How Often Should Peonies Be Divided?

Peonies probably hold the record for the perennial with the longest life span. Stories are common of peonies still thriving that were originally planted on pioneer homesteads in the late 1800’s. To keep a peony healthy and thriving, is it necessary to dig and divide the massive clump of roots and stems, and if so,…
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Unique Annual For Flowerbed Backdrops

It’s fun to grow things that cause passersby to stop and point. All flowers are nice, but some are unique and uncommon enough to stir curiosity. One such flower is cleome. (Usually pronounced klee-ohm, or less often klee-OH-mee.) Nicknames include spider flower and grandfather’s whiskers. It’s one of our long-time favorites, and great for flowerbed…
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The Best-Tasting Squash I’ve Ever Grown

Squash and I go way back. About 50 years ago I remember helping my Mom pick Buttercup squash after fall frosts, a variety that remained her favorite, despite our trying most of the other types during my teenage gardening years. As a young college student I worked summers for the NDSU squash breeder and in…
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The Sweetest Cherry Tomato For Home Gardens

A few years ago I was walking into the main building of the beautiful University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum after a full day of touring. Off to the side was a table with a row of bowls, each containing a different cherry tomato variety. As I was hurrying past, a pleasant lady called out “Would…
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