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By Ellen Nibali and Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2010
Question: What's the trick to making pruned shrubs look good? Mine look hacked up and then don't grow the way I want. Answer: Try to work with the plant's natural growth habit. If it wants to cascade, don't try to make it round or square. If its natural inclination is to have multiple trunks, you can make it a single trunk, but it will need continual pruning of new trunks. Shrubs look more natural if you cut back to a larger branch or a bud. The direction a bud or branch is pointing, is the direction new growth will go. Thus you can control the direction of your plant's branch by cutting to a bud that faces the direction you want.
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NEWS
Susan Reimer | June 30, 2014
Every summer about this time, I spend a couple of days touring private gardens. And I get paid to do it. I am one of the judges of The Sun's annual Garden Contest, and it might be the best part of my job. We receive between 30 and 60 entries each year, and the other judges and I whittle the list down to between 10 and 20. We schedule the visits, load up my car with icy, cold bottled water and off we go, covering hundreds of miles over two or...
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NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 28, 2001
Q. We would like to move several shrubs in our yard. Is this a good time to transplant them, and do you have any suggestions that will help ensure that they survive? A. There are a few exceptions, but the period between late October and early December is a great time to move most plants. The success of the transplant will largely depend on the age and size of the plant, and your ability to get a nice root ball on your plant. In general, it is best to move plants while they are young and relatively small.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | January 29, 2014
When I trim my shrubs, they seem to go crazy, with new branches growing in all directions. My neighbor's shrubs never do that. They look natural and graceful. How come? Pruning stimulates new growth, but you can control the direction of the growth. When you prune, cut back to just above a leaf bud. The trick is to select a leaf bud that is pointing in whatever direction you want growth to go. A bud pointing away from the plant will go outward from the plant. A bud pointing to the shrub's interior or toward a neighboring branch will get entangled and run into other branches.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to the Sun | September 18, 2005
Do I need to water the shrubs I just planted, since it rains a lot in the fall? While fall plantings typically have the advantage of three moist seasons before a droughty summer spell, the weather doesn't always cooperate. September and October are often dry, and it is extremely important to ensure that new plants enter winter with adequate moisture available to their roots before the ground freezes. Monitor new plants for their first two years, and water as needed. I'm tired of planting tulip bulbs for squirrels to eat. What bulbs won't they eat?
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 7, 2001
Q. We have a small yard but would like to add a few shrubs with colorful fall foliage. Can you recommend some small trees or shrubs that grow well in the Baltimore area? A. There are a number of shrubs that will provide excellent fall color, and many of them also have nice flowers or fruits. Several large shrubs you could plant are serviceberry, witch hazel, crape myrtle, viburnum (some species), and small Japanese maples. Some good medium-sized shrubs are oakleaf hydrangea, chokeberry, sweetshrub, compact burning bush and beautyberry.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to the Sun | May 22, 2005
Now that my rhododendrons and azaleas are over, I have no shrubs flowering until next spring. What shrubs would you suggest that bloom in summer, besides the usual hydrangeas and butterfly bushes? Good possibilities include: abelia, some native azaleas (highly fragrant), bottlebrush buckeye, small crape myrtles, potentilla, rose of Sharon (try sterile varieties that won't seed everywhere), and summersweet (Clethra alnifolia -- wonderfully fragrant). Several roses will repeat bloom or bloom lightly all summer.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | January 20, 2002
Q. We replanted our front foundation with new shrubs in November. Should I water these plants during the winter months? A. One of the great advantages to late fall planting is that the plants need very little after-care. This includes watering. Unless you are growing water-loving plants, I would not water until the first extended dry spell. If the dry spell occurs, it is unlikely to come before mid-spring or early summer. Q. In catalogs, some plants are listed as "varieties" and some are sold as "cultivars."
NEWS
By Ann Egerton and Ann Egerton,Special to the Sun | August 8, 1999
In the spring, trees and shrubs produce a dazzling blaze of light and color. From the earliest forsythia to the dogwood, lilacs and azaleas, finishing with the rhododendron and laurel, our world from March through May is transformed by large flowering plants. Then things quiet down, and the trees and shrubs, instead of being front and center during the summer, provide a cooling background of green. A well-chosen few that bloom then give interest to the landscape.Two caveats seem necessary here.
