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Article ThumbSaving Dahlias

Big beefy dahlias with their dinner-plate-sized flowers are darlings of the garden from summer through the first autumn frosts. Although many gardeners treat dahlias as disposable annuals, it’s easy to store them over winter – and save money – for another display the following year. It’s simply a matter of digging up the tubers and roots after the first fall frost.


Article ThumbTulipa sylvestris

It’s probably been more than four years since a wild shade-loving tulip made its surprising appearance in a shady, grassy bed in my garden. Its color looked like the “before” shot in a commercial for women with faded blond hair. After a close examination on my knees, I determined it was actually a tulip. I know how long ago it was because my knees no longer permit close examinations.


Article ThumbSummer-Blooming Bulbs

Last spring my sister called to say that she had found a wonderful new anemone to add to her collection in a mixed flower border. When she described the flower, the deeply saturated color and the black center, I knew she had purchased Anemone coronaria, a summer-flowering tender bulb. She was disappointed to learn that these magnificent flowers would not overwinter in her Indiana garden and that they must be lifted in the fall and replanted each spring.


Article ThumbWeird & Wonderful Spring Bulbs

It’s like the emperor with no clothes. The crown imperial stands 3 to 4 feet tall, its Sun King-bright flowers lording it over the spring garden with the hauteur of Louis XIV, utterly unaware that its dignity is fatally undercut by the absurdity of its green bad-hair-day topknot.

Not every spring bulb has the classic sculptured grace of a lily-flowered tulip. Yet many bulbs beyond the ordinary have charms that can grow on a gardener, adding variety and interest where tulips, daffodils and crocuses may seem old hat.


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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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Features
Summer-Blooming Bulbs

Last spring my sister called to say that she had found a wonderful new anemone to add to her collection in a mixed flower …


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Departments
From the Editor - Jan/Feb 2014

This is our “Ideas Issue,” designed to be a keeper, although of course we hope you keep all of our issues. So to get this ...


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Features
Bursting Forth

Ted Nyquist’s rhododendrons light up his woodland wonderland.


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Killing Grandpa Ott

I have been trying to kill Grandpa Ott, known affectionately around here as Gramps, for twenty years. We brought him here ...


questions

I’m moving to a townhouse with limited direct sunlight. I would like to put a Japanese maple in a north-facing garden but don’t know if it will do well. What are the best kinds? Also, when is the best time to plant a small tree?

Is it possible to plant and grow Italian cypress in the Chicago area? Are our winters too severe for it? If they are, is there an alternative conifer that will provide a similar look?

I am sick of slugs. Perhaps if I knew their life cycle I could get rid of them. Where do they go over winter? Where do they come from? What is the best way to get rid of them?

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