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 »
Don't miss your chance to win a complete prize pack valued at nearly $200!
Community gardens aren’t just allotments — they’re urban farms, great places to share gardening skills and crops.
Keep all of your tools performing at their best.
Fourteen years later, I still look forward to seeing these same sycamores (Platanus occidentalis), growing in a floodplain in Rockville, Maryland, especially in winter when their white bark stands out against bright blue skies.
Although I don’t grow sycamores in my own garden, they need lots of space, I am drawn to trees that display ornamental bark as part of their repertoire.
Another large native with colorful bark that shines in winter is riverbirch, Betula nigra ‘Heritage,’ Zone 4 to 9. Selected for its vigor and heat tolerance, the peeling bark reveals salmon and white as a young tree, turning more brown and red as it matures. The bark of ‘Dura-Heat’ begins to exfoliate as a young tree, exposing white and salmon tones.
River birch should not be sited next to the foundation as they will grow to heights of 40 to 70’ tall, especially when grown in moist soils. Last December on a visit to the US Botanic Garden, I was charmed by Betula nigra ‘Little King,’ which displays handsome bark but only grows to 10’ high and 12’ wide, making it ideal for small gardens or hedging.
Truly an elegant tree, Stewartia pseudocamellia, Japanese stewartia, Zone 5 to 8, reaches 20 to 40’ at maturity. Its white flowers in summer, dark green foliage, turning shades of orange, red and burgundy in autumn, and, its ornamental bark with patches of gray, white and red, all add up to a four season beauty.
Considered more heat tolerant, is tall stewartia, Stewartia monadelpha, growing in Zone 6 to 8. It offers striking cinnamon bark, small white summer flowers and deep red leaves in fall.*
A few years ago, I was given a variety of Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Bihou’ with yellow to orange bark that glows in the winter landscape.
The classic palmate leaves turn yellow in the fall and new grow is edged in red. Hardy in Zone 6 to 9, it grows 15 to 20’ tall. Another Japanese maple with colorful winter bark is the coral bark, Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku.’ In my garden I have it paired with a smoke tree, a combination that pleases, no matter what the season. Paperbark maple, Acer griseum is also a standout in winter with glistening cinnamon bark. Hardy from Zone 4 to 8, in certain climates it exhibits brilliant red leaves in autumn. Reaching heights of 20 to 30’ high, it makes a lovely specimen.
When I am asked to recommend a medium to large shade tree for a specimen or street tree, lacebark elm is on the top of my list. Its best feature is its ornamental bark, a patchwork of gray, green, orange and brown. Other reasons to grow this tree include its rounded habit, fine textured foliage and disease resistance.
The hawthorn, Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’ is equally happy as a street tree or where a small ornamental tree is needed. Growing 20 to 25’ tall, it offers striking red fruits, beginning in fall and persisting into winter when the bark takes center stage, peeling to expose shades of gray, green, orange and brown.
*The Polly Hill Arboretum on Martha’s Vineyard has a large collection of Stewartia trees. For more information visit http://www.pollyhillarboretum.org/.