Garden Fundamentals - Learn about plants and garden design

Archive for the Plants Category

Colchicum Autumnale – The Life Cycle Explained

Colchicum autumnale, commonly called the fall crocus has one of the most unusual life cycles of any plant in my garden. It flowers with no leaves and it’s seeds are stored underground for part of the year. In a given gardening season it flowers first, then rests, and then makes leaves. This is one mixed up plant that has developed a very unique and interesting life cycle.

When should you move the corms – they are not bulbs? When can you collect the seed? Important information like this becomes clear once you understand how Colchicum autumnale grows – their life cycle.

Colchicum autumnale in fall showing flowers. The leaves are from a hydrangea bush, by Robert Pavlis

Colchicum autumnale in fall showing flowers. The leaves are from a hydrangea bush, by Robert Pavlis

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Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’

Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’: by Robert Pavlis

Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’: by Robert Pavlis

Origanum ‘Kent Beauty’ is a wonderful little plant for the rock garden. It is not a show stopper, nor does it have big flashy flowers, but it does have a very unique look that gets people talking. It requires almost no care and has few pests.

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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 —————-

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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 —————-

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