Beloved for its ability to beckon bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, bee balm (Monarda) also earns rave reviews for its mosquito-repelling qualities. For many insect-deterring plants to work, you have to crush leaves or blooms to release the plant’s volatile oils. Bee balm is an exception to that rule. As it grows and blooms in your garden, it releases fragrances mosquitoes dislike (so does basil, by the way). Bee balm is a perennial that flowers in a variety of colors and plant sizes. This beauty is Balmy Rose monarda, which is a compact type growing to 1 foot high. It’s a great choice for edging beds or tucking into containers.
Purple hyssop and yellow flowering mustard create a complimentary color palette in this vibrant country garden. The design intent was to create a garden evocative of the regional landscape through the use of perennials with year round color and textural interest.
If you’re a gardener who craves pure splashes of single colors, try something different this year. Mimic Mother Nature’s fall color show and treat yourself to a hanging basket planted with a mix of hues. The effect is truly a garden party in a pot. Cool Wave Mix Spreading Pansy delivers a just-right blend (designed by the seed breeders) that’s eye-catching and perfect for fall. Tuck a pot into the ground at least six weeks before frost, add extra mulch once the ground freezes, and you’ll be rewarded with early spring pansies. Cool Wave pansies handle temperatures as low as -13°F. They’ll look frozen solid during winter, and leaves and stems may turn brown, but watch what happens when spring peeks ‘round the corner. Of course, plants in pots won’t survive freezing temperatures.
The majestic rolling countryside of this Sunflower, Ontario property offers 160 acres of serene land. In addition to the main Victorian farmhouse, the property also features a private log cabin with lush landscaping perfect for guests visiting on a weekend getaway.
Five lush natural rattan hanging baskets with blooms on the covered front porch add nice color and texture to this outdoor space made for enjoying fresh air and the vibrancy of this urban Cincinnati neighborhood.
Stairways—both concrete and corten steel—connect this terraced backyard. All around the stairs are a graceful mix of perennials and grasses, with planters helping to soften the transition between levels.
Nothing says summer quite like a mandevilla vine. A native of the tropics, this stunner is hardy only in the warmest climes (Zones 9 -11) so they perform best as a container plant that can be overwintered indoors.
A transition garden featuring perennials like lilac verbena, carex, honeysuckle and lavender lines a path that leads to a bluestone-paved back terrace. Highlights include a Hong Kong Orchid tree and a birdbath.
The secret to mowing your way to a beautiful lawn is mowing less, but not in the way you might think. Many homeowners believe that if they delay mowing until grass is overly long and then scalp it, they won’t need to mow again soon. That type of mowing will slowly kill your lawn. The secret to a healthy lawn with the least amount of cutting? Mow to maintain a consistent height throughout the growing season, the ideal height for your type of turf (learn that from your local extension office). Never remove more than one-third of a grass blade’s length at each mowing, and let clippings lie. In combination, these practices can help you tend a lush, low-maintenance lawn.