Trying a few new plants for mixed containers is something I look forward to every year. But when I’m at the nursery, I also consult my list of favourites — the ones that never let me down, look good all season and don’t use up my whole plant budget. These are my insurance plants in case the new ones don’t live up to their billing or just don’t work out. Most on my list have … [Read more...] about Perfect container plants
Laura in Toronto, ON., asks: What are suitable plants for a windy, north-facing, fifth-floor balcony in Toronto (Zone 6)? I’m looking for plants that can withstand the wind, and can do reasonably well without much direct sunlight (i.e., receiving sunlight during the summer only in the early morning and evening as the sun rises and sets). Beckie’s reply: I assume you mean … [Read more...] about What are suitable plants for windy balconies?
If you wheeze and sneeze when you set foot in the garden, just think about sex — plant sex, that is. “What people don’t realize is that many plants are either male or female,” says Tom Ogren, pollen expert and author of Allergy-Free Gardening: The Revolutionary Guide to Healthy Landscaping (Ten Speed Press, 2000). “Male plants produce huge amounts of pollen, the biggest … [Read more...] about Allergy-free gardening
The notion of designing and planting a new perennial border may fill veteran gardeners with anticipatory glee, but new gardeners often experience sensations more akin to a panic attack. Not to worry: there’s a first time for everything, and by following a few basic guidelines, you have every reason to expect success. Perennial (often called herbaceous) borders are a British … [Read more...] about 6 steps to a beautiful perennial border
After another week of bizarre weather, including extended torrential rain, flooding and power failures, the garden is feeling the impact of a punishing season. (Just ask the petunias what they think of it!) Most of the hostas are showing signs of environmental abuse, but fortunately the yellow hostas have weathered the storms quite well. I’m fond of yellow hostas, although … [Read more...] about Yellow hostas shine on in the rain