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HEATHER
Common Heather Calluna vulgaris
Benefits: Heather was used in past centuries for a variety of things ranging from being a vegetable dye to giving up some of its foliage in the making of  malt beer. Its claim to fame now is as the perfect plant for acid soils.
From:
Europe, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Azores
Photographed: Somewhere on the road in Rhode Island in 2013.

Planting and Care: This perennial heather will grow to be a foot or a foot and a half tall and prefers to grow in full sun in a moist area of the garden. It will do best in acidic soils.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

**Mexican Heather Cuphea hyssopifolia
This is a very sweet low growing ground cover. Even when it is not in full bloom as you can see in the photograph below on the left, it has an appeal.
Benefits:
From:
Photographed:
On the left in the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care: I have only seen this plant growing in the sun in a place where it receives very routine rainfall or watering. However, I have seen it growing in a mountain sub-tropical environment and on the left in New England, which seems a good indication of its adaptability. I have one large plant in my garden now and nearby there are several volunteers. This is definitely a plant I could get behind. If you live in a chilly, not freezing place, expect this plant to look a little sad until the weather warms.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, 2010.

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden at the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, 2010.

 
Helen's Flower 'Tie Die', Fall Sneezeweed, Dogtooth Daisy Helenium autumnale
This colorful and distinctive flowering plant is a perennial which makes it even more appealing. It is known to grow to as much as 5 feet in height.
Benefits: Helen's flower has been used to treat colds and headaches as well as being beneficial in treating intestinal worms.
From: Wet areas in New England
Photographed: On the left in the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.
Planting and Care: Plant this beauty where you will want it in the future because it is a perennial. It likes to live in the sun and will be happy with any decent soil that it would prefer to be moist. The flowers will begin to appear in August and will continue the show until a real frost puts them to sleep for winter.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018
Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.

Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 
 
Heliotrope, Cherry Pie, Mary Fox, White Queen Heliotropium arborescens
Benefits: Their charms are immune to foraging deer.
From: Southern tropical US most likely. It is mentioned in very old texts including those in Greek so its origins remain something of a mystery.
Photographed: In the Thuya Garden, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: Growing anywhere from 1 to 4 feet in height, heliotropes are perennials often grown as annuals. They are normally at home in temperate climates, but they will very much enjoy the hot dry summers in warmer climates.
Heliotropes flower for a long time, but when a frost arrives it will put all of that to an end. Plant them in good loose soil where they will get full sun for most of the day with shade from the hot sun in the later afternoon.
Warning:
All parts of this plant are highly toxic.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018
Heralds Trumpet Please See the "E" Page - EASTER LILY VINE
 

HERB GARDENS

The herb garden at our former home in Montserrat in the Caribbean West Indies

While it is traditional to grow only herbs in a garden like this, I thought it would be more interesting and provide more places on the property for herbs to grow if they were planted intermixed in ornamental garden beds. This garden became a real centerpiece for herbs for a while and though we still called it the "Herb Garden," it took on a more exotic flavor with several varieties of canna lilies and amaryllis planted. Some of the herbs were moved on to other garden beds, but we still had basil, parsley, fitweed (a tropical cilantro alternative), Cuban thyme, lemon grass, chives and rosemary.
Text and Photograph ©Krika.com 2008, 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018

In this lightly shaded part of the Herb Garden in the photograph below we had basil, parsley and Cuban thyme growing underneath the frangipani and pinwheel jasmine.

 
 
Highway Ice Plant See the "I" Page -- ICE PLANT
Holly, Variegated Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata'
I think this wonderful old standby shrub, benefits from the simplicity of being a deep green with bright red berries. The variegated type in this photograph just seems too busy; you can barely see the red berries.
Benefits:
This holly will attract both birds and butterflies.
From:
Western and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia
Photographed: At our hotel in Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina.
Planting and Care: Plant this holly in full sunlight in moist, well-drained, fertile soil. Surprisingly, this is one of those male and female plants, so plant one of each to get lots of berries.
Warning: All parts of this plant are highly toxic to humans.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018
Hollyhock Alcea rosea
What traditional New England garden doesn't have a hollyhock or two? These are old standbys for good reason and I've now found them growing happily in the Guatemalan highlands in a lovely hotel garden by Lake Atitlan. They flower in early summer and reach 5 to 8 feet in height making them excellent background plants.
Benefits: Hollyhocks are said to have several curative qualities with such odd companions as bed-wetting and bleeding gums.
From: Southwestern China
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden of Hotel Atitlan at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Care: Hollyhocks are perennials liking full sun and regular rainfall or watering. In warmer places they will tolerate some mid-day shade, but always plant them away from windy areas. If you are lucky to live near a well supplied garden shop, buy plants and set them out directly in the garden. If you are less lucky, have a go at planting seeds, but the plants will take two years to bloom making it a biennial. Oddly enough this plant comes with flowers of different colors and each has a soil preference so check with your garden shop or read your seed packet carefully. Aphids and spider mites like hollyhocks as much as we do so consider using rotenone as a control or try a soap spray.
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
**Honeysuckle Vine, Golden-and-Silver Honeysuckle, Japanese Honeysuckle Lonicera japonica
I remember a bush variety of this heavenly smelling plant from my childhood in Rhode Island. I would probably carry one with me every where we go if only I could.
Benefits: This lovely smelling flowering vine attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
From: Eastern Asia
Photographed:
In the Botanical Garden of Hotel Atitlan at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Planting and Growth: This vigorous perennial vine is able to grow up to 30 feet high on a tree or other support. It prefers being in full sun and receiving regular rainfall or watering.
Text and Photograph ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018
 

