A favorite among dieters, stevia is super easy to grow as an annual in Zones 7 and cooler. Give it full sun in northern gardens; provide protection from hot afternoon sun in warmest zones. Pinch plants early in the season several times to encourage branching. Pick the super sweet leaves of this herb for drying or fresh use. For best results, dry in a dehydrator or a 150-degree oven. To use, crush dry leaves as needed. In Zones 8 and warmer, plants may overwinter with mulch.
Many trees, especially fruit trees, produces water sprouts. These stems grow from the root system and typically don’t produce fruit, which is why they’re also called suckers. Sucker stems can grow large—even to branch size. To remove suckers, you need to dig down to find the starting point and cut it there. Clip suckers at ground level, and the next year two (or more!) will sprout where one grew.
Spice up a blank wall this holiday season with seasonal stamps on an arrangement of beautiful birch slices. Cut up a variety of different sized birch branches and arrange them into a rectangle. You can glue them to a board, or use temporary adhesive to attach them directly to the wall. Use acrylic paint to stamp the larger pieces with your favorite seasonal stamps. You can buy stamps or create your own by carving potato stamps.
If you love hummingbirds, include cardinal flower (Lobelia speciosa) in your yard. The brilliant red blossoms on this perennial are a magnet for hummers. Plants branch well and produce flowers on strong upright spikes from midsummer into early fall. Site this native in full sun to part shade. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 20 to 24 inches tall by 12 to 14 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 6-10. If you prefer pink flowers, look for ‘Starship Rose’ cardinal flower.
HGTV's special Celebrity Holiday Homes gives Dee Snider, the lead singer of the popular heavy metal band Twisted Sister as well as radio personality and actor, a dose of holiday cheer by decorating his home for the holidays. This is a detail picture of the Christmas and Holiday decorations, decorative balls, lights, decorative branch, flowers and diy spray painting detail on the Christmas tree in the living room during HGTV's special Celebrity Holiday Homes with Dee Snider.
All flowers provided by Tower Flowers/Delaware Valley Flowers
Pick up a few black paint pens at your local craft store. Draw geometric designs onto solid white ornaments. Try polka dots, stripes and even hearts. This is a great project to get the kids involved too. They’ll love to see their creations hang on the tree. Black and white ribbon is an easy way to add some personality and texture to the tree. Instead of wrapping it our the tree in a traditional manner, cut small sections of the ribbon and drape it over single branches here and there.
For outstanding fall color, include easy-growing ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’) in your garden. Low-maintenance and deer-resistant, goldenrod unfurls tiny, bright yellow blooms on horizontal branches that add color from late summer well into fall. This is a super pollinator plant, attracting all kinds of bees, butterflies and beneficial insects. Flowers make a great addition to bouquets. If you’re an allergy sufferer, please note that goldenrod doesn’t cause hayfever. Plants grow 30 to 36 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Known as blue wild indigo or blue false indigo (Baptisia australis), this native perennial achieves shrub size each growing season. Plants sink a deep tap root that searches out water to fuel top growth. Blue flower spikes appear in late spring, blending beautifully with the blue-green leaves. More stems appear each year, creating a full, lush plant. Snip blooms or branches for the vase. Grows 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Look for new and smaller varieties with flowers in shades of pink, purple, yellow and brown.
Trees may not be the first places homeowners think of hanging holiday wreaths, but in this natural setting they can serve triple duty as yard decorations, wind chimes and bird perches. Pick up a twig wreath and crafting bells from the craft store. Attach bells around the perimeter of the wreath with fishing wire or twine, then suspend the wreath from a branch with rope. Sprinkle some bird seed onto the wreath to attract birds throughout the season.
Every room is better with fresh flowers or the perfect green plant to add life and a little fresh air. In the case of this island’s centerpiece, I created a custom “permanent botanical." The large resin bowl (approximately 32 inches in diameter) is filled with multiple varieties of moss, green moss balls, agate, pyrite and driftwood branches to create an elevated natural arrangement. There is no limit to the possibilities and best of all, you can create this look yourself with things you love.
