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The poet Hart Crane once called air plants, or tillandsias, a genus of the bromeliad family, an "inverted octopus with heavenward arms." Needing no soil, these amazing plants come in a variety of fantastic shapes and colors.

 

Related Topics: Grow | air plants | Plant guide | tillandsias
How to grow rhododendrons in your garden. And remember, a rhododendron needs three things above all else: drainage, drainage, and drainage.
Our photo glossary of 14 types of lettuce (and other spring greens), including romaine, mache, and bibb.

Can you recommend some good sources for buying seeds and offer some tips for starting plants from seed? 

—Julia Tomer, Pittsburgh 

Starting plants from seed, whether flowers, fruits, or vegetables, requires a little research. Some seeds will need an early start indoors; others can be sown directly in the garden. Most seed packets will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful season, as will the websites of many online purveyors. While I still enjoy receiving the odd seed catalogue or two by mail—Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) is a favorite—I do most of my seed shopping online.

Ubiquitous yet often overlooked, indoor and outdoor ferns are botanical marvels
Related Topics: Grow | ferns | garden | Plant guide | plants
Ubiquitous yet often overlooked, indoor and outdoor ferns are botanical marvels.
Related Topics: Ideas | Plant guide | plants
Reed beds are being used to filter water in many gardens
Related Topics: How-To | Eco-friendly | Garden care | Plant guide
Jenny Andrews sneaks a peek at the new plants featured at the Ohio Florists Association show

Landscape designer Stephen Suzman likes the groundcover species Senecio mandraliscae for its fast growth and distinctive chalky-blue fleshy foliage. A native of South Africa, it grows 12 to 18 inches tall with masses of 3- to 4-inch pencil-like leaves. For more, visit Great Garden Plants.

A vibrant groundcover for the shade garden, Lamium maculatum ‘Anne Greenaway’ forms a 6- to 8-inch-tall mass of scallop-edged variegated leaves that glitter with chartreuse, silver and mint green. Clusters of small lilac-mauve flowers add to the display in late spring, but the foliage can last all year in mild-winter regions. Perennial.
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