Image of Kousa dogwood close-up on flowers

Plant Pick: Cornus kousa, the Kousa dogwood

This Asian dogwood comes into bloom in early June. It is resistant to many pests and diseases, including the anthracnose virus that has impacted our native white and pink dogwood trees. The bark of its trunk features exfoliated patches that provide year-round interest. Heart-shaped, dark green leaves are tough enough to withstand the summer heat. There are many…

Image of spouting Japanese Knotweed in Spring

Natural Control of Japanese Knotweed

Sometimes nature comes a little too close when there is disturbed ground. One of the common invaders is Japanese knotweed. This shrubby plant in the knotweed or buckwheat family was imported in the late 1800s as an ornamental curiosity and became a rampant escapee in our area. You may have seen it lining roadsides or stream banks. It spreads…

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…