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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.

Sowing seeds when there's still snow on the ground may sound like folly, but according to Tom Stearns, founder of High Mowing Organic Seeds in Wolcott, Vermont, you can do just that with certain plants.
This is a companion piece to our Ancient Beauty article.

Few plants quickened the pulse of Victorian-era collectors more than the seemingly humble fern (see “Ancient Beauty”). It's safe to say that the specimen above, the Athyrium ‘Ghost’ fern, with its luminous, silvery fronds, would have caused a stir had it been discovered back then.

Related Topics: Ideas | Plant guide | plants
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
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