluffy snowfalls. The smell of winter air. Curling up on the sofa with a blanket, a kitty,...Show More Summary

Swarthmore: One of the Most Beautiful Campuses in America by Susan Harris

I first visited and fell in love with the Scott Arboretum, covering the entire campus of Swarthmore College, back in 2008 when I visited for a talk on lawn alternatives.  I finally made a return visit last month when I attended its annual Perennial Plant Conference, where some of the top names in the plant world were […]

Summer never ends thanks to flower and hummingbird sculpture

2 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

At a recent garden blogger get-together, metal craftsman Bob Pool of Gardening at Draco (who made my ocotillo bottle tree) brought this lovely flower-and-hummingbird piece he’d made as a random giveaway for our group. And I won it! Thanks,...Show More Summary

Snow: Lessons in Perspective by Evelyn Hadden

Why is it that, after a snowfall, the landscape looks so much better, even if nothing has changed underneath? Snow offers the opportunity to view your garden with new perspective and insights that can make it more enjoyable in every season. When you hear the phrase “winter interest,” you might think of conifers, fences and […]

Possibilities vs. limitations by Elizabeth Licata

As I finish potting up bulbs against the winter, rejoicing in the new space for it I have now that I’m using the attic, it occurred to me that the effort to do more, to go beyond the perceived limits, is my favorite thing about gardening and it’s also why I don’t like certain types […]

River Birch – Trunks Catching and Holding Water

Q: Nineteen years ago I planted three Heritage river birch trees. They have multiple trunks. Two of them have a “crotch” between the trunks that fills with water when it rains. Will this ultimately lead to rot and the death of the tree? Can I create an “umbrella” to reroute the rainfall? A: There is […]

Boston Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – Identification

Q: Is this Boston ivy, poison ivy, or poison Boston ivy? Or maybe a freaked out Virginia creeper? A: Well, I can eliminate two of our four choices. It’s not poison ivy or poison Boston creeper. So is it Boston ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata or Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia? Although I sometimes see Virginia creeper with […]

Still musing on wall color

3 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

The color saga continues, with no progress but lots of reader suggestions and various inspiration since my first attempt at choosing colors for my new stucco walls. (Click and read the comments on that post if you’re into color discussion!)...Show More Summary

Oak – Tiny Acorns

Q: About mid-June our mature white oak began dropping small acornlets on our deck.After some research I found the following at: Growing White Oaks From Seed The acorns of White oak are produced in one growing season, unlike the acorns from Red oaks (Quercus rubra) whose acorns develop over a two year period. Oak flowers […]

Evergreen foundation garden for Foliage Follow-Up

3 days agoHobbies / Gardening : Digging

What won’t block the windows and grows no taller than 3 feet? What remains evergreen? What can live in shade? What won’t the deer eat? These are the foundation-planting questions that haunt generations of gardeners (or me anyway), especially...Show More Summary

Boxwood Blight – Diagnosing

Q: We revamped our landscaping in the fall of 2008. We planted American boxwood on the south side of the house. As you can see, one is sick but the other boxwoods are doing great. A landscape company maintains them. Is this a disease that could spread to the healthy ones? A: There’s a new […]

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