Which Perennial Flowers Should Be Cut Back In Fall?

I miss the smell of burning leaves in the fall. I’m not sure exactly why we used to pile them up and burn them. I guess to get rid of them, but leaves are a great source of organic material, either composted or rototilled directly into garden and flowerbed soil. Or they can be used…
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Hot New Class Of Peonies

Every once in awhile a plant comes along that hits the region by storm like Wave petunia and Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea. What’s the latest? Itoh peonies, and we’ll be hearing a lot more about them as word spreads. Most of us are very familiar with beautiful old-fashioned peonies (called herbaceous peonies) that have been popular…
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My Favorite New Hardy Shrub Rose

When my wife, Mary, and I operated our greenhouse business 30 years ago, hybrid tea roses were the rage. Their picture-perfect, heavenly perfumed blooms in rich colors rivaled florist’s long-stemmed roses. Growing roses was a fine art, and the more you fertilized and fussed, the more spectacular they grew. Successful rose growers were held in…
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Is It True Peonies Need Ants To Bloom?

Peonies have been especially beautiful this year. They make a great cut flower, except for a few ants that hitchhike indoors. You don’t have to search far to locate ants on the plump, round flower buds of peonies. Is it true that ants are required for peony flower buds to open normally, or is it…
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New Hardy Perennial Mums

Well, I certainly can’t keep mum about this. A new series of perennial mums (short for chrysanthemum) has proven winter hardy in our USDA Zone 4, and possibly into Zone 3. Mums are the most spectacular of fall-blooming perennial flowers, often blossoming until the snow flies. But winter hardiness has always been such a problem…
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