The Gardener's Apprentice

June 1, 2015
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Mourning Widow

I last thought seriously about Geranium phaeum, aka “the mourning widow,” about six years ago.  I was in the first throes of a serious love affair with all kinds of hardy geraniums and was swept off my feet by the … Continue reading

May 4, 2015
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Tickled by Tickseed

The daisy or Compositae family is so large—950 genera, 20,000 species and even more cultivated varieties and hybrids—that you could fill hundreds of gardens with family members without even thinking about plants from outside the clan.  Over the last three … Continue reading

September 22, 2014
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Blue Stars

Unless you are a teenager, it is generally a good thing to be “grounded.” For non-teens, the word implies common sense and a focus on reality, as opposed to flights of fantasy. People who are grounded are reliable—the kind you … Continue reading

August 4, 2014
by The Gardeners' Apprentice
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Beautiful Balloons

Lately the balloon flower—Platycodon grandiflorus—has been stalking me. As I wander through garden centers in search of mid-summer bargains, the inflated buds pop out from the pallets. A neighbor’s border overflows with a blue-flowered variety. Last week, on a visit … Continue reading