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: Copper-Colored Stems in Fall

These thick stems of warm copper couldn't be more welcome as Fall deepens and darkens to Winter. Six feet tall and more, they were only inches tall in May. Perhaps a coppice of willow, Siberian dogwood, or boxelder?

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Nope. These are stems of a perennial whose shameless and glad-to-see-you blooms are among the largest of any plant hardy north of Miami. When in flower in Summer, swamp mallow is automatically one of the garden's peaks. Leafless and flower-free after several hard frosts, it is still a peak. How many other perennials can say the same?


The Best Season Ever: Acidanthera

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In August or September, acidanthera finally surprises me by starting into bloom. I say "finally," because I've been awaiting the flowers all Summer. Gladiolus murielae always takes its time, but it's nothing if not reliable. But flowering is still a surprise because the nodding sprays of buds don't top the foliage, and are so leafy in color and form that they often escape notice until, one day, seemingly from nowhere, the large and fragrant flowers are out.


The Best Season Ever: The Gold-leaved Poplar in Fall

What is the Fall foliage like when a tree's foliage has been colorful in Spring and Summer, too? More of the same? More intense? A different color? Leaves of purple Japanese maples often flare to an astonishing rosy-orange in Fall. What about the Fall foliage of this gold-leaved poplar?

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Above, the tree in earliest Fall—September 30—but the weather was still that of Summer. The tree's foliage was as Summer-bright as ever. But now it's November, and Fall weighs heavily on the garden. Light frosts are already in the air, and any week there could be the deeper freeze that would bring the Fall foliage season to an end.

 

If this tree were going to display foliage that is specifically for Fall, not just the last hurrah of Summer, it's now or never.


Good Together: 'Silver Fern' Raspberry with Variegated Great Burnet

'Silver Fern' raspberry was a star in the Summer—and is still a star in Fall. Here, it's partnering with the rosy-purple flowers of giant burnet.

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The raspberry's textured leaves have changed from their Summer green to the striking silver they flaunted when they emerged in Spring. Pin-points of blackest burgundy at their edges call out to the cob-like flower clusters of the burnet, as do the rosy spines on the milky blue-pink cane.

 
 
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