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Focus on Flowers

Indiana Public Media

Focus on Flowers is a weekly podcast and public radio program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

2023

Focus on Flowers is a weekly podcast and public radio program about flower gardening hosted by master gardener Moya Andews.

2023
539hr 1min
Thumbnail for "Bevan".
All of May, cranesbill geranium 'Bevan' is covered in pink flowers, and the rest of the year, he has lovely fresh-looking green leaves.
Thumbnail for "Purple Plantings".
Thumbnail for "Looking Ahead".
Thumbnail for "Making Bouquets".
Thumbnail for "Flower Sex".
Thumbnail for "Carpeting".
A quote by Vita Sackville West about ground covers.
Thumbnail for "Spring Dandelions".
Dandelions light up our lawns each spring with bright yellow flowers.
Thumbnail for "Early Botanical Artists".
Before the invention of photography, illustrations of uncommon plants were crucial. Women were thought to be especially well suited for drawing specimens accurately. They were seen as patient, careful, and willing to work for little pay.
Thumbnail for "The Middle Ages".
During the Middle Ages in Britain, the monasteries were the places with the space and the knowledge to garden.
Thumbnail for "Touch-Me-Nots".
Most gardeners I know find it convenient to buy this easy-care annual for their pots and shade beds each spring, and delight in growing such undemanding annuals.
Thumbnail for "Cherry Blossoms".
The Cherry tree that Houseman wrote about in his poem is commonly known as bird cherry, which alas do not grow well for us in zone 6. A white tree that is a lovely substitute, however, is the white dogwood.
Thumbnail for "Planting Easter Lilies".
At this time of the year many flower lovers buy pots of Easter lilies at the grocery store to have in their homes during the Easter season
Thumbnail for "The Benefits of Clay".
Clay soil is heavy and hard to dig compared to sandy soil, but it is also more moisture and nutrient retentive.
Thumbnail for "Usually Deer Proof".
No plant, it seems to those of us plagued with deer, can be called really deer proof.
Thumbnail for "Pruning Flowering Shrubs".
Regular pruning benefits all woody plants, such as shrubs, trees, and vines. Pruning keeps them vigorous and healthy, as well as improving their shape.
Thumbnail for "Cutting Back".
Cutting back plants, even small ones, helps to stimulate growth. But don't cut off all of the leaves!
Thumbnail for "Climbing Clematis".
There are so many lovely varieties of clematis available today. Even a single bloom floating is a bowl looks perfect.
Thumbnail for "Forcing".
In late winter, after months without garden flowers, we are eager to see flowers in our homes. However, there is a wonderful feeling we get when we force branches of early spring-blooming trees and shrubs.
Thumbnail for "Roses From the Past".
All of the poems I will read today are about roses and all are from times long past.
Thumbnail for "February Saints".
The flowers associated with St. Valentine were, in Roman times, the yellow crocus and the tricolor viola that both bloom in the early spring in our gardens today. But there are also other saints associated with February...
Thumbnail for "Christo's Final Years".
In 1993, Christopher Lloyd hired Fergus Garrett as his head gardener and together they turned the traditional 80-year-old rose garden into an exotic tropical area. Christo was amused by the consequent criticism from traditionalists.
Thumbnail for "The Long Border".
Great Dixter's Christopher Lloyd created his famous term "succession planting" to describe continuous bloom month after month, beginning in March and ending in October.
Thumbnail for "The Great Dixter".
One of Britain's most celebrated gardens, Great Dixter is a magnificent place where one can learn and be inspired. A trip there should be on every gardener's bucket list.
Thumbnail for "Medieval Gardens".
In AD 830, St. Benedict said that gardening was appropriate manual labor for monks and that all monasteries should have a psychic garden, kitchen garden, cellar garden, an orchard, and a private garden for monks of high office.
Thumbnail for "1st Century Gardens".
The Romans were the first to create pleasure gardens in Britain.
Thumbnail for "The Winter Solstice".
