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Posted by John Friel on Nov 25th 2020

Many a gardener treasures their earthly creation as a little piece of heaven, and we wouldn’t dream of arguing with them. Why not take things a step farther and offer them some of our favorite “heavenly” cultivars?Dianthus “Pinks”This Greek-derived genus name literally means “Divine flower” or “Flower of Zeus.” It’s a mashup of “Di,” deity, and “anthos,” flower.We don’t know exactly what heavenly members of the carnation clan the ancient Greeks were admiring, but we’re pretty confident it wasn’t
Geography Lessons in the Garden, Part 4

Geography Lessons in the Garden, Part 4

Posted by John Friel on Nov 18th 2020

A good mixed perennial garden contains a trip around the world – or at least across a continent or two. Today’s tour guides: a native that sounds exactly like where it came from, and an immigrant whose name bears echoes from long ago and far away. Aster novae-angliae “New England Aster” Here’s a case where Latin and common names mean precisely the same thing. This fall-flowering plant was first collected in the original northeastern American Colonies and shipped home to Europe, where th
Flora Meets Fauna Part 2  Aquilegia (Columbine)

Flora Meets Fauna Part 2 Aquilegia (Columbine)

Posted by John Friel on Nov 5th 2020

Flights of Fancy in the Backyard Zoo! Don’t look now, but critters have taken root in your garden. Relax, they’re friendly – and they’re animals in name only. Let’s meet one... heck, make it two – in one plant!Aquilegia: Bird of prey, or bird of peace? The genus name comes from the Latin for eagle (aquila), because the long petal spurs reminded Linnaeus of an eagle’s talons. But the common name, columbine, is from the Latin for dove (columba), because someone else thought the flower resembl


Posted by John Friel on May 22nd 2020

Veronica spicata Bubblegum Candles (‘Verspi’) PP29780The name says it all: Pink like bubblegum, upright and bright like a candle!Bubblegum Candles brings a sweet POP! of color to the sunny garden. Its reblooming character means it keeps its flavor for a long time. Just 8” tall, this diminutive powerhouse bursts in borders and crackles in containers. The explosion of eye-candy color is neatly nestled above toothy, rich green leaves for a delicious show. Bring some sweet temptation to your p

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