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Country Gardens

Country Gardens Summer 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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$8.38(Incl. tax)
$26.87(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

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…

2 min.
gardening is fun—right?

Surely, I’m not the only one. I disliked most chores when I was a kid. But helping my mother plant the garden in spring was pleasant to me. She’d choose tomato and pepper transplants at the tiny local greenhouse, and because plastic six-packs didn’t exist in those days, we’d take them home wrapped in damp newspaper and plant them that same evening after supper. Rows of lettuce, green beans, kohlrabi, and other vegetables were planted, and there was usually a row of State Fair zinnias. Like most kids, I was often unaware that I was learning something new while digging into a task I enjoyed. So, of course, I involved my sons in gardening when they were little. Attempting to turn chores or off-the-cuff questions into lessons, we tasted herbs, inspected…

1 min.
reader letter

Hello, Susan Appleget Hurst! I have been subscribing to Country Gardens for many years now. I have enjoyed it and have kept many of the past issues. I just finished reading this early spring 2018 issue from cover to cover. I loved it and enjoyed it so much. In the past the issues have been nice and interesting. But now this issue is fantastic and I figured out why it is so good. Susan, it is fun … not only is it interesting, but the topics are great and it was just fun to read from cover to cover. I just wanted to share this with you and let you know what a good job you and your staff are doing. Not only will I keep it, I will use it as a…

3 min.
smokin’ hot cotinus

Reliably attractive and sturdy foliage that outlasts flowers is a big plus for ornamental gardens, and the shrubs or small trees commonly known as smoketree or smokebush (Cotinus) are deciduous woody plants that fill the role beautifully. They are easy to grow and need little attention, save pruning. The timing and method used for pruning depends on whether you want to encourage a billowy display of “smoke” in summer that persists after the insignificant flowers and fruits have dropped, or to make the most of the large, attractive leaves with their brilliant late-summer color. Though Cotinus is in the same botanical family with sumac (Rhus spp.) and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), the trees seldom cause dermatitis and are not invasive. The genus is represented by only two species, and both…

1 min.
smoketree suggestions for your garden

GREEN-LEAFED SELECTION C. coggygria Green Fountain has green foliage, a dwarf habit, large feathery flower clusters that create a haze in summer, and fantastic yellow-orange-red fall color. Tolerant of drought and clay soil. Shorter than most Cotinus cultivars. 4–6 feet tall, 6–8 feet wide. RED-LEAFED SELECTIONS C. coggygria Winecraft Black, a new dwarf cultivar with a rounded habit, has very dark purple-black foliage that reddens in fall. 4–6 feet tall and wide. Cotinus hybrid ‘Grace’ tolerates part- to full-sun conditions. Immature leaves are bright burgundy but age to deep plum and orangey tones in fall. Tolerates drier soil, but water during drought. 12–15 feet tall and wide. YELLOW-LEAFED SELECTION C. coggygria 'Ancot' Golden Spirit is listed under either name. It is grown particularly for its 2- to 3-inch lime-green leaves that change to amber, coral, and…

1 min.

COMMON NAMES: Smoketree, smokebush, wig tree, young fustic BOTANICAL NAME: Cotinus species, hybrids, and cultivars FAMILY: Anacardiaceae HARDINESS: Zones 4–9 CONDITIONS: Smoketrees do best in partly sunny or sunny places where the soil drains well but does not dry out unduly in summer. Wet soils are not suitable. Smoketrees tolerate a wide range of soils, even rocky, poor ones; average fertility is fine. BLOOM TIME: Late spring to summer HEIGHT: 8–40 feet tall and wide BEST FEATURE: These easy-to-grow, deciduous, overgrown bushes or spreading trees may be multiple–stemmed or single-trunked. Their attractive foliage turns brilliant colors in fall. Do not expect smoketrees to be flashy bloomers. They are grown either for attractively colored foliage or for their unusual clusters of hairy, pink-to-purple stems that remain after the tiny flowers and fruits have matured, giving the appearance of…