Week of April 10 - Japanese Andromeda

April 09, 2018

Pieris japonica goes by many names, including Japanese andromeda, lily-of-the-valley shrub and Japanese pieris. Whatever you call it, you’ll never be bored with this plant. The foliage changes color throughout the seasons, and in late summer or fall, long, dangling clusters of colorful flower buds appear. The buds open into dramatic, creamy-white blossoms in spring. The ever-changing face of this shrub is an asset to any garden. 

Bleeding Hearts

March 26, 2018

Grown in gardens on both sides of the Atlantic for generations, Bleeding Hearts, or Lady in the Bath as they are know across the pond, are the epitome of grace. The deeply cut foliage frames strings of finely formed blossoms like little garden twinkle lights. These are the quintessential cottage garden flowers and it's hard to image gardening without them. Try a few, you'll agree.

Sprouting the Week of March 12  - Daffodil Narcissus 'Carlton'

March 12, 2018

Carlton is the second most popular narcissus grown in America (Dutch Master is the first). This daffodil performs well across most of the country, which is no small feat given the size and diversity of U.S. regions. Carlton sports classic proportions, with full, overlapping yellow petals and slightly deeper toned yellow cups. Early, long lasting, dependable and of, course, a bright yellow beacon of spring.

Why Grow Daffodils?

  • Classic spring daffodils are cheery, dependable and offer colors, heights and forms to fit any taste

  • Narcissus are long lived; most happily naturalize when their modest needs are met

  • There are daffodils perfected suited to any part of the country; check planting zone info to help make good selections for your area

  • Daffodils aren't bothered by deer, rabbits or rodents; these plants are ideal for critter-rich regions

 

Plant enough Carlton daffodils so you'll have a few to cut and bring indoors. The vanilla scent is not to be missed. This narcissus performs well in the South, too, and is an excellent naturalizer. No wonder it's popular.

Sprouting the Week of March 5 - Lenton Rose

March 05, 2018

Lenten rose plants (Helleborus x hybridus) are not roses at all but a hellebore hybrid. They are perennial flowers that derived their name from the fact that the blooms look similar to that of a rose. In addition, these plants are seen blooming in early spring, often during the Lent season. The attractive plants are fairly easy to grow in the garden and will add a nice splash of color to gloomy, dark areas.

Growing Lenten Rose Plants

These plants grow best in rich, well-draining soil that’s kept somewhat moist. They also prefer to be planted in partial to full shade, making them great for adding color and texture to dark areas of the garden. Since the clumps are low growing, many people like planting Lenten roses along walks or wherever edging may be needed. These plants are also great for naturalizing wooded areas as well as slopes and hillsides.

The Lenten rose flower will begin blooming in late winter to early spring, lighting the garden with colors that range from white and pink to red and purple. These flowers will appear at or below the plant’s leaves. After flowering has ceased, you can simply enjoy the attractive dark green foliage.

Lenten Rose Care

Once established in the landscape, Lenten rose plants are quite hardy, requiring little care or maintenance. In fact, over time these plants will multiply to create a nice carpet of foliage and springtime blooms. They’re also drought tolerant.

About the only downside to growing these plants is their slow propagation or recovery if disturbed. They generally do not require division and will respond slowly if this is performed.

 

While seeds can be collected in spring, they’re best used right away; otherwise, they will dry up and go dormant. The seeds will then require both warm and cold stratification before germination can occur.

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