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…
Read More

Multipurpose Winter-Hardy Shrub With Healthy Fruit

Looking for a shrub that’s a little out of the ordinary? Plant an Aronia. Never heard of it? You might recall Aronia made all the news several years ago, as one of the new super-fruits that was packed with health benefits. Aronia berries were found to have 3 times the antioxidants of blueberries, and a…
Read More

Easy Way To Tell Adapted Hydrangeas From Non-Adapted

Hydrangea shrubs have been around a long time, but the past decade has brought exciting new types. Unfortunately some types don’t grow well in the Northern Plains, but others do. Which are which, when shopping garden centers that sell Endless Summer, Twist ‘n Shout, Annabelle, Incrediball, Vanilla Strawberry, Bloomstruck, Quickfire, and dozens more? Luckily there’s a very…
Read More

Spring Rejuvenation Of Overgrown Shrubs

I’ve got two questions. First, do you have an overgrown shrub? And second, do you trust me? What I’m about to recommend takes a leap of faith. Many of us have shrubs that have become overgrown in our yards and landscapes. Lilacs, dogwood, spirea, mockorange and potentilla can become less beautiful with age as the…
Read More

Check Winter Rabbit Damage Before It’s Too Late

Lots of rabbit tracks in the snow show they’ve been very active this winter. It’s easy to ignore them until our shrubs and trees turn up dead in spring. Rabbits often work inside shrubbery, gnawing away the bark of branches and twigs near the base. If branches are completely “girdled,” to use the gardening term,…
Read More