Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... 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 a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... 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 »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... 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 »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
These harbingers of spring delight me, and while individual types may be here today and gone tomorrow, the show continues over several months, with a large cast of characters. One thing that many of these perennial wildflowers have in common is an interesting history.
Some of the earliest blooms appear in March and include bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, hardy to Zone 4, and Mayapple, Podophyllum pelatatum, Zone 3. Even before they come into flower, their green and blue-green foliage against the dark brown forest floor is especially welcome.
The Mayapple flowers hang down under large umbrella-like leaves. Bloodroot blooms are delicate and shiny white, elegant but fleeting. I grow both of these perennials, but would also like to have the double-flowered selection of bloodroot called ‘Multiplex.’ I still remember years ago when I first saw this plant growing in the Wister Garden at Swarthmore College (known for the Scott Arboretum). It looks like a miniature rose and once you see it blooming, you, too, will want to add it to your garden. The origins of the name bloodroot or Sanguinaria, which means bleeding, come from how the Indians used the red juice from the underground stems for war paint and to dye clothing and baskets.
Another early bloomer is cutleaf toothwort, formerly known as Dentaria laciniatabut some authorities now call it Cardamine concatenata.
Personally, I prefer the old name but, whatever you call it, it’s still a good plant. Sometimes it’s referred to as pepperroots for the spicy radish-like flavor of the rhizome, recorded by some for use in salads. Here it is paired with the trout lily, Erythronium americanumin, the garden.
For a colorful combination that appears usually in April, Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, and yellow celandine poppy, Stylophorum diphyllum, are easy to grow and disappear after they flower, leaving room for ferns and other late bloomers.
According to native plant expert, George Sanko, these ephemerals are “living in the fast lane.” Because they need sun to grow, they come up in early spring and go through their sexual life cycle and die back before the deciduous canopy puts out its new leaves for the season. If you don’t pay attention, they disappear (just the top growth, right before your eyes). Although it’s true, that once they die back no top growth is visible, the roots are busy storing up sugars for a repeat performance next year.
Because they disappear, once they bloom, it’s a good idea to plant spring ephemerals in combination with plants like ferns that leaf out after these perennial wildflowers bloom. In this important role, ferns serve as a marker and fill the empty space for summer. This will help you avoid planting other plants on top of existing plants. Native azaleas and oakleaf hydrangea both make good companions for these early spring bloomers, growing happily in similar conditions. Trees to consider for the same or similar setting include selections of native dogood, Cornus floridaand, and redbuds, Cercis canadensis.