Monday - September 25, 2023

Maintaining and Using Perennial Flowers

October 25th, 2011

Maintaining and Using Perennial Flowers By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert Perennials have different lifespans and while some, like peonies, can live for many (some say up to 50) years, all plants will die sooner or later. But you can keep them going by dividing and replanting, or by keeping the seedlings. After flowering, let the leafy tops die down naturally, as they feed the roots which need to survive through the winter, and don\’t cut them off until the plant is dormant. Some plants go dormant and disappear in the summer, but their roots continue to grow and will send up... Read More

A Word on Weeding

July 24th, 2011

A Word on Weeding By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert In the perennial garden, this is the time of summer to rest on your laurels and enjoy looking at your garden. It\’s too hot to plant anything. But we still must weed. When I was a little girl, my mother used to encourage me to weed by telling me it was “good for the soul.” While I was out there building character, she disappeared — to read a book no doubt, and not a gardening book. Mom used to pull up new flowers her friends give her, but I apprenticed long and hard to learn to know friend from interloper... Read More

Make Your Own Chrysanthemums – and Use Them Too!

June 29th, 2011

Make Your Own Chrysanthemums – and Use Them Too! By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert The garden mum C. morifolium is one of the easiest perennials to grow and propagate.  It emerges in April or May and after a couple weeks it should be six inches high, with several pairs of lateral leaves. It\’s fully to half hardy, meaning that most varieties survive heavy frosts but some (like the ones used by florists) can only tolerate a little. If you want to have some fun, you can take some of the longer cuttings and poke them directly into the soil. I learned this one spring from a... Read More

The Garden in Snow

February 10th, 2011

The Garden in Snow By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert Looking out at my yard covered with a 10-inch thick snow blanket, it’s hard to imagine it popping with green life. The winter palette is subtle and today it’s predominantly white, with various branches showing their earth tones – grays, ochers, siennas, umbers. It’s now that you can appreciate the structure of trees and shrubs, with their various shapes and textures. The birch in the neighboring yard shows its frilly branches and exfoliating bark. The graceful curves of the oakleaf hydrangeas on this side of the fence... Read More