Would You Grow Basil With a Wet Napkin?

Would You Grow Basil With a Wet Napkin?

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) needs a richer, deeper growing medium than a moist napkin, but moist conditions do promote basil seeds to sprout. Seeds on a wet napkin or paper towel is a first step for testing the proportion of seed before putting them into a method along with containers. Basil doesn’t grow as crops eaten as anemia to harvest on a moist napkin in the exact same manner.

Seed Sprouting

Basil seeds sprout quickly on a moist napkin. Till it seems spongy and moist but not sodden, water to your napkin, so that they are evenly spread, and scatter basil seeds over the surface rather than touching. Alternately, if assessing for seed viability, then place 10 seeds on the napkin. Roll it up and place it where the temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Basil seeds operate in five to 10 days. The amount of seeds that are sprouted reveal the viability of this batch.

Transplanting to Potting Soil

Sprouted seeds that are basil grow best in potting soil. Fill 3-inch pots with potting soil to 1/2 inch below the rim, and then apply water till it seems through the drainage holes. Place three seedlings in each pot, evenly spaced. Cover them with 1/4 inch of soil and place the pots. Water regularly so that the soil stays moist, and eliminate the two weakest seedlings when the next pair of leaves appear.

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Advice & Guidelines on Soil Testing

Advice & Guidelines on Soil Testing

Growing plants that are bountiful starts with knowledge of your soil type. Just as you load up on just anything on the shelves and wouldn’t go to the pharmacy with a cold, or visit the doctor and ask for a few pills, any pills, planning and assessing are essential to making good ground. Plant requirements vary, but all soils want basic components, including potassium, phosphorous and nitrogen, along with trace minerals. On the other hand, the amount of each of these elements could differ from the demands of your neighbor’s dirt. Most plants also benefit from a significant amount of organic matter in the dirt. The San Francisco Bay region is made up of soil types. The very best advice is test when it comes to preparing your soil for planting.

Soil Tests

Test analysis is best left to the specialists at a lab. Many kits are available, but results could be unreliable, and they’re restricted at best. The University of California Cooperative Extension Program serves each of the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Region. Your local extension office can provide you with a soil test kit and advice in completing your soil test, along with directions on returning the soil sample to the cooperative extension office or mailing the sample.

Soil Sampling Guidelines

To true soil is currently carrying soil samples that are fantastic. Avoid contamination of the sample by using hands spade, bulb digger or a steel soil probe. Digging instruments made of galvanized steel, copper or other material with mineral content may render residue that is enough in the sample to skew test results. Dig straight down to a depth of 6 inches and then eliminate a core of dirt. Place this sample in a clean bucket. Take three to six samples from the same region and mix the samples together. Finish a test kit for each region as the needs of different soils may fluctuate, if you’ve got more than one type of dirt like areas of sandy land alongside areas of sandy clay. Follow the instructions and finish the paperwork.

Time Frame

Allow eight weeks for return of your soil sample analysis. Perhaps it doesn’t take this long, but it’s ideal to plan ahead and allow plenty of time for those results to return to you until your desired planting time. Take samples when the soil is not too wet, as samples need to dry out before they are examined.

Soil Evaluation Results

Your soil test results provide a measure of acidity or alkalinity of your ground information on your soil’s pH level, and recommendations for treatment to you to bring the soil to the desired pH level for your plant needs. Evaluation results provide information on phosphorous, potassium and other nutrients necessary to grow the kinds of plants you indicated on your soil test submission.

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Texas Gardener's June Checklist

Texas Gardener's June Checklist

It doesn’t matter what the calendar says; 90-degree days mean summertime is here. Texas gardeners need to be tough to garden in our particular brand of summertime heat and intermittent rain. And while many sections of the nation watched some spring rains, the truth is that we’re still in a drought cycle. It requires a little additional effort to have a beautiful, healthy and thriving garden in these conditions, so follow this checklist for some helpful suggestions and be sure to always follow the suggestions of the regional professionals and governments.

Troy Rhone Garden Design

Sow seeds. From the fruit and vegetable garden, sow black-eyed peas, okra, New Zealand spinach, Malabar spinach, winter squash, cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melon.

For herbaceous plants, plant thyme, tarragon, tansy, basil, anise, bay, catnip, comfrey, southernwood, sorrel, winter savory, cumin, fennel, germander, lamb’s ear, lavender, oregano, summer savory, rosemary and sage.

Add yearly color with zinnias, sunflowers, periwinkle, morning glory vines, moonflower vines, marigolds, impatiens, gourds, hyacinth bean vines, four o’clocks, gomphrena, cypress vines and coleus.

guides to vegetable gardening

Landscape Designer, Jason Lackey

Plant fruit, vegetable and herb transplants. You can also plant black-eyed peas, pumpkin, okra, Malabar spinach, New Zealand spinach, peppers, sweet potatoes, winter squash, cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon from nursery containers.

Also search for basil, bay laurel, bee balm, yarrow, thyme, tansy, catnip, catmint, comfrey, sage, lavender, oregano, lamb’s ear, echinacea, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, Mexican mint marigold, mint, pennyroyal and artemesia.

The Design Build Company

Plant annuals. Favorite warm-weather annuals contain zinnia, torenia, purslane, begonia, blue daze, celosia, ageratum, copper plant, impatiens, marigold, geranium, petunia, penta, dusty miller, Mexican heather, portulaca, periwinkle and gazania.


Plant perennials and ornamental grasses. Now is also the time to plant perennials: black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Copper canyon daisy (Tagetes lemmonii), cuphea (Cuphea spp), four nerve wracking (Tetraneuris scaposa), coneflower (Echinacea spp), lantana (Lantana spp), ruellia (Ruellia spp), salvia (Salvia spp), plumbago (Plumbago ariculata), sedum (Sedum spp), coreopsis (Coreopsis spp), esperanza (Tecoma stans), gayfeather and blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum).

Add ornamental grasses to your backyard, such as maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis), purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), gulf muhly (Muhlenbergia capillaris), bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa), Mexican feather grass (Nasella tenuissima)and inland sea turtles (Chasmanthium latifolium).

Shown:an Assortment of annuals and perennials with purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Tend your yard. In Texas it’s recommended to fertilize your yard three times every year — in March or April, again in June and a third period in September or October. Search for a lawn fertilizer which is higher in nitrogen (the first number in the three-number ratio on the package), which encourages vigorous growth and deep green color.

