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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 1w ago

The soundtrack of this episode might have been the classic Queen song, We are the Champions. Not because of its triumphant refrain, but because of the lyric acknowledging all the mistakes made in life. When it comes to their gardens, Steve and Danielle have definitely made mistakes—some bigger than others—yet all lessons that they’ve had to learn the hard way. In a departure from the normal plant heavy content of LAAP, this funny episode has the hosts recounting several blunders they’ve made in their gardens in the hopes of saving listeners some grief of their own. In expert testimony, we’ve got the brilliant horticulture professor Holly Scoggins recounting why perhaps a water garden isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Listen now to laugh at us, and with us!

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 3w ago

 You may think you don’t have a place for vines in your garden because you don’t have a fence or arbor for them to climb. But, truth is, you don’t need a traditional support system in order to grow vines. Many of the recommendations in this episode are vines that love to scramble or politely cling to other plants, and end up being the glue that brings the landscape together. Many gardeners are fearful of incorporating vines because they’re afraid they’ll engulf or choke out everything in their path. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options—several of which we highlight here—that are not so thuggish and in fact, might just end up being the missing piece to your garden puzzle.

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 1M ago

Most gardeners have some sort of pathway in their landscape. Planting along that walkway—or even in it—can be a challenge. In this episode we discuss low-profile plants that can truly take being stepped on and even run over by the lawnmower. But, we also offer options for plants that form polite, petite mounds, making them perfect for planting along the edges of a walkway. These guys are the ideal candidates for softening up the lines of a path, but without getting too messy and sprawling into the transit route.  The episode is rounded out with a guest appearance by  garden designer Riz Reyes who provides some super unique plant picks, many of which you may never have heard of.

 

Expert testimony: Riz Reyes, garden designer in Seattle, Washington.

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A couple of weeks ago we recorded an episode in front of a live audience. This event took place at the Boston Flower and Garden show, so we thought it was appropriate to get the word “wicked” into the title.  Most of the plants featured were hardy to at least Zone 4—some are even able to withstand the weather in Zones 2 and 3. Even if this isn’t how cold it gets in your neck of the woods, many of the plants mentioned are still contenders. Steve of course spoke passionately about his love of all things Amsonia—and Danielle certainly mentioned a tomato variety or two that made her swoon. But the duo also hit upon some lesser-known shrubs and varieties of popular perennials that are better performers. Planting just a few of these recommendations will ensure that your “gahden” isn’t just cool—it’ll be wicked cool.

 

Expert testimony:  Dan Barry from Hartley Botanic greenhouses.

 

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 2M ago

Truth time: We feel pretty “meh” about daylilies. However, there is no denying they’re tough, low-care plants that have lovely large blooms. They are also relatively disease-free and can grow in a myriad of places. But for some reason they never seem to make our heart skip a beat when shopping at the nursery. Perhaps it’s because certain cultivars (we’re talking to you ‘Stella Doro’ and ‘Happy Returns’) have been so overused in commercial landscapes they ruined it for the whole genus. In this episode we put our preconceived notions aside and delve deeper into daylilies, revealing several cultivars that are not only beautiful, but worthy of a spot in your borders.

 

Expert testimony: Nikki Schmith, Past President of the American Daylily Society.

 

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 3M ago

If it’s not quite yellow, but it’s not quite green, chances are it’s a chartreuse plant. Any plant that sports this beautiful color is instantly a focal point in the landscape. Today we offer up chartreuse perennials, trees, shrubs, and even a stunning succulent to help your garden or containers glow. Then, our episode expert Courtney Olander offers some design tips for utilizing this unique color in every conceivable corner of the garden. Oh, and did we mention we pour ourselves some glasses of the French liqueur than gave the color chartreuse its name?

 

Expert testimony: Courtney Olander, principle designer and owner of Olander Garden Design in Seattle.

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 3M ago

Every gardener has dreamed at one point or another of an “Instant Landscape.” Unfortunately, none of the home-shopping networks sell a garden that matures quickly (trust us, we’ve checked). The next best thing is to plant an array of perennials that bulk up quickly, giving your beds a look of being full and therefore far older than they actually are. In fact, several of our recommendations can be divided within a year or two of planting so you’ll get even more bang for your buck. The options we talk about in this episode may fill out quickly, but they aren’t aggressive or invasive.

 

Expert: Kelly Norris, director of horticulture and education at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden in Iowa.

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 3M ago

Many years ago, at a previous home, Danielle had neighbors who liked to use their in-plain-view hot tub, in the buff. This memory prompted this week’s podcast discussion on plants that can be used to provide privacy. We’ll explore both evergreen and deciduous options, and how each can be used to provide unobtrusive separation or, to create a wall of total exclusion. So if you’re looking for ways to block out the nosy--or nudist--neighbors, we’ve got some great recommendations.

 

Expert: Ed Gregan, Northeast field representative for Carlton Plants in Dayton, Oregon.

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 3M ago

‘Tis the season of making lists and checking them twice and for Steve and Danielle the list is mostly filled with plants they want and other gardening related items. Whether it’s a new thornless agave from Plant Delights Nursery or a vole eradication system, these two have some interesting ideas when it comes to stocking stuffers. Assistant editor Carol Collins joins in on the fun and offers up some of her wishes, too, including some eye-catching pollinator plants. And finally, Peter, our resident Charles Dickens, gives a heartfelt send off to the episode with his gardening wishes for you—our loyal listeners.  Join in on our end of the year episode and find out which things you may need to add to your holiday wish list.

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Let's Argue About Plants by Steve Aitken And Danielle Sherry - 3M ago

Evergreens are great. They have a year-round presence, hide unsightly foundations, and provide clippings for holiday decorations. But many are, well, a boring green. This episode explores the world of shrubs that sport interesting or unique foliage. Whether they have intense variegation, a hue that is as fiery as a sunset, or simply just a fine texture that makes them alluring, these shrubs are standouts. Why plant a green meatball when you can plant a hydrangea that has tricolor leaves?

 

We also got one of the East Coast’s premier shrub experts, Andy Brand of the Coastal Maine Botanic garden, to share some of his favorite unique shrubs. Have you ever heard of ‘Pucker Up’ dogwood? We hadn’t either!

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