Category Flower


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By (Matt Mattus)

A hybrid Japanese selection of Primula malacoides with wider petals and a more colorul eye. This strain from Sakata Seed, is more floriferous than wild collected seed, but each have their qualities, be they delicate and twiggy, or full of blossoms and fragrant.
How about some fragrant primroses to take away some of these winter blues? OK, it’s snowing again today here, a soft, gentle snow, the sort of snow that if this was November, we would be humming Christmas carols and thinking about the Holidays – but it is March, and with night-time temps dipping just below zero (-2 last night), I think we all deserve a little primrose therapy...
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How Self-Watering Planters Work

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By Administrator

Self-watering planters are a boon to many gardeners and have taken the gardening industry by storm in a variety of forms. Either for people who lack the room to garden in the ground, or people who lack the time for regular watering, they work great. But, how do they work, and could you make one yourself?

Do you remember the word capillary action from school? Or perhaps just wicking? This is why if you dip a piece of paper in water, the water will climb the paper. It also works with soil, and this principle is behind self-watering containers.

Essentially you have two containers in one, the lower container is a water reservoir holding potentially gallons of water, the upper container holds your soil, and it has to specifically be potting mix, regular old dirt doesn’t wick w...

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Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, February 2014

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By (Matt Mattus)

Potted Camellia’s are the star of the February greenhouse.
I almost forgot about today being Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, a themed special post that is shared with many other blogs – but thanks to my friend Kathy Purdy, I was reminded by her post, before it was too late to take any photos out in the greenhouse. Here are some shots from inside the greenhouse on this very snowy day in central Massachusetts, and a few from inside the house, showing you what is in bloom on this February day.
A Cyrtanthus cross, still a mystery, but it blooms for me every year. Known as the ‘Fire Lily’. is warms even the coldest
heart on this day after Valentines Day...
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January Planning

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By Rochelle Greayer

It’s January, Are you in planning mode? Yeah, me too.

I’m planning windbreaks and barriers, berry gardens, possibly some new trees too, and the completion of my patio and arbor.

You might remember this post about black slats from last summer (you know where I was all talk about getting the arbor over the patio done – but then it didn’t get done….well this time I mean it). I mean it so much I am planning the containers that will sit at the base of all those gorgeous black stained posts and slats (Note: My optimism about the completion of this is overflowing now that we have decided to hire a carpenter to finish the job rather than doing it ourselves – sometimes you just have to be realistic).

As I plan out the pots and accessories, I am so tempted to add a strong...

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By (Matt Mattus)

This weekend Joe and I attended the Massachusetts Orchid Society’s annual orchid show, held at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, MA. Sponsored by the Massachusetts Orchid Society, it’s a popular show ( as orchid shows tend to be), and it is show that we have attended many times, even thought it falls just as we are trying to pack our own greenhouse for the winter ( or fixing glass which broke during a windstorm this week!), or when we are busiest with fall garden clean up like raking leaves. That said, there is ALWAYS time to go look at orchids, and to buy new ones. I mean, mini-complex Paph’s – Where have you been all of my life?
Even though it may seem that orchids are everywhere now, the real serious orchid grower remains a rare commodity, ye...
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Foolproof Shade Plants For Dimly Lit Areas

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By Stuart Robinson

What’s not to like about shade plants? Those dimly lit areas of our gardens, that rarely see daylight, can often be the hardest to landscape. But you needn’t throw up your garden gloves in frustration – well not yet, anyway.

While moulds, fungi and lichens grow rampantly in these much maligned garden zones there are plants which desire a shaded area just as much – if not more. Take a trek through a rainforest sometime and observe the under-story plants that cheerily settle for an existence devoid of natural light. It’s as though illumination were the arch-enemy of these floral specimens and lurking within the partial darkness was the obvious defense.

Gorgeous Forget-Me-Knots Thriving as Shade Plants – Lee Edwin Coursey

Yet, with all this adaptation forming their...

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THE CHRISTMAS ROSE – Helleborus niger

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By (Simon Eade)

The Christmas rose is a plant that comes with its fair share of confusion. While it does flower around the Christmas period, it is not a true rose – although I do accept that the flower shape is representative of a wild rose. Be that is at may, Hellebores are actually from the buttercup family – Ranunculaceae.

There is an old legend surrounding the Helleborus niger which appears to be the responsible for to reinforcing its ‘Christmas’ association. It is said that it sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem.

However, there is a second, more down to earth story that secured it name in English culture...

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By (Matt Mattus)

Once as common as ferns in a Victorian Fernery, the Florist Gloxinia and Cape Primrose, (Streptocarpus)
they fell out of fashion in the late 20th C. But thanks to Russian, Ukrainian and Polish hybridizers,
new and incredibly complex selections are arriving on our shores.

Remember this two years from now. I was the first to tell you that the Gloxinia is back. It’s big, awesome and nothing at all like the old Gloxinia of 1960. But really? Gloxinias from the land of Kielbasa, Pierogi and Vodka? Oh yeah baby…..Read on. This is big news for us plant geeks.

As our weather here in the northeast begins to turn truly wintry, with our first snow on radar arriving tomorrow morning, I can’t help by think about old fashioned house plants, and for some rea...

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The Japanese Flower From Japan

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By rodneyeason

That is literally what the Latin name Nipponanthemum nipponicum translates to in English. I would like to imagine that the botanists who named this plant has a wicked sense of humor. Latin name aside, this week’s plant is a new plant for me and one that I “discovered” after moving to coastal Maine. We live in East Bootbay, a block from the East Boothbay General Store. Right after we moved into our home in September of 2012, we took many trips to the General Store for breakfast until we got our home unpacked. I remember the first time we walked up to the store, I saw a plant that looked like a Pittosporum tobira, growing alongside of Route 96. This shrubby plant was about 3′ wide and tall...

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By (Simon Eade)

The bee orchids – Ophrys species, are one of natures most amazing mimics. First mentioned in the book “Natural History” by Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Ophrys species are a large group of ground orchids which inhabit a huge range that stretches from the central to South Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor, up to the Caucasus Mountains. Although they clearly at home around the Mediterranean, for those of us who live in the colder climates of the United Kingdom there is at least one species – Ophrys apifera that can be found inhabiting dry, chalk and limestone grasslands throughout the southern and central regions.

The Bee Orchid gets its name from its main pollinator, the bee, which is thought to have driven the evolution of its flowers...

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