Archive for November, 2010

Choosing a Cut Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees at Local Garden Center Fire safety in the home should be your primary concern when purchasing a freshly cut Christmas tree. There are numerous “choose and cut” Christmas tree growers in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). Trees are harvested by the tens of thousands in the mountainous locales and are […]

“It’s Wort…not Wart”

Barrenworts (Epimedium spp.) are a  collection of ground cover species mostly from Asia and Europe. None are native to North America, but most thrive in gardens in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). There are currently 21 known species worldwide. Also called Bishop’s hat, barrenworts are one of our finest groundcovers for part sun to part shade areas. Some are […]

Autumn’s Last Hurrah -Bradford Pear

Currently, the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7) is enriched by the vibrant red fall foliage of callery (ornamental) pears (Pyrus calleryana), commonly identified as ‘Bradford’ pear. There are several cultivars of callery pears besides Bradford. A great deal of negativity has befallen Bradford pear, some not totally deserved.  Yes, Bradford is weak- […]

Brighten Up a Drab Corner in Your Garden

Crippsii falsecypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Crippsii’) is one tall 20-25 foot high evergreen shrub (or small tree). Its lacy golden evergreen foliage  catches your attention almost any season of the year. Unfortunately, Crippsii is rarely seen in landscapes because few landscape architects and designers know it or can not find it in the nursery trade. Ten years ago a credit union near my home […]

Trident Maple Has 4- Seasons Interest

Over the past decade residential lot sizes have shrunken. Small and medium sized shade trees are a better choice over large traditional choices of red and sugar maples. Trident maple (Acer buergerianum) is our best mid-sized summer shade maple in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). By mid-November trident has shed its gorgeous reddish […]

Doghobble for Shady Landscape Areas

Drooping doghobble or fetterbush  (Leucothoe fontanesiana) is native to woodland areas in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). Doghobble is a tall ground cover, averaging 3 – 4 feet in height.  The long gently arching evergreen branches display a rambling nature, best reined in with hand pruning as needed. White fragrant flowers, […]

Striped Maple For The Shade Garden

This past weekend, while walking in the Smokies Mountains on a rather brisk rainy autumn day, the bright yellow autumn foliage color of striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) caught my attention. Also called “moosewood”, it is the only snake-bark maple native to the U.S. The greenish bark is marked with dark vertical lines or “stripes”. The reason that […]

Be Careful What You’re Cutting Back

 Halfway through the autumn season, new plants have come to life, while most are retiring for a long winter’s nap (dormancy). About 4-5 weeks back, the leafy growth (vegetative) stage of the surprise lily (Lycoris radiata), also called “resurrection lily or “naked ladies”, appeared (left and center photos). When last seen in late July and August, brightly colored stalks of lycoris flowers had popped through with no leaves present. […]

Hardy Camellias Re-Awaken the Autumn Season

‘Winter Star’ camellia (pale pink- photo on left) is the first camellia to bloom in the Conlon garden this fall season. My 8 year-old camellia has 50 or more flowers currently opened and promises to continue blooming through most of November. Other hardy fall blooming cultivars are heavily budded and will open  thru mid- December, weather permitting. A few […]