Avoid overfertilizing, which can burn your yard and run off to the water system. Fertilizer after the lawn is mown and the grass is dry. Lawns at the time of year will need approximately 1 inch to 11/2 inches of water per week — but make sure to always follow your area’s water limits or guidelines. Remember, watering less frequently but more profoundly is actually better for your yard.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes aren’t simply a nuisance; they also carry diseases like West Nile virus for both humans and heartworm for dogs. There are numerous things that a gardener can do to minimize the mosquito population, beginning with eliminating any standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

Add products such as Mosquito Bits and Mosquito Dunks to ponds, birdbaths and around air conditioning trickle tubes; these products and many others like them contain nontoxic ingredients which keep mosquito larvae from developing into adults. You can also include mosquito-repelling plants such as catmint, citronella and lemongrass to your backyard, or install a mosquito misting system close to your outdoor gathering areas.

Urban Hedgerow

Entire a summer garden project. Summer is the best time to plan some creative garden jobs. Add a compost bin, then construct a simple deck, install a water feature or make an insect habitat. Beneficial insects such as ladybugs, beetles, centipedes and bees have fewer and fewer places to nest and create a habitat. These beneficial bugs really are great at keeping the “bad” bugs under control.

Insect habitats are a creative way of displaying dead wood, leaves, tubes, sticks, straw, hay and bark to promote the good men to stay around and do their part to maintain our houses healthy. They are also great jobs to do with children, who can learn lessons about recycling, life spans and garden health in the procedure.

Shown:An Urban Hedgerow bug habitat


Control grasshoppers. Several years the grasshopper population simply gets out of hands, and the harm to our gardens can be astounding. Grasshoppers will strip trees, flowers, vegetables and shrubs bare with their voracious appetites, apparently overnight, so it pays to stay on top of this issue. There are quite a few organic sprays and spreads which are offered to stop grasshoppers in their course; request your garden center for a recommendation.

Or mix up a DIY remedy in the home comprising:
1 cup diatomaceous earth1 mill water2 tablespoons blackstrap molassesSpray the mixture on vulnerable plants.

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Southwest Gardener's April Checklist

Southwest Gardener's April Checklist

The American Southwest is a vast Place, covering Most of Arizona and New Mexico as well as Elements of California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. The areas of the Southwest are diverse and include low deserts, high deserts and mountainous areas, covering USDA zones 5 though 9.

The browns of winter have given way to bright green. Leaves are emerging on trees, shrubs and more. April is a superb time for desert anglers to add plants to the landscape and container plantings that are reimagine. With the warmer weather, irrigation controllers will need to get checked, weeds pulled and any residual frost-damaged plants pruned.

Gardeners in upper elevations can sow cool-season vegetable seeds outside, plant bare-root roses and lean fruit as it appears on trees.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

All Desert Regions

Adjust the irrigation schedule.
As temperatures rise, so do the water requirements of crops. Watering schedules will need to change with the season. How deeply you water can be significant. Water to a depth of 3 ft and shrubs to 2 feet, allowing the soil dry between waterings.

A simple method to ascertain how deeply you’re watering would be to take a piece of rebar and stick it in the soil once you have watered. The rebar should go down smoothly until it hits dry soil. Pull it out and then measure just how deep the water has penetrated; fix how long you water until you get to the perfect depth.

Revealed: The Living Desert in Palm Desert, California

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Low, Mid- and High Deserts

Warm up landscape color for spring by planting yellow flowering plants such as angelita daisy (Tetraneuris acaulis), desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata), feathery cassia (Senna artemisoides) and damianita (Chrysactinia mexicana).

Revealed: Angelita daisy

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Grow vines as ground covers. Vines aren’t just for climbing up walls and fences. They make great ground covers. Consider growing Carolina jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens), purple lilac blossom (Hardenbergia violaceae), Lady Banks (Rose banksiae) or trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) on the ground.

Revealed: Purple lilac blossom

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant herbs in containers. Can you love fresh herbs? Plant a collection of your favorites, including basil, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Employ a slow-release fertilizer when planting your herbs, which is all the fertilizer they’ll need for your season. Additionally, herbs don’t like too much water. A simple method to ascertain if your herbs want water would be to stick your finger into the soil until it reaches to your next knuckle. Water when it’s dry.

Revealed: Basil, purple basil, rosemary, sage and chamomile

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Attempt a succulent as a container plant. Containers aren’t only for flowering annuals. Succulents make great container plants. They’re low maintenance and supply great feel by using their columnar, spiky contours.

Agave, barrel cacti and columnar cacti are good options for containers. Set them against a wall or flanking an entryway for greatest effect.

Well-drained soil is a must for succulents, so be sure to use a soil mix that’s specially formulated for succulents. Ensure that your pot has holes for drainage also. Water every one or two weeks in summer, depending on your succulent’s water needs and the weather.

Revealed: Smaller succulents flank a potted Mexican fence post cactus.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant warm-season annuals. Increasing temperatures mean it’s time to switch out of your cool-season annuals for the ones that will flourish in our warm desert summers.

Celosia, blue salvia (Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’), red salvia (Salvia splendens), moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) and vinca (Catharanthus roseus) are great options for a beautiful bed of flowering annuals that can take care of the desert heat.

Before planting, amend the soil with 2 to 3 inches of compost and then add a slow-release mulch, which will help keep annuals flowering throughout the summer. You can also add liquid fertilizer every other week, but you should be cautious to not get fertilizer on the leaves, because it can burn off them during warm weather.

Revealed: Blue salvia

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Upper Elevations (over 6,000 ft)

little fruit trees. After fruit begins to form in your trees, it’s time to thin them by eliminating excess fruit. Apple, apricot, peach and plum trees have a limited number of resources to devote to fruit production. Selectively removing fruit can help to channel the sources to the remaining fruit, which will grow bigger. Thin the fruit in your trees so there is approximately 6 inches between each fruit.

Revealed: Apricots before thinning

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Sow cool-season vegetable seeds. It is time to get into the vegetable garden and begin sowing your favorite cool-season vegetables. Broccoli, carrots, chard, lettuce, radishes and lettuce can be directly sown from seed in your garden.

Before planting, work 2 to 3 inches of compost into the soil. It’s also wise to incorporate blood meal and bonemeal (after the package instructions), which are natural sources of phosphorus and nitrogen.

Whenever it’s still too early to plant tomatoes outside, it’s the right time to start them from seed indoors.

Revealed: Radish seedlings

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Plant bare-root roses. Can you envision a garden full of fragrant roses? Select tier 1 roses, which have three large canes (branches), whenever possible. Soak your roses for at least 24 hours prior to planting.

Amend the soil with compost; mix it with the existing soil so you have 50 percent compost and 50 percent native soil.

Don’t fertilize newly planted roses; they need time to grow roots until they can encourage a good deal of new growth. Wait before adding fertilizer until the first flowers have surfaced.

