Archive for January, 2011

Disease-free Shrub Rose Trial–The Winners Are…

Blushing Knockout™ Over the past 10 years, the world of roses has witnessed a revolution with the popularity of the Knockout™ series of roses in gardens across the U.S. Over the past 5 years the University of Tennessee has been testing shrub roses in Poplarville, MS and two Tennessee locations. Dr. Mark Windham and his research team have […]

Re-Blooming Your Poinsettia: Winter thru Summer Care

Part III:  By late January your poinsettia plant may look droopy and the leaves pale green. Some flowers (colorful bracts) and leaves may have dropped. To revive the plant and to program it to flower again next winter requires additional care from you starting now. Move the plant to an east or south exposure window, […]

Two Sensational New Oakleaf Hydrangeas

Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia) is a popular native shrub in the Southeastern U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8). Two new compact forms of oakleaf hydrangea were recently introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum. In early summer, ‘Ruby Slippers’ is covered with 9-inch-long floral clusters that are held upright above the foliage. ‘Ruby Slippers’ grows […]

2012 Perennial Plant of the Year Named

The Perennial Plant Association (PPA) has selected Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ as the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year. Runnersup for 2012 honors were Panicum virgatum ’Northwind’, Heuchera ‘Caramel’ and Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’. Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ foliage is deer resistant. It grows to a height and width of 12-15 inches. Its silvery foliage stands out in a […]

Stop the Leyland Madness

Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is a tall, fast growing evergreen tree or shrub. Many are planted as privacy screens. Ask yourself, should you really plant a 50 foot barrier between you and your neighbor(s)?  In the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7), there are shorter and better evergreen choices. In the 12-16 foot category: Boxwood (Buxus […]

Planting Trees for Future Generations

Oaks, beeches, hickories, ginkgoes, bald cypresses, redwoods, chestnuts and others are trees that future generations inherit from previous generations. In human terms, it takes a lifetime to grow an acorn into a mighty oak. Many tree species live hundreds of years, often asking little and contributing much beauty, summer cooling shade, winter heating comfort as windbreaks, and a […]

Hardy Dwarf Deodara Cedars

Over the past ten years, deodara cedar (Cedrus deodara) has carved its niche into Southern Appalachian gardens (USDA zones 6 and 7). Three zone 6 hardy dwarf cultivars, ‘Glacier Blue’, ‘Devinely Blue’, and ‘Feelin Blue’, fit  today’s smaller garden space better than most tree forms of deodara cedar that typically reach 70-80 feet in height. […]

Winter Care of House Plants

Lovely Foliage Plants at Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC Most plants adapt to winter’s shorter daylength and low light intensity. Interior plants require less water and nutrients. Plants also adapt to the lower room humidity in our modern day homes. Grouping plants together and spritzing them 1-2 times a day is helpful. Soil moisture needs varies with the type […]

Winter King Hawthorn – A Winter Fruit Attraction

bright red fruit in winter season ‘Winter King’ is an outstanding cultivar of our native green hawthorn (Crataegus viridis) and is at home here in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). Over the winter season few deciduous trees present a colorful fruiting display much better than Winter King. Winter King hawthorn is a small landscape tree, maturing to 25-30 […]

Hardy Camellias — start with this one!

Occasionally, gardeners need abit of confidence before purchasing a plant considered not winter hardy where they live. Twenty years ago, growing a camellia was a folly inside the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7), until the Drs. Ackerman and Parks’ introductions appeared. These hardy cultivars have changed the playing field. Recently, I asked some local camellia “experts”  what one favorite cultivar gardeners […]