Essential plants (part 3)

Last but never least, are the little things I love. You know I am all for outstanding plants – I always have to grow a few big ones that grab attention and don’t let it go for a minute. Fuller’s teasel, castor beans, and my very favorite 6 footer, Gomphocarpus physocarpus ‘Oscar’ (aka hairy balls) […]

Essential plants (part two)

As we’re blown toward a new year, I feel bound by tradition – or is it just habit? – to take a look back at the past year and make endless lists of plants to know and grow (and not grow). Below is a continuation of a list I started the other day of the […]

Essential plants (part one)

Last year Steve Aitken, the editor of Fine Gardening magazine, sent out a survey inspired by the list of 100 essential country-music songs Johnny Cash shared with his daughter Rosanne. Steve asked for a list of top 10 (plus one) essential plants that we thought every newbie gardener ought to know about. I’m thrilled to […]

Top 10 for 2010 (part 2)

I’ve saved this end of the list for most of the plants I loved well enough to take them for granted — meaning, in some cases I haven’t yet shot their portrait. 6. I’m sure that no top ten list for a dry summer would be truly complete if it didn’t include lavender. (No list […]

Top 10 for 2010 (part one)

I am inclined to celebrate a new year when we sow sweet peas or when the daffodils bloom or when the leaves fall off the trees. But the beginning of January is as good a time as any to make a fresh start, and in any case, this  is when Gail and I really start […]