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10 Shrubs and Vines for Fall Color

For some of us, trees take up too much space, and that’s fine – there are plenty of fantastic shrubs and vines the provide fall leaf color. Many are native and have added benefit to wildlife and are easy-care. I…

Red Maple Fall Color

6 Trees for Fall Color

Sometimes I think those of us who live in parts of the U.S. with mixed-species deciduous forest take our autumnal show of colors for granted, especially here in the mid-Atlantic. I have visited several wonderful places around our country (and…


Named for its holly-like foliage and grape-like fruit (well, they don’t look like grapes to me), these evergreens are another of my favorite shade shrubs.  As durable as their relatives Nandina and Barberry, they are very adaptable and easy to…

Bewitching Witchhazels

The witchhazel family has a beguiling name and, in my opinion, well-deserved due to their enchanting garden presence. Here are four members that I feel are deserving of wider recognition and use.

4 Favorite Native Shrubs

Summersweet / Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra) Very aptly named, this shrub will impress you with its sweet scent in the middle of summer when fewer fragrant plants are flowering. Flowers are white or pink spires that are highly attractive to bees,…

Understanding Orchids Uncomplicated Growing Worlds

Ever wonder what the Horticulturists at Behnke's are reading? We asked Miri Talabac (Behnkes woody plant manager and buyer) what were a few of her favorite books and she sent me over a dozen titles. So, over the next few…

Meet Miri Talabac

***April 2021 Update on What Miri Talabac is doing now: Miri is working with the University of Maryland Extension as a consultant.  The University of Maryland Extension has been working on updating their website for a while now. Here is…

The Woods In My Back Yard – Part 2

Well, most of the spring wildflowers are finished, but you can still find a few here and there. Especially if you wander around off the beaten path (or paved path, as it were) and momentarily wonder just where the heck you are and where that path went…. I came across a colony of Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) that still had some flowers tucked underneath their leaves.

A Walk on the Wild Side – Part 1

It’s so exhilarating to see native plants in the wild! So many natives are featured in articles and books, but to see them in situ is to truly appreciate them as living, breathing members of the ecosystem. Today’s weather was perfect for exploring the wilderness, so I headed to one of my favorites, Great Falls National Park.

The Woods in My Backyard – Part 1

I am fortunate to have some woodland around my neighborhood, and though there are a fair number of invasive plants taking over, there are still some lovely wildflowers to be found. I have walked these paths several times before, so I have learned where to find some of the good stuff.

The Wonders of Winter

I used to say that I hated winter. An outdoor-playing, nature-lover at heart, there were no insects – those beloved objects of my fascination – to play with. The garden, to my naïve eyes, seemed dead and dull. And, of…

Fruit 2

Add Fruit to Your Garden Palette

Many a great garden delights your senses…the sights and scents of colorful flowers and the textures of leaves, the singing of birds, frogs and crickets that move in for the bounty…but what about taste–simple edibility? While edible gardening may conjure…

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