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scents

old-fashioned heirlooms

On 24, Aug 2015 | No Comments | In plants, roses | By All Year Garden

When a cottage garden is well designed it makes you forget the planning that went into creating it and takes over by establishing new hierarchies, thriving on apparent randomness and developing a personality of its own. 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.
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high maintenance roses

On 04, May 2015 | No Comments | In plants, roses, scents | By All Year Garden

Us hopeful rosarians have to admit that roses are not just another pretty flower. There is something very special and noble about them, the older they are the more rare and valued their flowers and often the more persnickety they get.

Here are some cultivars to test your rosarian mettle. Read more…

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tips for growing roses

On 20, Apr 2015 | No Comments | In advice, plants, roses | By All Year Garden

I learned the most important facts about roses from my grandfather and they go like this:

Roses are not fussy plants, if they have full sun exposure they will put up with conditions that few perennials can withstand: drought, heavy soils, extreme temperatures on both sides of the spectrum and even salty water. Read more…

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exotic fragrance

Tuberose oil is a staple scent for perfumery, obtained through chemical extraction by means of concretes and absolutes, and it is one of the most expensive natural fragrances available to perfumers.

Because of the flower’s patrician demeanor and its expensive essence I always thought the tuberose was one of those sophisticated plants that require extraneous amounts of care and pampering Read more…

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february and fruit trees

On 11, Feb 2015 | No Comments | In edibles, plants | By All Year Garden

I gingerly stepped out the door and a blast of cold air threw me back in. It’s February. So much for my gardening enthusiasm, I guess I can stick to potpourri and fragrant sachets for now but since late winter is a good time for tree planting, let’s talk about fruit trees. Read more…

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in the kitchen garden

I just wanted to share this image, for those reluctant to mix flowers with vegetables. I can hardly wait for the tomatoes to turn red. I’ll keep you posted.

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Casablanca lilies

On 08, Jul 2010 | No Comments | In scents | By All Year Garden

Oriental lilies are in a league of their own. They are a class above other flowers in terms of fragrance; their perfume is just intoxicating and announces their presence from feet away, just in case you might have missed the pure white corolla with bright red stems (as the Casablanca in this picture).

What can I say? The squirrels and rabbits love them, so chances are that if you have any left of the tens you planted without a protective net, you are lucky. If they make it through a couple of seasons, though, they will form a strong expanding clump and you will enjoy them for years to come.

They bloom mid-summer and grow stately tall – 3-4 feet, so they will be happy towards the back of the border. Make sure they are not crowded, because they need good air movement around their stems to stay healthy. They love full to part-sun and will mix well with contrasting colors and textures, such as red astilbe, and delphiniums.

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flowering trees

On 21, Jun 2010 | One Comment | In scents | By All Year Garden

A more familiar sight in New Orleans and Alabama, the Southern Magnolia is a wonderful evergreen tree with broad shiny leaves and huge (up to 30″ in diameter) white fragrant flowers. It is the latest bloomer of all the magnolias in the midwest, it blooms at the end of May, beginning of June, when other trees are long done flowering. The flowers develop into an artichoke shaped fruit, filled with beautiful flaming red seeds that look like corn kernels.

The tree, once established, is unpretentious and resilient, and it successfully withstands negative  Fahrenheit temperatures with minimal damage. It changes its leathery leaves all year long, but goes through a major shedding in spring.

Speaking of attractive garden features for the cold season, this tree looks like this picture, minus the flower, in the dead of winter.

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garden phlox

On 13, Jun 2010 | No Comments | In scents | By All Year Garden

Garden Phlox is a perennial staple for the northern gardens. A resilient, care-free, sun loving plant, it is adorned with bunches of flowers ranging in color from white to bright magenta. Most of the varieties are wonderfully scented. The white variety “David” is exquisitely fragrant. It blooms all summer and the blooms last a long time.  Phlox can be propagated by seed, cuttings, and clump division. From my experience, it is quite a prolific self-seeder, so make sure to deadhead the ripened flowers if you don’t want it spreading.

The Garden Phlox is an unpretentious flower, but don’t underestimate it. It is quite spectacular in mass plantings, it fills your garden with its fragrance, and butterflies love it. Don’t plant it in crowded places because it is susceptible to mildew and it needs lots of air movement around its canes to stay healthy. It  grows tall and broad, so it is not a candidate for the front row.

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