An orange-inspired garden design with purple accents.

Click here to see the Pinterest board of the best orange varieties!

We’ve all got our favorite color, that one that just seems to “pop” for us more than all the others. For me, that color is orange; nothing seems quite so vibrant as a bright orange bloom on a sunny day. Whenever I come across a particularly beautiful orange specimen, I just think about how good it would look in a whole orange arrangement. That’s why I put together this garden design to serve as a planner for myself and the other orange-aholics out there.

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Large Tree Nymphs butterfly and flowers,a beautiful butterfly on the purple flower,Paper Kite butterfly,Rice Paper butterfly

The Large Tree Nymphs butterfly is also called the Paper Kite butterfly or the Rice Paper butterfly

Invite the majestic presence of swallowtails, skippers, monarchs, and more into your garden with these butterfly-attracting tips. Using plants with ample nectar-rich blooms as well as providing necessary shelter will bring in many species of winged visitors and beautify your garden over a long, fruitful season.

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Stephanie as a seedling

The September 3rd edition of the Wayside Gardens Gazette included a "Getting to Know You" survey. The very first question was a simple one, but it unleashed a lovely flood of fond memories and great gardening stories. The question: How did you first get interested in gardening? Many of the responses focused on family–mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, and aunts who made sure that the little ones got involved in gardening early on. Your friends at Wayside Gardens hope you'll enjoy these stories about how your fellow gardeners became gardeners.

My mum was a great gardening and a Wayside shopper. She had saved a Wayside catalogue from 1959, which was the year she and my Dad bought a house, and she landscaped it herself with plants from Wayside. I looked through that catalogue for years, and when we finally bought a house, I was so pleased to find that Wayside was still there, ready to help me with my gardens.

I was 4 years old, and my Mom took me to a public rose garden. I have loved roses ever since, and started a garden when I was 6 years old. I am now 31.

I helped my father plant the garden when I was 3 years old–many years ago! I grew up in rural Southwestern Michigan, a rich agricultural area. We always had a garden, and had fruit and vegetable growers all around us.

As a kid, I followed my Daddy around in his vegetable gardens. I guess gardening is in the genes.

Both my mother and my father had the proverbial "green thumb." Mom could grow anything indoors, and Dad did our garden (vegetable). Until I was seven years old, we worked in the garden and enjoyed the produce. Dad always told me that a garden is a sacred trust. I feel that way still!

I started following my Dad around his garden when I was old enough to walk, and this took off from there. I can't remember a time when flowers didn't stop me in my tracks.

I lived in a big city, but my grandmother had a small garden. As a child, I loved to walk the little path through the garden and spent a lot of time playing there. I was delighted when the peonies bloomed in the spring, and attempted to plant some flowers and vegetables of my own. Since that time, I have always had some kind of garden, and keep a lot of houseplants. 

My great-grandmother and both of my grandmothers were passionate about their gardens. Great-grandma tended a vegetable garden and provided flowers for mass, during the spring and summer, well into her early nineties.

My grandmother gardened, and when I was little, I had my own flower boxes and little garden by my playhouse.

I remember when I was a child, my Gramma and Papa had a vegetable garden in their back yard. They were Swedish, so to go gardening, you put on your wooden shoes. I had my own pair at their house. They used to be my Dad's when he was a child. I was gardening with Gramma one time and pulled up a small carrot. She told me it wasn't ready, so I pushed it back in the ground, so it could continue to grow.

I grew up around gardeners. My grandfathers both were avid gardeners, as were all my uncles. When I'd go visit them, every visit would start with a walk through their gardens and around their yards. I never knew most people visited inside until I was in my teens. When I first started going out with other people, I was stunned to see them ignore the yard and go right into the house. I used to wonder what was wrong with their yards and gardens that they were trying to hide.

My grandfather couldn't have a large garden in his little back yard at his home in Philadelphia, so he would come up to our house in the suburbs and plant a big garden in our back yard. Thus I became one of his right-hand granddaughters, and ultimately, the head gardener at my own home.

