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.  It […]

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 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 […]

Juniperus spp and hybrids   Other Name common juniper   Sun Requirements full sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Junipers are grown for their evergreen foliage in various shades of green, gold and blue   Mature Height x Spread 1 to 40 feet x 5 to 20 feet   Added Benefits Native, deer resistant   You see them everywhere in New England. Junipers are common evergreen plants in many landscapes. This group is huge and varied. They all have attractive green or blue-green needles and blue berries that add […]

One of the biggest drawbacks to mint is not getting it to grow, but keeping it under control. But it’s worth the effort. Mint is a flavorful herb that comes in many flavors, such as spearmint, orange, melon, apple, and chocolate peppermint. Not only is it a great addition to drinks, teas and cooking, the plant is an attractive ground cover as well with colorful pastel, blue or pink, colored flowers. How to Use in Foodscaping This 1 to 2 foot tall growing perennial is hardy in USDA zones 3 […]

Learn about the best varieties and how to grow strawberries in your garden. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Strawberries I know it’s summer when I can go harvest strawberries (Fragaria). The sweet, juicy red fruits signal the beginning of the fruit season in my garden. I’m always amazed at how fast they grow and ripen. From small plants popped in the ground the previous year, comes a full bed loaded with green fruits that ripen to red almost overnight with warm weather.   When you see the […]

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