Healthy Plants are Barely Watered

Five years ago, I visited Claire Martin’s garden in Winnetka and reported on several plants that were the picture of health despite minimal care on her part. A few days ago, I paid another visi...

Gardenias

Q. I’m the caretaker of an apartment building and I do our little flower garden. Way over 10 years ago I planted two gardenia plants together. I didn’t think they would even grow. Well, y...

In(toxic)ating Brunfelsia & Brugmansia

Brunfelsia and Brugmansia may sound like the names of fairytale twins — or siblings to the cruel Queen Brunhilda. As a matter of fact, Brunfelsia and Brugmansia are a pair of charismatic, volup...

Hebe (HEE-bee) for You & Me

Those of us who write about plants are among the most privileged of people. Our easy access to the world of plants puts us in constant touch with botanical treasures that remain hidden from most peop...

Nothing but Mallows

If I had to create a flower garden of plants belonging to a single family, I probably would choose Malvaceae, comprising the mallows and hibiscuses. Many of these plants have incredible flower displa...

Wonga Wonga

It happens when you least expect it: an encounter with a plant you have never seen before. To a plant lover, unfamiliar species are never just faces in a crowd. Each has its own distinctive identity,...

Everyone Loves Mallows

Everyone loves mallows. Did you ever meet a person who did not smile when gazing upon a hibiscus, a hollyhock or a flowering maple (abutilon) for the first time? Then there are marshmallows, named fo...

Wisteria Potential & Primrose Jasmine

In all the world, there is no vine like wisteria. From Sierra Madre to Jerusalem, I have seen nothing that can match its seemingly limitless potential for growth. How appropriate that wisteria should...

From Woadwaxen to Miniature Anthurium

The exuberance I experienced upon the recent discovery of a new plant was tempered by the thought that this might be an invasive species that would not be wise to recommend to an unsuspecting public....

Trumpet Trees & Flowering Quinces

The unexpected April rain early this week was a pleasant surprise. Not only was the rain helpful in germinating seeds and evenly soaking the root systems of all garden plants, but the accompanying gr...