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Bloomerang Dark Purple lilac

Clay soil is much maligned by gardeners and homeowners everywhere, and no wonder: it’s heavy, sticky, and difficult to work in. But the simple fact is that clay soil gets its bad rap because it’s hard on people - from a plant’s point of view, clay soil is usually not problematic at all. In fact, clay soils offer plants two major advantages over other soil types: they hold water well, minimizing drought stress, and are abundant in nutrients essential for plant growth.  So, if you’ve been struggling to achieve your dream garden or landscape in clay soil, cheer up! Here are ten beautiful shrubs that will thrive in clay.

I am once again writing about my garden each month. You'll get to see the good and the bad, after all gardening is a different adventure every year.

Clay soil is much maligned by gardeners and homeowners everywhere, and no wonder: it’s heavy, sticky, and difficult to work in. But the simple fact is that clay soil gets its bad rap because it’s hard on people - from a plant’s point of view, clay soil is usually not problematic at all.

Top 10 Shrubs for Clay Soil

At Last™ Rose

Every year it’s the same… the snow melts and the rose bush in your garden that has been lying dormant all winter springs to life with the hope and promise of summer. You gently lie your soaker hose under it, and comment how lovely it is looking this year. It flirts with the unfurling of tender, green leaves, and soon colorful little buds are sprouting. You give it a sidelong glance…you think this time it will be different.

Easy to grow purple hydrangea

I recently had the opportunity to speak to the Russian Nursery Stock Association at their annual conference in Moscow. This is the second time I have spoken at this conference and the attendees were once again eager to learn about new flowering shrubs that are hardy enough for Russian winters. 

Taller plants are essential for making our gardens really sing.  Vertical elements in gardens help stretch the garden into a another dimension and make for a more interesting, better balanced garden.

Have you ever seen a rose looking a little bit…weird? It could have rose rosette disease. Here’s our FAQ on the problem, what to do if you get it, and how you can prevent it.

Photos courtesy of:
Jennifer Olson, Oklahoma State University, Bugwood.org
 

You should really grow up! Wait, let me put that a better way…you should really try vertical gardening. While it has become kind of a trendy concept in recent years, vertical gardening is about way more than those fashionable green walls you see everywhere. At its simplest, vertical gardening means that you’re using every available inch to create a special outdoor space where you can be surrounded by greenery, and it especially makes sense if you have limited space. Whether you have a balcony, patio, or small yard, or are just looking to make a retreat worthy of Instagram and Pinterest, these basic vertical gardening principles will help you get the most from your garden while minimizing effort and expense.

 

Comfort Zone

Spring is the most active time to be in the garden. Using all the pent-up energy we’ve accrued over winter, let’s head outdoors to clean out and prepare our garden beds, repair hardscaping, do a little pruning and moving, and start the growing season off right. Here are ten things you can do to launch the spring season successfully.

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