Take Another Look at Marigolds

March 1, 2015 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Marigolds have long held a place in flower beds, so much so that they have almost become overused. Still, they are perfect for formal beds, as they know their bounds and are clean, neat and upright, never sprawling in an ungainly manner or becoming leggy and untidy. Beginning gardeners often turn to marigolds because they […]


0 AnnualsFlowers

Edges of Another Color

July 6, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

I’ve never been a fan of variegated foliage plants – those whose leaves sport streaks or speckles of white, yellow, purple, red or light green.  I also don’t care for unnatural looking streaks of color on flower petals.  But when the first fall nursery catalog arrived in the mail in mid-June, I fell in love […]


0 FlowersPerennials

Back to Basics at Planting Time

May 4, 2014 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Last winter was brutal and this spring has been ugly, but the calendar says it’s planting time, so let’s review some shopping and planting basics. When buying annual flowers, veggie packs, or containerized perennial flowers, shrubs or trees, first pick up the container.  It should feel solid, not too light for its size.  A too-light […]


0 FlowersGardening techniques and tools

Lots to love about Calibrachoa

June 16, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

The first thing I love about calibrachoa is the way its name rolls up and down:  Kal-a-bra-KO-ah.  Secondly, its gorgeous! Calibrachoas look like mini-petunias, or petunias without their tattered petticoats.  Each plants has hundreds of inch-wide flowers giving rise to its common name, “Million Bells.” It’s an annual plant that comes to us from South […]


0 AnnualsFlowers

Variegated Solomon's Seal

April 7, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

The Perennial Plant Association has chosen Variegated Solomon’s Seal as its Perennial Plant of the Year for 2013.  It’s a plant for shady woodland gardens or for a border in part to full shade.  Morning sun is better than afternoon sun for this plant. Variegated Solomon’s Seal grows 18-24 inches tall and has long oval […]


0 FlowersPerennials

Black plants in the garden

February 3, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Several years ago a fellow Master Gardener asked the group for information on black flowers because she wanted to make a black garden. I was a bit worried about her state of mind, but also intrigued because I had never seen a black flower. This year’s seed catalogs offer a plethora of black flowers, so […]


0 FlowersFruits and vegetableslandscaping

Native replacements for your favorite plants

January 20, 2013 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Native plants are those that were growing in a particular area when the first European settlers arrived. Many of these plants are still in existence and using them in our landscapes is a good idea for many reasons. Since native Wisconsin plants have been growing here for hundreds of years, they are uniquely adapted to […]


0 FlowersPerennials

Heirlooms in the garden

September 16, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

This time of year, I cut the dried seedheads of the zinnias in my garden and save them to plant next spring. I’ve been saving and replanting these seeds for 29 summers now, and I got the first seeds from my mother, who had been saving them every year since she planted her first garden […]


0 FlowersFruits and vegetablesMiscellaneous

Beyond mums for fall beauty

September 2, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Chrysanthemums are gorgeous and spectacular and an easy way to provide bright splashes of color in your fall landscape. There are other perennial plants, however, that will hold a place in flowerbeds all summer and bring forth their blooms in fall. Just when everything else in your perennial bed has petered out, chelone, pronounced chee-LOW-nee, […]


0 FlowerslandscapingPerennials

Anise, Hyssop and Anise Hyssop

June 16, 2012 lawanda Newspaper Columns

Well, this could get confusing. Anise, hyssop, and anise hyssop are three unrelated perennial plants, all having value in the garden, kitchen, or medicine chest. The overlap in common plant names is a lesson in the importance of using Latin names when you are looking for a specific plant. Anise – Pimpinella anisum – is […]


0 FlowersHerbsPerennials

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