University of Maryland Extension

Featured Plants

Spirea ‘Pink Parasols’

Spirea fritschiana ‘Pink Parasols’ This improved spirea has much to offer beyond its extra-large pink “umbrellas” of flowers in early summer. At only 2-3’ in height and a generous 4-5’ wide, it can be grouped to create a tall groundcover or used singly as a specimen plant. Plus its neat blue-green...

Dwarf Hinoki Falsecypresss

Photo by Virginia Williams ( Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘ Nana Gracilis’) The graceful undulations of this evergreen remind one of waving fans or a gently rolling sea. While its big brother, the full size Hinoki, may grow to 70’ tall, this dwarf variety attains a height of 6-8’, a very manageable size...

Featured Plants - Chives

Chives - Photo by Marian Hengemihle
Allium schoenoprasum No herb or vegetable garden should be without chives. A perennial member of the onion family, this culinary herb lends a flavor more delicate than onion to salads, soups, sauces, herbal butters, and vinegars. The bright green hollow leaves can be used fresh or frozen and the...

Featured Plants - Cardoon

Cardoon - Photo by Bob Orazi
Cynara cardunculus Some cooks describe cardoon as celery with armor. The edible portion of this artichoke family member is the leaf stalk rather than the flower bud. The bright, silver-grey leaf stalks taste like artichokes and are popular in Mediterranean recipes for soups, pastas, or bagna cauda...

Featured Plants - Wax Begonia

Wax Begonia - Photo by Christine Pfister McComas
Begonia semperflorens-cultorum Many flower lovers were deeply worried--experts say to forgo planting impatiens this season. A new disease, impatiens downy mildew , devastated impatiens wallerina in most Maryland gardens last year. Infected stands went from blossoming beauties to nude stems in short...

Featured Plants - Bearded Iris

Bearded Iris - Photo by Minnesota Extension
Iris germanica Rainbows with beards? Iris means rainbow in Greek, yet iris come in more colors than a rainbow. Their beard , a fuzzy appendage on the lower petal, apparently attracts or directs pollinators to pollen. Richly fragrant with big flower heads, iris make a big statement in spring. Now...

Featured Plants - Stokes' Aster

Stokes’Aster - Photo by Marian Hengemihle
Stokesia laevis ‘Klaus Jelitto’ Native to the southeastern US, this easy to grow perennial makes a colorful addition to sunny borders, containers, and wildflower or cutting gardens. In summer floral arrangements, blooms persist about a week after cutting. ‘Klaus Jelitto’ variety, named for the...

Featured Plants - Yellowwood, Kentucky Yellowwood

Yellowwood - photo: The Dow Gardens Archive, Dow Gardens, Bugwood.org
Cladrastis kentukea When choosing a medium-sized tree (for instance to replace an ash lost to emerald ash borer) consider the yellowwood. This under-planted native packs a big wow factor from its fragrant, pendulous flower panicles in May to early June. The rich green foliage stands out in any...

Featured Plants - Northern Maidenhair Fern

maidenhair fern
Adiantum pedatum Maidenhair ferns twirl sideways through the garden in exuberant whorls unlike any other fern. The black stems, called rachis, pop in contrast to the green fronds. Even the little side leaflets, or pinna, are unusual, fringed on one side like a wing. The bluish tint of maidenhair...

Featured Plants - Bee Balm

bee balm - monarda
Monarda didyma Named in honor of 16th century Spanish physician and botanist, Nicolas Bautista Monardes, monarda has long been a popular perennial, with rays of unusual bright tubular flowers borne June-August. Spreading by rhizomes, bee balm makes broad swathes of color in the garden. As its name...

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