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: Blue-leaved Cow Parsnip in Bloom

When cow parsley enters its bloom cycle, progress is dramatic day by day. Just over a week ago, only the main flowerhead was fully in bud; the side heads were sheathed and still nestled amid the foliage. 

Heracleum antasiaticum from side 060316 320

Now, all heads are extended and, with the main umbel leading the way, flowers and seeds are maturing by the hundreds. 

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Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Gold-leaved Sweetgum

This Spring, I've realized just how prevalent in my garden are plants that pair gold foliage with raspberry detailing. But when the gold is so bright it's actually yellow, is another color needed amidst the surrounding shades of green?

Liquidambar styraciflua Naree 052619 320

This is Naree, a sweetgum cultivar whose buttery, star-shaped foliage is a show in itself. Surround with plenty of green, plus a yellow flower if it's bright enough—and, ok, a jolt of either burgundy or blue—and that's it. Here are my choices.

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Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Blue-leaved Cow Parsnip in Bud

Each eighteen inches broad and three feet from stem to tip, the titanic leaves of this blue species of cow parsnip could scarcely be more striking. 

Heracleum antasiaticum overall 052716 320

But when this rare monocarp finally does thrust itself into flower, even this foliage is now backdrop. The massive crowning umbel is the mother ship, but there's a fleet of secondary umbels already in formation. Details of the show are stunning, too, not just its stupendous size.

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Gold & Raspberry: 'Whoa Nellie' Holly & 'Sicilian Sunshine' Sweet Bay for Starters

Many plants display new foliage that's gold. Here are two that I'm growing in containers. On the left, a newish cultivar of sweet bay, Sicilian Sunshine. On the right, Whoa Nelly holly.  

Laurus nobilis Sicilian Sunshine Ilex Nellie R. Stevens fingers 051516 320

Leaves of both mature to green, for a marvelous contrast with gold leaves that are still emerging. Young leaves of Sicilian Sunshine take the contrast even further: Their petioles and stems are bright raspberry. Young stems of Whoa Nellie are also raspberry, although their tips (as well as the leaves' petioles) stick with gold.


Are raspberry details common among gold-leaved plants, and I just hadn't noticed before? What color combinations are others of my gold-leaved plants displaying?

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