Prepare for May. The temperatures are heating up quickly. The cacti are starting to flower, meaning that it’s time to heatproof your garden for the summer.

Revealed: Medallion hybrid tea rose

More regional gardening manuals

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Great Design Plant: River Birch

Great Design Plant: River Birch

River birch (Betula nigra) is a one of the best trees for year-round interest. Using its multicolored papery bark which peels away from the trunk, this North American native species is an excellent selection for a driveway entrance, backyard habitat or woodland edge. And the way it can flourish in moist conditions makes it particularly valuable where drainage is a concern.

Windsor Companies

Botanical name: Betula nigra
Common names: River birch, black birch, water birch
Source: Native to the eastern United States
USDA Islands: 3 to 9 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Moderate to wet soil; adheres to flow banks (because its common name implies) and poor lands
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature size: 40 to 70 feet tall
Benefits and tolerances: Fast-growing, disease-resistant Pick for riparian buffers to curtail stream erosion and improve biodiversity; foliage are a larval food source for swallowtail butterflies and other insects; seeds bring numerous birds and other wildlife
Seasonal interest: Year-round; beautiful yellow fall color
When to plant: Early spring to late autumn

Distinguishing traits. With lustrous 3-inch leaves, slender catkins and bark, river birch creates dappled shade that is easy to plant beneath.

Its foliage color in autumn is a medium yellow. Throughout the winter, with a new blanket of snow, the bark is a welcome sight; it looks especially good against a background of cedar, pine or hemlock.

Disease-resistant ‘Heritage’ is a patented choice named by Earl Cully of Heritage Trees; it’s an outstanding cultivar that is less likely to leaf spot than other birches and is more resistant to the bronze birch borer. It’s also more compact than the typical species — reaching about 40 feet tall when mature — and has a deeper saturation of bark colors.

ADRIAN SMITH – Landscape Architecture

How to use It. Grow it as a specimen or in a grove to create a pragmatic buffer in full sunlight; combine it with native foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) and inkberry holly (Ilex glabra).

Fast climbing, multistemmed trees in clump form include visual punch and are good for screening, while single-trunk specimens offer architectural formality.


Planting notes. Trees want acidic soils with a pH of 6.5 or lower, so amend if necessary. All these are large trees, so allow lots of room to grow and water during dry spells, especially in warmer zones.

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California Gardener's February Checklist

California Gardener's February Checklist

When I worked for a California magazine business, the business people believed that February was the opportunity to invite potential clients to the home office, a place with a big garden and patio for outdoor fun — an ideal setting to get a small brainwashing about various ways people lived on the West Coast. East Coast clients would arrive using raccoon coats (perhaps it wasn’t actually that long ago), runny noses and frostbitten fingers from shoveling snow off their drives. They would be served orange juice from fruit plucked from trees from the garden, so the story went. Camellias, daffodils and magnolias were prospering. The yard was green — anybody for volleyball? Brainwashing accomplished; ad pages sold.

Somehow February over any other month reflects just how identifying California’s gardening stinks are. We’ve got so much to respect and to plant life. Consider the five under California classics — favorite plants which glow this season, defying winter with vibrant color, sexy fragrance and, sometimes, mouthwatering flavor.

More regional garden guides


Meyer lemon. Apparently forever that was the ultimate California backyard fruit. It was in each garden, a handsome evergreen shrub with fragrant flowers and abundant fruit. Was it ever abundant! Our one tree created a lot of lemons that we could not give them away, and our golden retrievers munched about the dropped lemons (fine breath!) .

Then a couple of things propelled Meyer lemon into a new level of desirability. In the 1970s plant breeders developed ‘Improved Meyer’, immune to the virus which had led to a ban on interstate transport of Meyers. And Alice Waters got hold of those lemons and made the most of their juiciness and lower acidity.

I remember the first time I tasted a wine spritzer created with Meyer lemon that the restaurant Chez Panisse functioned from the 1980s. In 1987 The New York Times published a recipe for Chez Panisse’s Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie.

It’s easy to discover a spot for Meyer lemon in just about any garden. Plant one near a patio, in a border or trained as an espalier on a fence or wall. It will produce fruit all year, such as in winter and early spring, when it is most welcome.

Botanical name: Citrus meyeri ‘Improved Meyer’
USDA zones: 9 to 10 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Moderate and routine. Do not allow the soil dry out.
Light requirement: Full sunlight; a little shade is OK in warm climates.
Mature dimension: 8 to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Dwarf types are available.
Growing tips: Prune in spring to control both the size and shape. Fertilize regularly with a particular citrus food. Yellowing leaves often indicate deficiency in iron or nitrogen; correct that using products especially for those ailments.


Saucer magnolias. Also referred to as tulip trees, all these are varieties of Magnolia soulangeana, a deciduous small tree with supersize flowers on bare branches in late winter and early spring. Colors vary from pure white to purple — a few are so amazingly dark that they look black. Shown here is ‘Black Tulip’.

Contemplating their great looks, saucer magnolias are amazingly easy to grow in almost all California gardens. They make great yard trees. Smaller varieties can fit to a border or elevated bed of spring-flowering annuals and perennials. Wherever you put the tree, then make certain it’s a focal point at the time of year.

Botanical name: Magnolia soulangeana
USDA zones: 5 to 9
Water requirement: Moderate to more
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 15 to 25 feet tall and 6 to 15 feet wide, depending on variety.
Growing tips: Provide rich soil, with lots of alterations at planting time. Do not allow the soil dry; watch for sogginess. Prune only to restrain size, after the spring bloom.

The New York Botanical Garden

Artichoke. This Mediterranean delicacy is ideal for eating in late winter and early spring along the foggy California shore. Now is also a good time to begin your own. Away from the shore, expect your chokes to earn tough and dry eating, however, the plant is, shall we say, an interesting addition to a vegetable garden or perhaps a flower border. It grows to a striking, if sprawly, gray-green plant at one growing season.

The New York Botanical Garden

Even if your artichoke plant doesn’t do much for the dinner plate, it can produce striking purple thistles to use as cut flowers.

Botanical name: Cynara scolymus
USDA zones: 8 to 9
Water requirement: Moderate
moderate requirement: Full sun to light shade
Mature dimension: 4 ft tall and 6 to 8 ft broad
Growing tips: Start with roots, accessible summer time, or young plants at nursery containers, accessible all year. Keep the soil moist, especially if you want to have an edible crop. Fertilize monthly. Harvest chokes for eating whenever they’re tight, fat and glossy. If you leave the chokes on, they will develop into eye catching purple thistles; reduce them just before they completely open and then use them as cut and dried flowers. In the end of the year, cut the entire plant near ground level; it ought to resprout next year except in cold climates.


