Fall Garden Cleanup: Clean Sweeper or Nature Nurturer?

Fall Garden Cleanup: Clean Sweeper or Nature Nurturer?

Posted on Oct 06, 2020 | by KK

What’s your strategy for fall garden clean up? Are you a Clean-Sweeper, removing every fallen leaf, cutting back every perennial, mulching all the beds and trimming all the evergreens? Or do you subscribe to the Let it Be theory, simply allowing nature to take its course, leaves falling where they may and plants fending for themselves? I’d like to suggest that neither of those approaches may be wise. While some believe leaving any dead plant standing is a sure way to incur the ire of the entire community, treating your garden so severely might do more harm than good. And turning a blind eye to that 6-inch pile of wet, matted leaves on your lawn and beds could be asking for trouble.


More is Better: Easy Plants to Propagate

More is Better: Easy Plants to Propagate

Posted on Aug 14, 2020 | by Kerry Kelley

Have you ever had THAT plant—the one that you just loved so much? Maybe it flowered freely all summer in the perfect shade of peach, or lit up that dark corner with splashy silver foliage, or made a striking centerpiece in that pot of petunias. But then the next year, you went to the garden center (6 of them) to get it, and it’s nowhere to be found? What’s a gardener to do? It’s fun to try something new, but having the tried and true to build upon allows a little more leeway for experimentation. If you’ve found one of those plants, whether an annual you want again this year, or a perennial you’d like to add to that other flower bed, consider propagating it yourself.


Easy Flowers That Wow From Seed: #1 Flowering Vines

Easy Flowers That Wow From Seed: #1 Flowering Vines

Posted on Feb 01, 2020 | by Kerry Kelley

It’s been a long time since I started plants from seed, but after taking a tree down this year and opening up some new sunny spots, I’m excited to try some again. That tree unfortunately removed a lot of cover for the birds, so I thought I’d grow some annual vines up the fence since my newly planted shrubs are still small. Having also put up a new Monet Arch, I’m anxious to get something growing on it while the grapes I planted get started. And, since we have these new Go-Grow Kits here, it’s the perfect time to share my fun with you!


The Winter Garden: From Dull to Dazzling

The Winter Garden: From Dull to Dazzling

Posted on Jan 03, 2020 | by Kerry Kelley

Your garden doesn’t have to spend the colder months dull and dreary. If your winter view is lacking a little magic, then add some sparkle with plants that shine when the temperatures take a dive.


How to Beautify an Outdoor Eyesore

How to Beautify an Outdoor Eyesore

Posted on Oct 23, 2019 | by Kerry Kelley

You’ve dreamed, you’ve planned and you’ve planted. You’ve watered, mulched, and mowed. Your grass is lush and green, your beds and borders vibrant, and your walkways and patio an elegant tapestry in stone. Yet each time you look out the window to admire your grand design, there’s that one thing….that one permanent disfigurement that constantly draws your gaze. Oh, how you hate that unsightly sewer pipe (or well pump, air conditioning unit, heat pump, transformer, cable box, trash cans-take your pick)! But what can you do?


Fall Pruning is NOT a Thing!

Fall Pruning is NOT a Thing!

Posted on Oct 02, 2019 | by Kerry Kelley

Fall is here—a great time to get out in the garden again. Unfortunately, the cooler temperatures herald an onslaught of gardeners hacking away at every bush and tree, figuring it’s time to trim that hedge and shape those bushes. Well, I have one word for them—STOP! Hate to break the bad news, but if the pruning hasn’t been done by now, chances are it will do more harm than good. Granted, most folks don’t know when to prune, so they just do it when it’s most convenient. Of course, they’ll be the ones wondering why those azaleas aren’t blooming in the spring.


Fall Garden Combos

Fall Garden Combos

Posted on Sep 12, 2019 | by Kerry Kelley

There's just something about fall.  It announces its changes in more subtle ways than spring.  No bursting through the earth, no popping of buds, no boisterous chorus of songbirds.  No, the onset of fall signals a gentle slowdown, a time when nature prepares to rest--contemplative, almost bittersweet. And yet, there's an undercurrent of excitement, as preparations for survival must be made.  It's a time of renewal, but in a more profound, mysterious way.  Spring announces, "I'm here, I made it."  Fall wonders, "Where will I be?" Despite all that subtlety, fall is not muted in terms of color--the magical transformation of green into gleaming gold, searing red, and vibrant orange is a thrill to behold.  Capturing that excitement in your garden is one of the joys of the season.  After all, summer's pretty planting of pink petunias and white bacopa seems a little lackluster in the golden autumn light, no matter how well grown.  So why not get in step with the season, and freshen up those pots?  It's really pretty simple, and you don't have to empty them out and start over. And, you can include plants that you will enjoy until the buds start popping in spring.


July 2019--Underused Perennials and Shrubs

July 2019--Underused Perennials and Shrubs

Posted on Jul 09, 2019 | by Kerry Kelley

One of our readers asked us to recommend some plants that were less commonly used, so I thought about my time in retail garden centers and the great plants that really needed a push to leave the bench. It wasn't a lack of showy flowers, or a wimpy constitution that made them invisible--they just didn't have the name recognition that prompts confidence. Folks seem a little afraid of something "new." If they haven't seen it planted all over the neighborhood, they tend to be unsure as to how well it will do for them. Here in Maryland, our sunny gardens seem full of black-eyed Susans (well, it IS our state flower), May Night salvias, purple coneflowers, Knockout roses, hydrangeas, Miscanthus (maiden grass), and dwarf fountain grass. The usual culprits for foundation plantings are azaleas, Manhattan euonymous, and Japanese hollies. And there's nothing wrong with any of those--by and large, they're sturdy and relatively low-maintenance. But now and again, isn't it nice to be just a little different? If you're going to put in the time and effort, it's worth making a unique space that sets you just a bit apart. So be not afraid, and use these recommendations as you see fit:





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