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Showing posts from August, 2017

Coleus - Versatile and Easy!

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What plant likes sun or shade - is Fast Growing - Easy to Grow - Adds a visual POP to planters and beds? the answer  :  Coleus
(Solenostemon scutellarioides )
Coleus is a versatile foliage plant that is always at your service, no special requirements other than water and maybe a little pinching as the season progresses... and it thrives in part shade!

What's not to love?



It is an exuberant houseplant, a summertime dazzler and a fabuloso filler plant suitable for any and all applications...

It looks especially wonderful in pots. Place several together like this:


Inky Fingers Coleus, Chartreuse Sweet Potato Vine and others

or in a low, wide mouth planter with ferns:

Or you can plant it in shady plant bed alongside the perennial Ladies Mantle ( alchemilla mollis):



Alabama Sunset Coleus with Ladies Mantle
Or you plant it beneath larger plants - as I did below with a weeping blue atlas cedar.
Coleus sports a wide range of leaf types, colors, and color patterns....Below is one of my faves -…

Varigated Sweet Flag - Rain Garden Plant

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Variegated Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus 'Variegatus') is a striking, wetland plant that grows from 2' - 4' tall. Each iris-like leaf sports a prominent creamy-white stripe. Zones: 4-8.

 It makes a punchy addition to a wet area; streamside, pond's edge, or in a container.

sweet flag in a pot

Creeping rhizomes slowly spread to form large colonies in favorable conditions, but the variegated form is not as aggressive as the regular green variety. 

ALERT: the normal green variety is now listed as an invasive -  The New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team, http://www.njisst.org/index.asp, has this listed on the 2017 Do Not Plant List


lovely leaves from grasslands nursery uk
This perennial doesn't require a bog or wetlands but it needs to be constantly wet in the summer months. Although native to Europe, it was introduced into North America by settlers in the 1600s, and has naturalized over time throughout much of the U.S.   Sweet Flag is hardy (Zones 4 - 10 ) and semi-evergr…

Summer Garden Decor - Extend the Day

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Summer is here...the magazines tell us to lay back, relax, go to the beach....

well, some of us have to work and for us, the back yard garden is our summer retreat.

so in honor of those who are home, puttering away, here are a few ideas to Decorate Summer Style..



Flikr - joyeux artiste - a bird cage with herbs within..try this as a decorative deer protector for susceptible plants!

Cox and Cox - Ice White LED Tree Lights

Transform your garden into a fairytale in the evening with 250 pinlights.  These are on the lovely Willowleaf Pear. Also ideal for using indoors to decorate an entire room. Love the gate.



Plow and Hearth
Hang curtains on simple tension roads around your patio or deck...Use sheers for a luminous effect.


Candle Lanterns Cox and Cox
These fire-retardant paper bags are punched with a star shaped graphic to create a soft romantic glow. Place battery tea lights inside (weigh down with a bit of gravel in case of breeze) and line them along borders and paths or dot them all over …

Looking Forward to New England Grows Nov 29- Dec 2!

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Do you know about New England GROWS?

 It is the largest and most popular horticulture event in the Northeast.   It is a great place to go to connect with  other nursery, landscape and tree professionals and find out the latest in the garden and landscape world.


who attends?
Landscape Contractors
Landscape Architects
Landscape Designers
Commercial Arborists
Lawn Care Operators
Hardscape Contractors
Greenhouse Growers
Garden CentersGroundskeepers
Nursery Growers
Irrigation Contractors
Horticulturists
Golf Course Superintendents
Tree Wardens
Park & Recreation Managers
Property Managers
Sports Turf Managers
Utility & Line Clearance
Arborists
Municipal Personnel / DPW
Plant Health Care Technicians
Educators
Students
...and more!


They also have top experts speaking - see their exciting roster of speakers!  And leading suppliers from across the country and around the world will be displaying their good.


I spoke at New England Grows a few years ago and was struck by the professionalism of  the organization and …

Stone Slab Steps

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In my book, The Spirit of Stone, I have a chapter on stone steps.  They add such character and durability to a garden.  You can use stone slabs to create a series of steps as shown here.

Go to the local stone yard and see what they offer. Stone slabs are not inexpensive but two or three can add such a wonderful  accent to your backyard haven.



You can add gravel behind them, as I did here. The gravel absorbs water and is a good way to intercept stormwater that flows down a hill... I used stone to border the steps and planted hay scented ferns for a feathery effect next to the hard stone.

These slab steps that we installed here are wide and inviting. Leading up to a pool gate. The boxwood border is in place of a cheek wall or stones. 
For more stone step ideas and photos check out The Spirit of Stone.











Awash in Hydrangeas

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Summertime is synonymous with hydrangeas in my mind. Here I planted Strawberry Sundae white-pink hydrangeas  behind the blue ones...added pink begonias and more.I did this all on a steep slope. Slopes are like a canvas to plant a colorful, exuberant picture if you want. Use rocks to retain the plants, if needed. And of course water!