The winter solstice marks the day with the fewest hours of sunshine in the year, which means that it is described as the shortest day.
Thumbnail for "Bioengineering".
Bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects used to be the only creatures who transferred pollen from flower to flower. Nowadays, it is often a person with a fine brush.
Thumbnail for "Eleanor of Aquitaine".
The idea of private pleasure gardens during the Middle Ages in England was espoused by Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Thumbnail for "Gnats: Pesky Little Devils".
Most of us occasionally get little black flies that look a bit like fruit flies around our houseplants. They're fungus gnats and essentially harmless, mostly...
Thumbnail for "Wild William Robinson".
One of the most influential horticulturalists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was William Robinson, the first to promote the idea of a wild garden.
Thumbnail for "Garden Cleanup".
Fall is a great time to collect the seed pods from shrubs like baptisia and hardy hibiscus and store them in paper envelopes indoors until next spring.
Thumbnail for "Houseplants That Bloom".
Houseplants that bloom help us to get through winter while awaiting next year's flowers in the garden. But often houseplants suffer from problems that we must address promptly to save a plant's life.
Thumbnail for "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn".
Betty Smith is the author of the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn about a young girl who is inspired by a tree. Unfortunately, the tree happens to be an invasive species.
Thumbnail for "The Mimosa Tree".
You do not want this junk tree anywhere near your garden, as it self-seeds aggressively and many people are highly allergic to its pollen.
Thumbnail for "Cutting Down Plants".
Continually cut back plants that have done their stuff to allow more room for those whose bloom period is yet to come.
Thumbnail for "Continuous Color".
If you need something in bloom all through the growing seasons in your garden, check that you have these plants.
Thumbnail for "Naked Ladies".
There are many common names for the pink lilies, Amaryllis belladonna, that pop up in our gardens during the hot days of August/September: naked ladies, magic lily, autumn lily, surprise lily, and resurrection lily.
Thumbnail for "Carefree Crepe Myrtle".
Native to the Far East, crepe myrtles can be trees or but in my zone 6 garden, they usually die back to the ground each winter.
Thumbnail for "Clivia miniata".
The winter-blooming clivia plant is one of the very few house plants that will produce flowers indoors in the dead of winter.
Thumbnail for "Shrubs for All Seasons".
If you are looking for deer resistant shrubs to plant in your unfenced yard, the safest evergreens are spruce, juniper, and boxwood.
Thumbnail for "Recognizing Reality".
Early on, I longed for all the more pretentious perennials, but now I prefer the tried and true.
Thumbnail for "Angelonia".
Angelonia produces stalks of little flowers, similar to stock flowers, that last a long time on the plant, flowering steadily all through till late summer.
Thumbnail for "Always Cheerful ".
The plant has the unfortunate common name of "tickseed," derived from the Greek word "Koris," meaning bed bug.
Thumbnail for "Rudbeckia ‘American Goldrush’".
This black-eyed Susan is a plant that we can all grow and that will be with us for as long as we garden.
Thumbnail for "Hibiscus moscheutos".
Our Midwest Hibiscus moscheutos, (a.k.a. swamp mallow), is an herbaceous plant that has flowers that look so exotic that it seems tropical, but it is hardy zones 5-9.
Thumbnail for "Liatris spicata".
Gayfeather (Liatris spicata) is a lovely native plant that attracts butterflies, bumble bees, and other insects.
Thumbnail for "Minimal Watering".
Xeroscaping is the term for gardening while conserving water.
Thumbnail for "Excellent Echinaceas".
The original perennial coneflowers were pink, but many new cultivars have been developed.
Thumbnail for "Cutting Garden".
A mix of annuals, biennials, perennials, and shrubs ensures that your cutting garden always has something in bloom.
Thumbnail for "Deterring Peter".
Peter Rabbit is cute, but he can be a problem for gardeners, especially when seedlings and small plants are available, and he wants them for his dinner!
Thumbnail for "Tough Native Plants".
