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Sitting on the couch sometime last winter with my trusty perennial catalogue in hand, I gawked over the Pyromania Red Hot Pokers, or torch lilies. We grew Red Hot Pokers at the Columbus Botanical Garden and at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden in Savannah. Why not at The Garden Guy’s house? Read more

The answer given when the mayor asked a friend of mine in the nursery industry how best to improve the image of the small but growing city? "Plant flowers." You might think this would be the obvious answer from someone in the greenhouse industry as they would stand to benefit from this beaut… Read more

Stop the presses and throw all of your preconceived notions about the monarda or bee balm out the door. I swear, I have had marigolds taller than these new monardas. I have more flowers now on my monardas than I normally get from an entire season’s bloom. I am talking about the Leading Lady series. Read more

On more than one occasion I have been guilty of warning gardeners about the perils of being out phloxed by their neighbors. If this happens your neighbors will certainly have the MOST dazzling landscape in the neighborhood. Should you feel that this danger is creeping upon you and your flowe… Read more

Machu Morado is one of the most intriguing new plants in both name and performance. In reality it is a dream come true but I’ll explain. First it is a Mexican petunia or Ruellia, the gregarious "Uncle Buck" of the Acanthus family. A lot of gardening folks think it is a petunia. Read more

A quinceanera is a celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday, with its cultural roots in Mexico and throughout Latin America. While I am not exactly sure of the birthday, it was 15 years ago that our girl of the plant world Senorita Rosalita cleome won her first award. Today she has won 237 of t… Read more

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The Garden Guy was looking at photos of last year’s trials and I was struck by one of a Mecardonia. I have never written about this plant and was thinking there is a great chance for my readers who do not know about how wonderful and tough as nails this flower is, particularly the award-winn… Read more

Two Garden Treasures have come together for a magnificent purpose and that is getting food to those who need it most. It is a story that is still being written and one that will tug at gardeners' hearts across the country. Read more

Last summer as my wife Jan and I were relaxing on the patio, a little breeze suddenly placed us under the spell of a smell, a most tantalizing fragrance. If you have ever heard that old phrase "does your nose know what my nose knows," I can tell you her nose knows a lot more than most and sh… Read more

Just saying the word coral sun warms the spirit and makes one forget the impending split of the polar vortex and plunge into a deep winter. Yes, coral sun conjures up a vision of a South Pacific sunset, sitting on a beach with an adult fruit drink with one of those tiny umbrellas. Read more

Rainbow Rhythm King of the Ages day lily has the gardening world abuzz with anticipation for spring 2021. This is a 38-inch-tall new day lily making its debut and offering the rarest of colors in the garden world. It is a combination of butter yellow, peach and apricot blend. That would be e… Read more

Pantone, the gurus of all things color has selected Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow for the 2021 colors of the year. Some headlines call it "Pandemic Gray" but The Garden Guy loves it and you will see it opens the door to one of the toughest, persevering and award-winning plants of all… Read more

The floral world has been turned upside down in 2020 and thankfully not by COVID challenges but by an idea long in coming to fruition. I’ll call it a Heart to Heart Christmas. Indoor decorating for Christmas 2020 has been given a new jolt and that appropriately involves a plant that has long… Read more

In Georgia we had a year that was pretty much miraculous for butterflies. As you might guess, The Garden Guy had an abundance of plants making sure pollinators of all sorts felt welcome in the garden. In May I wrote a column telling you about a new Sunstar pentas series of making their debut. Read more

Blue Moon on Halloween, Northern Lights creeping south, and now Jupiter and Saturn snuggling close for the first time since the Middle Ages. So goes the year 2020 and all of its memories. To The Garden Guy all of these "Twilight Zone" moments may pale in comparison to the Halley's Comet-type… Read more

There is an excitement in the air about Christmas this year and it appears to be as contagious as....... you know. Right now, it doesn't seem to be about presents or shopping, though that will probably come. It seems to have a focus on tradition, on family, a return to what is important. The… Read more

As if 2020 couldn't get more challenging, I have now run head on into a conundrum on coleus or to put it more succinctly a perplexity on pinching. First a little jaunt into my history with coleus. Read more

If I could paraphrase some lyrics from the musical Chicago it would be "Come on, why don't we paint the garden, with all those Jazz." That is what I feel every time I see Jazz Hands Variegated loropetalum. This award-winning shrub simply puts a song in your spirit and will add that artist's … Read more

The Price is White looks to be one of the hottest new coneflowers making its debut in the spring and you need to line out your sources now, for not only it but the entire Color Coded series. The size of coneflower blossoms is not something we tout as horticulturists but with The Price is Whi… Read more

This is the time of the year we revel in the Golden Delicious, of course The Garden Guy is referring to the Rocking Golden Delicious pineapple sage. While we have been loving every minute of it through the long hot summer, it is the short days of early fall that bring on the added cause of c… Read more

Oh, the possibilities with that Wicked witch! Son James dazzled me again with a combination planting featuring this year’s hot new coleus ColorBlaze Wicked with coleus and Canary Wing begonia. Immediately I noticed his carefully intentioned design of having the lime green margins of the cole… Read more

The weather forecast has several days with morning lows in the 50s, which is a cause for celebration. We can look for those long-lost fleece vests and, even better, it gives horticulturists like The Garden Guy the ticket to forget flowers for a week and write about a new golden conifer calle… Read more

MINNEAPOLIS — When a suspicious-looking sprout appeared in the St. Paul garden of LeAndra Estis, she plucked it. The willful plant popped up again. Instead of pulling it out a second time, the new gardener fired up Google. The would-be intruder was spinach. Read more

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Whether you’re begging summer to linger or toasting autumn’s arrival, now’s the perfect time to give your outdoor spaces a little — or a lot — of TLC to ensure bright blooms and blades of grass, and the perfect palette for next year’s garden.   Read more

The first spray opened up in my Oso Easy Peasy rose and I thought, “Wow, they have captured the essence of a fine heirloom.” This was like a breath of fresh air as I had fallen in love with antique and heirloom roses when becoming the director of the American Rose Society years ago. Read more

Truffula Pink gomphrena has already been hotter than the proverbial $2 pistol, but The Garden Guy is here to tell you it is even better than we thought. It has been the champion of all butterfly plants at my house and if your peak butterfly season is September/October and you find them for s… Read more