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My Favorite Summer Blooming Bulbs To Plant in Spring: Acidanthera, Canna Lily and Agapanthus

Category: Flower Gardens, How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects

I have three favorite bulbs that I like to grow in the summer. In my Zone 6 garden they have to be planted in the spring after the last frost. That's what I'm doing now. There are many other summer blooming bulbs as well, but these are my personal favorites, currently. The term 'bulb' applies to a large class of flowering and ornamental bulbouslike plants in their dormant condition, including corms, tubers, rhizomes and pips. White…
I have three favorite bulbs that I like to grow in the summer. In my Zone 6 garden they have to be planted in the spring after the last frost. That's what I'm doing now. There are many other summer blooming bulbs as well, but these are my personal favorites, currently. The term 'bulb' applies to a large class of…

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Getting Amaryllis Bulbs to Rebloom

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Last year I confided in my readers that several of my Amaryllis bulbs from the previous year did not rebloom as I had expected. So I followed Ruth Clausen's advice more closely and am giving it another try this year. Here are Ruth's instructions, and what I did wrong (at the end): After the blooms finish, cut off the dead flowers to stop the plants from using energy to produce seed. Cut the stalk as well. Leave the leaves intact…
Last year I confided in my readers that several of my Amaryllis bulbs from the previous year did not rebloom as I had expected. So I followed Ruth Clausen's advice more closely and am giving it another try this year. Here are Ruth's instructions, and what I did wrong (at the end): After the blooms finish, cut off the dead…

vaccinating a dog

Marianne Willburn: Growing and Caring for Tropical Plants

Category: Flower Gardens, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Like many gardeners Marianne Willburn started small. First she had window boxes and containers, then she moved to a tiny duplex where she managed to squeeze in a small vegetable garden next to the parking area. As she and her young family moved to larger properties, hopscotching from California to London to Maryland and finally Virginia, the space given over to gardens kept getting bigger. But that’s where the similarity to…
Like many gardeners Marianne Willburn started small. First she had window boxes and containers, then she moved to a tiny duplex where she managed to squeeze in a small vegetable garden next to the parking area. As she and her young family moved to larger properties, hopscotching from California to London…

vaccinating a dog

Fall Cleanup in the Garden: What to Cut Back and What to Keep When Putting Your Garden To Bed

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Traditionally it was considered good form to tidy up the garden before winter by cutting back just about everything to a few inches of the ground. Many horticulturists and naturalists now recommend that you leave some plants for winter interest and wildlife sustainability. But which ones? Here are Ruth Clausen’s tips for putting your garden to bed this fall. Be choosy about what needs to go. Observe which plants are diseased or pest-ridden and get rid of those. Put diseased…
Traditionally it was considered good form to tidy up the garden before winter by cutting back just about everything to a few inches of the ground. Many horticulturists and naturalists now recommend that you leave some plants for winter interest and wildlife sustainability. But which ones? Here are Ruth Clausen’s tips for putting your garden to bed this fall. Be…

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7 Garden Tips for the Late Summer Garden by Dorian Winslow

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Here are 7 tips to help you with your garden now, as summer is winding down.  I follow every one of these practices in my garden. #1: Watering Tips: Remember to give your plants enough water. The water needs to reach the roots or it will lead to shallow root systems. This will prevent plants from absorbing and storing enough water to support them. For annuals, lawns and perennials, most roots are 4 to 6 inches below the soil surface.…
Here are 7 tips to help you with your garden now, as summer is winding down.  I follow every one of these practices in my garden. #1: Watering Tips: Remember to give your plants enough water. The water needs to reach the roots or it will lead to shallow root systems. This will prevent plants from absorbing and storing enough…

vaccinating a dog

Saving Easter Lilies and Other Spring Holiday Bulbs– Will They Rebloom?

Category: Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Spring Projects

I bought a potted Easter Lily for the small family gathering we had this year, and we received some potted daffodils from my brother and sister-in-law as a gift. Most often these bulbs are thrown on the compost heap or trash bin as soon as they've finished blooming, but I decided I wanted to keep mine. I asked horticulturist Ruth Clausen for her suggestions about saving these bulbs for future years. I was hoping she would tell me I can…
I bought a potted Easter Lily for the small family gathering we had this year, and we received some potted daffodils from my brother and sister-in-law as a gift. Most often these bulbs are thrown on the compost heap or trash bin as soon as they've finished blooming, but I decided I wanted to keep mine. I asked horticulturist Ruth…

vaccinating a dog

Overwintering Tropical Plants Such As Canna Lilies, Colocasia and Alocasia

Category: 'Dear Ruth' Column, Flower Gardens, How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener", Tools & Techniques

This year I purchased three popular tropical plants for outdoor containers: canna lilies, Colocasia and Alocasia (aka Elephant ears).  I was happy with all three, though the canna lily was the star performer for me. I love plants that come back each year, even if it means digging them up in the fall and storing them away for the winter.  These plants can be left in the ground if…
This year I purchased three popular tropical plants for outdoor containers: canna lilies, Colocasia and Alocasia (aka Elephant ears).  I was happy with all three, though the canna lily was the star performer for me. I love plants that come back each year, even if it means digging them…

vaccinating a dog

The Art of Bonsai Making is Still Alive Today with Bruce Baker and Goliath

Category: How-To Projects, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Bruce Baker has been working on one bonsai project for 12 years -- and he’s just getting started. Taking the long view is part of being a bonsai artist or practitioner. “Bonsai trees can live hundreds of years and they’re always changing,’ he says. “They’re never done,” he adds. The process, as Bruce sees it, is about gradually revealing what is already there, and enhancing or sometimes exaggerating it.  It takes patience, planning and plenty of solitary contemplation—just you and…
Bruce Baker has been working on one bonsai project for 12 years -- and he’s just getting started. Taking the long view is part of being a bonsai artist or practitioner. “Bonsai trees can live hundreds of years and they’re always changing,’ he says. “They’re never done,” he adds. The process, as Bruce sees it, is about gradually revealing what…

vaccinating a dog

Lisianthus, Zinnia, Cleome and Cosmos– Annuals that just want to Please!

Category: Flower Gardens, Garden Planning, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Reprinted from a story first published in July, 2019. You can't beat an annual plant for its desire to please the gardener. It has one season to live and it puts all of its energy into producing flowers. If you plant a seed, either indoors or directly in the garden, some annuals will germinate and grow to maturity, producing a flower in as little as 8 weeks. Cut that flower and it takes it as a mandate to produce more…
Reprinted from a story first published in July, 2019. You can't beat an annual plant for its desire to please the gardener. It has one season to live and it puts all of its energy into producing flowers. If you plant a seed, either indoors or directly in the garden, some annuals will germinate and grow to maturity, producing a…

vaccinating a dog

Growing Tall Perennials in your garden

Category: 'Dear Ruth' Column, Flower Gardens, Garden Planning, Plant Ideas & Info, Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

Really tall plants are show stoppers in the garden, providing a single grace note against a contrasting background or softening a hardscape element behind it. The last time I visited the Beatrix Farrand Garden at Bellefield in Hyde Park, I took pictures of some impressive tall perennials, such as plume poppy, that grow in front of the walls inside the garden.  English walled gardens are famous for using tall plants as a backdrop in this way. …
Really tall plants are show stoppers in the garden, providing a single grace note against a contrasting background or softening a hardscape element behind it. The last time I visited the Beatrix Farrand Garden at Bellefield in Hyde Park, I took pictures of some impressive tall perennials, such as plume poppy, that grow in front of the walls inside the…

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