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Article ThumbSearching for Nature (In All the Wrong Places)

You might have noticed, as you were reading through this magazine, that there are stories about the birds and the bees (which makes some of us nervous), wildflowers, not-so-wildflowers, milkweed (which is a wildflower, not actually a weed, but don’t get me started) and other things that could be lumped generally under the heading of “nature.”

SPOILER ALERT! If you start by reading this column first (come over here and let me give you a great big hug!), I just ruined the rest of the magazine for you by giving away the plot, for which I apologize. Sometimes I just lose control.

Wait a second … this is a gardening magazine. The plot is always the same: plant the seed, water the seed, nurture the tiny plant, feed the tiny plant, water the tiny plant, transplant the plant, nurture the growing plant, feed the growing plant, water the growing plant, watch the plant bloom, watch the plant fruit, deadhead or prune the plant, watch the plant decline, watch the plant die, curse the fates, wonder what you did wrong, rinse and repeat. It’s pretty simple, really.


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The Best Plant You’ve Never Heard Of

Ask many skilled gardeners to name their favorite plant, and what do they reply? “The one that’s in bloom right now.”


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A Tough Plant for Tough Times

This is the year of the hellebore, at least in my garden. I have about a dozen now, with several of the lime-green ones ...


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They Died with Their Roots On

There is no better part of the year for a gardener than right now, assuming you’re reading this around March or April and ...


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Read ‘em and Weep

January (and February and December...oh, and add November to that list...and you might as well throw in March, just to complete


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Naming Rights

Brace yourself. I’m going to smack you across the kisser with a cold, wet herring of truth: Gardening ain’t easy.


questions

I have read that purple coneflowers (Echinacea) are a good source of food for birds in the winter. Will they be okay if not trimmed back until spring? If so, how early should they be trimmed?

I have a hoya houseplant that has been growing happily for eight years. It had flowers when I received it, but it hasn’t bloomed since. What am I doing wrong? Can I get it to flower?

What is the largest tree that one can plant? We are trying to replace some 7- to 8-foot trees that were recently destroyed.

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