Beckie Fox

It’s easy to see why the vine is called Spanish flag. (Garden Making photo)

Versatile annual vines

Beckie Fox

If you’re looking for near-instant gratification from a flowering plant, you won’t go wrong with an annual vine. Most are easy to grow from seed, they grow and flower quickly, and they relish the heat — something we seem to have a lot of most summers.


Tall meadow-rue grabs attention

Beckie Fox

This week, the fluffy pale yellow flowers of ‘Tukker Princess’ meadow-rue (Thalictrum flavum ‘Tukker Princess’) are bobbing above an island bed situated in part sun in our back garden. The bed is packed with plants, but this meadow-rue always finds a way to pop up through the dense foliage of perennials and shrubs in midsummer.

fringe tree

Making room for special trees

Beckie Fox

Our young fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus), planted four years ago, took a couple of years to bloom, but it was worth the wait. Native to the southeastern U.S., fringe tree has a loose, open habit, and produces clusters of flouncy white flowers in late spring and golden leaves in autumn.


Whys and hows of tomato pruning

Beckie Fox

If you’re growing tomatoes for the first time, especially some of the delicious heritage varieties, check out “Pruning tomatoes” and "How to prune tomatoes" for tips on how to manage the vigorous vines and still have a bountiful harvest.


Geraniums: workhorses in the garden

Beckie Fox

Cranesbills, now more commonly referred to by their genus name Geranium, have played an important, albeit supporting, role in my gardens for many years. There are a huge number of perennial geranium species and cultivars — short or tall, compact or sprawling, for sun or shade, native or non-native, groundcover or specimen plant, adamant about good drainage or tolerant of heavy clay, etc.