Add a burst of color to your part-sun to full shade flower garden with Hellebores (also known as Christmas Rose and Lenten Rose). Blooming in late winter and early spring, this evergreen perennial is even known to emerge through the snow. It has pendulous, papery-textured flowers that display unusual colors starting as early as winter. Blooms are long-lasting which makes them good for cutting as well as for use in floral arrangements. One reason Hellebores last so long is that their rounded petals aren’t really petals at all. They’re sepals, which by definition are sturdy, petal-like parts that surround the true petals. Hellebores can withstand poor soil, drought, heat, humidity, and cold. They are disease-resistant, pest-resistant, and will grow in most types of soil. They are also resistant to deer and rabbits.
The genus is native to much of Europe from western Great Britain, Spain and Portugal, eastward across the Mediterranean region and central Europe into Romania and Ukraine as well as along the north coast of Turkey. Popular Hellebore varieties include the Helleborus x hybridus, Helleborus niger, and
Container gardening offers many advantages that people can tend to overlook: containers can be less work because they can be placed closer to a water source; they offer a smaller soil area to have to weed; they can be placed at a height that can minimize bending for watering and tending; movable containers can “follow the sun” if you have changing exposure; they can provide a garden plot even in high-rise apartments or homes with no space for a traditional garden; and just about any plant—flower or vegetable—can be grown in a container.
Selecting a Container
Virtually anything that will hold soil and water is a candidate for container growing. From a bag of soil with holes punched for planting and drainage to wooden tubs, old riding boots, milk cans, hanging baskets and fancy ornamental pots. You can choose the size, shape and cost to fit your needs and desires.
The deeper the pot the less watering it will need. Pots with a small soil volume will dry out faster and require more frequent watering. Unlike plants in the ground, plants in pots or hanging baskets in
Dracaenas are Agave relatives and are a large group of plants that include some of the more popular house plants as well as some of the most striking xeric and massive trees used in outdoor landscaping. This article is an introduction to this interesting group of plants.
Dracaena is a large genus of primarily African monocot plants of which there are well over 100 accepted species, most which will not be covered in this article and are virtually unknown in cultivation. However, some are commonly grown landscape trees in some areas of the world, and others are easily among the most popular of all the house plants. Currently most plant sites list Dracaenas in the family Asparagaceae, along with a lot of other similar plants, such as Cordylines, Beaucarneas and Dasylirions (etc.). But they have been bumped about a bit, from the family Liliaceae and Agavaceae to Ruscaceae (which is where they are in the Davesgarden Plantfiles at the time this article was written, but should probably be moved). It sometimes gets old when your plants are continually being reclassified and lumped in different ways. Still, the plants themselves could not care less. It will be difficult
The genus Erigeron, commonly called fleabanes, is quite large. Appearing much like asters, they bloom earlier in the season, helping to extend the ‘daisy’ season. They are also ideal for the butterfly garden. If you are not already growing some, hopefully this article will entice you to start!
Fleabanes…where does one start to describe this vast group of plants? For the moment, there are well over 200 species of Erigeron, many of them native to North America. I say ‘for the moment’ as plant taxonomists have been very busy lately reclassifying the North American Asteraceae and no doubt, more than a few Erigeron may end up on the chopping block! As an example, I don’t know if there are even any true Asters left in North America. But I digress. Fleabanes on the whole, are relatively small-stature plants that appear very similar to asters, however, they mostly bloom early in the season while most asters are late summer to fall-bloomers. The flowers are most commonly white, pink or purple shaded but rarely, may be yellow. They include annual, biennial and perennial species. Some can be troublesome weeds while others have very diminutive, non-showy blossoms. But there are
With its glossy green foliage and its large, beautiful flowers, the camellia is indeed a showstopper. Some varieties bloom in the winter when the plant is not in active growth. The flowers vary from a clean white to various shades of inks, reds and burgundies. Flower size can span from a few inches to as much as 7 inches in diameter.
2. Christmas Rose
Nicknamed the Christmas rose, the hellebore is an evergreen perennial with shiny dark leaves that grows to about a foot in height. In winter, its flower stalk boasts a lovely single 2 – 4-inch white or white and pink flower.
These plants prefer partial shade and do well when planted under deciduous trees.
This daisy-like plant will charm you throughout the winter with its cheery blooms of orange and yellow. As a branching plant that prefers sun, calendula grows 1 – 2 feet in height and to about 1.5 feet wide. Calendulas are striking in a border or in a container garden.
