‘Marian Sampson’ hummingbird coyote mint
Perhaps the most popular native shrub in the whole encyclopedia is Mountain Laurel. The eastern mountains from New England to Georgia are full of it, but nobody finds it tiresome. Its evergreen foliage is an asset, but what sweeps the public off their feet is the brilliant show of bloom in June. It is altogether irresistible.
Naturally, Laurel is much planted and much transplanted. There is so much of it in the woods that the amateur horticulturist is constantly tempted to help himself. Yet in many cases, he would be better off, horticultural and financially, if he would buy his plants from some good nursery. In wild land, with its boulders and ledges, the Laurel roots range far and wide. It is very hard to dig these plants with even fairly good roots. But if grown in good, well-drained nursery land they can be lifted, “balled and burlapped,” with perfect roots. The results when planted are, of course, very much better.
In planting from the nursery one has the further advantage that the planting season can be much extended; and as the average amateur is always late at his planting, this constitutes a distinct gain.
Certain practical conditions have to he met to succeed with Mountain Laurel, but they are not very difficult. In the first place, the soil should be acid. Also, it ought not to be too dry and sandy. Fairly well-drained, rocky, or gravelly soil is the Laurel’s natural preference. Then there ought to be some shade. Laurel dislikes full sun, though the dense shade is almost as inimical. A position along the border of woodland is almost ideal, but the plants will thrive in sparse deciduous woods if other conditions are favorable.
The two mistakes most commonly made in planting Mountain Laurel are, first, the digging
‘Marian Sampson’ hummingbird coyote mint
You may have noticed that the Rocky Mountain region—especially if you moved here from either coast or the South—is notably lacking in broadleaf evergreens. That is because these evergreens are more prone to burn from both winter sun and wind—as well as to suffer winter water loss—than deciduous woody plants or needled evergreens. As a result, gardeners in our region must select and site such woody plants more thoughtfully than gardeners in other regions. Of course, what we call “Rocky Mountain” is really more like two regions: one that reliably retains winter snow cover, and one that does not. The three broadleaf evergreen natives described here, however, do well in a variety of gardens and exposures.
Good things in life take time. Most of us recognize the truth in this statement, especially when it comes to our gardens. Not only are the best designs often those refined with incremental changes over years, but the juiciest, most umami-rich tomatoes are often those that develop slowly in the garden. The same is true for one of the quirkiest edible crops I grow, which takes a full nine months from planting to harvest: garlic (Allium sativum). It’s worth the wait, even if just to see how it grows. Growing garlic in the Rocky Mountains isn’t much different from growing it in other places, but certain varieties do better here. Learn more below.
There is no perfect garden plant, unless one is talking about plastic. All chlorophyll-loaded garden accents have both good and bad visual and cultural attributes. Understanding the weaknesses of your garden’s plant material presents an opportunity for you to use one plant to complement another while hiding visual weak points.
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Wondering How to Grow Ceanothus Joyce Coulter? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn how to grow and take care of the Creeping Mountain Lilac so you can enjoy its beauty in your garden or landscape.
As Digital Content Editor Christine Alexander explains, pollinators play a vital role in our ecosystem and we should all be doing our part to support their populations:
The Rowan or Mountain Ash, Sorbus aucuparia is a member of the same family as the rose and is part of the large Sorbus genus (50+ distinctive species).Â They are highly variable with several regional sub species. The trees can be quite singular in appearance when shaped by wind on high moors and mountains.
Would you like an easy-to-grow perennial that flowers from July to August and is a magnet for many pollinating wasps, skippers, bees, and moths? Then consider mountain mint for your garden.
I spoke about some notable natives with my friend Andy Brand of Broken Arrow Nursery, with whom I often hosting half-day workshops in my Hudson Valley, New York, garden, when we focus on upping the beneficial wildlife quotient in your own backyard with better plants and better practices. Andy has been one of the experts I’ve pestered for ideas as I’ve been doing that in my own garden in recent years to good effect.Andy is manager of Connecticut-based Broken Arrow, and he’s a serious amateur naturalist, and founder of the Connecticut state butterfly association. (That’s a photo by Andy of a red-banded hairstreak on a Clethra blossom, top of page.) Learn where many familia
I’ve been turning to Marc Wolf of Mountain Top Arboretum for suggestions, and now we want to share some of our ideas with you for garden-sized native woody plants to enhance the diversity of your landscape.Marc is director of Mountain Top in the Catskill Mountains of New York, 178-acre public garden that’s open every day of the year, and where managing native plant communities is the focus. He has a particular appreciation for small native trees that we too often overlook, and we
Cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) is a versatile, robust and attractive ornamental hedging plant that’s well-suited to creating privacy screens and windbreaks, and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.