Native perennials are an essential part of our ecosystem and support wildlife. Some are more likely to thrive in our region than others.
Thumbnail for "Milkweed and the Monarchs".
Monarch butterflies like to eat various species of milkweed, which have a bitter juice, that makes their caterpillars unappealing to predators.
Thumbnail for "Cuttings".
If you want to get more plants from your existing flowering plants, a good way is to take cuttings.
Thumbnail for "Degrees of Shade".
The degree of shade is an important factor in gardening, and usually for flowering plants, partial shade is the best.
Thumbnail for "Bougainvillea Vines".
In warm climates, the showy, brightly colored bougainvillea vines romp over walls, fences, and even buildings, brightening landscapes with their vivid colors.
Thumbnail for "Sweet Candytuft".
Both perennial and annual candytufts make excellent rock garden and edging plants.
Thumbnail for "Star of Bethlehem".
The Star of Bethlehem name probably dates from the Crusades. The bulbs were brought home as souvenirs when ancient people made pilgrimages to the Holy Land. So, this sweet little flower has an impressive history.
Thumbnail for "Tired Daffodils".
Always deadhead spring bulbs after they finish blooming or they will put their energy into setting seed, which limits their rejuvenation.
Thumbnail for "Evening Primrose".
There are about 125 species in the genus Oenothera, and they are commonly called sundrops, evening primroses, or golden eggs, and they are native to North and South America.
Thumbnail for "Basket of Gold Dust".
In olden times, if one wore a sprig of alyssum, no one would be angry with you.
Thumbnail for "Allelopathic Items".
Allelopathic plants release chemicals through their leaves and roots that prevent the germination and/or growth of nearby plants.
Thumbnail for "Attacking Invasives".
It's important to remove invasive, non-native plants to make more space available for plants that nourish our own native wildlife.
Thumbnail for "Smaller Shrubs".
If you are planting a garden this spring around a condominium or in some other small garden space, you may want to consider some of the shrubs that have been developed to grow into a compact shape and size at maturity.
Thumbnail for "My Own Garden".
There is magic associated with flowers. How can it be, I wonder, that there are so many different shapes, colors, and sizes to delight the senses?
Thumbnail for "18th-Century Gardens".
By the 18th century, it was fashionable in the colonies of North America where a garden was essential to feed a family.
Thumbnail for "Not Just Ornaments".
In ancient times, roses were not grown for ornamental reasons but for their medicinal and mystical properties.
Thumbnail for "Disguising Bulb Foliage".
After the spring bloomers' flowers faded, I used to have day lily plants that grew up in my beds to disguise the decaying and unsightly bulb foliage. All that changed once the deer in my neighborhood came by in droves and ate all of the day lily foliage.
Thumbnail for "Controlling Growth".
During the 20th century, growers learned to grow flowers with taller, straighter stems, less blemishes, and, also, to force blooms out of season.
Thumbnail for "Romantic Gardens".
Beginning in the early 18th century in England, many quaint new cottages were built surrounded by plantings of fruit trees, honey suckle, ivy, and all kinds of flowers to create intentionally romantic gardens.
Thumbnail for "Josephine’s Roses".
Empress Josephine Bonaparte had the first European ever-blooming roses from China, and her eclectic collection allowed French hybridizers to create many new varieties.
Thumbnail for "There's a Fragrance to This Message".
Way back when there were no cell phones, lovers used flowers as coded messages to keep their communications unknown to chaperones.
Thumbnail for "Frangipani".
In North America, frangipani is often associated with Hawaii because of the lovely leis that are made from their blossoms.
Thumbnail for "Spring Bouquets".
Starting in February we can pick garden flowers for indoors.
Thumbnail for "Sanguinaria canadensis".
These plants enjoy rich, moist soil that drains well, and if they're happy in their spot, they will form colonies under deciduous trees but will disappear once the trees leaf out.
Thumbnail for "The Pleasure Gardens of Versailles".
