07/23/15 4:39pm
CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTOS ‘Moonbeam,’ a perennial (coreopsis) worth having.

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTOS
‘Moonbeam,’ a perennial (coreopsis) worth having.

I’ll continue with what’s in bloom now, and it’s almost everything, but first is a favorite of mine among the full-summer perennials — coreopsis or “Moonbeam.” This is really a wonderful plant, easy to grow in full sun.

There are over 100 different species of coreopsis, many with larger and brighter flowers than Moonbeam, but none with that degree of profusion, and it’s the sense of profusion that is the species’ charm. The grandifloras hold their flowers on taller, upright stems, much like bright yellow daisies, and have an altogether different appearance. If you cut Moonbeam back carefully after its first bloom, you will get another. It also comes in pink, coreopsis rosea. (more…)

07/14/15 4:30pm

 

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO One of my phlox, just coming into bloom. I love that color!

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO
One of my phlox, just coming into bloom. I love that color!

When last we were together, the June solstice had just taken place, the weather was still cool, the nights even cooler and the roses were in bloom. Well, we’re full into summer now and although the weather is still pleasant, the days are warmer and so are the nights. And everywhere, everything is in bloom. (more…)

06/28/15 11:00am
CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO This is a basket of Angelonia, a new favorite of mine. It’s an annual and needs full sun. When they start getting peaked, I’ll plant them in the garden and fill the basket with another plant that will last into the fall.

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO
This is a basket of Angelonia, a new favorite of mine. It’s an annual and needs full sun. When they start getting peaked, I’ll plant them in the garden and fill the basket with another plant that will last into the fall.

How do you keep them looking the way you want them to look? I didn’t have enough space last column to finish the subject, so there are two issues still worthy of consideration. The first of these is dead-heading and the second is protection from heavy rain.

Large nurseries hire people to do nothing but dead-head; if you spend enough time in one of their greenhouses, you can watch them. Dead-heading is simply the removal of spent blossoms. This is a worthwhile chore because it keeps the plant, whose task is to bloom, active, which is what you want. (more…)

06/12/15 2:00pm
CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO Isn’t this gorgeous? It’s a basket full of nemesia, that’s the blue, and calibrachoa, the common name is ‘Million Bells.’ Worth taking care of!

CAROL GALLIGAN PHOTO
Isn’t this gorgeous? It’s a basket full of nemesia, that’s the blue, and calibrachoa, the common name is ‘Million Bells.’ Worth taking care of!

This is the time when many of us are buying plants — for planting in window boxes or for pleasure on tables or stairs, on porches and decks.

I have made enough mistakes in the past decades to feel quite qualified in telling you some do’s and don’ts; some are generic, some quite specific. (more…)