Daphne odora. A total diva. Has the most evocative fragrance of any plant (yes, that is subjective). Doesn’t deign to have a frequent name. Will sulk and die for no apparent reason. But try daphne at least one time. Find a place in semi shade and well-drained dirt, where it is possible to see and smell the small pink winter flowers, and give it a go. If it dies, try again someplace else. Try it in a pot.

Daphne is a good-looking evergreen with dense foliage, shiny green leaves (there’s a variety with variegated leaves). It seems great in a mixed border, at a raised bed and at a container.

Botanical name: Daphne odora
USDA zones: 7 to 9
Water requirement: Moderate. Do not allow the soil dry out.
Light requirement: Partial color, especially when there’s midday sunlight
Mature size: 3 to 4 ft tall and broad, and larger
Growing tips: Requires perfect drainage. Amend the soil thoroughly with compost; don’t bury the top of the root ball. To control the shape and size, you can sew, even shear back, a few inches after bloom.

Camellia. Here we’re talking about Camellia japonica, the astonishingly sturdy evergreen shrub with stupendous flowers that we take for granted. It can grow in many California gardens, in the shore to the foothills, in areas as warm as Sacramento or Arcadia, as trendy as San Diego as well as San Francisco.

Shown here is ‘Guilio Nuccio’, which, as stated by the Sunset Western Garden Book,is “considered by many to be the world’s greatest camellia.” Produced by Nuccio’s Nurseries, of Altadena, it’s a vigorous, upright tree that generates great large rose-colored flowers.

Botanical name: Camellia japonica
USDA zones: 8 to 10
Water requirement: Moderate
moderate requirement: Partial shade
Mature dimension: 6 to 12 feet tall and broad, and larger, depending on variety
Growing tips: Plant it in well-drained soil, kept moist. Mix in organic matter at planting time. Fertilize with special camellia food after bloom. Prune after bloom as needed to control the size and promote bushiness. Always pick up dropped blossoms to prevent spread of this illness called petal blight.

Choosing a camellia. Hundreds of types have been developed since the introduction of Camellia japonica into California from the 19th century. Flowers vary in color (white to pink to red plus variegated) and shape (single to double or more complicated). When deciding upon a specific kind, keep a couple of things in mind along with the flowers.

When would you need blooms? Varieties are categorized by bloom time: early (October to December), midseason (January and February) and late (March and April).

Also, study variety descriptions to observe how the plant fits into your landscape. Plants are explained in terms such as “upright,” “tall,” “distributing,” “compact” and such. It’s possible to use a camellia as a single specimen shrub, as a container plant, to get a hedge or screen, even as a little woods. The ‘Guilio Nuccio’ revealed here serves as a background tree at a raised border; about 15 years old, it’s 12 feet tall and 7 feet wide, with at least 50 blossoms open in late January.

Land Design, Inc..

What Else to perform in February in Your California Garden

based on how fast your climate warms up, there’s a lot you can do this month — such as winter pruning and planting of spring flowers and veggies, which can be hauled up by the warming effect of a raised bed, as revealed.

Deal with frost damage. If winter frosts hit a few of your crops, wait till after this month to prune off the harm.

Get conventional winter plantings from the ground. Now’s time to plant bare-root roses, fruit trees, berries, even color trees. Keep the roots moist until you’re ready to plant. Do not buy deal plants with dried-out roots.

Plant cool-season yearly flowers. They should peak in midspring and last until hot weather: calendulas, dianthus, Iceland poppies, pansies, snapdragons, violas and more. Provide the sunniest spot you can find in your own garden.

Set out cool-season vegetables. These include lettuce, broccoli, spinach and more. Swiss chard is actually simple.

Prune roses. End pruning this month except at cold-climates such as the large mountains. Generally, cut hybrid buds by about a third, and abandon three to five canes sprouting out of the foundation. Shrub roses require less exact pruning — essentially, shear them to restrain the size and shape. Fertilize all roses after pruning.

Prune fruit trees. Spray and exfoliates deciduous fruit trees, such as apple, cherry, apricot and pear. Check about the how-to with specialist books or consultants at your local nursery.

Plant summer-blooming bulbs. In per month full of daffodils, consider planting bulbs to bloom in late spring and summer: tuberous begonias, gladiolus, tigridias and more.

Snails and slugs. February could be declared California Snail Month. They like it moist and warmish (but not hot). Watch for telltale signs of chewed leaves or the creatures themselves, and scatter pet-safe lure.

More regional garden guides
direct to growing cool-season crops
Step-by-step guide to pruning roses

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20 Flowers for Your Fall Landscape

20 Flowers for Your Fall Landscape

Gardeners tend to get excited about spring, excited about trying out new plants and perhaps even making a big move and shifting their landscapes. And in summer there is the delight of the garden in full bloom, and many fruit trees and vegetable gardens produce abundantly. From September, however, even the most avid gardener is able to begin to feel worn out, and also the best-tended garden can begin to look a little tired.

That’s too bad, because gardening in the autumn can be delightful. The weather is generally cooler than in summer (except in places like San Francisco), however the garden does not need as much maintenance as in the spring .

Milieu Design

To rejuvenate both your garden and your own gardening excitement, why not plant some fall-blooming annuals and perennials? The annuals may be short lived if you’ve got an early frost, but they will surely brighten things up till afterward. The perennials could also be low manufacturers this first fall, but think what you are going to have to look forward to in future decades.

Those who live in mild-winter or desert climates have it even better; many of these plants will continue blooming into winter.

A number of the crops listed below bloom only in fall. Others may start their bloom season earlier in the year. And some of the annuals which are normally considered spring blossoms will flourish in the cooler autumn weather, even if only for a short moment.

Rikki Snyder

Classic Chrysanthemum

Mums, especially florists’ or garden mums, have become the go-to plants for a fall garden. You can go with the standard yellow-, orange- and – red-flowered mums or locate varieties with flower colors ranging from white to purple. As a bonus, the flower shapes are incredibly varied; you can discover quill-like petals, daisy shapes and pom-pom forms. To make the choice even more interesting, heights can range from 1 foot to 6 feet.

Common names: Florists’ chrysanthemum, garden mommy
Botanical name: Chrysanthemum x grandiflorum
USDA zones: 4 to 10 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Regular
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 1 foot to 5 feet

Growing tips: Plant flowering varieties in autumn in well-draining soil about a month before the first frost for fast color. Then cut them back to about 8 inches above the ground when they finish flowering. Cover with sand, sawdust or even a noncomposting mulch if you’d like. If your land is very moist through winter or you live in a really cold weather, you may want to dig the plants up and overwinter them aboveground. Divide every few years.

