Which is it, a rhododendron or an azalea? Actually, it’s both!

Rhododendron is the genus for both the plants that explode like happy, colorful fireworks this time of year. In our parts, rhododendrons are evergreen, have larger leaves and fuller flowers. They actually provide an interesting winter specimen. They bloom earlier. Azaleas lose their leaves come fall, have a slightly more delicate appearance and bloom a little…

What am I seeing? Serviceberry

Serviceberry: Utilitarian name, showy shrub. Whenever you can get three-season interest out of a shrub, it gets a gold star in my book. Spring flowers, fall color and berries that birds love Native and cultivated serviceberry (Amelanchier) varieties can grow to more than 25 feet, but ‘Regent’ serviceberry tops out at 6 feet and still…

What am I seeing? Forsythia

April showers bring forsythia. Many gardeners find this shrub’s somewhat scrubby summer appearance too high a price for the spring show–but I challenge that. We need this harbinger of warmer days after months of cold, and the stems of dainty lemon Jell-O® flowers are a balm to the soul in temperamental April. Introduced in 1982 by the University of Minnesota…

What am I seeing? Scilla siberica (Siberian Squill)

It’s the closest we will get in these parts to the lavender fields of Provence and though the lovely little Siberian squill is the scourge of wildflower enthusiasts, the spendor of it en masse is undeniable. It stops you in your tracks this time of year. It’s an aggressive spreader, true, maybe even invasive, but I…

New on the scene: The ‘Pazazz’ apple

I never met an apple I didn’t like, so it really doesn’t take much from a new variety to make my mouth water. The introduction of the newly devloped ‘Pazzazz’ apple has made the hort and foodie headlines recently, so I had to try it. Yes, it is delicious – sweet like a ‘Honeycrisp’ but a little…

The slow reveal: cutting back grasses; leaving the leaves

The garden blog is back, baby! I employ a certain slow rhythm to my spring garden clean-up. It’s not laziness, I don’t think, and certainly not a lack of enthusiasm – it’s the greatest time of year. It simply does not feel right to do it quickly or certainly, hastily. That would be akin to…