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Article ThumbSmell This

How many times have you thrust your nose into a bouquet or a flower and come up empty? Or worse yet, been knocked back by an unexpected fragrance that was surprising in such a beautiful blossom? Peony scents, for example, have been classified into five categories: rose, honey, lemon, yeasty but also bitter and medicinal.

Scent has often been sacrificed for larger, longer-lasting, more colorful blooms that dazzle on first glance and hold up on the long journey to the florist. Producing fragrance draws on the plant’s resources and takes energy, which is why fragrant plants don’t last as long in bloom as the non-fragrant varieties. The breeder may thus decide that the plant’s energy can be better spent on producing larger flowers. When it comes to roses and faced with the choice between hardiness and fragrance, commercial breeders have often chosen in favor of hardiness.


Article ThumbTrialed by Jury

The experts looked at the evidence and gave these new plants a thumbs up. You will too. Here are our favorite new plants for 2015.


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questions

Now that bedding impatiens (I. walleriana) are not recommended because of impatiens downy mildew, what are three good annuals for shade?

I’d like to plant a white bark birch in front of my home in my sunny front yard. What can you tell me about Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii?

After my father’s tomatoes ripen on the vine, he finds when he cuts into them that there is a hard white core that extends through the fruit.

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