Did you know December 12th is Poinsettia Day? A Christmas favorite, this plant made its way to the United States back in 1826 and has been growing popular ever since. With media placement and the ability to cultivate a sturdy variety of "the Christmas flower", the Eckes family shares some of that history with Garden Design.
They're native to the Mediterranean, but for thousands of years Quercus suber, the cork oak has been an orchard tree in Spain and Portugal. It's easy to identify by the thick, deeply fissured, spongy bark which is the source of wine corks. The cork bark builds up over time to a layer up to a foot thick, then it's stripped away for harvest every ten years.
A new species of monkey flower has been found growing on the banks of a stream in Scotland. But it is no ordinary discovery—the flower is a rare hybrid of two foreign species, and a glimpse into evolution in action.
Poppies are a remembrance flower, symbolizing the sacrifice of veterans, as well as post-war regeneration and hope. With their tendency to thrive in disturbed & ravaged land, poppies would frequently fill European battlefields, but it wasn't until the 1915 publication of "In Flanders Fields," an oft-quoted poem written from the World War I battlefield, that the flower became an emblem of war.
A fan of grafting and citrus fruits, I've been pursuing the legendary Tree of Many Fruits for some time now, and have yet to find one. Now I could have one in my backyard. Like many of my favorite trees, it hails from Australia. James and Kerry West, farmers in New South Wales, have been cultivating "fruit salad trees," each of which produce several kinds of fruits.