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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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Columns
Take A Hint. Or Not.

One of the great things about being a columnist is that when you run out of ideas you can steal them from other people.


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Dahlia Delights

Last summer, I had the pleasure of strolling through Cantigny Park in Wheaton, where the floral displays are always spectacular.


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Columns
Friends Don’t Let Friends Plant Mint

If “ignorance of the law” is no excuse, does that apply also to the laws of nature? Of physiology? Of reproduction?


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From the Editor - MayJune 2016

I always feel grumpy when people refer to gardening as a hobby, and now I know why. This winter, garden columnist Allen Lacy …


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What do the bees do in October?

What do the bees do in October? If you have New England aster in your garden, they keep foraging like mad.


questions

What are your three favorite “all-but-forgotten” perennials that every garden should include? Why do you like them?

The foliage on our cucumber plants is starting to wither and turn yellow. They get plenty of water and I feed them regularly. What could be wrong?

We moved into a house with a lovely azalea that didn’t bloom. We thought it might have been over-pruned. Last fall we did not prune it and now it still hasn’t bloomed. I was hoping to transplant it this year, but it looks rather sickly. Shall we prune it again and give it another year? Can I still transplant it?

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