King Louis XIV's pleasure gardens were places to entertain and impress, and to glorify himself and his achievements.
Thumbnail for "Gardens Preserved".
In AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, and huge amounts of volcanic ash covered the city of Pompeii. The ash preserved the homes and gardens that otherwise would have decayed or been destroyed over time.
Thumbnail for "Pounding Flowers".
Pounding can create emotional release and satisfaction for some, and the resulting images can be quite beautiful.
Thumbnail for "Musings about Flowers".
“Hope is like a harebell, trembling from its birth / Love is like a rose, the joy of all the earth... / Harebells and sweet lilies show a thornless growth / But the rose with all its thorns excels them both.”
Thumbnail for "Holiday Remembrances".
If you are looking for a sweet gift for a loved one or friend, check out antique stores and thrift shops for miniature vases or cute tiny bottles.
Thumbnail for "God's Garden".
Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote, "As long as one has a garden, one has a future and as long as one has a future, one lives."
Thumbnail for "Gifts From the Garden".
"Love your garden and work in it, and let it give you what it surely will and let no one feel that the benefit is all on the side of the garden, for truly you will receive more than you give."
Thumbnail for "How Flowers Teach".
Flowering plants are forgiving, and they usually give much more than they receive.
Thumbnail for "Rural Paintings".
During the 1860s, watercolor paintings by English artists depicted rural scenes with thatched cottages surrounded by profuse cottage gardens. It was an idealized version of English country life.
Thumbnail for ""Capability" Brown".
Lancelot "Capability" Brown, landscaper to the rich and famous in 18th-century England, died in 1783. He advocated vistas that were "simple, uncluttered and restrained."
Thumbnail for "The Dark Ages".
What gardens existed around the world in In the 6th-13th centuries?
Thumbnail for "Bed & Border Designs".
A mixed border is usually a defined space with a mix of perennials, annuals, shrubs, bulbs, and/or grasses with a walk, or path, in front and a wall or a fence behind as a backdrop. A mix of plants of different varieties ensures an extended period of interest.
Thumbnail for "Good Investments".
Shrubs are long-lived garden residents and help create the architecture of a garden.
Thumbnail for "Cape Primrose Care".
Streptocarpus are pretty plants to grow once one gets used to their habits.
Thumbnail for "Caryopteris for Fall".
Caryopteris (Bluebeard) has a winning combination of foliage color and pretty flowers that provide focal points in the fall garden.
Thumbnail for "Fall Garden Color (Season Extenders)".
As the growing season winds down, there are some plants, known in the trade as season extenders, that bridge the gap between fall and winter in gardens.
Thumbnail for "Edible and Inedible".
Many different flowers have been used as food garnishes. However, there are also many toxic plants in our gardens.
Thumbnail for "Edible and Inedible".
We love flowers, but we should always look at them in the garden, not eat them, as many have also been exposed to chemicals before we purchase them.
Thumbnail for "Bring Them In".
It's time to move the houseplants indoors…
Thumbnail for "Long Bloom".
Perennial garden plants should bloom sequentially. Plants have bloom times that overlap, hopefully, so there can be a series of different plants in bloom across an entire season.
Thumbnail for "English Country Gardens".
In the late 18th century, William Morris, a prominent advocate of the Arts and Crafts movement, wanted all of England to become a garden where nothing was wasted.
Thumbnail for "A Dwarf Peach".
Late in the summer, Prunus persica produces hard little peaches that I have never have the chance to taste, as they are always knocked off the branches by wild animals.
Thumbnail for "Azaleas and Rhododendrons".
All azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas.
Thumbnail for "The Thistle".
Some may not consider the flower pretty, so perhaps "striking” is a better adjective.
Thumbnail for "Big and Showy Hibiscus".
There are over 200 species of hibiscus, and they are beloved because of their big showy flowers and green, clean-looking foliage. They fall into three different major categories: tropical, perennial and hardy.
Thumbnail for "Cottage Gardens".
