Skip to main content


Festive Christmas Front Porch Ideas

 Festive Christmas  Welcome the most wonderful time of the year by giving your front porch a festive decoration. There's no better time to deck the halls (outdoors) with fresh greenery, the soft glow of twinkling lights and a holly jolly wreath at the front door to welcome your guests. Whether you prefer a traditional red and green color scheme for Christmas or want to stick with farmhouse neutrals this holiday season, there's little in this collection of Christmas front porch ideas to inspire your seasonal decor. Keep it simple with a few festive accent pieces, or go a step further and spread some extra holiday cheer with a delightful homemade hot chocolate station that makes your front porch extra inviting—because what better way to welcome guests and neighbors. A warm cup of Christmas spirit! 1. Christmas container gardens 2. Turn your site into a winter wonderland 3. Front porch hot chocolate station 4. Christmas gnomes 5. Create a Christmas vignette 6. Light u

8 Low-maintenance shrubs that require no pruning

Low-maintenance shrubs  While trimming is an annual task for many woody plants in the landscape, some low-maintenance shrubs do not require pruning at all. In fact, these shrubs form a very pleasing shape without any pruning or shaping. They are easy to grow, have a refined shape and usually thrive without any pruning. Also, you can use your pruning shears for more demanding tasks like cutting bouquets. Plant several of these easy-care, no-pruning shrubs, and you'll create a lush and wildlife-friendly landscape. 1. American Arborvitae An easy-care and cold-tolerant evergreen shrub, American arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) makes an excellent hedge plant. It has a smooth texture and medium green color. Its thick branches give it a compact shape that doesn't require pruning, although if desired, it can be trimmed for a more shapely, formal look. 2. Boxwood Slow-growing boxwood (Buxus spp.) is a perfect candidate for low-maintenance shrubs that don't require club p

Gardeners love allium flowers

Love allium flowers It is impossible to quickly summarize allium flowers, a vast group of perennial, edible and ornamental plants of various sizes, shapes, colors and flowering times. But singing their praises is easy. Alliums, a member of the onion family of about 1,000 species, grow in most climates and bloom from early spring to fall and later in temperate climates. Most are drought tolerant and grow best in full sun, although some tolerate shade. Their variegated flowers are a paradise for pollinators, but animals turn their noses up. Top 10 Allium Varieties We Love 1. Globemaster A hybrid cross between two species, Globemaster is considered one of the best and most beloved of the tall spring-flowering varieties. Covered with hundreds of individual flowers, the purple spheres grow 8 to 10 inches wide and look wonderful in a vase. Look for larger bulbs for bigger flowers. Why we love it: Sturdy 2- to 3-foot stems add vertical interest and stand up to wind and rain. 2. A

6 Pet-Friendly Holiday Houseplants to Celebrate the Season Safely

Houseplants to Celebrate the Season Safely If your dog or cat ingests a houseplant that is toxic to pets, the most wonderful time of the year can turn into a pre-Christmas nightmare. "Symptoms of ingesting poisonous plants include vomiting, diarrhea, irritation of the mouth and tongue, incoordination, difficulty swallowing, increased salivation and difficulty breathing," says Laura LaBranch, DVM, vice president of veterinary operations for Vet's Best Friend. "Depending on which plant and how much is ingested, death is possible." Unfortunately, there are some popular holiday houseplants that can be dangerous to your beloved pet. Some common harmful houseplants (you may have in your home right now): pine trees, amaryllis, holly, and mistletoe. The good news is that there are colorful, easy-care houseplants that are completely safe for your pet and perfect for the holidays and beyond. If a furry friend comes into contact with a poisonous plant, act qui

Hardy Perennials That Bloom in the Fall

 Hardy perennials that bloom  Mums are the go-to for fall flowers, but they are often considered annuals to be replanted each year. Alternatively, plant reliable perennial fall flowers once and enjoy them for seasons to come. All are part of the Mount Cuba Collection, a group of plants selected and introduced by the Mount Cuba Center, a botanic garden in Delaware. Known for extensive research on native plants and their effectiveness in gardens, the center has introduced about 20 named perennials over the past few decades. "With the collection, we're taking a snapshot of the best old introductions you can still get commercially, plus some new highlights," explains Sam Hadley, who manages the Trial Garden at the Mount Cuba Center. These plants—all selected as chance seedlings or games, not hybridized for certain traits—took the top spot in a three-year test assessing their value to gardeners and beneficial insects. 1. 'Gold Standard' Tall Tick (Coreopsi

7 Best Low-Growing Perennial Border Plants to Grow

Growing Perennial Border Plants  A variety of plants that provide interest in at least three seasons is the hallmark of a well-designed perennial border garden. Creating a dynamic display requires some thought about leaf shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Without good compost, gardens can be flat and dull. But to really bring out the contrast, it's important to arrange your selections so that taller plants are in the back and shorter plants are in the front. Think of it like taking a group photo. To help you find the perfect plants to place at the front of your display, these 10 varieties of perennial border plants are easy to care for and provide a variety of textures and colors throughout the seasons. 1. Beautiful floor covering Ground covers help ensure that every inch of soil is covered with plants, so fewer weeds can pop up. Using a native plant for this job is a great way to avoid inadvertently planting an invasive or invasive landscape. A good choice is a foam

Butterfly weed growing tips

 Butterfly weed growing tips and butterfly weed varieties Gardeners who want to see butterflies in their gardens will plant Asclepias tuberosa (Asclepias tuberosa) for its yellow, orange, and red flowers and its green, narrow leaves from late spring to late summer. Native to the entire Midwest, across eastern North America, and the southern Rocky Mountains, butterfly weed grows in medium to dry grasslands and other open areas on gravelly or sandy soils. Some strains grow in clay, although most prefer well-drained soil. This perennial attracts pollinators and offers the desirable features of deer resistance and low maintenance. If you're lucky, monarch butterflies will find your plants and lay eggs on the leaves. The caterpillars (larvae) hatch and the developing larvae eat the leaves. After about two weeks, the fully developed caterpillar attaches itself to the plant and begins the metamorphosis process to become a chrysalis, from which the Monarch butterfly emerges. T