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 …

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 …

Ostrich Fern-Deer Resistant Fool-Proof Ground Cover for Shade

Ostrich Ferns pairs well with spring ephemerals such as trillium

Fern Resurgence Ferns are enjoying a resurgence of interest and popularity recently, primarily because of fitting into older shady landscapes and their superb deer resistance. The wetter climate that we have experienced in the last couple of years is also a factor that makes people look at this class of plants with renewed scrutiny. Ferns …

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 …

Late Winter Blooms and Fragrance

Late winter is always a tough period for me. Patrolling my property on warm sunny days in late winter, I am ready to see something blooming and if at all possible - fragrant. This seems a difficult task in late February and early March, but there are three candidates that came through with flying colors. …

Three Native Plant Choices for Late Winter/Early Spring

Declining Pollinators Many pollinator species have suffered serious declines in recent years because of a variety factors-loss and fragmentation of habitat, pesticide use, and climate change. Unfortunately, most of our suburban and urban landscapes offer little in the way of appropriate habitat, forage, and housing. Even the most beautiful gardens are not always healthy ecosystems …

Four Season Tree – Seven-Son Flower

Known mostly to plant collectors and plant geeks, one of my top small trees is is Temple of Bloom Seven-Son Flower tree. Named for its cluster of seven flower buds, it was introduced to American gardeners in 1980 and has been referred as "hardy crape myrtle" or "summer lilac". A beautiful, easy to grow small …

Jeana Phlox-Pollinator Super Star

'Jeana' Phlox is one of the top pollinator attracting plants in my garden in the dog days of summer. Attracting dozens of butterflies and other assorted bees, my patch starts in the late morning with a few butterflies and by the end of the heat of the day, the plants look like they are fluttering …