Category Archives: Plant Profiles

All about specific plants.

A Better-Mannered Forget-me-Not

On a recent trip to the botanic gardens, I was captivated by a constellation of tiny blue flowers, stars spread on tender green leaves in the shade of some mature pines. Five azure petals surrounded a hollow white center on … Continue reading

Posted in Plant Profiles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Love Veronicas

It looks like the sky has fallen and landed among my perennials. Purple-blue flowers formed a dense carpet nearly obscuring the thick layer of green foliage underneath—and the whole show was only a few inches high. I have a weakness … Continue reading

Posted in Plant Profiles, Xeriscape | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Praise of Petunias

  Mention petunias among a group of passionate gardeners and you often get sneers. After all, they’re so… common! Even non-gardeners grow petunias. Those with greener thumbs usually aspire to more exotic flowers. But there’s a reason petunias are so … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Plant Profiles | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Persistent Perennials

We had our first hard freeze over a month ago. Most of the deciduous plants and perennials in my yard are now dormant—some with dry brown leaves still attached, others with bare stems. But remarkably, not everything looks dead. In … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Landscaping, Plant Profiles, Surviving Winter | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Poisonous Leaves

I was happily photographing wildflowers along the edge of a park in Ohio when our friend, a local, warned me, “Don’t touch that!” I looked down. That plant looked familiar—a sprawling, low-growing shrub with reddish stems and shiny green leaves, … Continue reading

Posted in Nature, Plant Profiles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rhus trilobata: A Winner by Any Name

All summer, the shrub sat in the back corner of our yard, quietly filling the space between the fence and a dry creek bed. The olive-green leaves were a bit drab, but provided a nice, neutral backdrop for an adjacent … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Landscaping, Plant Profiles, Xeriscape | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(Not Just) Purple Coneflower

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) used to be purple. You can still buy the purple-flowered version of this perennial (actually more of a pink, at least to my eye), but purple is only the beginning. Consider passionate hues such as raspberry … Continue reading

Posted in Plant Profiles, Xeriscape | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment