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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
Plant of the Week
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Plant of the Week: Naranjilla

This week's  Plant of the Week immediately drew my attention while visiting the  Sarah P. Duke Gardens in North Carolina last week. The interesting spines caught my eye right away! It's called  Naranjilla ( Solanum quitoense ) and it's a member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae, which includes tomatoes, peppe...

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Plant of the Week: Butterfly Weed

This week's Plant of the Week is special because it is the 2017  Perennial Plant of the Year ! Each year the Perennial Plant Association selects an outstanding perennial to promote and 2017's perennial is Butterfly Weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ). And it sure is well deserving!...

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Plant of the Week: Asiatic Lilies

As a floral designer, this week's  Plant of the Week is a favorite of mine:  Asiatic Lilies ( Lilium sp). While visiting the gardens on the Macon County Master Gardener Garden Walk this past weekend, I noticed several gardens with Asiatic lilies blooming in full glory. One of the earliest and easiest to grow of all the lilies, Asiati...

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2017-05-15 17 00 49

Plant of the Week- Blue Star Amsonia

Plant of the Week is back! It's been a bit of a hiatus, but I'm glad to be back sharing what plants I'm seeing that are noteworthy, growing in gardens across the state. This week I'm featuring  Amsonia hubrichtii, Blue Star. I was reminded of this perennial on a recent trip to the US Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. where it was growing beautif...

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Plant of the Week: Poinsettia

Do you know what today is? National Poinsettia Day! By an Act of Congress, December 12 is set aside as National Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is credited with introducing the native Mexican plant to the United States. Poinsett was an American botanist, physician and Minister to Mexico who in 1828 sent cuttings of the plant he'd...

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2016-07-15 14 17 32

Plant of the Week: Pineapple Lily

Visiting a botanic garden last week, I was reminded of the beauty of the  Pineapple Lily ( Eucomiscomosa )! I meant to get some planted in my garden this spring and completely forgot. Next year! The pineapple lily is a bulb native to South Africa that is hardy to zone 7. Meaning for us northerners, that we need to dig the bulbs at the end of the season. One...

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2016-07-02 20 18 06

Plant of the Week: Ligularia

This week the  Ligularia is blooming beautifully in my garden! Rocket Ligularia ( Ligularia stenocephala), also known as leopard plant, can be grown for its nice foliage, as well as beautiful yellow flowers which just started blooming. The particular cultivar that I grow is 'The Rocket' but several are available on the market. This particular Ligularia is a...

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2016-06-22 12 31 09

Plant of the Week: Borage

How is it the end of June already! This month has been so busy I haven't had much time to get out in the garden. The weeds are sure loving the opportunity to thrive though in my absence! This week's Plant of the Week is  Borage ( Borago officinalis) . I planted Borage in one of my container gardens this year at the office for an upcoming edible flower prog...

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2016-05-12 03 01 00

Plant of the Week: Woodland Phlox

This week's Plant of the Week has been blooming beautifully in my garden for a few weeks now. The  Woodland Phlox ( Phlox divaricata) is a  spreading, native wildflower with lovely lilac-blue flowers with 5 petals. As the name implies, this perennial...

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2016-05-05 10 57 18

Plant of the Week: Basket of Gold

This week's Plant of the Week is  Basket of Gold ( Aurinia saxitilis ). While on a staff meeting trip to Galena this past week, the Basket of Gold was blooming beautifully! I love Basket of Gold because of it's vibrant yellow flowers! It's one of those true signs that spring is officially here and summer is upon us....

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Plant of the Week: Helleborus

I've been waiting anxiously for my hellebores to start blooming and it finally happened last week! The Lenten Rose or Hellebore , Helleborus orientalis, is one of my absolute favorite cut flowers. The muted colors are just absolutely gorgeous! I dream of spring when this flower is in seas...

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Plant of the Week: Pussy Willow

Spring is upon us, so it's time to get started with some plants of the week again! This morning I looked out my kitchen window to see that the buds on my pussy willow had started to break! Upon closer inspection, they looked even more beautiful with the morning rain drops gathering on them. Pussy Willow ( Salix discolor ) is known for it's late winter display of...

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2015-06-30 17 46 56

Plant of the Week: Dahlias

This summer I devoted an entire raised bed to growing dahlias and it's been lovely! Dahlias ( Dahlia sp. ) are an excellent cut flower which is why I love to grow them. Flower colors are various and foliage colors can be shades of green, but some varieties have darker foliages which provide a great contrast to the brightly colored flowers:...

