Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Everyone lamented the summer of 2012, but when a cool front signaled fall, seasoned gardeners breathed a sign of relief and grabbed their garden gear. They saw empty spaces as opportunities replacing trees, shrubs and perennials killed by insects, disease and drought.
In these changing times, we need durable and beautiful plants. The last five seasons in my garden were all about adjusting to a new reality. I love English cottage style, but I only grow shrub roses that are easy to maintain. I’ve also removed diseased roses replacing them with plants better suited to my climate.
Tropicals may be our best friends for summer color. Many, like Solenostemon scutellarioides (coleus) and Manihot esculenta ‘Variegata’ (variegated tapioca) have bright flashy leaves. When summer heats up, and plants quit flowering, colorful foliage rules the day. Some of my favorite coleus are ColorBlaze® Dipt in Wine, Big Red Judy® and ‘Pink Chaos,’ but there are varieties in nearly every color combination. Go for those that can be grown in the sun and plant them in sun or shade. The coloration will be different, but still lovely. Also, who can resist the multitudinous offerings of Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato vine)? They are fantastic bed fillers and container spillers in sun or shade.
Many tropicals bloom too. Purple Señorita Rosalita® and white Señorita Blanca™ cleomes bloom nonstop. Planted together or against a darker plant, they are scrumptious. Consider traditional favorites like celosias. For years, I didn’t like celosias because I thought they were too old fashioned. Then, I fell in love with the dark foliage of ‘Intenz,’ and I realized my prejudice was unwarranted. Lantana is another tough plant. No need to stick to traditional ‘New Gold.’ Instead, branch out and pick Bandana Red®, or one with variegated leaves like ‘Samantha.’
For perennials that can take the heat, stick with the tried-and-true. Grow black-eyed Susans, but don’t limit yourself to one variety. I’m trying R. hirta ‘Cherokee Sunset’ and ‘Indian Summer.’ I’m not sure they will return come spring, but they still captivated me. Another great new perennial in my garden is Salvia longispicata x farinacea ‘Mystic Spires Blue.’ I first saw it in a mass planting at White River Gardens next to the Indianapolis Zoo, and I knew it was something special. Another clan of salvias, S. greggii, bloom abundantly in my garden. I like them all, but ‘Pink Preference’ is my preferred choice. Found in Texas, it blooms all summer long and is deer resistant. Another good plant for sunny spots is Cestrum ‘Orange Peel.’
In the shade garden, try elephant ears instead of hostas. Fun varieties of Colocasia esculenta, like 'Coffee Cups' with its upturned leaves, look better than a burned up old hosta any day. Before you hosta fans grab the pitchforks, I do grow a few. I’ve had good luck with those that have thicker leaves like ‘Guacamole’ and ‘Sum and Substance.’
Grow Mahonia bealei (leatherleaf mahonia) along with M. eurybracteata ‘Soft Caress’ in filtered sunlight for best results. Ajuga and Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’ (golden creeping Jenny) are great plants to trail along the edge of shady beds.
I love perennials and consider them an important part of the garden’s backbone, but annuals offer a color flash while perennials are recharging for another bloom cycle. Some of my favorite annuals are:
•Evolvulus glomeratus ‘Blue Daze’ for a touch of elusive blue.
•Euphorbia graminea Diamond Frost®, better than baby’s breath, but afternoon shade improves performance.
•Zinnias, especially the smaller, disease resistant types, like the Profusion series, ‘Double Zahara Fire’ and ‘Double Zahara Cherry.’
•Bonfire® begonia, heat resistant and beautiful. New Choc Red and Choc Pink have dark foliage.
•Periwinkles, classic performers, but, to prevent disease, don’t plant them too early in the season.
Native plants are another bonus. If you stagger plant types, you can have flowers in three seasons as shown above at Oklahoma State University’s Botanic Garden. Add grasses to crown the garden in fall.
Changeable weather patterns will alter the way we garden, but many plants will also thrive. Tough times may not last, but tough plants do. Remember that the next time you want to throw in the trowel.