New Hardy Smoketree Is A Well-Kept Secret

Have you grown a smoketree or smokebush? When they’re blooming, they always turn the heads of passersby. The flowers look like billows of smoke floating around the tree or shrub. Members of the botanical genus Cotinus (usually pronounced koh-TIE-nus or koh-TEE-nus), the two common species with their named cultivars can grow into large shrubs or…
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Winterizing Roses In November

It’s time to ready roses for their winter nap. The preferred timing for protecting roses varies each year from late October through mid-November, and depends on the weather. Before roses are winterized, they should experience several hard freezes, at least down into the upper 20’s. This “hardens them off” to be certain they’re entirely dormant,…
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Do You See Yourself In These Quirky Gardening Traits?

Artist Claude Monet said his greatest masterpiece was his garden. Mark Twain was more homespun when he suggested a cauliflower is nothing more than a cabbage with a college education. Much is said about gardening. Have you ever wondered if other gardeners have similar thoughts and idiosyncrasies as you? Maybe you’ve experienced the old adage…
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Preventing Vole Damage To Lawn And Landscape

What destructive creature attacks the widest range of plants around the yard and garden? No, it’s not rabbits – they’re destructive, but they don’t bother the lawn. It’s not deer either – they’re annoying to gardeners, but they rarely eat the roots of perennials, seldom chew potato tubers and don’t upset lawngrass. Slugs nibble leaves,…
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My Favorite Fall-Colored Landscape Shrub

There are so many landscape shrubs that brighten autumn with rich colors, that it’s hard to pick a favorite. Sumac is a classic. Viburnums are great. Shrub forms of Amur maple color up richly. But one stands out for me: burning bush. Burning bush has several other common names, including winged euonymus. When talking about…
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