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Plants Articles

Everything you could want to know about Genetically Superior Black Walnut Trees

RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT CHARACTERISTICS PROJECTED VALUE HOW IT ALL BEGAN HOW MUCH ARE THE TREES WORTH? THE PRESENT ASSUMPTIONS HOW TO GET THE BEST PRICE IS FAST-GROWING WOOD LESS DESIREABLE? MAXIMIZING THE RETURN ON PLANTATION INVESTMENT PURDUE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH WHERE TO PLANT HOW TO PLANT RESEARCH Research begins at Purdue University in 1968. Over 400 specimens collected and planted in clone banks. All but the eight fastest growing and straightest trees are culled. Those eight are awarded patents in 1979 and 1980 based on superior growth and form. Back to top...

Flowering trees add vivid bursts of color

For me, at this time of year, nothing lifts my spirits quite like the sight of the beautiful flowering trees that Cheryl and I have planted over the years as part of our landscape. And it’s not just our trees. Driving around the neighborhood I can see splashes of crimson, pink and snow white where, only a few weeks ago there were only greys and muted browns. Maybe you’ve seen some colorful trees that really delighted you, but you weren’t sure what they were exactly and so you couldn’t your own specimens or even investigate them online. Here is a quick glance at some of...

Evergreen planting brings year-round life to your garden

This time of the year is perfect for planning some of the exciting projects you can get started on in the spring. This week I have a suggestion for a project that is a lot of fun to plan and will be very satisfying to create. And if the land outside your window is looking a little bare right now, this project will have the added benefit of remaining pleasant to look at year-round. We'll call this project an Evergreen Garden, but you could also refer to it as a Conifer Garden. This will work well in almost every plant hardiness zone as these evergreens do well in full or partial...

Planting trees this spring? These pre-plant tips will help!

We must be well into the new year because I've finally stopped writing the wrong year on my checks. It's about this time every year that both professional landscapers and home gardeners start thinking seriously about spring planting. Now is the perfect time to be thinking about the characteristics of your planting site. This is particularly important if trees are on your spring planting agenda. "It pays to plan well [and to] know your planting site," says Yvonne Barkley, a forestry extension associate with the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho...

"Easy care" plants for the horticulturally challenged!

"I have a brown thumb," a reader of this column recently moaned. She meant that she had the opposite of a "green thumb," a description we often apply to people who seem to have a knack of growing just about anything successfully. Our "brown thumb" reader went on to say that she seemed to have no luck at all when it comes to keeping plants alive and thriving. This luckless lady was one of several who have asked me for some tips on foolproof trees, shrubs and plants that even THEY are unlikely to kill! Today, I'll tell you about some of my favorites that are...

Pruning: a kindly cut for your trees

Pruning trees is a subject that crops up quite frequently in e-mail that I receive from readers of this column. Many people feel uneasy about cutting limbs from their trees, even though they understand in principle that it's often a necessary and beneficial practice. "It feels as if I'm performing surgery without anesthetic," as one reader put it! Let's take a look at the basics of pruning, and I'll also point you at some online resources you can access and that will give you a far more comprehensive understanding of pruning than we have room for here. As...

Ornamental Grasses Add Year-long Garden Interest

Ornamental Grasses Add Year-long Garden Interest
There's grass... and then there are GRASSES! You mow the grass, but ornamental grasses get a whole different treatment. You scowl and say, "Darn it! Look how long the grass is getting!" Then smile and say, "Look at those beautiful grasses!" There's something very special about ornamental grasses than can make a fan out of the most avid lawn-care grumbler . For one thing, they are relatively easy to grow (and hard to kill) and they can be quite spectacular without requiring a lot of expertise on the part of the homeowner. Ornamental grasses add year-long garden interest. Ornamental grasses can...

Attractive groundcover can repel deer, too!

Groundcover: Can it really be practical as well as attractive? In a previous column, I discussed the pros and cons of adding groundcover around your trees. In fact, I asked you to imagine yourself as a tree and think how you'd feel about groundcover invading your space! But I believe that judicious planting of groundcover has many advantages for you, and even for your trees in some cases. Areas with groundcover don't need mowing and provide a welcome contrast from a wide expanse of lawn. Additionally, groundcover can grow in shady areas where grass can hardly survive...

