Richard Hawke

  • best reed grasses

    A Guide to Growing Reed Grasses: Best-Performing Varieties and Care

    As native grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium and cvs., Zones 3–9) and prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis and cvs., Zones 3–9) increasingly gain traction in gardens, exotics such as…

  • Design

    Sterile Varieties of Butterfly Bush

    I have mixed feelings about growing and promoting butterfly bushes. On the one hand, they are beautiful and reliable garden plants; on the other hand, their weedy nature cannot be…

  • Sweetshrubs

    Best of the Sweetshrubs: Plant Trial Results

    Woody plants take up a lot of space for a lot of years, so here at the Chicago Botanic Garden we must be choosy about which shrubs we try. A…

  • bush clovers

    Best of the Bush Clovers: Trial Plant Results

    By the time August rolls around, I’m looking for something new in the garden to pique my interest. I’m not quite ready for fall plants to take their turn, so…

  • ‘Gibraltar’ Thunberg bush clover

    Tips to Improve Bush Clover Performance

    Best location With bush clovers, full sun is best for heavy flower production and to maintain full-bodied habits. These plants are easy to grow in average to dry soil; good…

  • growing summer allium

    Growing Summer Alliums: Conditions and Care

    When given proper conditions and care, summer alliums are stellar, reliable performers in the landscape. Here are some insights into growing summer alliums that can help you manage and enjoy…

  • summer alliums

    The Best Summer Alliums to Grow: Plant Trial Results

    Some years ago, during a midsummer trip to Wisconsin, I found myself transfixed by a vast planting of ‘Summer Beauty’ allium dotted throughout with taller bright pink coneflowers (Echinacea spp.…

  • new summer alliums

    Noteworthy New Summer Alliums

    Although too new to our trial to be fully evaluated, these notable alliums are worthy of praise. Keep an eye out for them when you're at your local garden center…

  • 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…