Archive for December, 2009

Princess Lilies — Hardy in Zone 6

Not all alstroemerias are alike. I have been enjoying my Princess lilies (alstroemeria hybrids from Holland) over the past 6 years. They have been surprisingly winter hardy in zone 6-b where I garden. Further south in zones 7 and 8, Princess lilies prefer part sun to partial shade. I grow’em on the east side of […]

‘Sky Pencil Holly vs ‘Dee Runk’ Boxwood

There are few shrubs that fit into narrow spaces better than ‘Dee Runk’ boxwood (picture on the right). It is a better choice than currently popular cultivar ‘Graham Blandy’, which is seriously troubled by soil root rot diseases. ‘Sky Pencil’ Japanese holly (pictured above) exhibits a similar upright (fastigiate) form. Japanese holly demands a well-drained […]

Planting Leyland Cypress May Be Big Mistake

If you live in USDA Plant Zone 6-b – 7, planting leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) could eventually turn into a maintenance diseaster in your landscape. Leyland cypress is a green behemoth, too fast and aggressive for most folks to handle. Ask yourself, “do you really need a 60-70 foot evergreen privacy screen around your […]

Beware of Storm Damaged Trees

This past weekend Northeast Tennessee as well as most of the coastal eastern U.S. was hit by heavy snow, 7 inches and more of heavy, wet clinging snow. Many of my neighbors lost electric power, telephone and cable. A driveby survey of tree damage around the neighborhood found that the following tree species suffered the […]

Smiling Pansy Faces

Success in blooming pansies and violas in the winter season depends on two key factors: date of fall planting and soil nutrition. If you live in USDA plant zone 6, pansies must be planted by October 15th, two weeks earlier in northerly zone 5, or two weeks later in zone 7. Early fall planting promotes […]

Baptisia – 2010 Perennial Plant of the Year

Baptisia (Baptisia spp.) is a long lived, low maintenance perennial. This American native thrives in rich well-drained soil under plenty of sunlight. Treat the roots as fragile and permit baptisia one year to establish itself. It will reward you for many years ahead. Modern day cultivars are usually hybrids. Lovely spikes of purple (B. australis), […]

Surprise lily (Lycorus)

Surprise lily or resurrection flower (Lycorus radiata) should be ordered in January because of limited available supply. Divisions are shipped fresh dug in June for immediate planting. Flowers emerge in late July and August. Lycorus is long-lived garden perennials, hardy in USDA hardiness zones 6-b thru 9. In the past I have ordered mine from […]

Dogwoods for Spring

More available in 2010 are 5 new disease resistant dogwood varieties from the University of Tennessee. Supply should be better than in past years, but order from your local garden center early before the spring sales rush. Powdery mildew resistant varieties: ‘Appalachian Snow’ (pictured), ‘Appalachian Blush’ and ‘Appalachian Mist’ Anthracnose resistant variety: ‘Appalachian Spring’

Poet’s laurel-great shade garden shrub

Alexandrian laurel or poet’s laurel (Danae racemosa) is a lovely 2-4 foot, low arching, evergreen shrub. It thrives in shady areas of the garden, spreading slowly from root suckers. Poet’s laurel stays in its intended place and does not overwhelm other plants around it. Tiny greenish-white flowers appear in late spring and are often overlooked. […]