Dry soil? Six plants that will brighten your landscape

For farmers, there are only two kinds of rainfall: too much and not enough. Those of us who are into gardening and landscaping can sympathize with that! However, unlike farmers, most of us don’t have thousands of acres to worry about. That means we can concentrate our efforts on finding plants that can withstand the prevailing weather conditions in our (relatively) small patch of soil. The Plant Man’s simple rule of (green) thumb? Select trees and shrubs whose characteristics match the USDA plant hardiness zone where you live and the specific moisture conditions of your landscape...

Best 8 Flowering Plants

Greenwood's Best 8 Flowering Plants The Fairy Rose Pink Velour Crape Myrtle Bloomerang Reblooming Lilac Knockout Double Pink Rose Nishiki Dappled Willow Nikko Blue Hydrangea Spilled Wine Weigela Pinky Winky Hydrangea These flowering plants were chosen for their blooming length as well as the other special qualities that they bring to the garden. Check out our other flowering plants .

Best ways to use flowering shrubs and evergreen shrubs

Best ways to use flowering shrubs and evergreen shrubs in any garden or landscape: Shrubs are virtually maintenance free . Our living fence shrubs and evergreen shrubs help you to maintain your privacy . Several specimens of the same variety can be planted in garden plant groupings for a stronger visual effect. Different plant varieties can be grouped together for diversity and harmony of form, foliage or flower. Use flowering shrubs to give a sense of volume in a flower bed and can be used to set off garden accessories such as statues, birdbaths, fountains...

Best 8 Deer Resistant Plants

Greenwood's best 8 deer resistant plants are: Arctic Fire Dogwood Yucca Color Guard Juniper Sky Rocket Nellie Stevens Holly Rosa Rugosa Red Euonymus Burning Bush Red Barberry Old Fashioned Lilac Please note: Deer resistant plants is a relative term. If deer or other wild animals are not getting food from their usual sources, they will eat anything for survival. Learn more about our other deer resistant plant varieties and ways to keep deer away .

Tips for Growing Strawberry Plants and Eating Strawberries

Just the thought of strawberries brings to mind summer, shortcake, jelly and chocolate. Bite into a strawberry and it explodes in your mouth making your tongue tingle with delight. With the red heart shape of the strawberry, no wonder it’s the symbol for Venus , the goddess of love. Maybe that’s why strawberries go so perfectly with chocolate and champagne. A member of the rose family , it is documented that strawberries have been enjoyed as a domesticated fruit as early as the 1400’s. Now, we know the strawberries nutrition . They contain amino acids and beta-carotene as well as...

How to Grow Blackberry and Raspberry Plants

Learn how to grow blackberries and raspberries. All blackberry and raspberry plants are self-fertile and will have good fruit production on their own. However, if a second variety is planted nearby, they will have heavier fruit production. Upright blackberry and raspberry plants should be planted 3 to 5 feet apart in full sun. Plant in soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 6.5 with the crown (where the root system begins) no more than ½ inch below the ground’s surface. Raspberry and Blackberry plants generally begin producing in...

Favorite Ways to Use Lavender

How to Dry Lavender: Cut flowers in morning – after dew evaporates yet before heat of day (Rubber) band together in bunches of about a dozen or so stems Hang upside down in a warm dimly lit space with adequate ventilation Dry for one to weeks – until stalks are completely dried Once dried – dislodge the buds by rolling them back/forth in a towel or newspaper Store buds in an air tight container Use your Hidcote and Munstead blooms in late spring and summer dishes. Fresh blooms should be submerged into...

Damp soil? Here are four plants with wet feet!

So you have soggy soil and everything you plant seems to sink in the mud or drown? Why fight Mother Nature when you can go with the flow? Instead of trying to force unsuitable plants to adapt to your damp conditions, pick plants that love getting their feet wet! Here are plants that should be on your list if you have soil or weather conditions that is on the dry side. Today we’re at the other end of the moisture scale: looking at plants that are singin’ in the rain! Sedges and rushes You might not find Moses in your bulrushes, but if you’re familiar with the story, you remember that rushes...

