tough plants

  • slam-dunk perennials

    8 Slam-Dunk Perennials for the Midwest

    While our gardens are always changing, we certainly put a lot of pressure on our plants to perform and look good, particularly the perennials. The wide range of soils and…

  • native sedges

    3 Hardy Native Sedges You Should Grow

    Being an undercover plant addict is my worst-kept secret. Sedges (Carex spp. and cvs., Zones 3–10) are my current fixation. I think spending so many years hooked on hostas (Hosta…

  • durable flowers

    Durable Flowers to Grow in Sagebrush Country

    The deserts and mountains of the West seem to get all the attention, but between the deserts and mountains is a vast landscape that most people just drive through on…

  • rock garden

    Grow a Rock Garden in a Challenging Area

    A rock garden can help you overcome a number of challenges in the landscape of the Southern Plains—from poorly drained soil to hot, dry, rocky areas. It provides a means…

  • hellstrip garden

    Perfect Plants for a Heavenly Hellstrip in Northern California

    Reflected heat, passing foot traffic, poor soil, restricted space, and irrigation obstacles are just a few of the challenges faced by any plant grown in a “hellstrip.” This spot is…

  • Caesalpinias

    Tough, Low-Maintenance Shrubs for Southern California

    Even if we have a wonderful year of rainfall, we need to rethink our Southern California gardens. It’s likely we will have many dry, hot years ahead. So let’s use…

  • tough shrubs

    Tough-as-Nails Shrubs for Your Region

    Who doesn't love buying the flashy new plant that catches everyone's eye at the nursery? Or the plant that's just outside your hardiness zone but has always taunted you with…

  • gardening with challenging conditions

    Dynamic Garden Design Despite Challenging Conditions

    “When the going gets tough, the tough get gardening” could describe John Markowski and his garden in Kingwood, New Jersey, where he has powered through suboptimal conditions to establish a…

  • California buckwheat

    Five Natives for Slope Retention in Southern California

    At the beginning of the rainy season, our thoughts in Southern California turn to the foothills and the potential for mudslides. Plants are the solution to keeping our slopes intact.…

  • Design

    Truly Tough Shade Plants (Webinar)

    While plenty of wonderful plants will grow in the shade, many of them can be a bit finicky. And it always seems that the prettiest ones—the ones we want the…