I’M OFTEN ASKED by frustrated gardeners how I managed to get my big old hellebore plants to grow so lustily—as if they are finicky, or difficult. To me they seem easy, but since reader questions persist, I decided to ask the guy with 6 acres of mature plants and decades of hellebore-breeding experience, Barry Glick of Sunshine Farm and Gardens. In my latest radio-show (transcript highlights are on the jump if you prefer to read, not listen) we also covered when to divide woodland wildflowers, and some deer-resistant recommendations for the shade garden, too. [read more…]
annuals & perennials
What's an annual? Well, anything you use seasonally for "color" or drama, whether it's technically an annual or not. Find my favorites here, along with the perennials I rely on in my 25-year-old garden.
A CONVERSATION WITH AN OLD FRIEND sent me searching deep in one overgrown border last month here for my forgotten plants of Primula veris—the common cowslip—which isn’t so common in nurseries after all, it seems, my friend was saying. I promptly moved the big clumps, still vigorous despite having found themselves swamped lately, from back-of-bed obscurity to front-and-center, and have enjoyed weeks of cheery bloom. [read more…]
MY GARDEN, LIKE MOST (and like the assortment at the garden center), is a jumble of non-native and native plants. But at this early spring moment, a half-dozen Eastern wildflowers take my breath away. In a slideshow, six easy, captivating natives for the woodland or shade garden. [read more…]
WHEN I TALKED CLEMATIS PRUNING recently with my friend Dan Long, we didn’t spend much time on some of my favorite Clematis of all: the non-vining types that act more like perennials or even like lightweight shrubs. I wanted to be sure to spread the good word for “non-vining” Clematis, too (that’s ‘Floris V,’ a form of Clematis integrifolia, up top), so that you might consider making space for them among your other perennials, where they will happily scramble and lend extra interest to a planting. [read more…]
A MAJESTIC ANNUAL I loved last year and someone I plan to invite back: the silver-leaf sunflower, Helianthus argophyllus, a native American wildflower of great substance and stature. But why is it so hard to track down seeds or plants of this very tall, multi-branching beauty, with its handsome foliage and extra-long bloom season? It’s worth the hunt, which I’ve been doing this week with both your garden and mine in mind. [read more…]