I remember first using Bidens, also called beggar ticks and burr marigolds, over 25 yeas ago and appreciated it’s drought tolerance and heavy flower production (good for pollinators) despite its pretty rangy and billowing habit.  The common names refer to the seed architecture and it’s tendency to stick or cling to fur or clothing,, Read More

Technically Day 5 of my involvement with the California Spring Trials (CAST) was yesterday with visits to two sites.  I’m back home now after a brutal series of airport/plane mishaps but wont soon forget the adventures I shared with Diane, Gail, Mark, Steve and Jeff.  I’m still a bit goofy with the time change, Read More

The last full day of our travels around the California Spring Trials was well rewarded at three sites where we enjoyed seeing plenty of color and some fun new selections.  Directly above is Bidens ‘Golden Empire’ which looked gret today.  The day originally had the forecast of rain but we lucked out with sunshine, Read More

Day three of my excursion to the California Spring Trials (CAST) was jam packed full of fun stops and lots of plants like the Evening Scentsation™ petunia (Petunia) seen above at Takii America, Inc.  This is one we’ve grown and enjoyed for vigor, color and scent!  It’s also an All-America Selections (AAS) winner!  Our group, Read More

A nice shot of ‘Enduring Onyx’ begonia seen meeting with folks and sharing ideas (see Diane, Rick Grazzini, and myself this morning in the photo below).  We had a cloudy start to the day but our group hit the ground running to two large displays from growers.  I networked a bit but focused on, Read More

I again find  myself typing this blog after a full day seeing plant trials featured at the annuals California Spring Trials (CAST) event for 2019. I’m fading quickly so will try to be efficient before resting up for tomorrow! Our group (Diane, Gail, Mark K., Steve, Jeff and I) hit the ground running this, Read More

Long day today with a 3:30 am bus shuttle from Janesville, WI to O’Hare Airport to fly to Los Angeles directly.  I joined a pre-arranged meet up with a crew [Diane, Gail, Mark K. (Green Bay Botanical Garden), Steve and Jeff] that will be travelling together over next five days to see the coolest, Read More

I’m a huge fan of using lungworts (Pulmonaria sp.) in the garden and frequently recommend them for part shade and tough soils.  Native to Europe and West Asia, these perennials are in the Boraginaceae family and feature beautiful and colorful spring blooms.  Funnel-shaped flowers usually turn blue once the pink buds open although flower, Read More

I’ve always appreciated the value of smokebush (also called smoke tree) out in the landscape as a solidly performing woody plant with plenty of “curb appeal”.  This blog includes many photos of this plant that I’ve taken over the years and represents some of the fun selections that are available for the home gardener. , Read More

I’ve long admired the hummingbird mints (Agastache sp.) for their colorful and long lasting blooms throughout the summer.  Directly above and below is the variety Kudos™ ‘Coral’ (z5) and further below is a wide array of these fun plants ideally suited for the drier, full sun garden.  I haven’t included many of the blue, Read More