Listen to this podcast on growing and caring for cordyalis perennial groundcover.   This spring blooming ground cover often carpets areas under deciduous trees and in gardens with its pink or white blooms. This tuberous plant has been used in Chinese medicine from chronic pain relief. What is this spring beauty? It’s corydalis. Corydalis is a poppy family wildflower related to bleeding hearts that grows wild in open areas but also can be cultivated in the garden. The most common and hardiest type has pink or white flowers. I often […]

Cotoneaster spp   Other Name rockspray cotoneaster   Sun Requirements full sun, part sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Pink flowers appear in spring followed by red berries and colorful fall foliage   Mature Height x Spread 2 to 3 feet x 5 to 8 feet   Added Benefits drought tolerant, fall color, deer resistant   Cotoneaster is a low growing, colorful shrub with attractive small flowers, berries and fall foliage color. The long spreading branches look particularly attractive when grown to cascade down a wall or bank.  You […]

Listen to this podcast on how to grow and care for cyclamen flowers.   This houseplant and, sometimes garden plant, originated in the Middle East and has spread throughout Europe, Asia and North America. Its name is derived from the Greek, “Kuklos”, which means circle, referring to the shape of the tubers and leaves. It’s a beauty, but also was use medically to treat depression. The tubers were even fed to pigs, hence the common name, pig bread. What’s this flower? It’s the cyclamen. This time of year you’ll see […]

In the desire to grow less lawn and more plants, ground covers are often touted as a solution. Once established they can also help keep weeds away and provide a beautiful visual alternative to grass, bare soil or bark mulch. Ground covers grow in sun or shade depending on the type. Use the amount of light in your area as your first filter in looking at ground cover options. Ground covers especially work well in shady areas, under trees or in front of shrub borders. Some ground covers, such as […]

Learn about growing ferns in your garden, including unusual varieties to grow. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript   Sun Requirements Part sun, part shade, full shade   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Grown mostly for their green ferns. Some ferns turn a golden color in fall   Mature Height x Spread 1 to 4 feet x 1 to 3 feet   Added Benefits Fall color, native, deer resistant   New England woodlands and shady areas are loaded with native ferns. They are so ubiquitous in our region; we often overlook […]

Learn about the best ground cover plants and techniques to grow in the shade. Listen to podcast: One of the most common questions I get from gardeners is what ground covers can I grow in shade? First of all, all shade is not created equally. Shade under an evergreen tree is different than shade under a small crabapple. So, it’s best to match the type of shade you have, with the ground cover. Here’s a guide. Part shade is when you get 3 to 4 hours of direct sun a […]

Learn about groundcherries, including varieties and how to plant and grow them. Listen to Podcast: When is a tomato, not a tomato? When it’s a cherry? If that doesn’t make much sense, you’ll understand the confusion over ground cherries. These tomato family fruits grow close to the ground. The “cherry” refers to the yellow fruit inside the papery husk. The fruits have a sweet flavor with just a hint of tomato. Ground cherry is native to Chile and Peru. European explorers introduced it to South Africa in the 1800s and […]

Learn about groundcovers, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast:   There’s only one thing I hate more than swatting Japanese beetles, it’s weeding around trees and shrubs. Sure I could mulch them all with bark, but it looks kind of dull and uniform. I crave some color and the solution is shade-loving, flowering ground covers. But instead of growing the common vinca or pachysandra, consider some more colorful alternatives.  Here are some options. We all know ajuga or bugleweed. It’s a widely adapted ground cover that […]

Learn how to grow and care for groundcovers for food and for fertilizer for your trees. Transcript Groundcovers are beautiful plants that cover the ground with greenery and flowers. They help reduce weeding and protect the soil from drying out. Plus, they look nice. Vinca, ivy, pachysandra and sweet woodruff are just some of the most popular ground covers. But I like to grow edible ground covers. They do all the things I just mentioned. They look good and you can eat them, too. Instead of just mulching under my […]

Learn about growing hellebores or Lenten roses in your garden as a groundcover. Listen to Podcast: Although we grow this plant as a perennial flower, it also has other devious uses. During the siege of Kirrha in ancient Greece, the invading armies poisoned the city’s water supply with crushed roots and leaves of this flower causing the protecting armies to be weakened by diarrhea and overwhelmed. That’s a good reason not to eat the leaves of your Lenten rose. Lenten or Christmas rose is more widely known by its botanical […]

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