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Featured Plant

Flashy Fall Alternatives to Burning Bush

Burning bush (Euonymus alatus) has long been acclaimed for its brilliant red fall foliage. But since burning bush is now banned as an invasive plant in many states, people are asking for a noteworthy substitute. No problem! Many outstanding alternatives are finally getting the attention they deserve! And many of these are native to North…

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Step Aside Sedum Autumn Joy

Step Aside Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ The demand for low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants that provide three, if not four seasons of interest, has generated a surge of new Sedum cultivars that are taking center stage. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ is probably the most well-known Sedum BUT this ‘king of the hill’ status is about to be toppled. I…

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NONSTOP flowering Millionbells

Superbells DOUBLETTE ‘Love Swept’. I was swept away by how this lovely Calibrachoa kept on flowering, right into the fall, without any deadheading. And truth be told, I only fertilized it once, with Espoma Plant-tone, a slow release organic fertilizer. I paired it with another superstar Proven Winners annual, Isotoma ‘Beth’s Blue’. DOUBLETTE ‘Love Swept’…

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Eye-Popping Purple Berry Clusters

Callicarpa Commonly called Beautyberry, this deciduous shrub is prized for its stunning fall fruit that encircles arching stems. The display is even more riveting after the foliage drops. Callicarpa americana is native to the Southeastern United States. Small pollinator-friendly pink flowers appear in summer that then transform to brilliant violet or magenta berries. It typically…

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Plants that love sun and heat

The July weather in Maine was gorgeous – sunny and dry – just what the tourists love. But lawns are browning out and gardens are panting for water. As a garden designer, I like to work with plants that can endure stretches of inconsistent watering, although even drought tolerant plants need water at some point!…

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Pruning Bigleaf Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are the most googled shrub on the internet. And it seems that blue or pink mophead Hydrangeas (H. macrophylla) cause the most swooning. Except, that is, in colder zones where frustrated gardeners stare at large leafy shrubs with few or no flowers. Pruning at the wrong time could be the culprit (if pruning to…

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Epimedium, Butterfly Weed, Spigelia and Hakone Grass

This was my third time speaking at the United States Botanic Gardens, and I think the gardens were more gorgeous than ever! Below are a few of the MANY plants that caught my eye. Two Workhorse Perennials for Shade: Epimedium, commonly called Barrenwort, and Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, commonly called Hakone or Japanese Forest Grass. Barrenwort…

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Some Exciting New Plants Coming down the Plant Pike

CAST (California Spring Trials) is an annual horticultural trade event hosted in northern and central California, showcasing spectacular new plants being introduced to the market. The acronym, CAST, was originally created when the trial only focused on annuals but now perennials, edibles and flowering shrubs are also part of the glamour show. My friend, Karen…

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Enkianthus and Phlox ‘Violet Pinwheels’

Enkianthus campanulatus This lovely flowering shrub, commonly called redvein enkianthus, deserves more attention. It has charming white, creamy-yellow, whitish-pink, or pink nodding flowers in spring. A slow-growing shrub, Enkianthus can range in height from 6’ to 15’, depending on the variety. All are acid loving shrubs, similar to Rhododendrons and Azaleas. I planted a pure…

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Applause for the American Rose Trials for Sustainability (ARTS)

Established in Portland, Maine in 2014, ARTS partners with other trial sites across the county to test roses for exceptional hardiness, disease resistance, drought tolerance, adaptability to different soils, and not requiring synthetic chemicals that many other roses need to look their best. The program identifies the best roses for 9 different climate zones in…

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