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 »
I know a gardener who moved from Boston to Virginia simply because he wanted to live in USDA Hardiness Zone 7, a mild-weather swath of the country where stately Southern magnolias flourish. In Zone 7 (minimum winter temperature 5 to 10 degrees) he could grow magnolias, camellias, figs, and other plants too tender for the freezing winters in Boston (where the minimum winter temperature can drop to 5 degrees below zero). The move was a big success, and his garden is a showplace, but gardeners who have their own roots more firmly planted are discovering that cold-tolerant hybrids are allowing them to change the look of their landscapes, too — without moving.
Southern magnolias are a good example of what is going on. Technically, these handsome evergreen trees are hardy in Zones 7-9, and shouldn’t grow any farther north than Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Maryland. But gardeners are always pushing the limits. We experiment with plants and hardiness wherever we live, and Southern magnolias, with their enormous, luminous white flowers, have proved to be pretty adaptable. In the Kansas City area, a cultivar called ‘24 Below’ has survived brutal winters; ‘Bracken’s Brown Beauty’ and ‘Edith Bogue' are both surprisingly winter hardy, too. According to the renowned plantsman Michael Dirr, ‘Edith Bogue’ was introduced to New Jersey from Florida — and it has turned out to be so hardy that a new generation of gardeners can now appreciate the charms of the Southern magnolia, far outside its natural range.
Hybridizers working on cold tolerance have introduced camellias, gardenias, crape myrtles, figs, and hydrangeas to cold-winter gardeners who, in the past, could only appreciate these plants on vacations in mild climates. William Ackerman, who died at 89 last year, was a pioneering plant breeder at the National Arboretum; he introduced more than 50 cold-tolerant camellia hybrids. Ackerman’s work was based on a group of camellias that survived bone-chilling winters in the Washington, D.C., area in 1978 and 1981. His hybrids (‘Winter’s Charm’, ‘Winter’s Beauty’, and ‘Winter Star’ are three good ones) are known to survive to -15 degrees.
Cold hardiness is relative, of course. Growing camellias in Kansas City or Des Moines is always going to be a challenge — and to gardeners who are willing to pamper young plants, wrap them in burlap against biting winter winds, and risk losing a bet against nature, it’s worth it.
To improve your chances with a marginally hardy plant, look for the toughest cultivars. Modern mop-head hydrangeas (‘Endless Summer’ is the best known of these) survive winters in Zone 4 (minimum temperature - 25), and produce buds every summer on new growth. Hardy crape myrtles withstand winters in Zone 6, where the temperature can drop to -10. If they die to the ground in a really tough winter, wait until you’re really sure and then use sharp loppers or pruning shears to cut off the dead stems; new shoots will come up. Two gardenias, ‘Frostproof’ and ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ are rated for Zone 7 but deserve a look if you’re a Zone 6 gardener willing to take a chance. If you love boxwood but can’t grow aristocratic English box, look for cultivars called ‘Green Velvet’ or ‘Chicagoland Green’, both great plants in cold climates.
A marginally hardy plant may be able to survive an occasional quick cold snap, but perhaps not temperatures below normal for weeks. The Hardiness Zone map is based on long-term averages, not isolated extremes.
Make room for these plants in the most forgiving spot in your garden, protected from cold, desiccating winter winds. Mulch the ground around them to insulate against frost. Prune in spring or summer, if necessary — but not in fall, because you don’t want to stimulate new growth just as winter arrives. In general, take especially good care of them: a plant that goes into winter in good health has the best chance to survive the challenges of the season and come back strong in the spring, ready to make you look good, too.