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Pacific Northwest Summer Gardening Tips

Pots of Pelargoniums Until Frost  Nothing says “summer” like a pot of scarlet pelargoniums on the porch. These old-fashioned plants with their scalloped, pungent leaves sport flowers that look like bright lollipops on thin stems. They can be grown in containers or set in garden beds and their distinctive upright form plays well off soft mounds of companion plants. Pelargonium is the scientific name for what gardeners generally called geraniums; they have been popular in America since the late eighteenth century when Thomas Jefferson had plants shipped from France for his gardens at Monticello. In formal parks and gardens they are used in “bedding out” schemes, with blocks of red geraniums bordered by royal blue lobelia, and perhaps a tall [...]

Northeastern Summer Gardening Tips

Gardener cooks would do well to remember this twist on an old saying – keep your vegetables close and your herbs closer. At the end of the day, dinner preparations can be had in only a few steps when you keep the ingredients on the patio or near to the back door – along with ornamental flowers and shrubs. Summer may not be a vacation for everyone, but fresh and handy edibles and herbs can make cooking a delight instead of drudgery. The star of the show when it comes to combining edibles with flowers is Tuscan kale (‘Nero di Tuscana’). The leaves – up to 10 inches long and about 3 inches wide – are almost black and a [...]

Midwestern Summer Gardening Tips

A Bit Of Shade  Shade from a tree helps cool the house in summer, offering a cool respite on a hote day, but not every property has room for a stately elm or spreading oak. Where space is limited by the size of the property or other obstacles, seek out a tree that suits the space – perhaps one that grows up more than out or, in contrast, a tree that is wider than tall. Here are a few examples. Round tree canopies throw an even shade – watch the circle throughout the day as it moves across the grass or patio – and suit a garden with as much vertical space as horizontal. The hedge maple (Acer campestre) grows [...]

Southern Summer Gardening Tips

Both the garden and the gardener can begin to look a bit limp in the heat of summer. Late winter has its burst of snapdragons and in early spring the Lady Banks roses perfume the air. But come the warmer days, what’s the garden to do? Include plants that keep up appearances no matter what the temperature and then take your iced tea out to the veranda and relax. Heat tolerant roses mean that their lush look and enticing fragrance can be had over many months. ‘Julia Child’, a repeat-flowering floribunda named after the famous chef, blooms with full golden flowers that carry scents of licorice. Floribundas produce many flowers per stem and can create a mountain of bloom – [...]