Barbara Pintozzi

The New York Botanical Garden

Sturdy Aster

Following closely on the heels of mums in popularity are the asters. There is a reason these perennials are favorites: Their pink, blue and purple flowers (generally with a bright yellow center) offer a cool contrast to the warmer autumn colors of the changing leaves and grasses. They’re also hardy in virtually every climate. Aster x frikartii ‘Monch’ and ‘Wonder of Strafa’ bloom from summer to well into fall, and even through winter in the mildest regions, but they do not always live so long as some other species. Even the New England aster varieties are notable because of their range of colours and their adaptability to wet soils. The same New York aster, sometimes called a Michaelmas daisy, can range in size from under a foot to 4 feet tall.

Common names: Aster, New England aster, New York aster, Michaelmas Daisy
Botanical names: Aster x frikartii, A. novae-angliae, A. novi-belgii
USDA zones: 3 to 10
Water necessity: Regular
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 1 foot to 5 feet

Growing tips: Quite tolerant, but grow best in fertile soil. The taller asters may require staking and you may have problems with mold. Divide if plants become tender or woody.

Rocco Fiore & Sons, Inc

Cosmetic Flowering Cabbage and Kale

What were formerly underappreciated vegetables have found their niche as stars of their ornamental autumn and winter garden.Their oversize rosette or leafy heads in colors of cream, white, crimson and purple look like transplants from a giant’s garden. Grow them as you would their edible cousins, either in the garden or in containers, and do not stress as the colder weather approaches. They simply look better with a touch of frost, as it brings out their color.

Common titles: Flowering or ornamental cabbage and kale
Botanical name: Brassica oleracea
USDA zones: All; supply shelter from sunlight in hot climates
Water necessity: Regular
Light requirement: Full sun is preferred, but they are able to take colour.
Mature dimension: 1 foot to 11/2 ft

Growing tips: Place your plants about 11/2 feet apart in the garden or add them after the hot weather cools; lightly fertilize through the garden season. If you are placing them in the garden, select a new spot every year, as dirt diseases can be a problem. As a plus, while those are “flowering” varieties, their leaves are edible.

Field Outdoor Spaces

Glorious Black-Eyed Susan

Humans are not the only ones who adore this plant. Bees, birds and butterflies also flock to it. Additionally, it’s easy to develop and can handle tough problems. Most start blooming in summer, but the flowering will continue well into fall. There are any number of species available; just two of their most popular are ‘Herbstsonne,’ also called ‘Autumn Sun’, and ‘Goldsturm’.

To make matters a little confusing, among the common names for these crops is coneflower, a title also given to members of their Echinacea family.

Le jardinet

Common titles: Black-eyed Susan, gloriosa daisy, coneflower, brown-eyed Susan
Botanical name: Rudbeckia
USDA zones: 3 to 11
Water necessity: Moderate to regular
Light requirement: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 2 to 10 feet; smaller varieties are now accessible

Growing tips: These do finest their first year should you plant them in spring, but you can still put blooming plants set up in autumn to get a burst of color. Taller plants could be droopy, therefore stake them plant them close enough together that they can offer support without crowding one another. Cut the flowers for structures during the growing period to encourage continued blooming. Divide when they become bloated.

Barbara Pintozzi

The Other Coneflower

there are lots of Echinacea species out there for home gardeners, but purple coneflower, now available in different colours, is the hottest. It’s a hardy perennial with a long blooming season. Not only do the flowers attract butterflies and bees, they’re good cut too. Have a look at the brand new hybrids which are even hardier and sport even more colours and flower shapes.

Common titles: Purple coneflower, coneflower
Botanical names: Echinacea purpurea, E. hybrids
USDA zones: 3 to 9
Water necessity: Regular to medium
Light necessity: Full sun
Mature size: 2 to 4 ft

Growing tips: Provide well-drained soil, but otherwise coneflowers will do well almost anywhere in full sun or, in the hottest place, some light shade. They can handle drought conditions too. Deadhead to keep the blossoms. Keep the seed heads set up after the blossoms fade for birds to enjoy.

Ginkgo Leaf Studio

Versatile Coreopsis

From spring to autumn, coreopsis, also called tickweed, is an easy-care plant whose yellow, orange, purple or red flowers will attract butterflies to every garden. And after it has finished blooming, the seed heads will bring in birds too. The annual coreopsis can be grown in all USDA zones, while continuing alternatives are at home in all but the coldest or hottest climates (think Alaska, southern Texas and southern Florida). For something really unusual, check out C. tinctoria ‘Tiger Stripes’.

Common names: Coreopsis, tickweed, calliopsis
Botanical name: Coreopsis
USDA zones: All, based on species
Water necessity: Small to medium
Light requirement: Full sun
Elderly size: 1 foot to 21/2 ft

Growing tips: Coreposis is generally pleased with any soil as long as it drains well. Supply water to establish, then the plants can handle less moisture throughout the growing period. Deadhead often for repeat blossoms or leave some flowers to reseed. This plant self-sows and spreads quickly, so you may have to divide it every few decades.

Genevieve Schmidt

Easy-Care Sedum

When a plant has a number termed ‘Autumn Joy’, there is no doubt that it goes in the autumn garden. Even though ‘Autumn Joy’ is among the best known of the sedums, a great deal of options are available. For the autumn garden, hybrid varieties and Sedum spectabile are favorites for individuals as well as birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Common title: Stonecrop
Botanical name: Sedum
USDA zones: 3 to 10
Water necessity: Regular to moderate, particularly once recognized
Light requirement: Full sun; can take partial shade
Mature size: 9 inches to 3 feet

Growing tips: Sedums are easy to grow and perform better in poor dry soil with good drainage than in regions which are very wet. They’re reasonably drought tolerant once established. Once the flowers are past their prime, then let them use them for indoor flower structures. You are able to cut the crops into the ground in autumn or keep them in the garden for winter interest, then cut them back in late winter or early spring.

Le jardinet

Prolific Sneezeweed

The title is somewhat off-putting, particularly if you have allergies, but you may want to overlook this in favor of enjoying the numerous bright yellow to brownish flowers sneezeweed thankfully contributes to the landscape in autumn. You’ll find it marketed as H. autumnale, but the majority of them are actually hybrids. Sneezeweed is another fantastic choice for bringing butterflies and also to use for cut flowers.

Le jardinet

Common title: Sneezeweed
Botanical names: Helenium autumnale, H. hybrids
USDA zones: 3 to 9
Water necessity: Regular
Light necessity: Full sun
Mature size: 3 to 5 ft

Growing tips: All prefer hot summers and soil that drains well but do not require much fertilizer. Stake the taller types and deadhead to promote continued blooming.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Long-Blooming Blanket Flower

If you want a long-blooming perennial, blanket flower is a top choice. It begins flowering early in the summer and lasts till the freezing weather. During this time blossoms in combinations of yellow, orange, crimson and maroon will attract butterflies. Blanket flower can handle both heat and wind and also withstand some frost.