The pretty cyclamen, with its white, pink and red flowers, has become a popular wintertime gift for flower
For as long as writers have been putting words on paper, they have been writing about roses. Roses have been used as symbols of love and war, birth and death, and many more concepts.
Fossil evidence indicates that roses have existed for some 35 million years in nature, and there are 150 species of the genus Rosa. Historians believe that cultivation of the rose began in China 5,000 years ago and then spread westward.
We know that roses were used in ancient celebrations and as a source for perfume by ancient civilizations. During the 17th century, roses were so valued that they were used as legal tender in some parts of the world.
Prized for the beauty of their blooms, their rich colors and their lovely scent, roses long have been a popular flower to give and to receive.
However, did you know that you convey certain messages just with the color of rose you choose? Roses are rich in symbolism. Here is a guide to the meanings of different rose colors.
As the most popular rose color, the color red reveals a message of love, respect, admiration or devotion.
“For those who have troubles, for those who are unhappy, for those who have received bad news, a loss, or an accident, the Snowdrop gives them comfort.” – Author Unknown.
Early this spring, I was walking in my gardens and I happened to see something white growing very close to my house behind a cluster of daylilies, coralbells, sedum and a newly planted rosebush. I have nothing that has a white bloom and could not imagine what it was. The daylilies and coralbells nearly covered it, and the rose was getting ready to bloom. I looked more closely and was surprised to find a cluster of Star of Bethlehem.
You know when you sniff the scent of something that reminds you of your childhood, and you are instantly taken back in time? Or when you glance at a piece of lace and you think suddenly of Aunt Lucy and the lacy handkerchief she was never without? Star of Bethlehem did that very thing to me. I remembered Aunt Bett.
I knew that the little plant with the sweet white flowers grew from a bulb, so a bird didn’t bring it. I also knew the
Fresh vegetables are an important part of our human diet, but they also are essential for the health of our animals. They provide essential vitamins and minerals and protect their cells from disease. By growing some of your own plants for your pets, you cut down significantly on your pet food costs, and your animals will gain the health benefits of fresh veggies. An added bonus is that most pet-friendly plants are easy to grow.
Here are 14 garden plants that you can safely grow to feed your furry friends.
1. Wheat and Barley Grass
These all-purpose grasses are easy to grow and maintain, and they are an excellent source of antioxidant nutrients, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, K, minerals, amino acids, and even a bit if calcium. But the best part? Most animals love them. Cats will nibble grass right out of a container in a sunny windowsill, or you can feed it in clumps to your rabbits.
Although they love meat, dogs are omnivores, so a dog’s healthy, balanced diet will always have vegetables make up about a third of the meal. Dogs and also be fed
As gardeners, we never want the gardening season to come to an end. But, in most of North America, we must welcome the coming cold months by preparing our gardens for winter. Follow the tips below for a few good basic steps in preparing your beloved garden for the coming chill:
* Dig up tender bulbs for storage until next year
* As perennials quit blooming or die back, trim the dead foliage. You can compost the healthy trimmings to continue the cycle of nature.
* But, some perennials, if left alone, look great as winter interest and/or provide winter food for wildlife.
* Clean away any and all diseased plants and dropped leaves. It will make next year’s gardening that much easier.
* If you live in an area with cold winters but not much snow as protection, mulching in the fall will protect your plant investments.
* Vegetable gardens are best completely cleared up to prevent any disease or pest overwintering.
* Move your indoor foliage plants back inside before even the first light frost.
* And, don’t forget your gardening tools. A thorough cleaning and sharpening now will save valuable time next spring.
The Namesake of the Genus
These plants are the ones that gave the genus Philodendron the name, as they are the ones that are the “tree lovers”. From delicate vines to tropical jungle lianas, these expert climbers come in all sizes, many varied leaf shapes and a kaleidoscope of colors. Often they will start out with small leaves and, as they grow up a tree, develop leaves of increasing size until they arrive at the tree canopy. There, in the brighter light, they will thicken up and begin blooming. However, most people who have these plants indoors never see the mature sized plants. What they do see is a plant that is prone to roam, growing in every direction in search of a tree to climb!
The thumbnail picture at right shows an example of a plant known as Philodendron superbum, here seen growing up a Queen palm trunk in south Florida. Note how short the internodes are on this specimen. When juvenile, this plant exhibits longer internodes, but upon attaining maturity, the internodes shorten appreciably and the plant may bloom with slender inflorescences.
One of the commonest and most well-known of the climbers is