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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 19 — Cardinal Flower

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 19, 2012 |

Last summer, I was visiting a friend whose backyard garden slopes down to meet the reedy shore of a small lake. Not far from the water’s edge were large, nearly 4-foot tall bronze-green stems grouped in clusters of a half dozen or so. About two-thirds of the way up the stem brilliant scarlet blooms tipped…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 18 — Northern Pin Oak

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 18, 2012 |

Every landscape needs a significant tree. Many urban gardeners seek to find trees that are smaller and more suited to small spaces, but if you have a property that is one-quarter acre or more in size, you can plant an oak — and you will be glad you did. Northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis) is…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 17 — Asters

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 17, 2012 |

We’ve written a lot in this series about plants for shade, such as foamflower, giant fleece flower and martagon lilies. But what if your garden is in blazing sun and you want it to look dramatic in the late summer and fall. We have one word for you: Asters. While not problem-free, asters bloom late…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens, Day 16 — Bleeding Heart

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 16, 2012 |

If you garden with children, bleeding heart is one of the plants for northern gardens that is an absolute must. What child would not be fascinated — even awed — by the delicate pink hearts that dangle from bleeding heart’s arching branches in spring. A garden favorite, bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) is native to both…

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Great Plants for Northern Gardens: Day 15 — Native Columbine

By Mary Lahr Schier | November 15, 2012 |

Native columbine (Aquilegia canadenis) is a native wildflower of the eastern United States. It’s also known as wild columbine or Canada columbine and provides an early spot of color in the springtime shade garden. A reliable self-seeder, though not in a troublesome way, its delicate, dangling blooms of red petals with yellow stamens often turn…

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