Cottage gardens are the product of the homeowner's own work and vision, and William Robinson advised, "Let the flowers tell their story to the heart."
Thumbnail for "Fillers".
Later in the summer when garden flowers are less abundant, I look for foliage and other things to use as filler in my vases of cut flowers.
Thumbnail for "Mexican Transplants".
English Lord Holland wrote a poem about his wife who got dahlia seeds from Madrid (via the New World): “The dahlias you brought to our isle, your praises forever shall speak; mid gardens as sweet as your smile, and color as bright as your cheek."
Thumbnail for "Nurture the Birds".
Some types of birds prefer ground level water sources also, so even a plant pot saucer can serve during hot days. You don't need feeders during the summer, but water is crucial in times of drought.
Thumbnail for "Cranes, Herons & Storks".
Each of these three types of geraniums is associated with long-billed wading birds.
Thumbnail for "Bold and Showy Cannas".
Canna comes from the Greek word spelled kanna, which means reed, though the canna plant does not have narrow reed-like leaves.
Thumbnail for "Blanket Flowers".
These flowers grow wild, creating deep velvet-red carpets in Nebraskan pastures.
Thumbnail for "Oenothera".
Oenothera fruticosa's common name is sundrops, and its nectar attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
Thumbnail for "A Birder’s Garden".
A suitable habitat for birds includes predictable water sources, an open area of lawn, some dense shrubs for cover, some tall trees, plants with berries, and nesting places for ground birds.
Thumbnail for "Billy Goat Weed".
Ageratum pairs well with plants of any color.
Thumbnail for "Powdery Mildew".
This fungus appears white on leaves. Some plants are more susceptible than others and some varieties have more resistance to this disease than others.
Thumbnail for "Baptisia australis".
Blue false indigo's flowering period is short, but the foliage always looks cool even on the hottest day of summer.
Thumbnail for "Campanulas, a.k.a. Bellflowers".
There are about 250 species of these showy herbaceous plants and nearly all are perennial and native to temperate parts of the northern hemisphere.
Thumbnail for "Dahlias".
Native to Mexico, dahlias probably grew in Aztec gardens as they were already in cultivation when the Spaniards arrived.
Thumbnail for "Lilium Genus".
So many varieties of these gorgeous flowers have travelled here from far-away lands to sweeten the air in our gardens.
Thumbnail for "Torch Lilies".
Red Hot Pokers belong to the genus Kniphofia (Kniphofia uvaria) and are also known as tritoma or torch lilies.
Thumbnail for "Rain in the Garden".
A poem about rain in the garden by J. Redwood Anderson.
Thumbnail for "Sweet Dianthus".
The common name "pinks” does not refer to the color but to the fringed edging of the petals that makes them look as if they had been cut with pinking shears.
Thumbnail for "Ticks".
When working outdoors we should tuck our pant legs into our socks, wear long sleeves, and use tick repellent often and liberally.
Thumbnail for "Lavender Means Devotion".
Many of us had grandmothers who used lavender as their signature fragrance.
Thumbnail for "No Red Needed".
Research shows that despite the commonly held idea that hummingbirds love red, that is not the case.
Thumbnail for "Plant Them Now".
Spring is a time to plant perennial chrysanthemums. They'll mature during the summer and produce breathtaking fall color in your garden.
Thumbnail for "Larkspur".
I would not be without my annual larkspur, which I have enjoyed year after year and some often self-seed and return, but in order to be sure, I always buy some seeds. I don't want to risk a year without it!
Thumbnail for "Growing Roses".
While roses take care, trial and error over time will help a gardener learn which varieties thrive best in their climate.
Thumbnail for "Magnolia x soulangiana   ".
There is a large number of more modern hybrid cultivars now available, and some produce flowers in other shades such as white, rose, magenta, burgundy, and purple.
Thumbnail for "No Dividing Dicentra".
If you want to minimize work in the garden, you can try to plant perennials that do not like to be disturbed and so never need to be divided.
