Author: Brandee Gruener

Three Invasive Weeds to Remove Now

Three Invasive Weeds to Remove Now

Kudzu, Japanese stiltgrass and English ivy have invaded woods all over the Southeastern U.S., choking out native plants and reducing forest health and diversity. These plants are also really annoying for homeowners. I find myself sweating and cursing as I yank them out all spring, summer and fall. Controlling invasive plants can be a big…

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Plant this for summer: Plains coreopsis

Plant this for summer: Plains coreopsis

Plains coreopsis is anything but plain: the flowers’ deep red centers give it more dramatic flair than other flowers in the tickseed family. This plant shakes off heat and drought, preferring dryer soils as it originates from the western United States. Maybe that’s why Coreopsis tinctoria has naturalized along sunny roadsides and in sandy fields…

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Plant this for spring: Celandine poppy

Plant this for spring: Celandine poppy

I can’t figure why more nurseries don’t carry celandine poppies. Their bold yellow flowers light up the shadiest parts of the garden where few other flowers shine. Mine bloom for weeks in March and April, after which they form the hairy fruit capsules so familiar on poppy plants. Chipmunks and mice like to feed on…

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Garden clean-up the lazy, I mean cheap, I mean environmentally friendly way

Garden clean-up the lazy, I mean cheap, I mean environmentally friendly way

The flowers have faded and all that’s left is a dingy, tangled, overgrown mess. Human nature, or the dirty look from a neighbor, beckons you to tidy up. You could ignore that call and retreat into your winter den for the next three months. After all, nature would probably like that best. But if you…

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Plant this for fall: Blue Mistflower

Plant this for fall: Blue Mistflower

Each year a rainbow of chrysanthemums marches into garden centers to overtake the tables. A few asters in whites, purples and pinks accompany them. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy both plants in a season when most flowers fade away. When mums and asters are in full bloom, they provide ready-made bouquets for your garden.…

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Not a Weed: Spiderwort

Not a Weed: Spiderwort

Spiderwort can pop up in sun, part shade, loose soil and clay. Good thing these wildflowers are so easy to transplant in clumps where desired. As we progress into late spring, deep blue or purple flowers emerge and bumblebees flock in droves. The growing popularity of these plants has led to the breeding of hybrids…

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