All About Peonies Video

Learn about the various types of herbaceous peonies that you can grow including information on diseases, ants on the peony flowers, dividing and moving peonies, supporting the heavy blossoms and the seed pods.   Learn more about peonies here.


How To Grow : Clean Air Houseplants

Learn how to grow common houseplants indoors as a way to clean your air. Listen to podcast: I recently heard a story about NASA sending basil and turnip seeds to the moon in grow chambers to see how they will germinate in that gravity-less, high radiation environment. It prompted me to remember the now famous research NASA also did on house plants. When looking at long term stays on the space station, one of the challenges was to produce clean air for astronauts to breathe. We all know plants are the reason we're alive today for their...


How to Grow: Allergy Free Gardens

Learn about allergy free gardens, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast: It's garden and allergy season. 50 years ago, less than 5 percent of the population had allergies to plant pollen. Now that number hovers closer to 40 percent. What happened? Plant breeders started selecting male trees and shrubs (which are loaded with pollen) over females (which have little pollen) to reduce that amount of "litter" that falls to the ground from female plants. The unintended consequence is that we have more street, park, and...


How to Grow: Amsonia

  I first grew amsonia or bluestar perennial flower years ago in a public garden. I was impressed with the size, stature and beautiful light blue flowers that it produced in early summer and gorgeous golden fall foliage. Bluestar is a native plant that should get more recognition. It was the Perennial Plant of the Year back in 2011, but I rarely see it in gardens. Amsonia grows 1- to 3-feet tall and wide depending on the selection. It's an herbaceous perennial, but grows into a small, shrub-like shape with willowy-narrow leaves. There...


How to Grow: Asters

Learn how to grow asters, including how to plant and grow them. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Asters Aster spp and hybrids Other Name Michaelmas daisy   Sun Requirements full sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color late summer to fall in colors such as blue, purple, red, pink and white   Mature Height x Spread 1 to 6 feet x 2 to 4 feet   Added Benefits Native, attracts beneficials   This native wildflower is a sure sign of late summer and early fall in New England. You can see it blooming next to goldenrod...


How to Grow: Astilbe

Listen to this podcast and read about growing and caring for astilbe perennial flowers.   podcast transcript Astilbe spp and hybrids   Other Name false spirea   Sun Requirements Part sun, part shade   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Late spring into summer in colors such as cream, white, pink, lilac, and red   Mature Height x Spread 1 to 5 feet x 2 to 3 feet   Added Benefits attracts beneficials, deer resistant   Astilbe is a part shade-loving perennial with airy white, pink, red, or lilac flowers. I grow it to provide color...


How to Grow: Attracting Bees to Your Garden

Learn about attracting bees to your garden, including the best plants to grow. Listen to podcast: You can design flower gardens to attract, butterflies, hummingbirds, and even bats, but what about the bees? Honey bees, bumblebees and native bees are essential to our food supply. It's estimated 1/3rd of every bite of food we take can be attributed to bees. But bees have been having a rough time of late with mites and diseases destroying their hives. So let's help bees out by growing some plants just for them. In a flower, bees are looking...


How to Grow: Attracting Pollinators To Your Garden

Watch this video on how to create and care for a pollinator garden in your yard with information on plant varieties, habitat, water and shelter. Learn about the best ways to attract butterflies, bees, birds and other pollinators to your garden. Listen to podcast: Pollinator gardens are hot! Maybe it's the press the two poster children of pollinators, Monarch butterflies and honey bees, are getting. Or it could be just a higher awareness of the role pollinators play in our food system and ecosystem. But it seems everyone is talking about...


How to Grow: Balloon Flowers

Listen to this podcast on how to grow balloon flowers or platycodons. This common perennial flower is called the Chinese bell flower. It originally hails from Asia but is now grown around the world. It's a fun flower to grow with kids because of the shape of the flower buds. You probably know it as balloon flowers. Balloon flowers are hardy perennial in the campanula family. Their namesake is the white, pink or blue flower bud that slowly puff sup like a hot air balloon. Eventually the flowers open into a star-shaped blossoms. Kids love to...


How to Grow: Baptisia

Learn all about growing this spring blooming, nitrogen fixing perennial in your garden. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How To Grow: Baptisia Baptisia australis   Other Name blue wild indigo   Sun Requirements Full sun, part sun   Bloom Period and Seasonal Color Late spring to summer in colors of blue, white, red and yellow   Mature Height x Spread 3 to 4 feet x 3 to 4 feet   Added Benefits Native, attracts beneficials, drought tolerant, deer resistant   This native perennial has a shrub-like appearance even though it...