Garden Solutions: Perennial Tulips

This article by Laura Schwarz first appeared in the September/October 2020 edition of the Northern Gardener  Perennial Tulips Most tulips frustrate me. Planting them is a lot of work and the task produces absolutely no instant gratification. You dig a hole, place the bulbs and bury them, with no results for several months. If you…

Read More

Plant Profile: Canna Lilies

For height, drama and a tropical look in northern gardens, nothing beats canna lilies. Native to tropical and semi-tropical areas of North and South America, canna lilies evolved along damp, semi-shady riverbanks. They are perennials in parts of the southern United States, but in northern climates they are annual plants for the back of a…

Read More

Caring for Bulbs After Bloom

A few late tulips and daffodils are still blooming, but many spring-blooming bulbs are past their prime now. So how do you care for bulbs after bloom? Here are some tips: Deadhead. Unless you are planning to harvest seed or you want the bulbs to naturalize and spread in an area, start by removing the…

Read More

Avoiding Trouble with Critters and Fall-Planted Bulbs

It’s a rite of the season — every year, we northern gardeners plant bulbs in fall. It’s a sign of hope, a joyful ritual and a satisfying chore. But then spring comes and your beautifully planned swaths of color look like splotches on the landscape. What happened? Most likely, your luscious fall-planted bulbs provided a…

Read More

Fall Bulb Planting: Top Three Things to Remember

It seems we write about planting bulbs in fall every year, and there’s a reason for that. Even if you have a good display of bulbs in your garden, bulbs sometimes peter out after a few years. So, it’s a good idea to refresh your display from time to time—plus, the more the merrier with…

Read More

Force Spring Bulbs for Winter Beauty

We’ve passed the point where gardeners can plant bulbs outside for spring bloom, but it’s not too late to pot up bulbs for forcing into bloom in the winter. It’s fairly easy to force spring bulbs, and the appearance of something bright and springlike is a tonic come about mid-February. Many kinds of bulbs can…

Read More

How to Dig and Divide Dahlia Tubers

Dahlias are native to Mexico, but these stunning tropical plants shine in the northern garden, too. A member of the aster family, dahlias look a bit like zinnias, chrysanthemums and other aster-like plants. They come in a wide range of forms, from small, single blooms to enormous, so-called dinner-plate dahlias, many of which are more…

Read More

Plant Profile: Gladiolus

Gladiolus is one of those old-fashioned flowers that is enjoying a renaissance. Maybe it’s because florists love them for bouquets, or because more gardeners are growing cutting gardens, but gladioli are not just for grannies anymore. It’s easy to see why: They are easy to grow, produce striking blooms, can be grown in containers, in…

Read More

November/December Northern Gardener Available

The November/December issue of Northern Gardener is on the news stands and in mail boxes, and it’s a really fun issue, full of ideas and advice for enjoying winter gardening and planning for your garden next year. If you enjoy forcing bulbs for indoor bloom, be sure to check out Margaret Haapoja’s article on how…

Read More

Plant Bulbs Now for Spring Bloom

Late September and early October are the perfect time to plant bulbs for spring bloom, and while the weather will be cooler this week, it’s still pleasant enough for bulb planting. When you plant bulbs in fall, you are making an investment in your future garden. I’ve planted bulbs as late as Oct. 20, but…

Read More