Glory-of-the-Snow, Chionodoxa forbesii

Light blue, upward facing flowers bloom early in the spring – sometimes even poking out of the snow, giving rise to the common name glory-of-the-snow. Chionodoxa forbesii is a great addition to gardens in beds, for naturalizing or mixed in a lawn. This small bulb combines well with other spring bulbs, too. Learn more about glory-of-the-snow in this article…

Winter Aconite, Eranthis hyemalis

This early spring bloomer produces bright yellow flowers close to the ground. This plant in the buttercup family is one of the earlierst “bulbs” to bloom in spring. It’s actually not a true bulb, but a tuberous perennial. It is right at home in rock gardens, flower beds and woodland gardens. To find out more about this pretty harbinger of spring, read this article…

Bells of Ireland, Molucella laevis

It really has nothing to do with Ireland – other than it’s green color – but that didn’t stop the marketers from giving this annual the name Bells of Ireland. It’s unusual green inflorescenses have been a symbol of good luck for centuries. Learn more about Molucella laevis in this article…

Angel’s Trumpet, Brugmansia

With huge, fragrant  flowers hanging from a small tree, angel’s trumpet is a spectacular exotic plant common in the tropics. It can also be grown as a seasonal outdoor plant in the Midwest during the summer, or as a conservatory plant. There are many species and hybrids of Brugmansia although many retailers only offer unnamed plants by flower color. To learn more about this interesting group of tropical trees and how they can be grown in cold climates, read this article…

Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch'

There are numerous cultivars of Dianthus that make great additions to the garden. Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’ has been chosen by the Perennial Plant Association as their Plant of the Year 2006. With shocking magenta flowers and blue foliage, it’s not one to disappear into the landscape! To learn more about this tough, pretty low-growing plant, read this article…

Mistletoe

Hanging high in trees in warmer climates, mistletoe is a plant that has a long history of myth and tradition dating back to ancient times. To find out more about this interesting group of parasitic plants, read this article…

Clivia

With glossy leaves and clusters of brilliant orange flowers in late winter, this exotic tender perennial makes a nice houseplant. Native to souther Africa, it is now used as a landscape plant in mild climates around the world. To learn more about kaffir lily or clivia, read this article…

Polka Dot Plant, Hypoestes phyllostachya

Fanciful leaves splashed in pink, red or white on green, makes polka dot plant a great accent plant. Once considered only a novelty houseplant, this tender tropical perennial has gained more popularity as an outdoor annual in the ground or in containers. The colorful foliage remains in good shape throughout the growing season as long as the weather is warm (above 50). To learn more about this fun plant, read this article…

Haworthias – Super Succulents for Small Spaces

Are you looking for a small plant to grow on a windowsill that doesn’t require too much light or lots of care? A Haworthia just might be what you need! This genus of many small succulents from southern Africa are great for their architectural interest, and their easy culture make them popular houseplants. To learn more about these interesting plants, read this article…

Blue Oat Grass, Helictotrichon sempervirens

With steely blue foliage, blue oat grass is a great compliment to other grasses and many perennials. This cool-season grass is evergreen in mild climates, but the leaves may die back in the Midwest unless protected by snow. It tolerates many types of soils, although it should not remain too wet in winter. To learn more about this easy-care addition to beds and border, read this article…

‘Fireworks’ Goldenrod, Solidago rugosa

With a sensational explosion of golden flowers bursting from the plant like skyrockets, ‘Fireworks’ is not your usual goldenrod. This refined cultivar of our native North American Solidago rugosa makes a great focal point in the autumn garden. Hardy to zone 4, slowly expanding clumps grow 3-4 feet tall but rarely need staking. Combine this spectacular plant with purple asters and bright-colored chrysanthemums for a fabulous fall display! Learn more about ‘Fireworks’ in this article…

Mycorrhizae

Not everyone knows that plant roots have symbiotic relationships with certain types of fungi. These mycorrhizae help the plant absorb nutrients from the soil that are otherwise difficult to obtain and often provide some protection against soil-borne diseases. In exchange the plant suppliesfood to the fungus. To learn more about mycorrhizae, read this article…

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