Common title: Blanket flower
Botanical name: Gaillardia x grandiflora
USDA zones: All
Water necessity: Moderate
Light necessity: Full sun
Mature size: 2 to 4 ft

Growing tips: Plant it into well-draining dirt; you may have to amend thick clay soil so the roots do not rust in winter. Blanket flower grows easily from seed and frequently reseeds. If the plants become overly crowded or begin to die back, divide in early spring. Cutting for structures will promote repeat blooms.

Often-Overlooked Joe Pye Weed

Who Joe Pye was the topic of disagreement, but whatever the response, these big, showy plants which were formerly considered weeds are now coming into their own. They’re ideal for the back of a boundary: The smaller varieties can reach 6 ft, and the bigger ones can grow up to 9 feet tall. The leaves themselves can be a foot in length, plus they’re topped by masses of purple to white flowers. Bonus: Brush the leaves, and you are going to find a scent of vanilla.

Common title: Joe Pye Weed
Botanical name: Eupatorium purpureum
USDA zones: 4 to 10
Water necessity: Regular to plentiful
Light requirement: Full sunlight; mild shade where it’s very hot
Mature size: 3 to 9 ft

Growing tips: Give these plants plenty of water and rich, moist soil, but as befits their “marijuana” origin, they do not require much fertilizer. They’re particularly at home in meadow gardens and fantastic for attracting butterflies.

Blue Ridge Landscaping

Bright Goldenrod

Goldenrods have gotten bad press. For the record, they’re not the source of ragweed allergies, so go ahead and plant them for your autumn garden. They’re hardy plants which don’t require great dirt; they can handle full sun or light shade; the newer hybrids are shorter and more streamlined than the rangier species; and first and foremost, when planted in a bunch, they supply a beautiful gold swath of color that’s a feast for the eyes as well as a food supply for birds and butterflies.

Common title: Goldenrod
Botanical name: Solidago
USDA zones: 3 to 10
Water necessity: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun; can take light shade
Mature size: 2 to 5 ft

Growing tips: Goldenrod grows well in containers as well as poor soil. Blooms generally begin in summer and continue into fall. Divide it every few years for best growth.

Jay Sifford Garden Design

Cloudlike Russian Sage

Looking like a cross between lavender and Mexican bush sage, Russian sage combines fragrant grayish leaves with light purple flower spires, and it has a long bloom season. While it will begin blooming in summer and spring, keep cutting off the flowers and you are going to get blossoms into collapse. Once established, Russian sage grows easily, particularly in regions with hot summers and little water. From the garden it can be treated as a showy single plant or massed together to create a soft cloud of color which seems to float over nearby smaller plantings.

The New York Botanical Garden

Common title: Russian sage
Botanical name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water necessity: Small to medium
Light necessity: Full sun
Mature size: 3 to 5 ft

Growing tips: Russian blossom will require almost any soil and frequently spreads easily. If you are planting it en masse, place the plants close enough that they can encourage one another, as single plants can droop. For best blossoms, cut back the plants close to the ground before they start to flower in spring.

Sophisticated Toad Lily

The title may not be inviting, but toad lily is the perfect addition to a woodland garden. It fits nicely with shade-loving leaves plants, like ferns, its pale green leaves contrasting with darker greens around it. In the conclusion of summer, almost orchid-like white, purple or pink blossoms seen with darker purple markings appear across the leaves from base to tip, adding a pop of unexpected color to a shady area.

Common title: Toad lily
Botanical name: Tricyrtis hirta
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water necessity: Plenty
Light requirement: Light to full shade
Mature size: 3 ft

Growing tips: Provide abundant organic soil and a good deal of water, particularly in sunnier regions. Some varieties have gold-edged leaves, which can really shine in the colour.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Spectacular Japanese Anemone

This continuing is beginning to play a major role in landscape design. It could take a while for it to get going, but when it settles in, it spreads easily and lasts quite a while. The white or pink blossoms are standouts, and the plant is big enough to straddle the boundary between shrub and perennial. Plant it under tall shrubs or trees so it can make the most of the partial shade whilst filling in bare spots in the garden.

Caution: Every part of the plant is poisonous if consumed.
Common title: Japanese anemone
Botanical names: Anemone x hybrida, A. japonica, A. hupehensis japonica
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water necessity: Regular
Light necessity: Partial shade
Mature size: 2 to 5 ft

Growing tips: Do not grow Japanese anemone in wet soil, as it rots easily, and include protective mulch should you live where the winters are very cold. You may have to stake taller varieties. The crops can be divided in autumn or early spring.

Genevieve Schmidt

Hardy True Geranium

Familiar geraniums, which are really pelargoniums, could have stolen the title and the spotlight, but the true geranium is making a name for itself amongst gardeners. This mounding perennial adds color to the garden from summer into fall. Various species have different bloom times, but also for blossoms into the autumn, good choices include ‘AnnFolkard’, G. x riversleaianum (a fantastic ground cover choice) and ‘Johnson’s Blue’.

Common titles: Hardy geranium, cranesbill
Botanical name: Geranium
USDA zones: 3 to 9
Water necessity: Regular
Light necessity: Full sun to filtered shade
Mature size: 1 foot to 2 feet

Growing tips: True geraniums prefer cooler summers, filtered shade where it’s hot and well-draining soil. The plant will spread easily; deadhead it regularly to keep it blooming and looking great.

anne houser//dropseed studio//kinghorn gardens

Bog-Loving Turtlehead

So many flowering plants need lots of sunlight and dry feet, but this native of the U.S. Southeast is happiest in wetter conditions and does not obey the colour. It’s ideal for this shady, wet spot in the garden where nothing else seems to grow. Its blossoms are relatively small but nevertheless pack a punch with their pink color tinged with yellowish. It will gradually form clumps.

Common title: Turtlehead
Botanical name: Chelone lyonii
USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water necessity: Plenty
Light necessity: Full sun to light shade
Mature size: 4 ft

Growing tips: Turtlehead does not like thick dirt, therefore amend the soil before planting. It can take sunlight as long as you provide plenty of moisture. Divide when the plants become bloated.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Colorful Pansy and Viola

Though generally planted in winter and spring, these annuals can brighten containers and boundary edges in autumn also, at least till the frosts get heavy. Although most members of the viola family are usually short-lived perennials, they generally are grown as annuals; the exception for most anglers is sweet violets. Look for plants in nurseries or begin them from seeds.

