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Gardening 812 Stories

The colors of late fall are inspired by the landscape: flaxen grasses, scarlet maples and sedum. Here in California I'm just starting to see the ginkgos go gold and native...
Be a Butterfly Savior — Garden for the Monarchs
I had a 10-gallon aquarium sitting on our dining room table in 2011. I’d browsed Craigslist to find a rearing tank for monarchs. When I met with the seller in a McDonald’s parking lot, I discovered she was about 13, and her older brother came out...
10 Easy Edibles for First-Time Gardeners
The idea of growing edibles is always tempting. Photos of edible gardens promise you lush landscapes filled with a tantalizing mix of vegetables, herbs and flowers that will make all passersby stop and stare. Getting started with an edible garden can...
7 Reasons Not to ‘Clean Up’ Your Fall Garden
My belief in leaving the garden alone in fall was cemented last year on a December morning, when a robin landed on a garden chest where I keep my tools. It balanced on the edge where some snow was melting and dripping to the deck below. The robin arched...
5 Ways to Put Fall Leaves to Work in Your Garden
In fall my town holds leaf collection days, when homeowners (or their landscape services) blow or rake fallen leaves off their properties into big piles in the streets. Later a truck comes and vacuums them away. What I see being vacuumed up are dollar...
Great Design Plant: Geum Triflorum
If you like troll dolls, I have a similar-looking plant for you. While prairie smoke (Geum triflorum) is nothing like a troll — it doesn’t keep asking you out when you clearly aren’t interested — ...
10 Top Native Plants for the U.S. Southeast
Southern gardens may be the envy of gardeners in other climates because of the ample rainfall and extended growing season. But gardening in the U.S. South comes with the challenges of prolonged heat and maximum humidity. Luckily for us, plants that are...
7 Container Plantings to Bring Winter Gardens to Life
Winter can be bland at the best of times. While the structure plants of your garden can usually hold interest all year, containers that punctuate key areas of the space in the summer can look pretty tired once winter rolls around. We like to combat this...
Great Design Plant: Convolvulus Cneorum
The silvery foliage and white flowers of bush morning glory (Convolvulus cneorum) make it is easy to see the benefits of adding it to the landscape. Not to be confused with invasive bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis),...
Great Design Plant: Staphylea Trifolia Shines in the Shade
The delicate branches of American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) are covered with clusters of nodding white flowers in spring. This underutilized, shade-tolerant, native shrub (small tree) is ideal...
Great Design Plant: Dicentra Eximia Brightens Shady Gardens
Wild bleedingheart (Dicentra eximia) was the first plant that I put in when I began using native plants in my home landscape. Breaking soil in early April, it is one of the longest-blooming eastern North American native plants. After an...
Celebrate Eastern Oaks for Wildlife, Longevity, and Seasonal Interest
Surely no tree captures our imagination more than an oak. Often living for hundreds of years, oaks support a diversity of life above and below the ground, a rhizosphere community, where a symbiotic relationship exists between diverse species. Native oaks...
Great Design Plant: Chasmanthium Latifolium
Inland sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is one of the showiest native grasses, with its elegant bamboo-like wide leaves that drape over narrow green stems. With a large native range, including the U.S. Southeast, it adapts...
Great Design Plant: Eupatorium Maculatum
I don’t remember how I got hooked on Spotted Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum) — maybe a friend hustled it to me at a bar or I gave in to peer pressure at some party. I know I’m not the only one who’s found this plant and...
Great Design Plant: Cedrus Atlantica ‘Glauca’
There are certain trees that just seem to have soul. Conifers in particular, with their unique and unusual shapes and time-tested strength, seem to have personalities just as strong as their human counterparts. This is why I am drawn to them. Enter the...