Making the Garden Safe for Pets and Children

When designing a new landscape or reevaluating an older landscape, don't forget to work in spaces especially for children such as: a sandbox, jungle gym, and/or open grassy areas for football or net games like volleyball and badminton (not just for children). A sandbox or jungle gym can be tucked into a corner or other small area. For jungle gym or other physical activities a thick layer of shredded bark mulch on the ground will help to reduce the impact of falls. Introduce children to gardening and yard maintenance early on so that as they develop, they gain an appreciation and...

Best 8 Drought Tolerant Plants

Best 8 Drought Tolerant Plants: Potentilla Gold Drop Evening Primrose Sundrops Yucca Color Guard Dragon's Blood Red Sedum Sedum Autumn Fire Blackeyed Susan Kew Red Lavender Barbecue Rosemary Plants that are drought tolerant still require regular supplemental watering to fully establish a strong root system. Once established, they can grow and flourish with little additional water. Mulching is always recommended around the base of these plants to keep them cool in the heat of summer and to build the nutritional value of the soil...

Tips to Grow Fern Plants in the Outdoors

When you think of fern plants , the first thing that comes to your mind is their long attractive leaves. Fern plants are interesting for many reasons. They can thrive in the shaded areas to great heights, texture and color. Ferns flourish better in a woodland garden that requires at least partial shade. When grown in a sunny garden, they will require protection from the hot afternoon sun. If your have a large maple or an oak tree in your yard, the fern plant would be one of the best shade-loving plants you will want to include. There are different types of fern plants that can be...

Butterfly bushes - a welcoming habitat for butterflies and hummingbirds

Did you know that growing butterfly bushes is a popular hobby for many Americans? The enchanting colors of buddleia flowers, the bracing fragrance of the leaves, the hypnotic effect of the stems swaying back and forth, the sight of the trees rattling their leaves when touched by the gentle breeze, and of course, the green background of the landscape - all contribute to the uniqueness of a scenic butterfly garden. Hey wait a minute; is something missing? Yes, the butterflies! Who doesn’t like to see a rabble of butterflies fluttering in the garden? Watching those colorful...

Best 8 Sun Garden Plants

Greenwood's Best 8 Sun Garden Plants: Yucca Color Guard Elijah Blue Fescue Hen and Chicks The Fairy Rose Miss Ruby Buddleia Apricot Drift Rose Adagio Ornamental Grass Blue Scent Lavender This selection of sun garden plants is our choices for beginning a colorful long blooming sun garden in most zones. Check out more plant selections for sun garden plants .

Best 8 Perennial Plants

Greenwood's Best 8 Perennial Plants: Autumn Brilliance Ferns Heliopsis Summer Sun Snowcap Shasta Daisy Heuchera Autumn Leaves Russian Sage Little Spire Achillea Strawberry Seduction Pineapple Sage Salvia May Night Greenwood's best 8 perennial plants are great basic perennials for starting a garden. Check out our other perennial plants .

Best 8 Evergreen Plants

Greenwood's Best 8 Evergreen Plants: Skyrocket Juniper Boxwood Wintergreen North Pole Arborvitae Nandina Fire Power Soft Serve Chamaecyparis Spring Grove Thjua Arborvitae Good Vibrations Juniper Yucca Color Guard Greenwood's Best 8 Evergreen Plants have been chosen based on their ease of growing and their color and texture that they bring to the landscape. Check out our other evergreen plants .

The Perfect Mix of Shade Garden Plants for Your Landscape

A shade garden can be a great place of relaxation and serenity. Sitting under the shade, you can do a lot of restful activities without sweating under the sun. Just sit under the shade and enjoy the beauty of the nature, read books, or have casual talks with family members. The uniqueness of the shade garden plants is that they flourish well in areas frequented by limited natural light. The decreased light may be of a morning sun, gloomy sun, or filtered sun. These plants require moist soil that is rich in organic matter to grow well. Ideal places to grow the shade-loving plants would be the...

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