Botanical Expeditions with Dan Hinkley

Imagine that you are the director of Heronswood, a fifteen acre botanical garden and, when you come home at the end of the day, you are surrounded by a six and a half acre garden of your own.   Both ...

Misting, Elephant Food, Angel Pelargoniums

A heat wave is like a brushfire.  If it gets too intense, there is really not much you can do to blunt its force. Once a brushfire turns into a wildfire or major conflagration, all the prudent firesc...

Myrtle is The Perfect Shrub

When it comes to shrubs, the common myrtle is about as close to perfection as it gets.  It was not by chance that, for the ancients, its diamond shaped leaves represented the all-seeing eyes of wisdo...

Low Maintenance, Drought Resistant Shrubs

Summer is the season to appreciate the distinctive floral gifts provided by Cassia and Caesalpinia (sez-al-PIN-ee-uh) shrubs. These heat-loving genera are drought-tolerant members of the legume famil...

Hibiscus — All-Time Favorite

This week’s column focuses on two e-mails received during the past month. Q: I was wondering if you could tell me anything about the hibiscus. I own one but don’t know much about it. I wo...

Rose of Sharon is Summer Blooming Treasure

One of the most glorious hot-weather plants is the rose of Sharon. It is only because of our deep-seated prejudice toward deciduous plants that we do not see more of it. When making decisions about w...

Privet is for Privacy

Privet. The word is virtually synonymous with hedges and, although it has no definitive etymology, some linguists maintain that privet is a variation of private. Indeed, privets are typically utilize...

Myrtles and their Kin

When it comes to fragrant leaves and exotic barks, no trees can match the myrtles (Myrtaceae). The common myrtle (Myrtus communis) is the appropriate species to start with when introducing the distin...