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Plant of the Week: Love in a Mist

This week's Plant of the Week is Love in a Mist ( Nigella damascena), a great blue flowered addition to the landscape. As gardeners know, blue is not a common color in flowers, so this flowering annual is a great choice. Love in a mist can be easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. This annual flower is best started fro...

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Plant of the Week: Strawflower

This week's plant of the week is one of my favorite flowers, the Strawflower ( Xerochrysum bracteata ). As a florist, I've come to appreciate flowers that hold up really well as a cut flower, as well as a dried flower, and strawflower is great in both categories. It lasts very well in a vase and looks almost exactly the same in color and shape once dried....

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2015-07-24 13 55 23

Plant of the Week: American Bellflower

This week's Plant of the Week, the American Bellflower ( Campanulastrum americanum) I noticed on a walk along the prairie at the Apple River Fort Museum in Elizabeth. I was struck by the blue color of the flowers, but wasn't sure exactly what it was, so I pulled out my trusty Illinois Wildflowers book by Don Kurz and identified it. American Bellflower i...

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Plant of the Week: Turk's Cap

I discovered this week's Plant of the Week while checking out the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center  in Austin last week during a conference. I had seen this plant several places around town and finally found one with a sign that I could identify it with it at the garden.    Turk's Cap ( Malv...

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Plant of the Week: Beardstongue, Penstemon

This week's Plant of the Week is Beardstongue ( Penstemon digitalis ). I've noticed many beautiful Beardstongues blooming in landscapes this past week. Several species of Beardstongues can be found in the garden, but  Penstemon digitalis is a pretty solid performer.  'Husker Red' is a cultivar that you see very commonly which has a really nice dark purple...

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2015-06-06 18 47 43

Plant of the Week: Catalpa

While on a walk around my neighborhood this past week, I noticed some lovely large Catalpa trees in bloom. Likely the trees growing in my neighborhood were the Northern Catalpa ( Catalpa speciosa ), but the other Catalpa species in Illinois is the Southern Catalpa ( Catalpa bignonioides ). Northern is hardy to zones 4-8 and Southern is hardy to zo...

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Plant of the Week: Jerusalem Sage

This week's Plant of the Week caught my attention in an herb garden while visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix a few weeks ago. The way the flowers were circling the stem was very intriguing. Upon inspection I realized that the perennial was Jerusalem Sage ( Phlomis sp.) I assumed that we probably couldn't grow this particular perennial here in...

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2015-05-19 16 47 07

Plant of the Week: European Cranberrybush Viburnum

Last week I noticed some striking white flowered shrubs while walking the Highland Community College campus. Upon closer look, I realized the shrubs were European Cranberrybush Viburnums ( Viburnum opulus). I'm a big fan of Viburnums and this one is especially nice! European...

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2015-05-17 19 06 32

Plant of the Week: Jacaranda Tree

This past weekend I was overcome with zone envy while visiting Los Angeles on vacation. Neighborhoods were abloom with trees full of stunning bluish purple flowers. After some google research, I identified the trees as Jacaranda ( Jacaranda mimosifolia ). While beautiful on the west coast, California Extension states that mature trees will only survive a freeze as low as 25&...

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2015-05-08 08 52 58

Plant of the Week: Pigsqueak, Bergenia

This week's plant of the week is Bergenia ( Bergenia cordifolia). I love Bergenia for multiple reasons, but mostly because another of it's common name is Pigsqueak . How cute is that! The name comes from the fact that the leaves are very glossy and leathery and when you rub the leaves together it makes a lovely sound. Pigsqueak is a great...

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2015-05-03 13 11 09

Plant of the Week: Purple-Leaf Sand Cherry

This week's plant is the Purple-leaf Sand Cherry ( Prunus x cistena ). This lovely shrub is blooming now in my front yard. This upright deciduous shrub typically grows 6-10’ tall and 5-8’ wide, but can also be trained as a small tree. Its most noted feature is the reddish purple foliage that retains good color throughout the summer...

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2015-04-26 11 38 44

Plant of the Week: Pasque Flower

I didn't get around to Plant of the Week on Friday, so here is last week's Plant of the Week, the Pasque Flower ( Pulsatilla vulgaris, also known as  Anemone pulsatilla ). I just planted a pasque flower in my landscape and I'm loving it so far!   Pasque Flower is an herbaceous perennial that is best grown in fertile, humusy, gr...

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