Lily-licious. It’s lily time, everyone! Fill the holes in your perennial border with these floral lollipops

Several years ago, I focused my July Obsessions column in Northern Gardener magazine on the divine east-metro gardener Michelle Mero Riedel and her love of lilies. She opened me up to the splendor of the flower that I had previously viewed as maybe a bit to0 futzy for my personal garden taste. Now I am hooked. … Continue reading

Perennials / vines

Clemactic joys and sorrows: I need a clematis-growing support group

An editor I work with does not like her writers to use phrases like clematisaholic or clematisphile and I’m on-board with that — it does seem to make light of very real and serious issues. That said, this week alone I purchased ‘Carnaby’ (sometimes reported as zone 5) and ‘Venosa Violacea’  and transplanted Clematis Virginiana … Continue reading

Garden DIY / Perennials

Garden Task: Dividing the feather reedgrass

A quick shout-out to an oft-overlooked ornamental grass that really is one of my favorites. Fall-blooming Feather Reedgrass (Calamagrostis brachytricha) can work as an anchor in your perennial border, with its graceful, arching, inverted-V form. At 4-feet tall and a spread of about 3-feet, it fills holes and pockets in your design and sits happily … Continue reading

Garden Art / Garden Crafts / Perennials

Succulents are succulent; they make me happy

Fine Gardening magazine recently had an article on 10 outstanding succulents to try, which prompted my thinking — midst continuous snow fall and crazy temps — of how happy succulents make me. They teach us snowbunnies much about surviving the winter. They tolerate dryness by holding onto any moisture they can muster up, as best as they can. This … Continue reading

late summer garden / Perennials

My on-and-off-again love affair with Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)

Deer resistant, drought tolerant, will handle some shade, all around tough as nails, and interestingly beautiful to boot. So, what’s the problem you may ask. Well, these handsome devils in the garden like to re-seed like crazy. If you happen to be like me and have trouble hoe-ing down volunteer plants, especially ones you love, they can … Continue reading