Common titles: Pansy, viola, Johnny-jump-up, sweet purple
Botanical name: Viola
USDA zones: When grown as an annual
Water necessity: Regular
Light necessity: Full sun to partial shade for pansies; violas prefer colour
Mature size: 3 to 10 inches

Growing tips: for the best results, keep your soil moist. If your winters are mild, these crops may continue until spring, although they probably won’t continue until the following fall. Many are prolific self-seeders.

Windsor Firms

Shade-Loving Impatiens

Many men and women think of them as summer plants, but should you want a spot of color, why don’t you stick a six-pack flat of them set up? Sure, the first freeze can perform them, but you can appreciate them till then. If you live where winters are mild, you may even enjoy them through the winter. The fantastic news is that impatiens have one of the largest color ranges of any crops, so you are guaranteed to find something which will work in your own garden.

Common titles: Impatiens, balsam, touch-me-not
Botanical name: Impatiens
USDA zones: All, based upon the species
Water necessity: Regular
Light requirement: Color or partial shade; some can take sunlight
Mature size: 1/2 foot to 2 feet

Growing tips: It’s probably best to place out seedlings in the autumn. They are rather low maintenance but will do better if you give regular fertilizer. Cut them back if they get rangy. All impatiens are fantastic for containers.

Jean Marsh Design

Shrubby Mexican Bush Sage

Really an evergreen shrub rather than a perennial, Mexican bush sage is intimate enough in overall looks to Russian blossom and lavender to deserve being said one of those other fall bloomers. It’s particularly great for mild-winter ponds, in which it will bloom from fall until spring. It’s a tough plant that can take drought conditions and still look great. It’s also a magnet for birds and butterflies.

Common title: Mexican bush sage, velvet sage
Botanical name: Salvia leucantha
USDA zones: 8 10; develop as an annual elsewhere
Water necessity: Light to medium
Light necessity: Full sun
Mature size: 21/2 to 5 ft

Growing tips: Once recognized, this salvia grows quickly and can take over. Keep it in check by cutting it back in spring and in summer, if necessary. Cutting back on water will also help keep it from spreading too far. Remove the flower spikes as soon as they start to fade.

Barbara Pintozzi

Dramatic Monkshood

Monkhood’s blossoms are so spectacular that this plant is worth considering for a fall garden. Colors range from white to purple, but it’s the blues and exceptionally deep purples that really stick out. Monkhoods are a fantastic choice for shady locations, particularly at the back of the garden, where you are able to use their 6- to 8-foot height to advantages. The cut flowers make a strong statement in floral arrangements.

Caution: All parts of the plant are poisonous. Keep it away from children and pets, use gloves when handling the plants and cut flowers, and do not plant it around edibles, particularly root edibles.
Common names: Monkshood, aconite
Botanical name: Aconitum carmichaelii
USDA zones: 3 to 2
Water necessity: Regular
Light necessity: Partial shade; can take full sun based on location
Mature size: 6 to 8 ft
Growing tips: These plants prefer plenty of water, cooler summers and winter chill; they do not succeed in drier and warmer climates. Provide moist, rich soil. They will die back in winter.

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Fantastic Design Plant: Papyrus

Fantastic Design Plant: Papyrus

We’ve seen papyrus — in African landscapes, woven into newspaper and as backdrops to exotic resort destinations — but how and where does papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) flourish out of these cases? Is living along the Nile River necessary for developing it? While it’s true that papyrus naturally develops in tropical bogs and along stream borders, it is able and eager to be cultivated at a residential garden as well. If you’ve decided to include a water garden in your landscape or are plagued by poorly drained soil, papyrus might be the plant for you. What could be better at the oppressive heat of summer in relation to the whirring of your flourishing papyrus plants swaying in the wind?

Carolyn Chadwick

Botanical name: Cyperus papyrus
Common names: Papyrus, Egyptian papyrus
USDA zones: 9 to 11 (find your zone)
Water requirement:Water adoring
moderate requirement:Full sun to partial shade
Mature dimensions:6 to 10 feet tall; 2 to 4 feet wide
Advantages and tolerances: Prefers moist lands
Seasonal attention:Blooms July through September; dormant in winter
When to plant: Plant seedlings and split in spring

Studio H Landscape Architecture

Distinguishing attributes. Papyrus is distinguished by its long, gracefully arching stems that can reach up to ten feet in length. Topping the stems are 1-foot-long sprays of fibrous stems. These clusters will continue to fill out until they form a soft crown. Terminal flower clusters appear in summer, followed by little berries.

Bercy Chen Studio

King Tut papyrus, shown here, is a award-winning and appealing papyrus cultivar.

How to use it. Papyrus is commonly seen planted along ponds and aquatic gardens, owing to its natural habitat. Permit the plant to form a mass in order to create a gentle and natural focus along with companion aquatic plants such as water lilies (Nymphaea spp) or lotus (Nelumbo spp).

Papyrus develops rapidly, therefore it’s recommended that you plant it together big water features or plant it in a container and then put the container from the water. This will stop the plant from taking over the pond and make maintenance easier.

Stephanie Ann Davis Landscape Design

Papyrus tolerates standing water in addition to relatively dry soil, therefore it can also be utilized in rain gardens or as dry riverbeds.

Make Architecture

You can even plant papyrus in containers for a more structured and minimalist effect. Minimize drainage by plugging holes.

Grounded – Richard Risner RLA, ASLA

Planting notes. Papyrus is native to warm climates and therefore isn’t appropriate for growing outdoors anyplace. In some ponds, papyrus is treated as an annual or brought indoors over winter. While it typically goes dormant in all ponds over winter, rhizomes protected from frost underground may resprout in spring.

Papyrus grows best in rich, fertile soils that maintain continuous moisture — it will grow in shallow water. It is more of a marginal plant also doesn’t grow well in deep water such as water lilies will. Plant it in full to partial sun, while enabling it to thrive in partial shade. It is a plant that requires medium maintenance — keep the soil wet, eliminate old culms (stems) after flowering and protect it from wind for the best success.

See more guides to great design crops

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Great Design Plant: Cannas

Great Design Plant: Cannas

Though not true lilies, canna lilies make a superb addition to a huge variety of garden styles and styles. They’re easy to grow, easy to propagate and reasonably priced, and they produce a large impact even in small numbers. Large leaves in a variety of colour variants are topped with relatively small flowers in a variety of colours as well. Regardless of what colour scheme you are going for, there’s a canna to coincide.

Whilst typically utilized in tropical-style gardens, cannas also can be used in more traditional gardens in colder zones down to at least 5a. We all northern gardeners can plant them summer bulbs, whilst zone 8-10 anglers may use them year round! Let us take a peek at a number of cannas and their effect in the garden.

