Posts By

Dr. Liessa Bowen

Liessa started learning everything she could about plants, animals, and ecosystems at a young age. Since then, she's earned a Master’s degree in wildlife biology (Iowa State University) and a PhD in forestry (North Carolina State University), both with an emphasis on conservation biology and birds. She has worked as a greenhouse technician, wildlife biologist, educational consultant, and writer.

Majestic towering blue spruces dominate the landscape, their needles forming a dense canopy that stretches towards the sky. Interspersed among the spruces, juniper bushes add a vibrant touch with their evergreen foliage.

Trees

25 Best Evergreen Trees for Year-Round Privacy

Are you looking for evergreen trees to create privacy on your property? There are plenty of great, easy-to-grow trees that provide year-round greenery. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces 25 of the best evergreen trees to increase privacy, enhance your landscape, and look fantastic all year!

Close-up of a flowering Solidago canadensis plant, one of the most popular goldenrod varieties. Featuring dense clusters of small, bright yellow flowers arranged in elongated, plume-like inflorescences, the plant adds a vibrant burst of color to late summer and fall landscapes. The lance-shaped leaves are toothed and arranged alternately along the stems.

Flowers

10 Beautiful Goldenrod Varieties for Your Garden

Are you looking for an easy-to-grow, bright, and beautiful plant that attracts pollinators to your garden? Many varieties of goldenrod can serve that purpose, delighting gardeners and butterflies alike. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces 11 gorgeous goldenrods that you can easily grow in your home garden.

Close-up of Fuyu persimmon tree in a sunny garden against a blue sky. The Fuyu persimmon tree is characterized by its attractive, glossy green foliage and striking orange fruits. The fruits are medium to large in size, round or slightly flattened in shape, and have a smooth, shiny skin.

Fruits

How to Plant, Grow, and Care For ‘Fuyu’ Persimmon

‘Fuyu’ Persimmon trees are easy to grow, readily available, and produce an abundance of delicious and nutritious fruits. Have you ever wanted to try growing a fruit tree? This is a great place to start. In this article, gardening enthusiast Liessa Bowen introduces the ‘Fuyu’ persimmon and discusses the proper care and maintenance of one of her favorite fruit trees.

Close-up of brown turkey fig on a tree in the garden. The Brown Turkey fig is a deciduous tree bearing medium-sized, pear-shaped fruits with a purplish-brown skin. The tree itself boasts large, lobed leaves with a rich green hue.

Fruits

How to Plant, Grow, and Care For ‘Brown Turkey’ Figs

Would you like to grow your own fig tree but don’t know where to start? ‘Brown Turkey’ figs are easy to grow and incredibly prolific. Within a few years after planting a young edible fig tree, you’ll be harvesting a tantalizingly tasty crop of sweet, delicious fruits. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces the ‘Brown Turkey’ fig and how to grow your own.

tastiest fig varieties. Bottom view of ripe fig fruits hanging from tree branches against a blurred background of green foliage. Fig fruits are pear-shaped with a slightly flattened bottom. They are dark purple in color.

Fruits

13 Tastiest Fig Varieties for Home Gardens

Fig flavors can be defined as sweet, complex, honey-like, berry-like, custardy, and more. Regardless of how you describe the flavor, they are all delicious! In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen shares 13 favorite fig varieties that you can grow in your home garden.

Three terra cotta pots filled with flowers and billowing foliage sit in an outdoor garden.

Gardening Tips

29 Beginner Tips for Growing Plants in Pots and Containers

Are you interested in starting a container garden? If you’ve never gardened before, or if you’re just curious about the process of container gardening, you’ll find that this is a simple and low-maintenance method of gardening, and you may be surprised how useful it can be. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen shares 29 useful tips for getting started with growing plants in pots and containers.

A group of vibrant pink cherry blossoms fills the frame, their delicate petals contrasting with the lush green grass below. The clear blue sky adds to the peaceful serenity of the scene.

Trees

21 Beautiful Flowering Crabapple Trees for Your Garden

Are you intrigued by the prolific spring beauty of flowering crabapple trees? If you want a showy ornamental tree to add to your landscape, a flowering crabapple might be an excellent choice to brighten your spring days. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces 21 super-showy flowering crabapple varieties. With so many colorful options, it might be difficult to choose a favorite!

A lush fig tree flourishes under the radiant sun in Crete, its verdant leaves soaking up the warmth. It stands amid ancient stone walls, a testament to the enduring beauty of Crete's landscape.

Fruits

How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Fig Trees

Are you a fan of fresh, sweet, juicy, tender figs? Fig trees are easy to grow and produce an abundance of delicious fruits that you can eat straight from the tree! In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces the basics of growing your own fig tree.

A close-up of a Wintergreen plant showcases vibrant red berries, gleaming like miniature rubies against the green foliage. The glossy leaves of Wintergreen appear smooth, with veins delicately etched upon them. Branches stretch gracefully, adorned with clusters of berries and lush foliage.

Ornamental Gardens

How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Wintergreen

Have you ever wondered where wintergreen flavoring comes from? This popular minty flavor actually comes from the ornamental wintergreen plant. If you have a shade garden, wintergreen will make a wonderfully attractive addition to your landscape! In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen introduces the wintergreen plant and how you can best grow it in your home garden.

Close-up of a gardener's hand holding a blue spade with white granular fertilizer near a flowering Asclepias syriaca plant in a sunny garden. It features tall, upright stems with broad, lance-shaped leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem. Common milkweed produces clusters of small, fragrant pink to purplish flowers atop the stems.

Fertilizer

Do I Need to Fertilize Native Plants?

Whether you’re starting a new garden or enjoying a well-established landscape, you know that plants require some regular maintenance. If you’re a fan of native plants, you may have wondered if you need to fertilize them on a regular basis like some of your other garden plants. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen will help guide you through some tips for caring for your native plants.

View of woodland plants in the garden. Flowering Erythronium plant on a blurred background. Erythronium features slender, arching stems adorned with one or two nodding, bell-shaped flowers of bright yellow color. The plant produces glossy, mottled leaves that are heart-shaped or lanceolate, adding to its ornamental appeal.

Ornamental Gardens

27 Gorgeous Plants For Your Woodland Garden

Are you looking for some beautiful plants to fill in your woodland garden? Woodland gardens can be peaceful and natural wonderlands, bursting with life, but you need to know which plants will grow best in the shade of trees. In this article, gardening expert Liessa Bowen shares 27 of her favorite easy-to-grow woodland plants.