Leopard’s Bane: Planting And Care – If you want to fill a patch of your bed or border with large and yellow daisy-like flowers, Leopard’s bane (the genus Doronicum of family Asteraceae, also known as aconite, monkshood, or Devil’s helmet) is the one to select when you also want earliness — in many herbaceous borders it is this plant which provides the first splash of bright color amongst the herbaceous perennials. Continue Reading
Solomon’s Seal: Planting And Care – Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum) is a shade-loving plant which will thrive in the shadow of trees and shrubs in a mixed border or in the semi-wild garden. The oval leaves clasp the arching stems, providing a graceful and decorative effect even before the bell-like flowers appear in early summer. The green-tipped white blooms are about 1 in. long – small pendent clusters lining the upper part of the stems. The flowering stems are popular with flower arrangers for indoor decoration. Continue Reading
Scabiosa (Scabious) – Scabiosa is one of the best, easy-to-grow garden flowers that you can add to your garden. It does not produce an abundance of blooms at any one time, and yet it remains a favorite herbaceous border perennial. There are two basic reasons for its popularity – flowering begins in late June and continues until the first frosts arrive, and the large flowers are excellent for arranging indoors. The frilly-edged ‘pincushions’, blue or white and up to 4 in. across, last a longtime in water and can also be dried for winter decoration. Continue Reading
Puschkinia -It is strange that this close relative of the Bluebell is so rarely grown. Puschkinia is an excellent plant for the rockery – a trouble-free, low-growing plant which bears its attractive blooms early in the year. It spreads quite rapidly by means of offsets which can be used to increase your stock.
The species grown as a garden plant is Puschkinia scilloides (Striped Squill). Flowering in early spring, each stem carries about six flowers which are open starry bells – each petal is pale blue with a central dark blue stripe. Colorful and easy, yet hardly known by gardeners. Continue Reading
Black-eyed Susan belongs in every sunny garden. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is one of the most common of all wildflowers. It has from 10 to 20 orange-yellow neutral rays around a conical, dark purplish-brown disk of florets containing both stamens and pistil. A Swedish naturalist, Linnaeus, named the species Rudbeckia after Olav Rudbeck and his son, who were both professors, and hirta in Latin is “rough hairy”.
The Black-eyed Susan has also been called many other names, such as Gloriosa Daisy, Yellow Daisy, Brown Daisy, Yellow Ox-eye Daisy, Poorland Daisy, Brown Betty, Blackiehead, Golden Jerusalem and Brown-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba). They grow in open sunny places, dry fields, along roadsides and just about any type of soil.
Create A Barrel Of Petunias – Most petunias are half-hardy perennials but they are best grown as annuals, as the plants tend to become leggy and less floriferous in their second year. In their first year, they flower continuously from early summer until fall, but as with most plants that flower for a very long season, it is important to deadhead spent blooms to keep the display going.
Their leaves and stems are covered with downy hairs and the leaves are also quite sticky, so grow them away from heavy pollution or they will gradually become smothered in black dust.