NEW Trips to Take!

Myrtle's easy when the conditions are right.


NEW Plants to Try!

Louis tries to capture the exact words to describe the fleeting but deep pleasures to be found in these Summer-into-Autumn incredibles.


New Gardening to Do!

Allergic to bees? You can still have an exciting garden, full of flowers and color and wildlife.


A Gardening Journal

The Best Season Ever: Gold Boxleaf Honeysuckle

Evergreen shrubs with small foliage seem to go with everything. By comparison, nearby medium-sized leaves look surprisingly impressive, and truly large ones titanic.


And when the tiny foliage is colorful and held in orderly sprays? The plant is no longer horticulture's little black dress: It's one of its stars.

Good Together: Short-toothed Mountain Mint with Purple-leaved Ninebark

Mountain mint is a garden essential because its flowers are beloved by insect pollinators, and they emerge for weeks and weeks from Summer to early Fall. 


But the flowers themselves play almost no part in creating the plants' intense visual appeal. Instead, the show depends, first, on the pair of silvery bracts that flank the flower cluster—and, then, on the colorful sepals that protect the flowerbuds and endure long after the flowers have fallen. 

Good Together: Buds of Variegated Spanish Dagger and Everything Else within Reach

The flowers of Spanish dagger are almost pure white. So many of them crowd each tall, multi-branched stalk that you can enjoy a yucca clump in full flower from hundreds of yards away. In large part, the display is so successful because it is so comprehensible at such a distance. You don't just think, "Wow: big colorful plant in bloom way over there." You think, "The flower spike on that plant is huge. I'm not just looking at a plant bearing a lot of flowers all over." Eat your heart out, magnolias and forsythia, cherries and azaleas.


Spanish dagger buds are a delight, too—but the interplay of dusty maroon, pink, green, and white is lost even steps away.


Yucca: The plant to site both on the horizon and right at hand. 


After years of half-heartedly yanking a small volunteer wisteria that favored an out-of-the-way corner of the garden, I returned in late August to yank yet again. The "wisteria" was in flower. 


A wisteria that doesn't begin flowering until high Summer?  

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