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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of February 25, 2019
  • A beautiful new addition to the succulent world is ‘Nonsitnal’ (Sedum takesimense) stonecrop sedum.  Growing only 4” – 6” tall, it would be perfect for the rock garden or among other succulents in a container planting.  Nonsitnal has dark green leaves with creamy yellow margins which take on a pinkish hue when the cool weather arrives.  Nonsitnal thrives in full sun and is hardy in zones 4-9.
  • Attract ground-feeding birds such as sparrows and towhees to the garden as well as warblers, robins and bluebirds when both Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) are planted.
  • Sow seeds of dill, cilantro, celery, collards, kale, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage indoors now for transplanting into the vegetable garden.
  • If you didn’t get to it last fall, now is the perfect time to tune up power equipment used in the garden.  Change the oil, replace spark plugs, tighten bolts, sharpen the blades on the lawn mower, replace dirty air filters and clean all debris from and near engine parts.
  • A prolific producer of nectar, lobelia (Lobelia spp.) is a magnet for pollinators.  Attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and honey bees, lobelia thrives in sun to part shade and will tolerate average to wet soil.  Blooming either red or blue in the summer, lobelia will reach heights of up to 4’ tall and is hardy in zones 4-8.
  • Start pansies indoors from seed.
  • Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) thrives both in shady and sunny locations.  Its spires of fragrant, white blossoms that appear in early summer draw pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, for its nectar.  In the fall, its glossy green leaves turn a brilliant reddish purple lighting up the landscape.  Hardy in zones 5-9, it is a wonderful plant to help maintain a sunny slope.
  • If a cutting garden is in your plans this season, consider the following flowers for beautiful, colorful displays indoors or out.  Dahlias in the medium size forms, zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos for their light and airy appeal, ammi, yarrow is adored by pollinators and blooms beautifully in the garden as well as being a long-lasting cut flower, Shasta daisy is a favorite in the cottage garden, nigella and of course, roses and herbs all offer both beauty and fragrance in a bouquet.

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