Tag: Native Plants

American Pokeweed: Bane or Beauty?

There’s an American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) growing across the alley from our house. It emerged from an overgrown hedge this year that our new neighbors have cut to the ground.

Starry, Starry Day

Aster means “star”, and so the days of autumn hereabouts are full of stars.

Another Useful Goldenrod

Currently we don’t have any of the tall goldenrods in the garden, except for a few volunteer wildlings scattered in corners here and there. We do have a lot of Bluestem Goldenrod (Solidago caesia), however.

That’s Where the Tall Plants Grow

I have a lot of admiration for writer and landscape designer Benjamin Vogt. His blog, newsletter, and other writings make very useful reading for anyone interested in the intersection between gardening and ecology.

Venerable Vervain

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) is an attractive but not a showy plant. But it has great value from a wildlife perspective. First, let’s deal with the name. “Hoary” does not mean what some of you think it means (don’t bother to deny… Read More

The Front Garden in Mid-July

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

If the Goatsbeard Fits, Plant It

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

Gardens of the Smithsonian

Well, things in the garden here are really starting to simmer down, which means it’s time to get serious about posting on this year’s adventures. Let’s start with the 2017 Garden Bloggers Fling, which was held at the end of June in… Read More

The Unknown Coneflower

OK, it’s not really unknown. But generally when people talk about Coneflowers, they’re talking about the genus Echinacea, or less frequently, Rudbeckia. Seldom are they referring to the Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata.

Wild Blue Indigo and Bumblebees

June is a blue month in our garden. And perhaps my favorite blue flower for June is the Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis). This is such a great plant: it’s beautiful, tough, and low-maintenance. Give it time and it will create a… Read More