Callicarpa – Beauty + Fruit Combine for a Great Native Plant

American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, is aptly named as the latin name means beauty +  fruit. The purple jewel-like berries are arranged artfully on cascading branches of this wonderful deciduous and deer resistant shrub. Native to the central and southeastern United States, it is found naturally growing in open meadows and woodlands. A nutritional powerhouse, with …

Ultimate Guide to Growing and Using Lavender

Lavender fields - photo by Helen Battersby

Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic, and Aromatic Ah....The fragrance of lavender! Evoking many memories, like wandering through blooming fields of lavender on a hot summer day buzzing with bees. This is one herb that if I were on a desert island, I would want to grow! Growing lavender in my garden every year is essential and I …

Famed Flower Show Blooms Outdoors This Year With ‘Habitat’

Held outdoors for the first time in its 193 year history, the Philadelphia Horticultural Society's Flower Show debuted with an explosion of color and large-scale architectural floral installations at FDR Park in Philadelphia. Where nature meets architecture, or Habitat: Nature's Masterpiece, is the overall theme and will be held June 4 through June 13 and …

Top Three Native Vines That Attract Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds

The pipevine's flowers are odd looking and interesting

Native vines are a totally underused plant in Mid-Atlantic gardens. Filling gaps, covering walls and fences, and a great vertical element in any garden, vines can be used to attract native butterflies and insects to your garden. Vines are useful if you don't have a ton of room and usually grow quickly and form almost …

Annuals Extraordinaire From Susan Iglehart’s Flowers

Some cosmos and salvia that is available for ordering

I love to spotlight local under-the-radar nurseries in central Maryland. These hard working nurseries fill a niche that larger nurseries and big box stores can't begin to fill. And one specialty greenhouse is right under my nose only a few miles away and I really just took it for granted - Susan Iglehart's Flowers  or …

Nepeta: The Perfectly Behaved Perennial

Cascading over a pathway, Catmint works as a great edger

I have a long lasting love affair with perennial Nepeta or Catmint. I have used this under-the-radar perennial for years as a deer resistant plant that gives a long season of color for the entire season. My garden design career of over 25 years means the selections have only gotten better. 'Walkers Low' and 'Six …

Springtime Pretties-What You Should Be Planting for Spring Color

Bluebells in an arrangement

Early to mid-April is a perfect time to start to enjoy your springtime flowers. Way before Dahlias, summertime annuals, and asters, the breath of selection of spring blooming perennials is dazzling but there are definitely favorites that I enjoy year after year. Columbine The sheer variety of shapes and colors of Columbine flowers has always …

Powerhouse Keystone Species – Plant an Oak and Aster

Sample plan of a pollinator garden

As earth stewards of our amazing planet, we can appreciate the potential importance of all species to the continued existence of a complex ecosystem. But there are some that stand out and do the heavy lifting. Specific integral species are more important than others to the sustainability of an ecosystem and are called ‘Keystone Species’ …