Home & Garden
Country Gardens

Country Gardens Spring 2018

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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$8.23(Incl. tax)
$26.38(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
are you ready to party?

I am. Spring is here, and even though I love to “just chill” in my backyard, I’m also looking forward to filling it with friends. Don’t get me wrong—watching the sun rise with a mug of coffee in one hand while deadheading with the other hand is my preferred way to start the day. But I also love hosting my “neighborettes” in the front garden with wine and snacks, and escorting dinner party guests through my constantly changing backyard is just as much fun. Like many of you, I enjoy sharing my garden. Perhaps you have shared it in a really grand way by hosting a family wedding or a birthday party among the flowers. Or maybe you’d rather cut the flowers and take them to someone else’s special event—a…

1 min.
show us   your garden

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 morning or evening. • Show us the whole garden—don’t send close-ups 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 entries may be shared online. WHAT TO SEND Send us your name, address, email, and telephone number, as well as color…

4 min.
favorite foxgloves

What traditional cottage garden is not dressed with the tall, graceful spikes of common foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) from late spring into summer? Long a staple of informal and romantic spaces, these beauties are native to Europe, especially the British Isles, where they grow at the base of hedgerows and at woodland edges. In North America, they have escaped from gardens and become naturalized in some areas. Other species of foxgloves are found in the wild in parts of Eurasia. All parts of Digitalis plants are poisonous. The sap may cause allergic reactions, so take care to avoid skin contact with it. Always wear protective gloves and refrain from rubbing one’s eyes or mouth when working among these plants. Keep plants out of reach of children. The leaves and seeds of D.…

1 min.
plant at a glance digitalis

COMMON NAME: Foxgloves, Mary’s thimble, goblin or witches’ gloves BOTANICAL NAME: Digitalis species, cultivars, and hybrids FAMILY: Formerly in the Scrophulariaceae, currently placed in the family Plantaginaceae HARDINESS: Zones 3–9 CONDITIONS: Foxgloves are easy, low-maintenance plants that prefer partly shaded locations. Average, acidic soil is fine, preferably high in moisture-retaining organic matter. Soil must drain well, however, especially in winter when wet feet may cause root rot. BLOOM TIME: Late spring into summer; D. obscura blooms in late summer to fall. HEIGHT: 2–6 feet tall BEST FEATURES: Foxgloves bloom with showy spikes of tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and pollinating insects. Stems are good for cut flowers, and the plants are avoided by rabbits and deer. Foxgloves are the source of the heart medication digitalis.…

3 min.
dance of the seasons

GARDEN PLAN FOR COLOR FROM SPRING THROUGH FALL 1. Kansas double peony (Paeonia ‘Kansas’) 2. Catmint (Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’) 3. Dwarf Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana lutea’) 4. Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) 5. Yarrow (Achillea ‘Moonshine’) 6. Dwarf mugo pine (Pinus mugo var. pumilio) 7. Dwarf blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Globosa’) 8. Poppy (Papaver orientale ‘Royal Wedding’) 9. Large stone 10. Dwarf larch (Larix laricina ‘Blue Sparkler’) 11. Weeping blue spruce (Picea pungens ‘Pendula’) 12. Weigela ‘Red Prince’ 13. Bicolor spruce (Picea bicolor ‘Howell’s Dwarf’) 14. Weeping European beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea Pendula’) 15. Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum var. distichum) 16. Autumn Joy stonecrop (Hylotelephium ‘Herbstfreude’) 17. Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Little Princess’) 18. Dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) 19. Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum ‘Skyrocket’) 20. Dwarf arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Holmstrup’) 21. Aborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) 22. Purple smoketree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’) This bed is like a stage for a ballet. In summer,…

1 min.
create yearlong beauty

ESTABLISH YOUR SCALE. Measure your space. Then stand back and compare it visually to nearby buildings or trees to consider how tall and wide your plants and groupings can be. THINK IN LAYERS. From top to bottom, allow for the tree canopy layer, the shrub layer (or layers), and the ground layer. From back to front, plan to step down in size, with occasional variation for interest. START WITH TREES. Even one small flowering tree makes a big difference in the look and feel of a garden. CREATE STRUCTURE WITH SHRUBS. Use plants of different sizes to draw the eye from place to place. In general, use taller shrubs at the rear or as a frame. Allow space for growth— side to side as well as up. CHOOSE FOR ALL SEASONS. Select shrubs for…