Hummingbirds in the Garden

Hummingbirds are a large group of tiny birds with iridescent feathers, looking like sparkling jewels zipping among the flowers. These nectar-feeding birds utilize a wide range of plants to supply their enormous metabolic needs. Learn more about this fascinating group of birds and how to encourage ruby-throated hummingbirds, the Midwest’s only hummingbird species, in your garden in this article…

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Big & Bold

A great way to make a visual impact in an ornamental garden is to use plants with dramatic, large leaves or flowers. Use these plants for their bold texture or flowers that will really stand out among other plants with fine or medium texture. Read about six plants that have bold foliage or flowers in these archived articles:

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‘Husker Red‘ Foxglove Beardtongue, Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’

With showy panicles of tubular white flowers and deep maroon foliage, ‘Husker Red’ foxglove beardtongue is a star in the garden in late spring into early summer. One of few Penstemon species to thrive in humid climates, P. digitalis is a nice addition to rain gardens, perennial borders and natural areas. Learn more about this selection of this eastern North American native in this article…

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Articles on Some Native Garden Plants

Our ornamental garden plants come from all over the world, including from North America. There are many species native to our area that have been selected because of their attractive flowers or foliage — and sometimes developed further as cultivars or hybrids — and offered for sale as garden plants. Learn more about a few of these in these archived articles:

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Fothergilla

Fothergillas are multi-season beauties grown as ornamentals well outside their original range. These low maintenance small shrubs, native to the southeastern US, have eye-catching blooms in spring and vibrant fall color in autumn. Learn more about these easily grown members of the witch-hazel family…

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Articles on Some More Annual Weeds

Not all the plants in a garden are ones we intend to be there. Managing these unexpected inhabitants is greatly dependent on their life cycle. Just like our ornamental plants, weeds can be annuals, biennials and perennials. Learn about a few weeds that have an annual life cycle — they grow, flower, produce seed and die in a single year —  in these archived articles:

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Twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla

With short-lived pure white flowers and curious-looking seedpods, this early spring bloomer named after a US President makes a great addition to native plantings or as a shady groundcover. Its common name of twinleaf comes from the interesting butterfly-shaped leaves. Learn more about Jeffersonia diphylla in this article…

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Articles on Spring Pests

It’s not only spring flowers and new leaves that emerge this time of year. Plenty of pests also show up to torment gardeners. Read about a few of these that are common early in the growing season in these archived articles:

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Chamomile, Matricaria chamomilla

With attractive ferny foliage and eye-catching blooms, chamomile can be a nice addition to the ornamental garden or herb garden. This Eurasian annual is easily grown from seed for its yellow and white daisy flowers that are harvested to make chamomile tea. Learn more about Matricaria chamomilla in this article…

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Grape Hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum

For a hit of intense blue in the garden in mid-spring, Muscari armeniacum can’t be beat. This small perennial bulb produces clusters of bell-shaped flowers that resemble bunches of grapes, giving rise to the common name grape hyacinth. Learn more about this European species in this article…

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