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Showing posts from February, 2019

Geranium Rozanne - The Best Plant of the Centenary - 1913 - 2013

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In 2013 the  Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)  announced its "Plant of the Centenary" - the best plant introduced at the Chelsea Flower Show in the UK in the last hundred years (1913 - 2013).

Top horticulturalists helped to nominate the 10-plant shortlist and the public voted and decided that

Geranium Rozanne

is the best overall plant.  Right now, in August, you can see why they chose this plant - it is a sturdy perennial that requires little attention and is covered with beautiful, violet-blue flowers growing atop mounds of deeply cut, green foliage.

Geranium Rozanne, Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost' and Blue Annual Salvia at NYBG  - photo by Jan Johnsen
 It flowers in profusion from June to frost. Midsummer heat does not deter the flowers and the plants are spreading but not sprawling. It is mounding and can be planted above rocks and walls to great effect. The blue color of the flowers deepens as the weather gets cooler.

This is the true perennial Geranium that grows in …

Some Luscious Flowers to Try this Year

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Time to try some luscious flowers in a pot or in the garden....here are some for your consideration:


PEONY 'SORBET' (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sorbet’)

The unusual pink and white 5-7" double blooms of this hybrid are  delectable! The fragrant flowers look amazing in early summer and the handsome foliage turns red in autumn.

These bushy plants grow up to 4' tall and require little care. Suitable for any climate and soil type. Space 36-48" apart.
Zones: 3-8    Light: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Deer tend to avoid.


LOLLIPOP HELENIUMHelenium puberoleum Round, chocolate-brown flower heads with rustic yellow and bronze highlights provide a bright display that blooms summer and lasts well into autumn. Globe-shaped blooms make a pretty contrast to vertical blades of Iris. Loves sun.
Zones: 4-9    Deer Resistant 


'Fire Marshall' Bee Balm - A New Take on a Favorite Perennial

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FireMarshallBeeBalm General Beebalm (Monarda)is a favorite perennial flower with a striking display of richly-colored flowers through the summer months.


The variety, Monarda 'Fire Marshall',  is a hummingbird magnet and has excellent tolerance to mildew.   A hybrid between U.S. natives Monarda 'Marshall's Delight' & M. 'Jacob Cline', it is more compact than 'Jacob Cline'.
Its bright red, over-sized flowers add a vibrant pop to the landscape throughout the summer.  'Fire Marshall' Bee Balm grows 24 to 36 inches tall, with bright red, shaggy  flowers.  The flowers are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds, growing above the foliage in the mid to late summer. Good clump forming habit. 

The leaves have a nice fragrance and are significantly more resistant to powdery mildew than most older varieties.   Deer and rabbits largely leave it alone. A great cut flower. Add this new version of a classic perennial in your garden.  'Fire Marshall'…

Time to Renew Your Garden Tools

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Every year I repost this at the right time.  Now is the time! - Jan

Winter is the time to get your garden tools in shape... hand tools such as shovels, picks, trowels, loppers, etc. should be cleaned, sharpened and well oiled.

Steel wool can clean off any rust or caked-on dirt.

And pure white vinegar works to remove rust too: pour into a bucket or small plastic tub. Submerse rusty pruning shears in the solution and soak overnight, or roughly 24 hours. 

The acid of the vinegar eats away at most of the surface rust.  Wash off the next day...for more on this go to the Backyard Boss article on cleaning pruning shears. 




But the most important thing I have found is to make sure to oil the tools. It is a rust preventative and a wood saver. 

A while back, in our shop (I own a landscape design/project management firm and we have lots of tools) we would have a large container filled with sand and motor oil and put our tools in it. 

...the sand acts an abrasive to remove dirt and the oil prevents rust.…