Goldenrod’s Midas Touch

Goldenrods (Solidago sp.)  are one of the iconic flowers of fall. Because it is a common roadside weed, and because it is often inaccurately blamed for the airborne pollen that aggravates hayfever, some people have a hard time thinking of goldenrods as garden plants. That’s a shame, because they can add texture as well as …

Pods, Seedheads, Fruit, and Foliage Follow-Up

Fall in the garden means seedheads, pods, and fruit join flowers and foliage as features of the garden. So here are some non-floral highlights for mid-September: I forget what this variety is called, but I think I’ve decided I like these plain green and white Caladiums  (Caladium bicolor) best. I built this raised bed on …

Question of the Week: Should it Stay or Should it Go? Joe Pye Weed, That Is

Not go as in to the compost pile, but rather to another spot in an nearby flower bed. Some two seasons ago I had to fill a hole in the raised bed along the front walk created by my removal of some diseased purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea). I filled it with two Joe Pye Weed …

Weekend Notes: Shrubz 2 Treez, Rose Resurgence, Grasshoppers

Shrubz 2 Treez. I may have mentioned this before, but Judy really dislikes shrubs. She’s fine with small trees, but despises shrubiness. Me, I like shrubs. But I was very taken with a photo I found from the website of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in which Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) had been pruned into small …

Spicebush Berries

I planted Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) four years ago and this is really the first year I’ve gotten  berries in any serious quantity. Spicebush berries are a highly valuable fall food for songbirds, particularly those in the thrush family. The berries are also ornamental, and have a citrus fragrance when crushed – as do Spicebush leaves. …

Busy Bees

The bees surely do love Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). They are practically swarming around the spiky blue flowers. Judy took this video with her cell phone the other day. Please forgive the quality, this is a first effort.

Here Comes the Sunflower

The perennial sunflowers (genus Helianthus), that is. Most sunflowers grown in gardens are annuals, and they are beauties in a sunny spot. Perennial sunflowers are wildflowers of the prairies, or cultivars much closer to the wildflower species than their annual cousins. The rap on perennial sunflowers is that they are far too aggressive for a garden setting. That …