It has been my ambition to have red fruits adding to our garden’s fall and winter appeal, particularly in the shade garden in back. My main plant for achieving this goal was supposed to be Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum). On this score, the effort was a complete failure, mainly because squirrels eat all the fruit …

Most people, I suspect, think of Goldenrod as a big, rangy plant. Canada Goldenrod (S. canadensis), is probably considered by many to be the typical Goldenrod. People imagine it running rampant over open fields with 6′ stems and mopheads of yellow flowers. In our garden, however, we have mainly little Goldenrods, growing not much more …

Years ago, I gave a friend some Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum) volunteers, along with a number of other natives. A few months later she confessed to me that she had pulled it out of her garden because it looked too weedy. Not too long after that, I came to the conclusion that she was right. …

A few days ago I got a delivery of 3 Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) from Bluestone Perennials. This was a fine thing, as I love Wild Columbine. However, I couldn’t remember making this order, nor could I remember where I had intended to put the plants. But I was not about to look some gift …

Right now I’m liking the Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ blooming in the Lamp Post Bed. This is a cultivar of the native Helenium autumnale, also known as Sneezeweed. As a general rule I plant straight species native plants, but now and then I feel like something different. This is one of those times. It’s just that …

It’s foolish to take the weather personally, but I can’t help it. It’s especially foolish given what is going on elsewhere in the country. Even so, I check the weather app on my phone several times a day. We haven’t had a good rain for over a month. A rainless 10-day forecast provokes exasperated sighs. …

It was way back in the fall of 2016 that I planted Wild Senna (Senna hebecarpa) in a corner of the Sidewalk Border. I was excited about this member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae) because of its unusual flowers and foliage, because it was highly attractive to bumblebees, and because it is a host plant …

When I saw Late Figwort (Scrophularia marilandica) listed in one of my favorite native-plant catalogs, I was immediately intrigued.

Here is a discovery I made this year: Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) can be planted in an outdoor container and left there all through a zone 5 winter. The following spring, it will wake up cheerful and raring to go.

There are 2 species of summer-blooming Allium growing in our garden’s Left Bank and Lamppost Beds: the native Nodding Onion (Allium cernuum) and the exotic hybrid ‘Millenium’.