Richard Hawke

  • How to Grow and Care for Ninebark Shrubs

    How to Grow and Care for Ninebark Shrubs

    A low-maintenance native shrub, ninebark grows best in full sun to light shade. Although it prefers evenly moist, well-drained soil, it is adaptable to rocky and clay soils and is…

  • The Best Ninebark Shrubs for the Garden

    The Best Ninebark Shrubs for the Garden

    Common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) is one of those shrubs that I learned about in college and then forgot about until sometime around the Millennium, when purple-leaved Diabolo® transformed a humble…

  • Sweet Cherry Tea™

    Brand-New Ninebark Shrubs Showing Promise

    The compact ninebarks intrigue me—their reduced sizes and refined habits are made for small urban gardens like mine. And they challenge the notion that ninebarks are all coarse or tangled shrubs.…

  • new burnets

    These New Burnets Deserve Your Attention

    These burnets are new on the scene, but they're already showing promise. ‘Blackthorn’ burnet Robust ‘Blackthorn’ burnet (S. ‘Blackthorn’) was one of the largest of all the burnets after just…

  • growing burnets

    Get to Know Burnets

    Burnets are easy to grow, have great textural foliage, stay mostly disease-free, and put on a supremely unique bloom show from summer into fall, when much of the garden looks…

  • Oriental burnet

    Burnets Are Tough and Beautiful Plants

    I have no recollection of burnets—native or cultivated—before my back-to-back encounters with great burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) in the South Korean countryside and on the grassy steppes of Siberia. The sight…

  • Deadheading.

    How to Grow Lambs’ Ears and Betony

    Lambs’ ears and betonies are easy to grow in full sun to light shade in well-drained soil, but betonies like the soil consistently moist, and lambs’ ears prefer it on…

  • Stachys plant trial: which ones were best?

    Stachys Plant Trial: Which Ones Were Best?

    In a world where I could only have 10 plants in my garden—clutch your pearls, right?—lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina and cvs., Zones 4–8) would most assuredly be one of them.…

  • How-To

    The Ins and Outs of Molinia

    Naming issues Research at Kew Gardens in England established that the different foliar traits of Molinia caerulea ssp. caerulea and M. caerulea ssp. arundinacea are cultural rather than genetic, which…

  • best persicarias

    Persicarias Deserve Your Love—Trial Results

    For many years, persicarias—also known as knotweeds—inhabited the periphery for me. I saw them but mostly looked past them, thinking of them as filler more than thriller. My first genuine…