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Best Hybrid Musks with Hips

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAHybrid musks date to the early twentieth century so must be considered modern roses. Although their parentage includes the musk rose (Rosa moschata), it also includes other parents such as multiflora rose ( R. multiflora), noisettes, teas, and hybrid teas. The result is that hybrid musks resemble their namesake mush less than their name suggests. In general, hybrid musks are loose shrubs in cool climates and climbers in warm ones. They produce good sized clusters of scented flowers, are repeat bloomers, and have good disease resistance. Some have attractive hips that greatly add to the beauty of the garden in fall. [click to continue…]

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acer-circinatumVine maple is a deciduous small tree or large shrub native to the Pacific Northwest where it grows in mountainous area from British Columbia to Northern California. It has twisted ropelike branches that are red when young but turn red brown with maturity. The branches sometimes sprawl along and the ground like a heavy vine and take root creating natural arches. Usually grown as a multi-trunked tree, the branches create intricate designs that add beauty to the winter landscape . The leaves are two to seven inches long and wide and have five to eleven lobes lobes and sharply toothed margins. They are reddish when they first appear in spring, turn dark green for the summer and bright red and orange in the fall. The tiny flowers appear in the spring in drooping corymbs. They have reddish purple sepals and greenish-white petals, and give way to pairs of red, winged seed pods (samaras) l.5 inches long. Vine maple can be used as a patio tree, or specimen and can be grown in a tub or espaliered. [click to continue…]

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Shrubs A gardeners handbook Ian CookeMany gardeners may consider shrubs second class citizens of their garden but these perennial plants actually have a great deal to offer. Ian Cooke’s book, Shrubs: A Gardener’s Handbook, introduces readers to shrubs and their role as the backbone of any good garden. Working on the premise that shrubs together with trees create the greatest impact in the garden Cooke provides a introduction to the potential of shrubs in the landscape and covers design, cultivation, and propagation of shrub. [click to continue…]

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Nicotiana alataPlants that bloom during the night add an exotic touch to the garden. Most are tropical natives but there are some that actually do best in cool climates. Some have a spectacular flower that last just one day while the flowers of others open and close in a twenty-four hour cycle. Many have a delightful fragrance that can be enjoyed outdoors while sitting on a deck, patio, or porch, but can also be enjoyed indoors if planted near a window that can be opened. The plants described below vary in their requirements so that most gardeners can find at least one that will do well in their garden. [click to continue…]

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Pmacleaya-cordatalume poppy is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial native to east China and Japan where it grows in woodland margins, along lake and river edges, and within scrub. Plants have lobed and scalloped heart-shaped leaves that are eight to ten inches wide by six to eight inches long and are light to olive green on the top side and whitish gray on the underside. The creamy white flowers lack petals, and have two sepals, and twenty five to thirty conspicuous stamens that give the flowers a feathery appearance. They are carried in branched panicles up to one foot long from mid- to late summer. The plants are vigorous and spread rapidly by both rhizomes and seed. They are an excellent choice for the back of the border where they add a strong architectural element along with valuable texture and color. Both the flower heads and leaves are valued in flower arrangements. [click to continue…]

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greenhouse interior lv openingLocated in the Auckland Domain in the center of the city, the Winter Garden is offers two huge greenhouses filled with plants and a giant fernery. One of the greenhouses is devoted to tropical plants, the other to plants of temperate zones. The finery has a fine collection of plants native to New Zealand and the surrounding areas. [click to continue…]

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rose félicité-parmentier-Round buds with long sepals open to lightly cupped flowers that are usually quartered and sometimes have a button eye. The numerous small petals are pink with white edges at first but fade to cream as the flower reflex into pompoms. The flowers are carried in tight clusters of three to nine on dense upright plants with gray-green leaves. Although the plant blooms just once in midseason, the bloom time is long. Relatively shade tolerant and a good choice for a small garden. [click to continue…]

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Seven Flowers that Shaped the world 2014Author Jennifer Potter takes a unique look at seven flowers that have significantly influenced civilization for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. The focus of her study is the lotus, lily, sunflower, opium poppy, rose, tulip and orchid. As a horticultural historian, she traces the role of each flower in human activity from its origins to modern times, paying particular attention to importance of the flowers in literature and art. [click to continue…]

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Edible Flowers: Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)

hollyhock-pk-195x300A native of southwestern China, this hollyhock is a member of the mallow family, Malvaceae, and related to hibiscus, cotton, okra, and cacao. It may be an annual, biennial, or short lived perennial depending on the climate, but self seeds readily so returns year after year to most gardens. The large flowers are carried in racemes on tall erect stems and come in a large variety of colors including dark red, pink, orange, yellow, lavender and white. Plants grow up to eight feet tall and are a good choice for the back of the border. They like full to part sun and well-drained soil but some varieties tolerate clay soil. [click to continue…]

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Helleborus-argutifoliusCorsican hellebore is a clump-forming perennial native to Corsica and Sardinia where it grows in a variety of habitats from woodlands to roadsides, streambeds, and exposed mountain tops. It is a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceaea) and is one of the largest of the hellebores. The foliage is evergreen and the leaves consist of three leaflets that are blue- to gray-green in color and five to seven inches long with toothed margins. The nodding, cup-shaped flowers are two inches across and have pale-green petal-like sepals. They are carried above the leaves in terminal clusters from late winter to spring. Although Corsican hellebore is less hardy than most other hellebores, it can tolerate more sun. Corsican hellebore is a handsome plant that can assume shrub-size but is short-lived. The genus name comes from the Greek bora meaning food and helein meaning injuries,referring to the poisonous nature of the leaves, stems and roots of the plant if ingested. The specific epithet comes from the Latin argutus meaning sharp and folia meaning leaf, and refers to the toothed margins of the leaflets. [click to continue…]

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