Horseradish Amoracia rusticana
This is an essential ingredient in the most popular dipping sauce for cold shrimp and other similar seafood. In a northern garden growing it should be a snap, but in the Caribbean who knows?
Text Copyrighted ©KO 2007

**Horsetail See the "C" Page -- CASUARINA TREE
 

HOSTAS

Hostas, with all of the their leaf sizes and colors and their blossoms, make perfect additions to shady areas of the garden. They can be used as background plants or border plants or even centerpiece plants, if carefully done. They are easy to care for and live in enough shade where it is often difficult to find other appealing and reliable greenery. I have fond memories of popping the flower buds when I was a little girl, something I now regret.

Hosta is a plant I remember well from childhood when I didn't think it was something special -- times change as do attitudes. I now rather like hostas and would have them in my shady garden areas if I still had a garden. With advancing global warming it's good to know this plant is heat tolerant.

Hostas have become very popular and hundreds of hybrids are now available. Surely one or more of them will win your heart and be perfect for the garden site you have in mind.

Plantain Lily, August Lily Hosta plantaginea
This is a particularly pretty hosta. The deep green of its large leaves contrast perfectly with the bright white of its fragrant flowers. As a perennial it will grow to be about 2 feet tall and twice as wide.
Benefits: The fragrant flowers on this plant bloom in the afternoon and are hummingbird attractants.
From: Russia through to Korea and Eastern China
Planting and Care: Hostas are especially easy to care for. Plant them in bright shady areas even in a cold climate and they will do just fine. They prefer moist, rich, composted soils, but will do well with less.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2013.

 

Photographed: In the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, Australia, in 2013.

Hosta 'Sum and Substance' Hosta
This hosta is considered apple green. With its large leaves it will be a stand out in any shady garden. You can expect it to be about 3 feet tall and 6 feet wide giving it the potential for being a shade garden centerpiece.
Benefits: Hummingbird attractant
From: Hybrid
Photographed: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island, in 2013.
Planting and Care: Unlike most hostas, this one prefers having morning sun along with spending the rest of the day in bright shade. It is also less accommodating in its reluctance to share its composted dirt home with other plants so avoid giving it the kind of competition it would receive if planted beneath a tree. Make sure it has a moist, mulched situation and you will be especially happy with its performance.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#1 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013.

 

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#2 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013.

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#3 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, 2013.

 

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#4 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013.

 

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#5 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013.

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#6 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Thuya Garden on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, 2013.

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#7 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, 2013.

 

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#8 Hosta Mystery
Photographed: In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 

 
 If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#9 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Blithewold Garden in Bristol, Rhode Island 2013.

 

If You Know What This Hosta Is, Please Contact Me
#10 Hosta Mystery
Photographed:
In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

 

 
Hottentot Fig See the "I" Page -- ICE PLANT
 
HYDRANGEAS
CLIMBING HYDRANGEAS
Climbing Hydrangea Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris
Benefits: It is said that parts of this plant are edible and it seems to be most commonly used for this purpose in Japan. It is also said that hydrangeas are highly poisonous so I would not recommend taking a bite.
From: Japan, Sakhalin, Korea, Taiwan
Photographed: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.
Planting and Care: The climbing hydrangea will grow best in well-drained, moist, rich and fertile soils. It prefers bright shade or dappled sunlight and will normally not grow well in full sun. It tends to bloom early in the summer season. When it is at its best, it will grow to be almost 40 feet in height.
Warning: All parts of this plant are poisonous.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018
 
LACECAP HYDRANGEAS
Lacecap Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla normalis
Benefits: It has been said that it has medicinal benefits, but since the entire plant is poisonous I find that hard to believe.
From: Eastern Asia
Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine, 2013, unless otherwise noted.
Planting and Care: Morning sun works best for all hydrangeas keeping them free of the hot mid-day and afternoon sun. Plant yours with enough space for it to reach adulthood without pruning. Be sure that it is set in good soil and that it receives enough rainfall or watering to keep the soil moist, not wet. Fertilize these plants in early spring or summer and then sit back and enjoy the show.
Warning: All parts of this plant are poisonous.
Text and Photograph ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

