If I were to sum up the current state of the front garden in 2 words, they would be: Bee Balm. Bee Balm, Bee Balm, Bee Balm. Specifically, Monarda didyma ‘Raspberry Wine’. The Bee Balm is so visually dominant in part because… Read More

Yesterday we saw what the Front Garden had on offer at the beginning of July. Today we head to the shady back garden, under the dappled shade of Silver Maples and other mature trees.

All of a sudden, it’s hot out and feels like summer. But the garden is still clothed in the blues and whites of late spring, especially out front. The reds, yellows, and oranges (but especially yellows) of summer are gathering force, not… Read More

Trying Something New

I’m trying something new this year: Bush’s Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe bushii). This is a close relative of Wine Cups (C. involucrata), in fact it used to be considered a variety of that species. My understanding is that Wine Cups will spread out… Read More

A single Goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus) goes a long way. It’s a big plant – ours grows about 5 feet tall with a 4 foot spread. It’s a perennial but looks more like a small shrub. But if you have the space in… Read More

Jack’s in His Pulpit, All’s Well With the World

The last week of May is generally the busiest week of the year in my job. This year the last week of May effectively lasted until June 2nd, which is why I didn’t get home until this afternoon (after being away since… Read More

2 Useful Native Plants for Dry Shade

Starry Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum stellatum) and Wild Currant (Ribes americanum) are both useful plants for the native shade garden, or any shade garden for that matter. They are blooming now in our own place. They are not spectacular, but they are beautiful… Read More

A Fern Foundation

Somewhere it is written that foundation plantings must be evergreen shrubs (Yews, Boxwood, and the like). and that these shrubs must be clipped into geometric shapes. Judy and I, however, have defied this commandment and have come up with a different sort… Read More

Trillium Time

The Large-Flowered Trilliums (Trillium grandiflorum) I planted a few years ago are slowly settling in and bulking up. It’s an elegant flower with its three gleaming-white petals.

4 Spring Flowers for Shade That I Love

Let’s talk about spring-blooming native plants that like shade, specifically those that have been catching my eye lately in our garden. With one exception, these are all plants that Midwestern gardeners should be using a lot more.