FEATURES
By Nancy Brachey and Nancy Brachey,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE | June 1, 1997
She has the irises color-coded with bread-bag twists. She has the day lilies grouped by color. She has a map with the locations of daffodils and crocuses, wildflowers and daisies.Come the heat of July or the cold of January, Becky Weaner will be ready to move her garden to her new home.And move it she will.Weaner has been developing her garden of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, perennials and bulbs since she moved into her rented house 20 years ago.She has collected, bought and been given plants for years.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
Can I bring a lantana indoors? If so, can I prune it so it takes up less room? Though typically grown as an annual in Maryland, lantana is actually a shrub and can either be grown as a houseplant or overwintered indoors. Place it where it gets at least three hours of direct sun daily and cut back on watering because it will be going through a rest period. You can prune it moderately now to make it more manageable. Young plants can be tip-pruned to encourage branching. Older plants can tolerate pruning down to 4-6 inches in early spring before new growth begins.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | May 9, 2012
B'more Green generally stays away from touting commercial products or companies, largely because we lack the time or resources to vet them.  But my green-thumbed colleague Susan Reimer passed this along, and it seemed too worthwhile to ignore: Nature Hills Nursery , which claims to be the largest online nursery and garden center in the nation, is offering to award a total of $4,500 in plants, shrubs and trees to four noteworthy community gardening...
FEATURES
By Susan Reimer, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2012
Tropicals will be hot this gardening season. Forgive the pun, but growers and garden centers are responding to a demand from homeowners for the luxurious foliage and lipstick colors of plants more suited to the South. And they are offering much more than the bread-and-butter varieties of hibiscus and mandevilla we are used to seeing in greenhouses. "People want color," said Stephanie Thompson Fleming, owner of Behnke's Nursery in Beltsville. "The economy is terrible, and they want to make the place where they live look great.
NEWS
By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2012
We are moving into a new home and purchased a number of plants for landscaping. Our landscaper recommended that we postpone putting any of the plants in the ground. He says that planting them now will not be beneficial because the ground will not provide the nutrients they will need. Instead, we still have them in their pots with mulch all around them. Is this a good solution, or would we be better off going ahead and planting them now? Many plants will not survive if soil temperatures around their roots dip too far below freezing.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | December 29, 2011
Maria S. Taylor, a gardener called the "Picasso of privet hedges" after she transformed a suburban front yard into a topiary menagerie, died Saturday after a fall at her home in the Lake Falls section of Baltimore County. She was 71. "Though it's rush hour, traffic slows to a crawl along Lake Avenue as motorists study the exotic wildlife — and the well-dressed woman who gives the creatures haircuts and shaves," a 1994 Baltimore Sun article said of her. Born Maria Swandell in Glasgow, Scotland, she was raised by nuns in an orphanage.
EXPLORE
August 9, 2011
Concern on the part of the Havre de Grace Historic Preservation Commission over the installation of outdoor gas meters in the historic district seems just a bit much. The commission -  led by Ron Browning, who writes a community column for this newspaper's sister paper, The Record -   sent a letter to BGE saying it would be preferred that gas meters not be installed in front of historic buildings. When BGE went ahead and installed meters in front of the buildings, the commission expressed anger.
FEATURES
By Glenn Morris and Glenn Morris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 6, 1996
Autumn is when trees get all the good press -- until the leaves fall and cover the lawn, of course. Meanwhile, as trees receive kudos for color, equally spectacular shrubs grow in Rodney Dangerfield's corner of the garden. These smaller, versatile plants can get no respect in October, no matter how bright their colors.Fall, in fact, can be nature's showiest party at any height in the garden where you plant deciduous plants. The process that produces a leafy palette of crimson, scarlet, orange, maroon and yellow does not stop at tree top but paints a worthy salute among many midsize shrubs.
NEWS
By Nancy Taylor Robson and Nancy Taylor Robson,Special to the Sun | September 12, 2004
At first glance, it looks like a host of white-robed fairies are fluttering along a hedge. Then, you realize it's hundreds of crepe- paper blooms on the hedge itself. "I wanted a hedge, but I didn't want evergreen [shrubs]," says Allison Ditmars, a landscape designer in Still Pond. The property was already planted with plenty of yew, a common evergreen hedge. Ditmars wanted something different, something deciduous. "We use the side yard in summer, but not in winter, so privacy was not an issue," she explains.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2011
An environmental grant has funded tree planting in Annapolis as part of the city's effort to increase its canopy. A grant from the Alliance of the Chesapeake Bay totaling $40,000 was used to plant 233 trees and 153 shrubs, including four willow oaks in the Historic District to replace older trees that were cut down in the summer because of safety concerns, city officials said. The four willow oaks were planted at 183 and 193 Duke of Gloucester St. and at 122 and 123 Conduit St. Those trees replace a willow and northern red oak estimated at 70 to 80 years old, and a Siberian elm about 50 years old. They were each about 40 feet tall, but city arborist Jan Van Zutland examined the trees and declared them in bad health.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali and Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2010
Question: What's the trick to making pruned shrubs look good? Mine look hacked up and then don't grow the way I want. Answer: Try to work with the plant's natural growth habit. If it wants to cascade, don't try to make it round or square. If its natural inclination is to have multiple trunks, you can make it a single trunk, but it will need continual pruning of new trunks. Shrubs look more natural if you cut back to a larger branch or a bud. The direction a bud or branch is pointing, is the direction new growth will go. Thus you can control the direction of your plant's branch by cutting to a bud that faces the direction you want.
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