Versatile and tough, Taunton spreading yew (Taxus x media ‘Tauntoni’) has short needles that resist winter wind burn and stand up to summer heat. Yew grows well in sun or part shade, with plants reaching 3 to 4 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide. Choose Taunton spreading yew for a screen, foundation planting or hedge. It also works as a shrubby ground cover beneath trees. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
Classic bay leaf fragrance—and flavor—abounds in Sicilian sweet bay (Laurus nobilis ‘LNSS’). Sunny gold leaves and red stems give this shrub beauty in the landscape or stew pot. Harvest leaves as needed for cooking. Plants thrive in full sun to part shade and are hardy in Zones 8-10. To grow Sicilian Sunshine sweet bay in colder regions, keep it in a pot and stash it in a bright, cool spot for winter.
On an eye-catching corner lot in Houston, Tex., seasonal interest is achieved through the use of a vast number of species that bloom throughout spring and summer, as well as species with fall color or winter fruit to stand out in the off season. The goal of the project is to minimize physical labor demands in a contemporary garden design to match the architecture of the home,
Look for new Skyfall mums to create the perfect porch-size garden mum orb. Traditional garden mums don’t always make the prettiest hanging baskets because their stems don’t naturally trail and can be brittle, breaking easily. Not so with Skyfall mums. These trailing mums adapt beautifully to hanging baskets, cascading naturally. The petite daisy blooms beckon butterflies to the frost-tolerant plants. Look for flower colors of yellow, white, pink, purple and red. Plants are garden hardy in Zones 6A to 11. Plant at least six weeks before frost to help ensure winter survival.
Vintage buckets can be found in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors. This metal dry-goods bucket makes a great holder for a live rosemary plant to give to the chef or gardener in your life. Buckets can also be filled with miniature Christmas trees or winter flowers like paperwhites. Include tips on caring for the plant on the back of the gift tag.
From late winter through early spring, ‘Beauty’ Japanese plum brightens the landscape with delicate white flowers. The white blossoms fade to form tasty red plums in midsummer, earlier than other plums. This small edible fruit tree grows 12 to 15 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide. Plums make a nice addition to the home garden. 'Beauty' plum needs another plum for cross-pollination; ‘Shiro’ makes a good choice. Hardy in Zones 4-10.
Bring part shade areas of your yard to glowing life with the bright pink flowers of ‘Valley Valentine’ pieris (P. japonica). Dangling flowers open from deep red buds in late winter and early spring. Also known as lily-of-the-valley shrub, pieris is a slow grower, eventually reaching a mature size of 5 to 7 feet tall and wide. Use ‘Valley Valentine’ as part of a foundation planting, shrub border or hedge. Hardy in Zones 6-8.
Mulch is the No. 1 secret to low maintenance gardening. Apply it in a layer 2 to 3 inches thick, and it will help suppress weeds (less weeding for you) and reduce water evaporation from soil (less watering for you). Maintain mulch by applying a fresh layer as needed to maintain that ideal depth. In warm regions, you may need to apply mulch twice a year. In zones with cold winters, an annual mulch should be sufficient.
You can turn virtually any traditional entryway into a makeshift mudroom by utilizing your DIY skills. First, take an old dresser and dress it up with a fresh coat of paint. Then, use picture frames and chalkboard paint and add them to the center of each drawer front; these will serve as name plates, so each family member will have a designated place to properly store their winter gear and accessories. The case good itself will serve as an attractive piece of furniture in the foyer and take up minimal space.
English Rose 'Crocus Rose' as a Tree Rose - 'Crocus Rose' is a robust, free-flowering rose with lovely cream-colored rosette-shaped flowers, initially laced with soft apricot at the center. It is a very good choice for US growing conditions, including those with very cold winters. Grows to four feet tall and three feet wide. The fragrance is light Tea rose. Repeat-flowering. Awarded RHS "Award of Garden Merit." (David Austin 2000, Ausquest).
Native penstemon is a go-to perennial for hot and dry spots in full sun, which makes it an ideal choice for meadow plantings. ‘Midnight Masquerade’ penstemon offers deep burgundy-purple leaves that sound a strong color note all season long. In early to midsummer, lavender flower spikes top the dark hued leaves. Penstemon is a hummingbird and bee favorite. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Mulch lightly in winter after the ground freezes to help plants survive.
Dry winter air causes houseplants to dry out quickly. At the very least, check plants weekly to assess soil moisture. Sticking a finger onto—or even into—soil is an easy way to determine if plants need a drink. With small plants, lifting the pot is another good way to figure out how moist soil is. Dry soil is light; wet soil is heavier. Soil color also changes as moisture evaporates. Wet soil is dark; dry soil is lighter in color.
This 16-mile-long, half-mile-wide island is the epitome of wealth and extravagance. In times past, it served as the winter home to the Vanderbilts, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers and other millionaires. True to form, the town still features some of Florida’s finest hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as beautiful beaches. Perched next to the Gulf Stream, this beach town also enjoys the extra benefit of warm blue water and gentle breezes.
Spring and fall months tend to be the most popular for weddings. Therefore, vendors and venues charge their peak prices during those months of the year. Choosing a wedding date in the winter can save you a bundle because there are fewer weddings scheduled during those months, leading many vendors to offer discounts on their services. The same is often true for choosing a weekday or a Sunday rather than a Saturday.
David Austin's 'L.D. Braithwaite' has the brightest crimson coloring of all English Roses. The variety is related to Austin's spectacular 'Mary Rose' and shares many of that rose's strengths, including excellent winter hardiness and heat and humidity tolerance. Its large flowers bloom abundantly all season. Flowers have little scent at first, but a charming Old Rose fragrance comes on as the flowers mature. Repeat-flowering. Grows to 4 ft tall by 4 ft wide. (David Austin 1988, Auscrim).
Making late additions to the landscape can result in devastating losses next spring, especially in areas where the ground freezes. Perennials are the most susceptible to late planting, as alternating freezing and thawing of soil literally shoves plants out of soil, exposing crowns. Shrubs and trees can go into the ground later, but for best winter survival rates, you should have all plants in place by six weeks before soil typically freezes.
Unless you want to leave seedheads in place for winter bird feasting, it’s a good idea to jump-start spring clean-up by pruning perennial stems before the snow flies. Don’t cut stems of plants like Russian sage (shown) shorter than 2 feet, especially in coldest areas. Shortening stem height helps protect plants from heavy snow. In coldest regions, avoid snipping stems shorter than about 4 inches. Remaining stem stubs catch fall leaves, which can help insulate plant crowns.
Bring a little nature indoors this winter with a handmade felt pine cone throw pillow. Use a round, stuffed object for your base. If you can’t find a round pillow look for a stuffed toy ball. Cut ovals out of brown felt and stitch or use fabric glue to attach them in overlapping layers. Use larger ovals at the base, and smaller ovals as you get to the top of the pinecone.