 

Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, Providence, RI, in 2013.
MOP HEAD HYDRANGEAS

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

**Mop Head Hydrangea, Big Leaf Hydrangea, Pom-Pom Hydrangea, French Hydrangeas, Hortensia Hydrangea macrophylla
I remember as a little girl seeing these huge flower covered bushes that seemed even larger than me. We had driven up to Connecticut to visit some distant family. As usual then and now I wandered the garden and was smitten with these beautiful bushes. Years later, my best friend loved them too and my husband and I visited her, planting dozens of them in her garden in the year in which she finally succumbed to cancer.
Benefits and Risks:
From: One source said Germany, another said Japan.
Planting and Growth: This old traditional garden bush loves an acid soil with lots of organic material. It is perfect for New England gardens because of the acid soil and apparently also for the South as a friend from South Carolina once spoke of the poor country farms there being loaded with hydrangea. But the South is still the south and she couldn't bring herself to have it in her garden which is a shame because it is a beautiful bush with large showy flowers in blue, purple/blue, pink and white.
Warning: The entire hydrangea plant is toxic, but especially the flower buds. "Swallowing hydrangea is like popping a cyanide pill. The present poison, hydragin, is a cyanogenic glycoside, meaning it will cause shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, and a rapid pulse, along with a drop in blood pressure that can cause convulsions and death."
Text and Photographs ©KO 2010 and ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2014/2018
 

Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013.

Photographed: At the Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, RI, in the USA in 2014.

 

 

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

Photographed: In the Winter Garden in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2013.

Photographed: In the Wellington Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2013.

MOP HEAD HYDRANGEA LANDSCAPING

Landscaping with hydrangeas is a terrific idea as you can see in the photograph below where it is used to disguise a foundation. The foliage is lush and beautiful and the flowers are huge and bountiful. The plants have character, but also make a wonderful backdrop for individual plants that are more exotic in nature.
Text and Photograph ©KO 2010

Photographed: At the Hotel Atitlan on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

PREZIOZA HYDRANGEA
Prezioza Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla Prezioza, Hydrangea serrata Preziosa, Hydrangea macrophylla Preziosa
This is a mop head hybrid being about half the size of a normal mop head or about 3 to 4 feet wide and tall. Other than size I find it difficult to distinguish between these two hydrangeas. It will normally begin blooming in July and will do so through September.
Benefits: None mentioned except that it is a prolific bloomer.
From:
This is a hybrid.
Planting and Care: Plant this hydrangea where it will not normally receive hot afternoon sun and give it watering or rainfall that is normal in your area and it should do just fine.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2018

Hydrangea macrophylla Prezioza
Photographed: In the Wellington Botanic Garden in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2013.

Hydrangea macrophylla Prezioza
Photographed: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA in 2014.

 OAKLEAF HYDRANGEAS

Oakleaf Hydrangea Hydrangea Quercifolia
This is a white flowering hydrangea with oak tree shaped leaves as you can see in the photographs.
Benefits: It does not appear to have any significant medicinal benefits.
From: The southeast of the United States
Planting and care: This beautiful drought resistant bush prefers to grow in partial to full shade in a slightly acid soil if possible. It is also said to be drought resistant though in such dry conditions it will not normally bloom.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2012

This shrub mystery was solved by Ursula G. writing from Southern Germany

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy.

Photographed: At the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Rhode Island in 2014.

 

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy.

Photographed: In the Botanical Garden in Naples, Italy.

 PANICLE HYDRANGEAS
Panicle Hydrangeas Hydrangea paniculata
Panicle hydrangeas are distinguished largely by the shape of their flowers. Unlike the smooth round mop-head, panicles have a conical flower shape. Within the panicle family there are a variety of flower types as you may see in the photographs below.
Benefits:
From:
Southern and eastern China, Korea, Japan and Russia
Planting and Care: When well settled you may expect this plant to grow from about 15 to 30 feet tall. It is said to be extremely tolerant and hardy and it will handle more direct sun than most other hydrangeas. Plant it in good soil and ensure that it has sufficient moisture and you won't be disappointed with its performance. Its flowers are white moving towards pink as they age.
Text and Photographs ©GreenGardeningCookingCuring.com 2013/2018

Photographed: In the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Maine, 2013

 

Photographed: At a roadside garden shop in Maine, 2013

 

Photographed: At the Maine Idyll Motor Court in Freeport, Maine, 2013

 

Photographed: At the Maine Idyll Motor Court in Freeport, Maine, 2013

Photographed: At the Maine Idyll Motor Court in Freeport, Maine, 2013

Photographed: At a roadside garden shop in Maine, 2013

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