Whole Family
My grandmother was an avid gardener. I remember how beautiful her yard was and how much she enjoyed sharing her newest additions to her garden. My mother inherited the love of gardening, too, and has continued the tradition of sharing the joy of all things green. All 5 of her daughters are now also gardening gurus.

My grandmother was a gardener, my mother and all my aunts are gardeners, so it's in my DNA!

From the time I was a newborn (1950), my Granddaddy Sutherand had awesome flower gardens (always featuring the newest begonias), an asparagus patch, raspberry patch, and cherry tree. Grandma Hays kept vegetable gardens outlined by iris. Mother always had a small veggie garden, along with zinnias and marigolds. It never occurred to me that people didn't have gardens or wouldn't love gardening!

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Astilbe 'October Skies'

Use Mulch and Ground Covers

Planting ground-covers and using mulch to fill in your fall beds will make it more difficult for unwanted weeds to establish themselves, helping you to naturally maintain your garden. The ground-cover both smothers potential weeds, blocking out the light,
and helps your current plants by holding in moisture and maintaining a
constant temperature.

You will be working in your garden to remove all of your weeds before planting anything this fall anyway, why not plant something to take up space to help keep them from coming back.

Clean Up the Summers Growth Before Planting for Fall

Removing all of the excess plant material before planting new crops is essential for the success of your fall bulbs, flowers, and vegetables. Annual weeds can be removed with a hoe or by hand. Perennial weeds must be completely dug out to prevent future growth.

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You don’t have to live in a witch’s cottage to grow a garden hospitable to local wildlife. Whether big or small, your humble courtyard or patio can be teeming with life in a single season. Once you’ve created your backyard conservatory, you can have it certified by the National Wildlife Foundation (NWF) and receive a very official-looking plaque to display in your garden for all your new squirrelly friends to see.

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Avocado Don Gillogly avocado plant produces fruit year round when grown indoors
We don’t all have the good fortune to live in Florida or Southern California.  Some of us have to get our limes, lemons, and avocados the hard way: from the grocery store.  However, there is another option for growing warm-climate fruits in not-so-warm areas.  Some smaller varieties of fruit trees do very well in containers, and even produce fruit.  Just because you live in zone 4 doesn’t mean you can’t have a little zone 10 fun.

Avocado Don Gillogly: the Indoor Avocado Tree

I love avocados.  They’re extraordinarily healthy, full of all sorts of amazing good-for-you fats and nutrients and such.  But really, it comes down to the very simple fact that they’re absolutely delicious.  I love avocado on just about anything (except for cake), and I’ll rarely turn down guacamole.  The problem is that avocados are pretty expensive, and the ones you find in the store are often second-rate.  Nothing compares to fresh, home-grown avocados, and that’s why the Avocado Don Gillogly is such a great plant.  It doesn’t just survive when grown indoors, it thrives and produces amazing avocados year-round in two crops, right there in your living room.  It will produce its first crop in around a year, which is unusually quick for a fruit tree.  It’s a beautiful, easy to grow plant even without the fruit, and can be left on the patio in warmer months to liven up your garden.

The Mexican Thornless Lime tree is a heavy producer of limes in a container tree
Mexican Thornless Lime

Of course, you wouldn’t want to have those fresh avocados around all the time and not make some great Mexican food, and no Mexican feast can be complete without limes.  The Mexican Thornless Lime tree is another fruit tree that does fantastically indoors, is easy to grow, and produces lots of fruit.  Even better, the blossoms that precede the fruit are both beautiful and carry a lovely fragrance.  The fruit ripens from late summer to early winter, but the evergreen foliage makes this citrus tree a wonderful houseplant year round.

The Lemon Meyer Improved tree produces clusters of beautiful lemons
Lemon Meyer Improved

The Meyer Improved lemon tree is a prize as an ornamental houseplant.  A prize that just happens to produce armloads of fantastic, juicy lemons.  The lemons grow in huge clusters of six lemons, which are best thinned to three per cluster, to allow them plenty of room to get big (though those early lemons that you thin can certainly be used in your cooking, too).  Check out my friend (and Master Gardener) Anne Moore’s article for tips on growing Limon ‘Meyer Improved’.

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