Divine vines

Annual vines are charming, versatile and fast-growing, providing a quick show of foliage and flowers. They can be trained along vertical supports like fence posts, porch columns, trellises and arbors; allowed to spill from hanging baskets; or left to ramble along the ground. Look for seeds of black-eyed Susan vine, vining nasturtiums, moonflowers, scarlet runner beans, cypress vine, hyacinth bean and Spanish flag. Morning glories are among the most popular annual vines due to their vigor and profuse blooms (but site them carefully, as they may reseed so enthusiastically as to be weedy). A particularly unusual morning glory is ‘Picotee Blue’, which bears purple, star-shaped flowers with a delicate outline of white. ‘Flying Saucers’ has white-and-purple streaked flowers that are 5 inches across.

Hort Shorts

When mulching beds with shredded bark, apply no more than 4 inches. Too thick a layer can create a barrier that keeps water from entering. When mulching trees, don't pile mulch against the trunk. Leave a depression in the center, and keep the inside rim at least 12 inches from the trunk. Think doughnut—not volcano.

If you want to divide daffodils to increase your stock or invigorate old clumps, wait until after the blooming period when the leaves have died back. The leaves produce food that is stored in the bulbs, essential for next year's flowers. Once foliage has yellowed and withered, you can lift and store the bulbs. Or mark the location and dig and replant bulbs in fall.

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