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On Gardening: Fennel puts on quite a show in the ground or in food

Gardening / Gardening News /

If there was ever a trap crop for the garden, it has to be fennel. If you are not familiar with the term "trap crop," it is normally one that catches or entices insects, diverting them from the one crop that is making the money. Calling fennel a trap crop however is a little tongue-in-cheek.

On the other hand, I challenge you to grow it and see...Read more

On Gardening: Golden thryallis a must for the long, hot summer ahead

Gardening / Gardening News /

You would think a shrub or summer annual that blooms all summer and is drought-tolerant and deer-resistant would be award-winning across the country. At least golden thryallis is a Texas Superstar winner and one you will want to grow too.

It certainly needs to go far beyond Texas to any area of the country that gets stifling hot over the long, ...Read more

L.A./N.Y. couple feels at home with new house and garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

PITTSBURGH: How do you grow a neighborhood with few vacant lots? Gardens and new residents are a good start.

"New Growth" is the theme of a recent local home tour., and most of the seven houses open for the tour have changed hands within the last several years. Among the newcomers are Geoffrey and Erin Smith, who bought their century-old ...Read more

On Gardening: Empress of China dogwood performs like a native Southerner

Gardening / Gardening News /

There is nothing quite like the mid-June bloom of the dogwoods in the Deep South. As strange as that sounds, consider dogwoods partnered with hydrangeas, and dogwoods blooming in sequence with mimosas and crape myrtles. Thanks to the incredible Empress of China dogwood, it is all possible.

Empress of China is known botanically as Cornus ...Read more

On Gardening: Hail, the hibiscus! Queen of tropical flowers

Gardening / Gardening News /

The first time I traveled to the Caribbean I was stunned at all of the beauty. It wasn't just the crystal clear water but that it seemed hibiscuses were blooming everywhere. Now when I go to a garden center and see one for sale, or perhaps see some innovative gardener using them in the landscape or containers, I have visual memories of the ...Read more

On Gardening: Tree frogs performing a symphony near you

Gardening / Gardening News /

I saw the beautiful frog and muttered to myself "safe in the arms of mother duck." I then chuckled, thinking how that might sound, as ducks are known to eat frogs. In this case, however, all was well because this bright green tree frog was in Mother Duck, one of the most striking daylilies in our garden.

I love green tree frogs, but to be ...Read more

On Gardening: Agastache is an underexposed winner for many gardeners

Gardening / Gardening News /

The agastache comes with a lot of common names like anise hyssop, giant hyssop and hummingbird mint, but, I assure you, "outstanding," will be one of your adjectives if you grow it. About a year ago I wrote about Black Adder which was and still is dazzling in our garden. It became the perfect backdrop in our daylily garden, helping show off ...Read more

On Gardening: Elephant ears leave a large footprint in tropical landscape

Gardening / Gardening News /

No matter where you go this summer the tropical look will be hot, and one of the key ingredients for this Caribbean style garden is the elephant ear, the drama queen of the landscape. With leaves that defy logic for their size and proportion vs. other plants it's not hard to see why this plant is so loved by Southern gardeners. It is not ...Read more

On Gardening: Spicy Jatropha prized for its non-stop blooming until winter

Gardening / Gardening News /

Spicy Jatropha Offers Blooms Birds and Butterflies

Blooms, birds, and butterflies are the attributes everyone experiences when growing the award-winning spicy jatropha. Spicy jatropha also commonly known as peregrina and firecracker jatropha is really a must have plant for the long hot season ahead. No amount of heat will deter it from ...Read more

Spring visit to Keukenhof's gardens exceeds all expectations

Gardening / Gardening News /

LISSE, Netherlands -- As we're driving toward Keukenhof, the sweet scent of hyacinths drifts through our bus of 26 travelers. Our tour guide thought we might like to see the growing fields filled with blooming bulbs. She was right.

No one could believe the seemingly endless rows of flowers, the sights and smells. Think of driving through field ...Read more

On Gardening: An easy-as-pie perennial with an unfortunate name

Gardening / Gardening News /

Sitting at your local garden center right now just waiting for adoption is one of the most easily grown perennials, the lanceleaf coreopsis known botanically as Coreopsis lanceolata. You might be thinking, "Just how easy is it to grow?" Would you believe it is so easy it is native to all but 7 of the lower 48 states? This means you can grow it...Read more

On Gardening: Amistad salvia gives your beds the royal treatment

Gardening / Gardening News /

Until something unseats it, Amistad salvia is the most beautiful salvia to ever hit the market. Amistad is a Salvia guaranitica or anise sage and is a rich purple violet color fit for royalty. You can't fault a name like Amistad or Friendship salvia. This plant is special and deserving of something regal.

But as Shakespeare said, "What's in a ...Read more

On Gardening: In praise of a $5 butterfly and its mistletoe

Gardening / Gardening News /

I remember it like yesterday. I returned from a Rotary Club meeting in Mission, Tex., to see a good sized group with cameras gathered around a patch of flowers at the National Butterfly Center there. I quickly went in and asked what were they seeing? The answer was a Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly. Today when I give a presentation on ...Read more

On Gardening: Giant leopard plant a spectacular member of the aster family

Gardening / Gardening News /

Members of the aster family can be described by a lot of wonderful adjectives, but "lush" and "tropical" are typically not among them. Yet that is the case with the giant leopard plant. Botanically speaking, I am referring to Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum,' and though it is found growing on rocky cliffs in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, it is turning...Read more

On Gardening: Native cross vine creates picture-perfect arbor or trellis

Gardening / Gardening News /

My jaw dropped as I stared at the most beautiful cross vine used to perfection. It is a rare garden I visit where the native cross vine is used to its true potential, but such is the case at home in Savannah, Ga.'s beautiful historic district. The Victorian Style home was painted a golden apricot that served as a stunning backdrop.

I've got ...Read more


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