Category Archives: Perennials

What is a rain garden?


During a storm, rain travels through downspouts, runs across lawns and streets, and then is ushered down a storm drain that dumps the water into streams and lakes. This would be fine, except for the …

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Choosing the best full-sun plants for your Maryland yard


Every spring you plant your garden and dream of the beautiful blooming flowers soon to come. Those dreams are quickly diminished, though, if your plants haven’t quite taken off like you’d imagined by the end …

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How to prepare your perennials for winter


Year after year we experience harsh winters with heavy snow, slick ice and freezing temperatures, yet our bodies never quite adapt to these unfavorable weather conditions. Sure, our Midwestern roots help us handle winters better …

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Harvest Time: Which Perennials are Best to Plant in the Fall?


If you haven’t already started planning your gardens for next year, now is the time to get started.
Why? Because now is the best time to plant many perennials, as the roots will …

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Bundle Up Your Garden



Be Inspired Seasonally with Rita Calvert
After the winter of 2013-2014, many of us want to be more vigilant to protect our precious trees and perennials from the big chill. For me, …

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Fall is Prime Time for Planting Perennials, Shrubs and Trees


Roots are the most important feature of any plant. Whether you’re breaking up a root ball to transplant a seedling into soil in the spring months, or adding some trees and shrubs to your backyard …

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Plant Fall-Blooming Perennials Now for a Fall Show!


Fall-blooming perennials add vibrant color in your garden even after a long, healthy spring and summer season. They produce lively colors and attract various butterflies and birds.
The knowledgeable staff at

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Most Popular Gardening Topics of 2013


It’s the year with 365 brand new days to fill! Bet you never thought of it that way before. You chose if you want the day half (or completely) full or half empty. …

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All Plants Think About Is Sex!


Seasonal Design with Rita Calvert
Lucky me, to be able to visit Selby Boatanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida for the holidays. The real beauty of the exhibit this time of year is the night …

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Happy Belated Bloom Day!


Since practically the dawn of blogging, garden bloggers have posted photos of whatever is blooming in their garden on the 15th of each month.  This blogging “meme” is called the Garden Blogger Bloom Day and …

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Plant of the Month: Black-Eyed Susans


What’s not to love about Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckias), Maryland’s state flower?  Their blooms are beautiful and last for months – from late June through September.  The photo below was taken in Wheaton, MD on September …

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It’s Pollinator Week, and Gardeners can Help


It’s happening across the U.S. and, thanks to a proclamation from Governor O’Malley, it’s Pollinator Week here in Maryland, too.  So in honor of this very special class of insects, let’s review WHY they’re …

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Barry Glick’s “Woodland Wonders from the Wild”


A highlight of our Perennial Pandemonium this past weekend was an inspiring talk called “Woodland Wonders from the Wild” by Barry Glick, plantsman extraordinaire and owner of Sunshine Farm and Gardens in West Virginia.

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Sandy McDougle Knows Heat-Loving Perennials


Homestead’s big Perennials Pandemoniam weekend of events is almost here, and I have to admit having a favorite event or two circled on my own calendar.  The first is a show-and-tell about “Perennials that …

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Inspiration and Tips from Brookside Gardens


In honor of National Public Garden Month – okay, it was just one day but why not make it longer? – I visited Maryland’s Brookside Gardens last week and found lots to drool over …

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More Alternatives to Impatiens


First, if you haven’t heard about the Downy Mildew disease threatening the common Impatiens this year, click here for a brief update.  That link also includes my favorite alternative to Impatiens for color in …

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Rick Darke’s Favorite Native Plants


Writer/garden designer Rick Darke, famous for his knowledge of native plants and advocacy for sustainable gardening, grows a mix of native and well-adapted nonnatives in his own garden.  In an earlier post I …

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A Few of Rick Darke’s Favorite Nonnative Plants


Last weekend I attended Rick Darke’s wonderful talk about “Balancing Natives and Exotics in the Garden” and promised to report back from this special fund-raising event for Annapolis’s Unity Gardens.  So here are …

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My Picks for Easiest Natives and Nonnatives


With author/native plant expert Rick Darke’s talk coming up this Saturday at Key School in Annapolis on the topic of “Balancing Natives and Exotics in the Garden”, I got to thinking.  What’s the balance …

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Fading Hostas are Bargains

Hostas in their glory at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

Sure, any shopper will want to buy hostas when they look anything like THIS in the garden center – gorgeous!  But the wise, budget-conscious shopper picks them up NOW, as they’re fading and frankly pretty …

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