Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... 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 »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... 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 »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
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Its bright green leaves (with silver undersides), measure one to three feet long. The deliciously fragrant flowers are eight to ten inches in diameter. And, while the flowers are spectacular, I always look forward to the fruits. Three inches long and egg shaped, they begin to develop in summer. Come September they ripen and brilliant red seeds seem to burst out.
As autumn progresses, the leaves turn yellow and fall, creating a beautiful carpet. Too big to rake up, they afford hours of entertainment for children and even some adults. Last year I pressed some with plans to frame them. I still haven’t gotten around to it but, it was great fun. This four-season tree adds drama to any landscape.
Another magnolia that I don’t grow but have long admired in gardens in both the Northeast and Northwest is Magnolia sieboldii, or Oyama Magnolia. It’s hard to say whether I am more captivated by the sweet scented flowers (nodding and white with a dark red center) or the curious dark pink fruits which split open to reveal orange seeds in fall.
A large shrub with a great name, Seven-son Flower, Heptacodium miconioides, is covered with white fragrant flowers for several months beginning in late summer. Even more showy are the purplish-red fruits (really one-half inch long drupes) surrounded by rose colored calyces (flower parts that elongate after blooming and persist into autumn). The effect is stunning, like a second flush of flowers that are reddish-pink instead of white.
I live in a neighborhood with lots of mature trees. On my daily walks with our black lab I am always on the lookout for horticultural curiosities. Last summer, as I cut through a parking area that belongs to some condominiums, I looked up and was excited to see the female cones (seeds) developing on a group of Baldcypress, Taxodium distichum. Green and fleshy when they start out, the cones turn brown as they mature.
They remind me of tiny ornaments. With its fern-like foliage, Baldcypress looks delicate but is tough and adapts to a wide range of growing conditions. If they grow in water they develop knobby-like structures called knees.
Another botanical discovery I made last year, was a Japanese Raisin tree, also known as Hovenia dulcis, growing across the street from my daughter’s school. Although it is not a common tree, (I first encountered it at the Scott Arboretum many years ago) the odd looking edible fruits merit a mention. More of an ornamental curiosity than a culinary treat, this tree also offers handsome lustrous green foliage.
My appreciation for ornamental fruits is not limited to trees and shrubs but includes vines with showy seedheads like those of Clematis texensis ‘Gravetye Beauty,’ a selection of native clematis with vivid red flowers in summer to fall. I like the fact that you can have flowers and seedheads appearing at the same time.
These are just a few of my favorite ornamental fruits, the list goes on and I add to it every year.