Written by French botanists who explored North American forests in the late 1700s, The North American Sylva is a monumental work with masterful illustrations and extensive botanic profiles. The book would help France reforest its post-war countryside, and become a landmark in North American forestry. Today, it remains readable and interesting—certainly a work of evergreen value.
When Gene Bauer was the native flora chairman of California Garden Clubs in the 1970s, she made small booklets of silk-screened botanic illustrations and sent them to members. Made in limited editions of 50, her booklets are rare and collectible, though the artwork has been collected in a book, Botanical Serigraphs: The Gene Bauer Collection.
With the tongue-twisting official name of Euphorbia martini ‘Waleutiny’, it’s no wonder this cushion spurge has acquired a much cuter appellation. Looking like a Koosh Ball, ‘Tiny Tim” forms a perfect 1-foot dome of narrow blue-green leaves and a cloud of greenish-yellow bracts cupped under little red flowers. Unlike many spurges, this one continues to bloom throughout the season. Zones 6-8.
This is one of the most unusual and striking violas you'll ever see, with an inky lacework of veining etched across a golden background. Forms a neat mound 4 to 6 inches high and wide, with numerous 1-inch flowers. The entire Angel series from British grower Floranova is undaunted by cold weather and can take heat better than cousin pansy, so they're perfect for taking the garden from early fall into late spring.
Many botanical gardens and even city parks show off plantings of mums in the fall, so be sure to check on locations close to home. Some places go above and beyond to create eye-popping displays, such as the chrysanthemum festivals at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (Nov 1-21), Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Alabama (Nov 12-25), and the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon (Oct 9-17). The National Chrysanthemum Society also hosts an annual show (this year at Sherman Library and Gardens, Corona del Mar, California, Oct 30-31), and local chapters put on smaller shows across the country; visit mums.org to learn more. But if your love of mums can lure you across the Atlantic, then the Chrysanthema Lahr festival in Lahr, Germany, is a can’t-miss event, held from Oct 16-Nov 7 this year.
Roses are the most popular flower for Valentine's Day, but did you know that different hues and varieties of roses have different meanings? If you're wondering how to best convey your passionate love, your chaste yearning, or alternatively, your disappointment in your relationship, there's a rose for you.
Our columnist Kevin Lee Jacobs writes about how he transformed his backyard from a parking lot to a spectacular rose garden, using a mix of cuttings, new plants, and of course, blood, sweat, and tears.
In our latest column from Marigold and Mint, she takes us to the peony farms of Washington State, highlighting these majestic blooms and pairs the flowers with garden roses for arrangements and bouquets that are the delight of every summer bride.