Pot Incorporated

At a Glance: Canna Lilies
Botanical name: Cannaceae
Common title: Canna lily
USDA zones: 8-10 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Well-drained, well-watered dirt
moderate requirement: Full sun, slight shade
Mature size: two to 9 feet tall, depending upon variety
Gains: Easy to grow, tall and statuesque, pest resistant, interesting foliage, wide range of colours

Best time to plant: two weeks after the last frost in your area for colder zones and anytime in zones 8-10
Seasonal curiosity: Foliage looks the best in late spring-mid summer, while the flowers put on a show in summer time.

Small Miracles Designs

Cannas were the first plant I mastered. These beginner-proof beauties will provide you confidence to move on into other, less forgiving, plants.

Adam Woodruff + Associates, Garden Artisans

How to Use Cannas in Your Garden

Cannas work flawlessly as a background foil for smaller plants. You generally have to wait for three to four years for an evergreen plant to grow large enough to work as a foil for other crops, but a canna can grow to four or five feet in a couple of months.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Cannas have verdant foliage, but can be top heavy. Try underplanting cannas with low-growing baskets to pay up those bare legs.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Cannas can be worked into a formal garden by keeping them neat. Notice how the total type of the canna planting is circular instead of”drifting” in a free-form design.

Even though cannas typically are tropical crops, they could partner with numerous styles of gardens. Here they are paired with grasses, the disparate leaf sizes making an interesting combination.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Cannas can look very formal when planted in baskets and interspersed with other mannerly plants. Employing deep maroon foliage provides this entryway thickness and distinction.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Consider using cannas as”bursting” plants supporting a low-clipped hedge of boxwood or yew. The plant is very well behaved, but provides a tailored look a little more excitement.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Are you fortunate enough to have a space to bask in sunlight, splash in a pool or even breathe in the ocean breezes? Cannas are really at home in this environment, waving in the wind and also bringing the feel of the tropics to your backyard for just a couple of bucks.

Beware, however: If you are growing cannas in tropical areas, they will just keep growing and might take over. In U.S.D.A. zones 7 and lower, cannas are grow just enough each summer to flaunt and propagate a few more rhizomes underground, then die.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Selecting a Canna Color

You’ll find a vast array of leaf and flower colors and variegation when picking a canna plant. The traditional canna has basic green leaves with bright red flowers, but there are many others to choose from. Try out different blossom colors, from flaming red and orange to milder yellows and apricots.

Red-leaf cannas are spectacular from the garden and easily can bridge crops which clash with one another.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Red cannas look particularly beautiful when tamed by whites and pinks. Notice the way the veins of this canna leaves are intensified from the lighter colours that surround them.

Another way to boost the routines in the canna leaves would be to put the plant so it’s backlit either in the morning or evening. A sunset filtering through the leaves of a canna is a stunning sight.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Try bronze cannas with orange blooms to accent blues in a contemporary garden.

Nunley Custom Homes

The oranges also complement purple blooms or hardscaping.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

How to Care to Cannas

Cannas are easy. They require a bit more effort than evergreen bushes, but not much. The only real work is pulling them up in the autumn and placing them in the spring. It takes a total of perhaps two hours per year for 20 to 25 cannas.

Once the first frost hits, simply lift the cannas from the floor by the stalks and let them dry out in sunlight for a day. Cut off the dried stalks, keep the rhizomes in a dry, cool area and they will be prepared to go next spring.

Mary-Liz Campbell Landscape Design

Cannas are not particularly vulnerable to diseases or bugs, but they aren’t immune either. Symptoms to watch out for include:
Holes in leaves. Pinch off the affected leaves and blast with a hose to keep critters . Yellowing foliage. Try adding compost into the soil round the cannas. They might be underfed. Shriveled or moldy rhizomes. When in storage, a couple bulbs will necessarily go bad. Only throw them in the garbage or woodpile.For the most part, I plant my cannas and forget about them. They’re tough, beautiful statement plants that you will either love or love to hate. I’m completely in the love camp — are you? Leave a comment and tell us!

More: Great Layout Plants

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Potted Plants Perk Up the Streets of Coastal France

Potted Plants Perk Up the Streets of Coastal France

I have spent the past week soaking up the local colour in Collioure, France. It is a town so full of charm and beauty that we basically threw our planned day trips outside the window and have been enjoying the design, colours, artwork, vistas and locals right there in town.

Collioure, along the Ruby Coast, is so amazing that it inspired vibrant colours to emerge onto the canvases of Matisse and Derain in 1905. This manner of artwork, which lent powerful, unexpected colours, was dubbed fauvism. One of the most charming ways residents adopt art and color here today is via simple potted plants which dot the streetscape; they lineup staircase, sit atop balconies, are perched on tables and chairs, and therefore are mounted directly onto the outside walls.

See ways to add colour to your potted plants with a glance at some of my favorites.

A pink geranium in a ceramic pot tops an orange café chair outside a shop door. The town shops are filled with wonderful local ceramic pieces.

Shattered ceramics make for unique mosaic pots. Red flowers are the pìece de résistance.

Here they line the staircase to an art gallery which has a camera painted a vibrant hue.

You can see how the former vignette fits to the greater streetscape, an inviting street filled with colorful shops and galleries.

Bold lines of colour enliven this stucco wall.

Pops of green rejuvenate old stone walls.

One of my friends wished the laundry point had been empty for her picture, but I think it adds interest for this lovely tiny balcony scene.

Who knew a purple plastic pot could look so great? Another wonderful embellishment seen throughout Collioure is the use of ceramic tile as an architectural detail.

Our one day excursion took us from the Mediterranean shore into the Pyrenees and the town of Céret. This is a town where cubism thrived and a group of famous artists established The Céret Museum of Modern Art; I highly recommend a visit.

Little baskets add dots of green to the building’s facade.

“Exactly why is this crazy American shooting an image of my geraniums?”

Collioure has tropical plants such as this palm and vineyard grapes up the hillsides, however from outside the water, snow-capped mountains are visible in the distance.

This facade has one of the greatest applications of faux bois I have ever seen.

Terra-cotta pots filled with crops create a foundation for wild vines that rise from the bottom up within the roof.

Who needs a vase filled with cut flowers when a simple terra-cotta plant and pot will thrive for much longer?

Try this at home using a begonia or Spanish geranium. If your chairs are a bit more ho-hum than these French bistro chairs, add a white and blue gingham tablecloth.

Charming, Bright Country Home in France

Escape: Off to the South of France

Merchandise Categories: That French Je Ne Sais Quoi

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