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: Giant Leucojum

Leucojum is Spring's high-volume replay of Winter's snowdrops: Same white-and-green flowers, but in groups of up to eight per stem, not just two. Same dangle, but from stems that can be eighteen inches tall, not four to six. Same high resistance to critters above and below ground. Same ability to thrive for many years without care.

Leucojum aestivum Gravetye Giant 051215 320

This cultivar is 'Gravetye Giant', and it raises the "volume" still higher—the flowers are a bit larger and the flower stems can be a full foot higher—for a reprise of snowdrops that can be as high as your knees, not as short as your ankles.


Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Sunspire Magnolia in Bloom

Thanks to its exceptionally narrow habit, Sunspire magnolia is distinctive year-round. In early to mid-Spring, this pillar of a tree sports pale yellow flowers, capping its already strong performance with an astonishing floral cadenza.

Magnolia Sunspire overall 051315 320

This synergy of form and flowers steals the show from all rivals, even in a season when so many other plants are ablaze with bloom.


Must Have: Oriental Spicebush in Bloom

When I introduced oriental spicebush back in March, New England was deep in the grips of Winter but the shrub's striking tan Fall foliage was still in perfect condition. By early May, the flowers had come out—and the striking tan Fall foliage was still in perfect condition.

Lindera angustifolia Arnold hand 050615 320 

This foliar-floral pairing—last Fall's leaves hanging around (literally) for this Spring's blooming peak—is as stylish and sophisticated as it is unlikely.  


Fastigiate Cornelian Cherry in Bloom

The flowers of Cornelian cherry are just one of this tree's talents. It makes a great hedge, too. In the previous post, I pondered just how tricky the pruning of such a hedge might be: It's typical that growth trimmed into hedges flowers less prolifically than when free-range. 

Cornus mas Fastigiata flowers fingers 050415 320

But my patient editor directed me to her own more mature specimen of Cornus mas 'Golden Glory'—photographed with gratitude here—as proof that I needn't worry. The tree flowers the full length of its branches, not just at the tips that would likely be pruned off during "hedging." Whew—but how does any woody plant continue to produce flowers from wood that gets older year by year? 


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