Tag Archives: gardening


Goutweed (aka. Bishop’s Weed)

Aegopodium podagraria L.


Family: Carrot Family

Gout Weed Leaves 2

Goutweed invades coreopsis

Do not ever plant Goutweed Invades English IvyGoutweed intentionally.  I’ve read that some people like it as a ground cover…..not a good idea.

We’ve been fighting Goutweed in our garden for the last 6 years since we’ve moved in.  You can’t just pull it up, you have to carefully follow the rhizomes (underground stems) as you remove it, otherwise it will just pop right back up.

It is especially hard to remove around large boulders or other objects that it’s rhizomes can hide under.

You can see that it has grown right through some landscape fabric that we put down to help control weeds.  This fabric was in our garden for 3 years.  The benefit of pulling the landscape fabric out this year was that we pulled out a lot of goutweed with it.

goutweed runner length Goutweed runner through landscape fabric goutweed runners

Hooked on Hellebores

Hooked on Hellebores



Calling out from among last autumn’s leaves in our shade garden, the Hellebores flowers tell us that spring has arrived. These are among the earliest bloomers, but their colorful sepals remain long after the petals have wilted, giving the appearance of a long lasting bloom. They also retain their evergreen leaves throughout the year, adding interest to your winter garden. The species has avid collectors, known to purchase any cultivar they can find. They are tough to beat given their deer, shade, and drought resistance. Don’t worry about missing the blooms this year as their colorful sepals will fool your guests into thinking they are still flowering.

Bloom Time: December to April
Available Colors: Green, white, burgundy, purple, pink
Zones: 4-9
Where to Plant: Part shade, well-drained soil
Propagation Method: Division in June or September after 2 years

For more information on Hellebores: https://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?PID=113

Bela Lugosi Daylily: A Fine Tribute to a Film Legend

Bela Lugosi – a clever or meaningful name can really help sell a daylily. I enjoy classic horror movies, and Bela Lugosi’s performance as Count Dracula in the 1931 Universal Studios film [Dracula] is an all-time favorite. This daylily tribute to the silverscreen legend is fitting being that the (slightly ruffled) flower is a phantom-dark purple with a contrasting creamy-gold throat.

I came across the ‘Bela Lugosi’ name on a spreadsheet at a daylily farm, and made a beeline to the referenced garden bed to pique my interest. It was serendipitous that this daylily was the dark purple I was hoping to find that day.

This flower is one of my favorites of all the (30+) daylily cultivars I have in my gardens, and is positioned at a focal point from my main entryway. Fortunately, this daylily has a good bud count and the 6-inch flowers are supported on sturdy stalks. Unlike dracula, the dark-purple color does not succumb to sunlight that easily. Bela Lugosi is approximately 33″, blooms during mid season, and has semi-evergreen foliage. This daylily is highly recommended for any garden, and the moderate difficulty in acquiring it is worth the effort. I have not seen this daylily for sale at local nurseries, but it is available from daylily specialists. Check out your local daylily farm or display garden.

I would like to start a Universal Monsters-theme garden, and I have the following cultivars on my watch list: Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster; Dracula’s Mistress; Dracula’s Smile. The open registration for naming daylily cultivars has made such theme-type gardens possible from the thousands of named cultivars on record. Look out for the upcoming Star Wars series! According to the American Hemerocallis Society Online Dayliliy Database, Star Wars character names (e.g. Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, etc.) have been reserved until 2016. You can search for daylily cultivars here http://www.daylilydatabase.org.

Go Tall with the Autumn Minaret Daylily

The autumn minaret daylily is one to consider in a tight spot that has some vertical real estate. We had such a place in a foundation garden where the casement windows (at our sunroom) stood a perfect 6’ above ground level. We placed one clump purchased at Collamore Field Gardens (Scituate, MA), one of the 300+ American Hemerocallis Society Display Gardens throughout the United States and Canada.

The autumn minaret flower is yellow/gold with the tepals streaked lengthwise in a burnt-orange color (or “colour” for Canadians). Their star-shape blossoms are approximately 4” in diameter, and they gently sway on thin stalks at a towering 66”+ height. You may have to use a step ladder to get cuttings from this one! This cultivar is a classic that was registered back in 1951, and can be commonly found at garden centers.

This plant did not disappoint for us, and several neighbors commented on its impressive height. The flower itself isn’t too showy, but will be one of the few in bloom during late August into September. The single clump we purchased was divided next season, and the plants bloom heavily on very rigid stalks that support themselves. The flowers just peak above our interior window sills, and run the length of the daybed situated against the wall of our sunroom. This flower is highly recommended for any daylily enthusiast, or anyone else that wants a bulletproof plant that can start up a conversation.

Seven Daylilies That Bloom in Late June and Early July



For all of you Hemerocallis fans out there, here are seven daylilies that will be sure to impress your guests at your 4th of July or Canada Day (July 1st) party.  All of these pictures were taken on June 29th at the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  The best part about these daylilies is that you will enjoy them year after year with very little maintenance.  They will readily multiply on their own each year, making them the perfect parting favor for your summer party guests . Continue reading Seven Daylilies That Bloom in Late June and Early July

Native and Non-Native Stewartia Trees that Fare Well in New England Gardens

Stewartia Trees that Fare Well in New England Gardens

Native and Non-Native Stewartia Trees Suitable for New England

Many may be familiar with the stately looking sycamore trees with eye-catching exfoliating bark.  Just take a slow drive down Memorial Drive at Harvard University and you will be convinced of the timeless elegance of this (exfoliating bark) characteristic.

However, there is group of native and non-native Stewartia trees that turn heads even quicker, and these are now readily available for your home garden (but not at box stores yet).  Be warned, Stewartia trees are not for the gardener who strives for instant glory.  These trees, unlike the aformentioned Sycamore, are very slow growing.  They also carry a larger price tag.  I would recommend purchasing something bigger than a twig if you want something impressive in your lifetime;  a 1o’ specimen goes for around $200. Continue reading Native and Non-Native Stewartia Trees that Fare Well in New England Gardens

Complete List of Heartleaf Brunnera (aka Siberian Bugloss) Types: A Wide Variety of Amazing Cultivars

Complete List of Heartleaf Brunnera (aka Siberian Bugloss) Types:

A Wide Variety of Amazing Cultivars

Heartleaf Brunnera – Brunnera macrophylla (aka Siberian Bugloss) is an amazing, shade-tolerant perennial that has become deservingly popular in New England.  We highly recommend using one or many (in combination) of the available cultivars (listed below) to put some color in your shade garden.  This plant is perfect for garden edges, and couples well with ferns and/or bleeding hearts (if you choose to go with a heart-themed garden).  A contrasting dark chocolate/maroon foliage, which is readily available in Heuchera and Ligularia, looks amazing standing over the shorter Brunnera.  This is a must-have for all New England / Atlantic Canada gardeners, and we dare you to stop at one selection.  Cultivars that are commonly found in most New England garden centers include the following: ‘Jack Frost’; ‘Looking Glass’; ‘Silver Wings’; ‘Variegata’.  Brunnera seem to be the first plants to sell out at local plant sales – the secret is out. 

This serves as the most comprehensive list of Brunnera varieties available online (to date).  Please send comments if a cultivar has been missed.  We are always excited to learn of new cultivars!    

1. Agnes Amez

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Agnes Amez’ Continue reading Complete List of Heartleaf Brunnera (aka Siberian Bugloss) Types: A Wide Variety of Amazing Cultivars