The Clematis Perspective

Clematis jackmanii climbing trellis in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Clematis jackmanii climbing rose trellis (photo: Kathy Diemer)

The word perspective has several translations, one meaning the way objects appear visually.  And clematis is a perspective changer, it’s as simple as that.  When a clematis vine is added to the landscape it adds height, dimension, and drama, all of which help to create a different perspective.  A visual feast for the eye, so to speak.  With ambitious cultivars that climb to twenty feet and modest types that stay around six, available in an unbelievable array of colors and bloom sizes, there is sure to be a vine that will stimulate your landscape design. [Read more…]

Low Growing Lady

Alchemilla mollis with morning dew in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Alchemilla mollis with morning dew (photo: Kathy Diemer)

Low growing plants are a necessary garden commodity for those of us that don’t want to be slaves to formal edging, and many can be used to add contrast and texture to the overall design.  One perennial that has an accommodating personality without being bully-ish is the charming Lady’s Mantle, otherwise known as Alchemilla mollis.  Content in a sunny locale (with adequate moisture), and equally happy with some shade, most gardens could find a spot or two for this desirable companion.   [Read more…]

Herbs for Ornamentation and more…

Herb Garden | A Garden for All by Kathy Diemer

Herbs in the border (Photo Credit: Kathy Diemer)

Some say “erbs”, others say “herbs,” but no matter how you pronounce it, there’s nothing silent about the presence of herbs in the garden. Herbs not only provide an ornamental and edible aspect to the garden, they’re useful as a critter repellant as well. Since I grow them mainly for their ornamental attributes, I can’t share their many medicinal and culinary benefits from a personal perspective. I can, however, entice you with their visual characteristics. And, if you want to try them for other purposes, all the better!  Here are a few of my favorite hardy herbs for adding visual interest to your garden: [Read more…]

Enduring Lilacs

Common Syringa vulgaris in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Common Syringa vulgaris (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

The fragrant lavender blooms of heirloom lilacs are opening in abundance; a sure sign of spring and a promise of many wonderful events to come. Nothing compares to the beauty and perfume of the syringa family, and there are so many sizes and colors to choose from that no one needs to miss the opportunity to have at least one delicious specimen nearby.  [Read more…]

Singlefile for Doublefile

Doublefile Viburnum Ignites the Landscape in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Doublefile Viburnum Ignites the Landscape (photo: Kathy Diemer)

We plant trees for a variety of reasons, one being to provide privacy or camouflage of an obstacle that might otherwise be quite unsightly.  The trick is finding a specimen that will thrive under the conditions of that spot as well as fitting the bill for coverage.  For a gorgeous shrub that will grow to 10′ tall by 15′ wide, in sun or part shade within zones 5-8, it’s ‘Mission accomplished’ with a doublefile viburnum. [Read more…]

Not Your Grandmother’s Forsythia

Variegated Forsythia & Friend in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Variegated Forsythia & Friend (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Buttery yellow blossoms of the popular harbinger of spring are brightening landscapes all over New England, but forgive me if I am not thrilled.  For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong aversion to the traditional forsythia that dominates the countryside.  Although some property owners keep it in check with diligent pruning, for others it has bulldozed over everything in its path, leaving a large mass of brown ugliness it its wake.  The brutish personality of forsythia is the stuff of nightmares.  I envision the Jumanji jungles, waking up with a machete in hand to hack my way out of the house . . .  [Read more…]

The Variegation Sensation

Knautia 'Thunder & Lightening' in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Knautia ‘Thunder & Lightening’ (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

It may not be time to plant yet, but it is the opportune time to start planning.  Are there a few bare spots you’re looking to fill?  Maybe an area that needs a little revamping? Or, perhaps there was a mole/vole party that has created a new vacancy. You can finally start perusing through those piles of plant catalogs with a vengeance, and compile your lists.  You know, the list categorized by the “must haves”, the “wish I could have” and the “if I win the lottery, I can have.” I always have at least a few dreamy wish plants and lottery picks, just in case of a windfall.  In the meantime, let’s narrow down your “must haves” to include some spicy foliaged specimens. [Read more…]

Fences

Fences separate gardens from walkways in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Fences separate gardens from walkways (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

It is often said that fences make good neighbors, yet fences offer much more than a friendly barrier between adjoining properties.  A lot more.  A fence can add another dimension to an existing garden bed.  A fence can create multiple rooms within a property.  A fence can add a dramatic backdrop or entryway.  A fence can separate a public area from a private one.  A fence can be practical or ornamental.  And, a fence can certainly be used to obstruct the view of prying eyes as well. [Read more…]

All Things Maple

Collection Tubes into Holding Tank in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Collection Tubes into Holding Tank (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Those in the Northeastern U.S. during February and March may be wondering: “What are those tubes winding through the woods from tree to tree?”  As part of a quintessential New England tradition, the tubes are collecting sap from maple trees to create a series of treats; such as maple syrup, maple candy and maple cream.  From February through March, if temperatures cooperate (freezing nights, warmer days), the clear liquid will flow freely, providing an ample supply for all of our local sugarmakers.  Our native sugar maple, Acer saccharum, is the tree of choice in New England, and they must have adequate girth (11 inch diameter, approximately a 40 year old tree) to be suitable for collecting.  Because the opportunity to collect sap is such a short period, efficiency is the key to receiving a good quantity of this precious liquid. [Read more…]

Sending Nature an Invitation

Bee resting on rudbeckia blossom in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Bee resting on rudbeckia blossom (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Although we may not realize it, every time we step outside our doors during the summer season we are surrounded in an invisible cloak comprised of nature’s tiniest clan members. We take heed if a coyote (or a skunk, or a snake) crosses our path, but the minuscule little critters that flutter about our small back yard universe often go unnoticed.  Worse, we might think of some of these visitors to our yard as nothing but a nuisance, promptly hauling out the six pack of pest spray, ready to blast anything that gets in our way. Yet, if we look more carefully, the insects living in our landscape (with the exception of ticks and mosquitoes) are usually not harmful to us, rather they are incredibly beneficial to our environment as a whole.  [Read more…]