Dwarf Irises & Other Delights

No matter how much you think you know about plants, there are still plenty of surprises that await.  With nearly 400,000 plant species identified world wide, it is little wonder that every time you s...

The Greatness of Bulbs

Greatness may best be evaluated not by natural talent or achievement or an applause meter, but by response to adversity. The greatness of plants is thus demonstrated, since many of them can be cut to...

Fleru-de-lis is Really an Iris

When the mob overthrew the monarchy during the French Revolution, one of the first acts of the new governing authority was to remove the flower that had been visible for centuries on flags, shields, ...

How to Grow Garlic

In New York, when five cents was worth a lot more than it is today, they used to say that “a nickel will get you on the subway, but garlic will get you a seat.” As most people know, garli...

Rhizomes

At first glance, it would appear that we humans have it much easier than plants. If we find ourselves in a place we don’t like, all we have to do is pick ourselves up and move to another spot. ...

Summer-Flowering Bulbs

As spring comes to a close, bulbs are probably the last thing on a gardener’s mind. Bulbs are for planting in fall so that you can look at their flowers in spring, but forget about them as summ...

Tulip Magnolias & Dutch Tulips

If you visit New York City at the beginning of spring, as I did last week, you will marvel at the clouds of blossoms in white and pink that cover the Japanese cherry trees (Prunus serrulata) and orna...

Irises: Carefree Backyard Orchids

The time is now for irises, whether you prefer classic bearded fleur-de-lis irises or native, Pacific Coast irises. Last week I had the privilege to visit two horticultural venues that featured irise...