Thumbnail for "Sequencing Iris Blooms".
I read of a grower in lower New York who has iris in bloom continuously from February until the end of July.
Thumbnail for "Hepatica acutiloba".
A walk in the woods in early April, when the air is cool and crisp, allows us the delight of discovering sweet little flowers such as the sharp-lobed Hepatica.
Thumbnail for "Seductive Descriptions".
“I have grown wise, after many years of gardening, and no longer order recklessly from wildly alluring descriptions, which make every annual sound easy to grow and as brilliant as a film star.” -Vita Sackville-West
Thumbnail for "Jeffersonia Diphylla".
Twinleaf's botanical name celebrates a U.S. president who loved gardens, Thomas Jefferson.
Thumbnail for "Winning in Winter".
As winter winds down, witch hazel is the shrub to watch.
Thumbnail for "Long-Lived Lilacs".
Many of our best lilacs resulted from the work of Isabella Preston, who spent her career hybridizing plants.
Thumbnail for "Sheila Macqueen".
I have been reading a book on flower arranging by Sheila Macqueen published in 1972 in England.
Thumbnail for "Women's Words".
I have been reading a book about women gardeners in times past and find that they have wonderful wisdom to share.
Thumbnail for "Versatile Crocuses".
Crocus sativus' stamens are the source of saffron. Henry I of England was so fond of saffron as a spice in food that he forebade ladies in his court from using it as a hair lightener.
Thumbnail for "Carefree Annuals".
Many people want a low-maintenance garden, yet no garden is truly low maintenance, but one possibility is an informal garden of easy-care flowering annuals.
Thumbnail for "Celia Thaxter's Words".
Celia Thaxter gardened on an island off the New England coast.
Thumbnail for "Groundhogs, Whistle Pigs, Woodchucks, Oh My!".
Groundhogs, whistle pigs, woodchucks--whatever you call them, they hibernate all winter and wake up in the spring feeling ravenous, ready to eat your flowers.
Thumbnail for "Beatrix & Willie".
When Beatrix died, she left over 4000 acres to The National Trust to be preserved forever in its natural state. Many visitors come from all over the world to England’s Lake District, looking for Peter Rabbit and his creator.
Thumbnail for "Potter's Pinks".
“She is pleased with her Pinks."
Thumbnail for "Houseplants".
Plants add vitality to our indoor living spaces.
Thumbnail for "Foundation Plantings".
Select the largest herbaceous specimens that you can afford to plant. Otherwise, you may have a large house with tiny little blobs of green lined up in front of the structure for a long time.
Thumbnail for "Hardy Hellebores".
Cold-season bloomers are rare in the flower world.
Thumbnail for "Squirrels".
Squirrels are such fun to watch!
Thumbnail for "An Ancient Poem".
James I of Scotland wrote a poem in 1413 describing his view of a densely screened pleasure garden set in a corner of the castle wall.
Thumbnail for "Wardian Boxes".
Dr. Nathanial Ward, a naturalist and physician living in London, discovered a way to transport and protect plants from the sea air and adverse temperatures during long sea voyages.
Thumbnail for "More on Deer".
In the fall deer start on the woody plants and most often go after evergreens in the winter.
Thumbnail for "Flower Arrangers Speak".
Quotes from Violet Stevenson and Gertrude Jekyll.
Thumbnail for "Cutting Flowers".
When cutting flowers from your home garden, it is important to remember that you are subjecting the plant to surgery.
Thumbnail for "Shrubs for Shady Gardens".
It is hard to find shrubs for deep shade, as few will persist at all...but here a few ideas.
Thumbnail for "Filtered Shade".
Shade gardens are usually at their best in the spring, but filtered shade gardens can provide summer color, too.
Thumbnail for "Something Wicked This Way Comes".
"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble." This hour on Harmonia, we’ll catch a fright listening to scary sounds for Halloween.
Thumbnail for "Fall Planting".
