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Milkweed – Friend of the Monarch!

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Featured, Perennials | 0 comments

Milkweed – Friend of the Monarch!

Asclepias or Milkweed is a wonderful garden plant that not only beautifies your landscape but also provides the much needed nectar and larval food of the Monarch butterfly. These native perennials are adaptable, easy-to-grow and deer resistant. What’s not to love! Asclepias flowers are quite interesting in structure and are designed to attach their pollen to the insects that they attract. The flowers become showy pods in autumn which are filled with seeds that are connected to silky white hairs called the ‘coma’. The milky sap that gives...

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Tilia americana – The Basswood Tree

Posted by on Apr 7, 2017 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Tilia americana – The Basswood Tree

 In his wonderful book ‘Stalking the Healthful Herbs’, Euell Gibbons describes hearing the ‘Basswood’ long before you see it. When the garden is aswarm with the humming of bees, it’s clear how well loved our American Linden is to pollinators. In June to July beautiful and intoxicatingly fragrant pale-yellow cymes of flowers hang in abundance on these trees. The honey and citrus scented flowers have long been loved by humans too! Linden flowers make a wonderful tea said to relax the nerves. Two tablespoons of dried flowers are steeped...

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Vaccinium vitis-idaea – The Lovely Lingonberry!

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Vaccinium vitis-idaea – The Lovely Lingonberry!

Growing up and having some Swedish heritage, lingonberry jam was a pantry staple in our house.  However, most folks I speak with have never heard of them. Allow me to introduce my old friend, Vaccinium vitis-idaea. Lingonberry is a diminutive evergreen shrub and a member of the Heath family. Small very-glossy oval leaves are arranged alternately along slender branches. These plants form a spreading clump, eventually forming dense colonies. Cute, pink-tinged white bell flowers in early summer become the delicious bright-red fruit in...

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Cercis – The Rosy Redbud

Posted by on Feb 24, 2017 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Cercis – The Rosy Redbud

Redbud trees in bloom are one of my favorite sights in spring! The unique way that purplish-pink flowers burst directly from the bare branches is so very interesting. These trees bloom so profusely and the branches become so completely covered in the pea-like flowers that they almost look as if they are wearing a pink sweater. After bloom pretty heart-shaped (cordate), alternately arranged leaves flutter all summer long, before turning butter-yellow in fall. Cercis are members of the Fabaceae family and are leguminous. They have specialized...

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Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – Brilliant Bearberry!

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – Brilliant Bearberry!

Winter is upon us and I’ve rediscovered how much I love to see Arctostaphylos uva-ursi with its brilliant-red berries covered in a dusting of snow! Bearberry is found in many countries all around the world. Here in the U.S. we find it from Alaska to New England and California to Virginia. In some parts of the world it has become endangered, while other areas find it growing in abundance. It thrives in the cool, rocky soils of more northern areas, but is a poor choice for areas with hot, humid summers. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi has many common...

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Fothergilla – A native wonder!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Fothergilla – A native wonder!

Fothergilla, known as Witch-Alder, is a wonderfully fragrant and interesting native shrub from the Southeast United States. In April-May, before the leaves appear, the bare branches become covered in peculiar bottle-brush like flower spikes. The white honey-scented flowers are apetalous (meaning they have no petals), they are made up of very showy stamens. The female plants have only white stamens whereas the male plants also have yellow anthers to add to their spring display. These plants shine again in autumn when they put on a fine show of...

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Stewartia pseudocamellia – A four-season beauty

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Stewartia pseudocamellia – A four-season beauty

There are few trees that match the grace and beauty of Stewartia pseudocamellia. Known in Japan as ‘natsu tsubaki’ or ‘summer camellia’, the Japanese Stewartia has wonderful year-round appeal. Spring brings dark-green 2-3 inch long elliptical leaves which have very finely serrated edges. The leaves are alternately arranged along the stems. From June until August the beautiful camellia-like flowers make their appearance. The large blooms consist of five-petaled white cups with showy golden-rod colored anthers. Each flower is short lived, but...

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Robinia – A Tough Beauty

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Robinia – A Tough Beauty

Robinias are some of the most beautiful trees, but like many beautiful things they may prove hard to tame.  With so many cultivars available, these trees have become a much loved garden plant all over the US and Europe. Robinia pseudoacacia was introduced into Europe in the early 17th century. One of the most amazing examples of this pretty flowering tree is the old gnarled Black Locust planted at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in 1762! Click here to see Kew‘s ‘Old Lions’. Robinia pseudoacacia has long hanging clusters of deliciously scented...

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Clethra the Fragrant Beauty of Summer

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Clethra the Fragrant Beauty of Summer

Clethra is one of my true plant loves! Aptly called Summersweet due to its deliciously spicy-sweet summer flowers. We call it the ‘rootbeer’ plant here at the nursery since its fragrance reminds us all of that tasty brew. The pretty white (sometimes pink) flowers appear in July and August when not much else is blooming. They have an extra superpower, they will even flower in the shade! ‘Clethra’ comes from the Greek klethra, meaning Alder, since their leaves somewhat resemble those of the Alder tree. Clethra alnifolia: Summersweet or Sweet...

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Aronia – The Chokeberry

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Featured, Trees and Shrubs | 0 comments

Aronia – The Chokeberry

Aronia or Chokeberry is a superb shrub for both its usefulness and beauty. I would love to see this wonderful native plant used in more gardens across the country! Chokeberries, so named for the bitter taste of the fresh fruit, are easy-care low maintenance plants with loads of interest. Spring finds them covered with showy clusters of small five-petaled white flowers. The flowers are bi-sexual, therefore these shrubs are self-fruitful. The leaves of Aronia are a very glossy deep-green with a finely-toothed edge and raised glands on the...

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