Native trees are often trouble-free beauties, and serviceberry is no exception. ‘Autumn Brilliance’ (Amelanchier x grandiflora) is the result of a cross between two native serviceberries. It delivers white flowers in spring that fade to form edible blue-black fruits (terrific in jams and pies). Birds also love the fruits. Fall color is outstanding with shades of orange-red. ‘Autumn Brilliance’ typically has multiple trunks and a pretty structure that’s especially visible when snow lies on branches. Size: 15 to 25 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
For beautiful blooms that can’t be overlooked, plant ‘Duchess Blue & White’ torenia (Torenia fournieri ‘Duchess Blue & White’. Also known as wishbone flower, this pretty annual makes a striking filler in containers or edging along a planting bed. Plants grow 6 inches tall and up to 10 inches wide. Pinch out growing tips on young plants to increase branching, which means more flowers. Look for torenia that opens blossoms in hues of pink, lavender, yellow and white. ‘Duchess’ torenia has been specifically developed to flower strongly in full shade.
Problem: Stunted, pale or weak-looking plants. Solution: Before you can treat this problem, you need to figure out exactly what’s causing it. Insects may be attacking your plants, or you may be watering too much, or not fertilizing enough. Check both sides of the leaves, and look along the stems and branches for signs of trouble. Make sure the roots aren't standing in a saucer full of water. Read up on how and when to fertilize your plant, and feed it with a balanced plant food or a specialized plant food, if necessary.
"Light the tree from the top down working in sections rather than round and round the tree," says Barnhardt. "Work the lights in toward the trunk of the tree, and then back out to the tip of the next branch, securing it by slipping the tip between the two wires of your strand of lights. When it's time to take the lights away, just pull gently on the cord for each section. To get the lighting evenly placed on your tree, step back, squint your eyes to make things blurry and look for dark spots. Rearrange or add lights as needed. These techniques work well on our towering trees at Biltmore and on my little seven-foot fresh tree at home." Photo courtesy of Biltmore Estates.
Formally known as Magilla purple perilla, it’s okay to shorten the name of this shade-loving plant to Magilla perilla, just because it’s fun to say. It’s a coleus lookalike, but the similarities stop there. Unlike coleus, Magilla perilla branches easily to form a full plant that’s packed with multicolored leaves. It’s also extremely heat and cold tolerant, which means it stands up to summer sizzle and fall’s chilly nights. Use it in containers or to bump up the color quotient in landscape beds. Plants grow quickly to achieve their full size: 24 to 36 inches tall and 12 to 18 inches wide.
Add color to your garden from midsummer to early fall with the towering blooms of joe pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum). This native plant boasts a low-maintenance personality, resists rabbits, and adapts to heavy clay or boggy soil with ease. Give it a spot in full sun to part shade. It makes a great back- of-the-border plant or rain garden player. Flowers attract pollinators like crazy, including bees, butterflies and beneficial insects. Cut plants back by one-third in early summer to promote branching and more flowers. Plants grow 5 to 7 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Purple flower clusters (8 inches long) cover this small tree all summer long. Blooms beckon pollinators of all kinds—it’s a great plant for a bee or butterfly garden. Gray-green leaves have purple undersides that complement blooms. Look for other chaste tree varieties with flowers in shades of pink or white. The branch structure is very architectural and adds good winter interest to a landscape. If your chaste tree develops lots of twiggy growth and starts looking more shrub-like, prune it in late winter. Remove all smaller twigs along five or six major trunks to create a tree-looking plant. Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 6-9.
For this arrangement you'll need crepe paper in green, white and gray (I used crepe paper streamers), green floral stem wire, green floral tape, paper bind wire, plastic gold coins, moss and a block of dry floral foam. Follow the easy step-by-step instructions on the previous slide to make your own paper flowers. Place dry floral foam in a vase and arrange paper florals into a full, asymetrical bouquet, trailing vines above and below for a whimsical look. Add St. Patrick's Day flair by hot-gluing plastic gold coins to floral stem wire and distributing throughout the arrangement. Finish the bouquet with natural moss and curly willow branches.