The Art of Pruning
Think it’s too early to be doing necessary work out in your yard?  Think again. The late winter and early spring is an excellent time to be training young trees via pruning. Shade and ornamental trees are an important component of the home landscape and need regular pruning when young to fulfill their purpose in the landscape.  Home owners can perform essential pruning on their young trees that improves strength...
Permafrost, Squirrels, and 30,000-Year Old Plants
  Perhaps the largest botanical newsbreak of the past week was the publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America that several mature, fully functional individuals of Silene stenophylla (a member of the carnation family that still exists today) had been grown from fruits found buried 38 meters underground, in permafrost, in Siberia.  The fruits had been taken there some 30,000 years ago...
This Week at the Gardens: February 24th
Remind me not to take pictures of happy spring flowers in February: Hellebores can be found tucked in many corners featuring dappled shade. These are thriving in the Rock Alpine Garden. Head to the Orangery, to catch our annual jump-the-season display of festive tulips, daffs, and primroses. (It’s sure not to snow in there any time soon!)
Winter wandering: Hellebore and Epimedium in Switzerland
How tempting it would be to tease out one or two of these seedlings on the slope: they surely will not all survive to maturity ...I have grown this plant for nearly forty years: finding plants you have grown and loved in the wild is one of the greatest inspirations for travel, in my book! I always feel pity for people who wander around the globe visiting only cities and human constructs....
Reviewed: "Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens"
The following review comes to us from Maggie Lee, a New Mexico-based garden designer quite familiar with drought-tolerant plants. In their new book, "Waterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens," Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden offer a unique resource of 200 adaptive plants ranging from trees to cacti. Accompanying the introductory page to each section, the authors’ beautifully-photographed garden vignettes illustrate accomplished examples of textural tapestries and well-proportioned compositions; gardens rich in species and relationships. I...
Better Red than Dead
The classic explanation of winter reddening is that red pigments protect plants from the effects of too much light.  This makes sense in observation--plants in full sun in the winter often turn red, while shaded members of the same species stay green.  It’s initially perhaps a bit of a stretch to imagine that plants can suffer from excess light—after all, we’re taught from a young age that plants adore the...
Seed Saving
Saving seed has become more than a passion – it’s pure joy.  I think differently now about planning my garden and ordering seeds.   When Cord and I got back from Seed School with Bill McDorman, we came home to a fall garden, dripping with seed, ready to be saved.  Armed with a beginner’s knowledge, we gathered more seed that fall than I could have ever believed.  The garden was so...
This Week at the Gardens: February 17th
Do you have the feeling winter is lasting FOREVER this year? Me too. Hellebores (Helleborus) in white, pink, and even deep red and black are some of winter’s best compensation! Find them in the Waring Garden, the Rock Alpine Garden, along Shady Lane, and elsewhere. Also in the always precocious Waring Garden you can spot blooming Erica (heath) which can appear as early as January. Though they won’t be in bloom till April or...
Sharing Herbaria Information With The World
This portal is not limited to just the scientific community, but it is open to the general public who can create plant checklists for specific areas and even play games to learn plant names. I personally like the matching game. I would recommend a visit to SEINet to discover the hidden treasures that are stored here at the Gardens and maybe play a few games.
On Giving Roses
  A lot of people will send or receive a bouquet of roses today, and they will be continuing a very long tradition. Roses are one of the oldest of cultivated flowers—they have been grown across Asia for many centuries.  Roses first came to Europe from Persia and were already extremely popular in Greece by the time of Herodotus (5th century BC), who recorded his visit to the famous rose garden of Midas, son...

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