While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown

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You never know what you’ll see in the garden

I didn’t scream. But I will admit I jumped a little when I was deadheading in the garden recently and came across this gem lurking beneath a peony leaf:

Spotted Apatelodes moth caterpillar/Deb Wiley photo

Spotted Apatelodes moth caterpillar/Deb Wiley photo

It was bright yellow with dark markings, about 2 inches long, maybe a three-quarters of [...]

Perfect peony planting

Some horticultural lovelies should be planted in a season opposite when they bloom. Peonies—spring-blooming bowls of beauty—are best planted or transplanted in late summer or early fall.

'Nice Gal' herbaceous peony/Deb Wiley photo

Peonies are really almost maintenance-free, in my opinion, but you’ll get the best performance from them when you plant [...]

Can you divide hostas now? Yes!

A friend, with visions of a backyard botanical center dancing in her head, asks if she can divide her hostas now.

Photo by leezie5/flickr

YES! Hostas are such tough perennials, they can withstand divisions almost any time of year. In fact, late summer is probably the best time because they’re toughened from summer but still have [...]

You mean it’s already FALL?

OK, a bit of a rant here.

Deb Wiley photo

Today, August 6, I happened to stop at a big box store and a drugstore. Both were proudly displaying their just-dropped-off pots of … mums.

Hello? Chrysanthemums, to me, mean crisp days, falling leaves, a show of golds, reds and browns. I want it as an autumn [...]

Garden plastics: Be part of the solution

It’s not a pretty picture.

As a gardener, I’d like to think I’m one of the Good Guys when it comes to tending our planet. But in fact, to my shame, I’m contributing to the huge problem of garden plastics every time I buy a new plant.

My friend Beth Botts, an award-winning garden writer, has become [...]

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