Category Archives: Shrubs and Trees

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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When Gene Sumi Speaks, We Listen


by Rita Calvert
Every year both stores of Homestead Gardens feature winter workshops to help us get charged up for planting and growing seasons and just help educate by answering many questions. Gene Sumi …

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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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Crapemyrtles 101 with Gene Sumi


Our recent Crapemyrtle Festival featured a great talk on – naturally! – crapemyrtles.  Here were the highlights, and don’t miss Gene’s special instructions on pruning!
First, to qualify Gene on this subject – as …

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Plant of the Month – Hydrangeas!


Who doesn’t love hydrangeas?  Especially in late June, when most types are strutting their stuff.  So, lots to see and comment on, starting with the Oakleaf hydrangeas seen above and below.

Oakleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea quercifolia) …

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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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Easy Roses: First there were Knockouts, now come Drifts


KnockoutsYou’re probably familiar with Knockout Roses, now the hottest-selling rose in the U.S.  Because they bloom repeatedly until December here in Maryland and are incredibly resistant to fungal disease (despite our famous humidity) they’ve …

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It’s Azalea-Pruning Time


Got azaleas?  Of course you do!  (It’s for good reason that some call our region the “Azalea Belt.”)  And are your azaleas the size or shape that you want them to be?  All of them?  …

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Try a New Shrub this Season


Homestead’s shrubs buyer, Lolly Bonomi, has these new and very promising shrubs in stock – check ’em out!
Acuba Hosoba Hoshifu Variegata
That’s a long name for what looks to be a shorter …

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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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The 4-1-1 on Knockout Roses


 This month’s meeting of the Golden Spades covered a topic that Homestead Education Coordinator Gene Sumi gets questions about all the time, he says, so often that he decided they needed their own meeting to …

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Fall Color Comes in Many Forms

Fall Comes In Many Colors

How to have a knock-out garden in the fall?  Let’s count the ways.
1.  Foliage colors – it’s not just trees that are strutting their stuff in the fall

2. Fading flowers can be …

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Illustrated Guide to Shrubs on Super-Sale

We don’t call this a “blow-out” sale for nothing – the prices are irresistible, especially if, like me, you’re a big fan of shrubs for low-maintneance, high-mpact gardens.  I just wish I had the …

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New-Garden Challenges Part 3: Screening

In reporting my progress in beginning a brand new garden, I’ve covered the challenge of having so much empty space to fill, the challenge of poor soil, and now we come to the …

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A whole lotta plant for 12 to 15 bucks

You may have read that we’re having a “blow-out” sale on a whole bunch of shrubs for “unbeatable prices” – 3-gallon plants for $12 or $15.  Well, it’s one thing to read that and another …

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We Live in Hydrangea Heaven

It’s June and in our region it’s Hydrangea Heaven, with these heavenly shrubs blooming themselves crazy.   And suddenly I’m noticing that the most spectacular gardens all seem to have lots of hydrangeas, more than ever.   …

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Time to Prune Your Rhododendrons, and Maybe Plant Some More

Time to Prune

Rhododendron bloom time came early this year, like everything else after our crazy-warm winter, and the blooms are mostly gone.  That means it’s time to get out your hand pruners and give your rhodies the …

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Roses at the Franciscan Monastery

Roses at Monastery

The Franciscan Monastery in Northeast D.C. is rightly touted as a great local garden to visit – especially in the spring.  Last month the display of tulips made it a must-see destination but now …

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