Home & Garden
Country Gardens

Country Gardens Summer 2019

Country Gardens® celebrates the spirit and romance of gardening as a lifestyle. Whether you have 40 acres or live 40 stories high, we know that country style is more than a passing fancy, it’s part of our united gardening experience. Country Gardens embodies what today’s gardening enthusiasts are looking for—pretty, straightforward garden advice, casual decorating, old-fashioned garden favorites and tough-as-nails natives, the latest tools and gadgets, garden-fresh recipes, and personal stories that inspire readers to take action.

United States
Meredith Corporation
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$8.38(Incl. tax)
$26.87(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
i win every year

I am not known for my long attention span. My life is an adventurous exercise in change: new plants, foods, houses, and even careers. Sometimes I joke that my only favorite things are the people in my family. So the appeal of trying different annual flowers and vegetables in my garden every year—both new and classic varieties—is irresistible. When I open a seed catalog and find zinnias or sunflowers or tomatoes or beans of myriad descriptions, I actually have a physical reaction to so many exciting possibilities. I love planting something new (to me, at least) with the option to repeat the success or change my mind and try another variety the next year. To my mind, growing annual plants from seed is a relatively inexpensive gamble with potential for…

1 min.
22nd annual garden awards

SHOW US your garden ENTER TODAY! SEE THIS YEAR’S AWARD WINNERS IN THE COUNTRY GARDENS FALL 2019 ISSUE. TIPS FOR MAKING A GOOD ENTRY • Send photos from only the one best season in your garden.• Take your photos on a slightly cloudy day, or in the soft light of morning or evening.• Show us the whole garden—don’t send closeups of flowers.• Limit your photos to the best ones—it’s not necessary to send more than 20 photos. GUIDELINES Only amateur gardeners are eligible for awards; participants cannot earn their living from gardening, landscaping, or interior design. Gardens that have received other national gardening honors or awards, or have been featured in a national magazine, are ineligible. Please retain an original copy of your complete entry for your records; materials will not be returned. Images from…

3 min.
summer cheer

Happiness is seeing zinnias’ riot of summer color that lasts and lasts from the middle of summer into fall—even in drought. Blossoms of poppy pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, purples, and more are a garden must-have that attract hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators that help ensure healthy crops. Thomas Jefferson was even known to tuck Zinnia peruviana into his veggie garden to ramp up his harvest. Zinnias are easy to grow from seed or bedding plants. They include about 20 species of annuals and lesser-known perennials and low shrubs. Their love of heat and their drought tolerance come from their desert roots. But it’s their bright colors and showy flower heads that make them showstoppers. Another bonus: They come in a range of shapes, including small buttons, dahlialike with semidouble to double-size…

2 min.
savor the rain

The musical sound of water splashing from one cup into another among layers of tropicalesque annuals turns a formerly muddy pain point under a gutter into a mini oasis. A bronze-cup rain chain doubles as a downspout alternative. The cups melodiously channel water away from the house’s foundation into a copper basin tilted just enough to send rainwater cascading down slate flagstones. Lush layers of annuals soak up excess moisture. Landscape architect Lisa Orgler designed this plan around annuals that could handle suddenly rainy conditions. She selected plants in a variety of heights for interest, mixed large leaves with small ones for texture, and came up with a tight color palette. “I narrowed the palette to include burgundies and yellows, plus some greens,” Orgler says. “In the end, texture is what this…

3 min.
piece of the sea

It’s time to head to the beach, or at least bring a bit of the shore to your garden. Creating a concrete planter—especially one that features succulents with striking coral-like shapes and colors—is as much fun as making a sand castle. Get the look by combining easy-care plants such as crassula and sedums with driftwood, shells, sand, and tumbled glass. Place the planter in a sunny spot where the plantings will thrive. You’ll need fast-setting concrete to make the mold (see instructions, below). If you live in a climate with winter temperatures below freezing, overwinter the planter in the garage. Repot the plants and keep them indoors, then replant in late spring to reexperience your piece of the sea. How to Make a Sand-Cast Concrete Planter MATERIALS: □ Shovel□ Bag of play sand□…

3 min.
it’s electric

Cub Cadet Electric lawn tractors need to reach a high bar: They have to cover lots of ground and meet the power demands of handling irregular terrain on one charge. This mower makes the cut using three high-efficiency brushless motors, a one-touch control panel, and a fully welded steel frame to mow up to 2 acres and scale 15-degree slopes. Cub Cadet LT42e Battery Tractor—Cub Cadet; cubcadet.com; $3,999 Ryobi Tired of a self-propelled mower that runs away from you? Choose a model that automatically adapts to your walking speed. Adjustable telescopic handles allow you to set the height that works best for you and can be folded for compact storage. Simply start the mower with a push of a button. RYOBI 40V 21-inch Brushless Mower with SmartTrek Self-Propelled Technology (Model: RY40LM10)—homedepot.com; $600 Greenworks Pro Featuring…