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: Cinderella Crabapple in Summer

Thanks to Cinderella crabapple's dense and compact habit—and its ability to be grafted atop a trunk to form a standard—the tree is ornamental all year round. It isn't just a delicate beauty in Spring when once again in foliage, then bud, then flower; nor just a stalwart sculptural presence in Winter when displaying snow and ice. There's a distinct show even in Summer, when the tree is just in leaf.

Malus Cinderella east most 090716 320

The green foliage and casually rounded canopy are shown off particularly well, as here, in the company of plants with wilder habits as well as shocking colors. Cinderella is as party-ready as my topiary of hardy orange, and for the same reasons: Each season, its performance features something both attractive and radically different from what was on display the season before. Both are essential to any garden aspiring always to be nothing less than lively.

Read more ...

Cup and Saucer Vine

The broad trumpets of cup & saucer vine are an enduring curiousity Summer to frost. They all open creamy white, as here. Those of the straight species quickly darken to grape-purple, whereas these of the 'Alba' form stay bright.

Cobaea scandens flower fingers 081316 320

I vote for 'Alba', because the blossoms are showy even from a distance. Thank goodness: Even when grown as an annual, this vine can grow so large that it lends itself to large-scale effects that are also showy from clear across your garden.

Read more ...

Good Together: Pollinators & Short-toothed Mountain Mint

Mountain mint belongs in Summer gardens, and not just because its silvery bracts are showy from July through September. The heads of tiny flowers are such a favorite of bees that, at first, it seems that the colony is shimmering.



Rather, countless insects are in motion, scrambling atop each flowerhead as well as flitting from one to the next. Their wings set air in motion, plus they land and take off in haste. The collective force flexes the flowerheads back and forth on their supporting stems.


The colony is vibrating!

Read more ...

Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: The Mysterious Volunteer Mulberry

For brilliant gold foliage that stays bright all Summer, the aureate forms of Scots elm and paper mulberry are unsurpassable. The mulberry adds unusually shaped foliage, each leaf of which is mitten-like but variable: Sometimes there's one thumb (and on either side), sometimes two, and sometimes none. 

Broussonetia papyrifera Golden Shadow volunteer 082116 320

This is not my original mulberry, which is about eighteen feet away. And yet, here it is, sprouting up through the wide joints between the terrace's dry-laid slabs. How did it arise?

Read more ...

FacebookTwitterRSS Feed

Stay in touch!


Sign up for twice-monthly eNews, plus notification of new posts:


* indicates required