Garden Fundamentals - Learn about plants and gardening

The following articles were authored by Robert Pavlis

Seed Exchange – A Great Way To Get Free Seed

A seed exchange is a great way to get free or low cost seed. It is also a way to get seed that you can’t buy anywhere else. For years now I have been using these services to expand my collection of plants and I just love them. One of the most enjoyable experiences in gardening is seeing a new species of plant flower for the first time.

So where are these great seed exchanges, you ask? This post provides a list of them.

Seed packages have just arrived from the ACS seed exchange

Seed packages have just arrived from the ACS seed exchange and it feels just like Christmas

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Senna hebecarpa

Senna hebecarpa, by Robert Pavlis

Senna hebecarpa, by Robert Pavlis

Senna hebecarpa is rarely grown in gardens but it deserves to be used more frequently. It is a perennial that can grow to 180 cm (six  feet) and has unusual compound leaves. Both of these features make it look more like a shrub.

Common names include American senna, wild senna and the northern wild senna. It is a North American legume, that hosts nitrogen fixing bacteria in it’s root nodules. —————- Read More —————-

Chives, Garlic Chives, Onion Chives, Garlic Scapes – Which One Do You have?

There is a lot of confusion out there about various chives and garlics. Identifying one from the other is actually quite simple, until we add other alliums to the list, then it can become very complicated. In this post I will look at the common ones and provide a simple way to correctly identify your plant. I’ll also include some cultural information.

Allium Globemaster in the authors garden, by Robert Pavlis

Allium Globemaster in the authors garden, by Robert Pavlis

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Allium thunbergii ‘Ozawa’

Allium thunbergii 'Ozawa', by Robert Pavlis

Allium thunbergii ‘Ozawa’, by Robert Pavlis

The last plant to start flowering in my zone 5 garden is  Allium thunbergii ‘Ozawa’, the Japanese onion. As I write this it is October 26, 2014 and we have not had a real hard frost yet which is very unusual. Most common fall flowering plants like mums are finished flowering but the Japanese onion is still going strong. It is not bothered by early frost or snow. —————- Read More —————-

Dictamnus albus

Dictamnus albus, by Robert Pavlis

Dictamnus albus, by Robert Pavlis

Dictamnus albus, the gas plant, always makes a big splash in the garden when it is flowering and even when it is not flowering it is a very interesting plant with good leaf structure.  Even the star-shaped seed heads are interesting. So why is this plant not seen more in gardens? It is very slow growing and I think it costs nurseries too much to get it to a saleable size. Fashions have also changed and this fantastic plant has been left behind in favor of more modern plants. That is a real shame since few garden plants will match the presence of a mature Dictamnus. —————- Read More —————-