heliopsis scabra in bloom with yellow flowers

Plant Pick: Helianthus annuus, Sunflower

Recently I read the Boston Sunday Globe article about a field of 3,000 sunflowers that artist Euka Holmes has planted in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. What a great idea to take advantage of the full sun and bring a smile to the faces of passersby! And another artist, Elizabeth James-Perry, has surrounded the…

pale pink rose with buds

Rose Care After Bloom

Many roses will have a repeat bloom period after the first flush in June. How to encourage this? Here are some tips: Deadhead spent flowers promptly above a leaf with a set of 5 leaflets Remove vegetative canes (long shoots with all leaves) as they appear this month – will not bloom Rake up fallen leaves and…

salvia victoria blue

Day Trips to Find Blue Flowers in July

Here are two of my favorite places to visit in summer: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s Courtyard is a cooling vision in blue and white all month. Hydrangeas are especially impressive. If you can’t get enough of blue hydrangeas, be they mophead or lacecap, this is the spot for you. https://www.gardnermuseum.org/experience/courtyard/summer-blues Advanced ticketing required A historic garden…

lacecap hydrangea

Plant Pick: Cooling Blue Flowers

Most of us love the color blue and appreciate its cooling effects during the heat of July and August. Blue plants are most effective in dappled light shade, as their color may recede in full sun. The shade factor will also help to prolong bloom.                        …

Plant Pick: Combinations to cover spring perennials that go summer dormant

What to do when your beautiful spring garden suddenly has a large empty space in August? Here are some perennial pairings that I’ve discovered over the years to hide declining foliage and gaps in the border. Lupinus perennis and Lobelia siphilitica Let the native lupine foliage “ripen” like bulb foliage in order to photosynthesize. The lupines will…