NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.


NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.


New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.


A Gardening Journal

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: The Higher Ladder for The Hardy Orange

As soon as the leaves have fallen, it's high time for pruning the hedges & espaliers, pollards & coppices—and, below, my topiary of hardy orange. Twenty-five years ago, my goal was just to form a standard: A sphere atop a trunk. The tree showed no sign of topping out, though, so I let a central stem lengthen. Soon I had created a second sphere above the first. Still the tree hadn't topped out—but, with just an eight-foot stepladder, I had.


A third sphere would begin fourteen feet above ground, but a still-taller stepladder wasn't the answer. Instead, I purchased the orchard ladder at the left.

The Best Season Ever: Variegated Gooseneck

Green-leaved gooseneck spreads so thickly and quickly that it needs to be the shortest plant at the party. Then can it mingle without overwhelming.


'Geisha' gooseneck is so variegated that it's short on chlorophyll: There's just not enough energy for the all-green marauding. Instead, 'Geisha' nods to its neighbors, flaunts its creamy foliage, and then takes only short steps while it strolls gently on. 

The Best Season Ever: Creeping Lilyturf

If trees, shrubs, and hedges are your garden's living walls and ceiling, groundcovers combine with paving to create much of its floor. In my garden, a strip of ground between a bluestone pathway and the gravel driveway is a near-perfect spot for one the most invincible and attractive groundcovers of all: lilyturf. 


Neither a lily nor a grass, Liriope spicata is a grassy-leaved spreading perennial. I've gone over my swathe with a rake to remove the last of Fall's leaves. The raking also smooths the long foliage down, showing off the season's first snow flurry.

Must Have: 'Nikita's Gift' Persimmon

When in fruit, persimmon trees are confusing, even disorienting: Is that tree bearing tomatoes? But tomatoes don't grow on trees and, even if they did, they wouldn't be hardy in any climate where Fall foliage is a show in itself. Oranges? Nope: They're not hardy and, besides, the trees are evergreen. Peaches? Those would have been picked in August or September, but these fruits are just coming into their own in late November.  


Even if you can say, "Oh, of course: a persimmon. Marvelous!," this one is still confusing.  

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