Archive for April, 2011

Take Flight With The Unique Dove Tree

Up for a challenge. Dove tree (Davidia involucrata) is a medium-size tree from China. Mature dove trees are 30-40 feet in height and 20-30 feet in width. A young tree exhibits a pyramidal form and forms a rounded canopy at maturity. The coarsely textured 4 – 5 inch circular leaves are bright green with no significant fall color, dropping either pale […]

Enjoy a Mite-free Alberta Spruce This Summer

A popular saying among gardeners is “the right plant in the right location”. They must be thinking of Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’). Within a few years after planting, this popular dwarf conifer becomes devastated by spider mite infestations. The rule is to plant Alberta spruce where it receives good air circulation on all sides. […]

Wolfeyes Chinese Dogwood

Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa) is a popular 20-25 foot tall spring flowering tree which blooms two weeks after our native flowering dogwood (C. florida) has finished. The cultivar ‘Wolf Eyes’ makes a compact  8 to 10 foot tree or large shrub, almost double that in width. Wolf Eyes displays an awesome leaf variegation which makes it a focal […]

Gordlinia- Nothing Like it Before!

  ‘Sweet Tea’ resulted from crossing franklinia (F. alatamaha) and loblolly bay or gordonia (G. lasianthus). Sweet Tea is still abit finicky like franklinia, but is more resistant to Phytophthora disease (soil pathogen). This new intergeneric cross possesses huge (5 inch diameter), showy flowers that look like big fried eggs. Sweet tea exhibits semi-evergreen foliage with large, […]

Three Mid-sized Ornamental Grasses for Small Gardens

For their sheer architecture alone, ornamental grasses provide 4- seasons of landscape excitement. Within a small garden space three mid-sized (4 – 6 feet tall) ornamental grasses with awesome vertical stature excel. All are highly rated for long garden life and low annual maintenance. ‘Karl Foerster’ Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ) forms silvery […]

A Perfect Small Garden Tree– ‘Ace of Hearts’ Redbud

Ace of Hearts redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Ace of Hearts’) is an arboreal treasure, a compact form of our native redbud. Heavy clusters of light purple pea-like flowers cover twigs and branches from late March into early April, depending on your locality. Ace of Hearts grows 12 by 15 feet in height and spread, roughly one-third […]

Double Take™ Flowering Quinces

Photo credit: Dr. Tom Ranney, NCSU Research Horticulturist Flowering quince (Chaenomeles spp) is an early spring flowering shrub, treasured for its brightly colored blooms (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Old fashioned quince shrubs produced small amounts of fruits which were gathered and prepared into yummy jelly in the autumn kitchen. These often large 10-12 foot tall shrubs produced small sharp […]

Wild Onion or Wild Garlic?

Often called “wild onion”, many gardens (including mine) from late winter into spring in eastern Tennessee, western NC and southwest VA are instead plagued  by wild garlic (Allium vineale). Wild garlic forms a rounded blade (stem) while wild onion (A. canadense) has a flattened blade. When freshly cut, the hollow stem of wild garlic is easily visible. Both lawn weeds […]

No Excuse for Tree Topping

Why do people top trees? Often, it is because “their neighbor(s) did it”. When asked whether they believe their neighbor to be a wise person, the typical response is “NO”. The Negatives About Tree Topping: 1. A topped tree reduces property values in a community. Topping adds a blight look to a neighborhood or over […]