Conifer shrubs and trees need warmer soil to get their roots growing, so plant them as early as possible in the fall.
Thumbnail for "Slippery, Slimy, and Slithering Things".
This hour on Harmonia, we’re listening to the sounds of frogs, snakes, and serpents, both real and mythological.
Thumbnail for "Divide to Multiply".
There are only a few perennials that thrive for many years without being divided and replanted.
Thumbnail for "Tender Geraniums".
Fall is the time to bring indoors all of those houseplants that have been spending the summer outside. I usually also dig up a few annual geraniums that I have had in my beds all summer.
Thumbnail for "New World Mums".
By the end of the 1800s, most types of chrysanthemums had arrived in America.
Thumbnail for "Mums".
The name chrysanthemum is from the Greek word for gold “chrysos” and “anthos,” which means flower.
Thumbnail for "Wet Feet".
Plants that can tolerate boggy, wet soil exist!
Thumbnail for "Autumn Checklist".
It is easy to get a renewed sense of enthusiasm for gardening when the hottest weather has passed.
Thumbnail for "Always Cheerful Coreopsis".
Our native perennial coreopsis is a stalwart in many American gardens.
Thumbnail for "Rebuilding Amaryllis".
Amaryllis bulbs can be rebuilt so that they can bloom well the following winter indoors.
Thumbnail for "What's Left?".
My current garden is a shadow of its former self...thanks to the urban deer population. However, a few stalwart plants persist.
Thumbnail for "Amaranthus".
Globe amaranth dries beautifully for winter bouquets.
Thumbnail for "The Plant Named for Achilles".
Yarrow, “soldier’s woundwart,” “milfoil”—Achillea has many names and many uses.
Thumbnail for "Dry Gardens".
During our hot Midwestern summers, it is good for pots to get some afternoon shade. Also, pots dry out more quickly, so it is best to plant annuals in the ground.
Thumbnail for "Surviving Heat".
In very hot weather, remember to water your potted plants twice a day as the soil in pots dries out quickly.
Thumbnail for "A Mailbox Garden".
Choose just a few plants that will need minimum attention, and plant something vigorous around the base of the post to soften it.
Thumbnail for "Types of Gardens".
If I were to start over, and knowing what I now know, I would start with a plan and a clearer idea of the type of garden I wanted.
Thumbnail for "White Snakeroot".
It was not until the 1920s that it was recognized that cattle that grazed on white snakeroot caused humans to die if they drank the cow’s milk.
Thumbnail for "Harmful Plants".
The garden is full of plants that are poisonous. Most are not lethal, but a few are, so it is wise to err on the side of caution.
Thumbnail for "Beautiful But Noxious: Purple Loosestrife".
Purple Loosestrife clogs wetlands and waterways, choking out other plants and eliminating food sources for native wildlife. The plant is classified as a federal noxious weed.
Thumbnail for "Native Perennials".
Native plants are important to preserve native wildlife and the ecology of our landscape, but some natives will suit our particular climate and garden space better than others.
Thumbnail for "Pass-Along Plants".
Some of the best plants in my garden were given to me by other gardeners or came from plant swaps held by garden clubs.
Thumbnail for "Lesser Calamint".
Dainty and durable and deer resistant—just my kind of plant!
Thumbnail for "Cut Flower Favorite: Alstroemeria".
There are bound to be some times of the year when there are no flowers in our gardens, and that is when we just have to buy some! A good reliable flower to buy is the South American native alstroemeria.
Thumbnail for "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow".
Brunfelsia is a long-blooming shrub from subtropical Australia, and it triggers lots of memories for me.
Thumbnail for "Angel's Trumpets".
The spectacular blooms known as Angel’s Trumpets grow on plants that are vase-shaped shrubs or small trees.
Thumbnail for "Flowering Tobacco".
Flowering Tobacco--for minimum effort, a gardener gets maximum results!
Thumbnail for "Thinking About Color".
It's is a good idea to think about color before you buy a bunch of news plants in springtime.