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scents

peonies

On 24, Apr 2017 | No Comments | In advice, plants, scents | By All Year Garden

The peonies would have bloomed by now, the buds have been ready to burst for more than a week, but it is so unseasonably cold, weird May weather! Temperatures in the fifties, I almost have to question the wisdom of moving the basil outside, it looks miserable.
Peonies are the object lesson for why gardeners benefit from being patient. You don’t get this cascade of blooms from a plant that doesn’t ask anything of you until you put a few years into it. Three, to be specific. Read more…

sweethearts

Since they went above and beyond this spring, let’s talk about sweet violets.
These beautiful early spring bloomers love moist, rich soil and are quite sensitive to slug attacks in summer, when the bigger plants’ foliage gives those pests a place to hide.
Some gardeners suggest feeding them in spring and fall, but in my experience the last thing you want to do for those prolific seeders is to give them additional reasons to spread out. Read more…

lilies

On 23, Jan 2017 | No Comments | In plants, scents | By All Year Garden

These lilies bloom for only a few days at the height of summer, and I often miss their splendid flowers altogether, busy with other things, but not on the day I took these pictures, a day when the morning garden got blessed with a light that was simply surreal.
That being said, the most common lily varieties are almost as different among themselves as they are from the day lilies and Belladona lilies, and it is important to evaluate your expectations before planting a particular breed. Read more…

polianthes tuberosa

On 20, Sep 2016 | No Comments | In plants, scents | By All Year Garden

Aah, the queen of fragrance, Polianthes tuberosa, a joy to gardeners and perfumers alike, probably the most fragrant flower ever. Its heady perfume is sultry and intense, a single flower stem can saturate a room with fragrance.

Tuberosa is a hot climate bulb, and much like show chrysanthemums and long stem roses it is easier to get it as a cut flower than to enjoy it in your garden. Growing these in a pot on the balcony is an extra special indulgence for a northern gardener. Read more…

snapdragons

If you ever create a garden for children don’t forget the snapdragons. The little ones love to pinch the “dragon mouths” to make them snap open and at times the plant looks like it’s pouting with indignation against the uninvited pestering. It releases delightful fragrance as it snaps back shut, relieved to be finally left alone. Read more…

how to grow pinks

Cottage pinks are easy to grow perennials that enjoy sunny locations but will do moderately well in part shade. They don’t like wet feet, make sure to plant them in a sandy and slightly alkaline soils that drains well.

Don’t mulch too close around their roots and give them plenty of breathing room, otherwise they are susceptible to stem rot. A spacing of 12 to 18 inches is appropriate. Read more…

chamomile groundcover

If you have a sunny slope that is difficult to mow, in a location with well drained, sandy soil, try a chamomile lawn.

The delightful apple scent is a reward in itself, and using chamomile as a groundcover offers some advantages, like low mowing, feeding and watering needs, but the plant is definitely not low maintenance. Read more…

lavender

Lavender is a wonderful herb for skin care. Its essential oil heals sunburn, irritation, bites and scrapes, improves the texture and tone of blemish prone skin and is so gentle it can be applied undiluted to the skin. Read more…

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natural disinfectant

There are two strong antiseptics directly extracted from plants: one is tea tree oil, only found in the leaves of the Australian plant, and the other one is thymol, a potent antimicrobial found in thyme and oregano, a substance bee balms also have in abundance. Read more…

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summer flowers

I can’t tell you how many times I walked through the garden enchanted by the abundance of flowers and wished I could share its beauty, but the pictures didn’t reflect it. The blooms were too far, the angle was too wide, the light shone the wrong way, I could never capture the charm, not until this photo.
Read more…

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