Archive for October, 2011

‘Snow Flurry’ Zone 6 Hardy Camellia

‘Snow Flurry’ camellia is a broadleaf evergreen shrub with good plant vigor. It was one of the first zone 6 cold hardy camellias hybridized by Dr. William Ackerman and released by the U.S. National Arboretum in 1986.   Snow Flurry grows into a 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide shrub over a 10 year […]

Irrigate Evergreens This Winter

Fall slowdown in the garden brings many of us back indoors to prepare for the winter holidays ahead. A number of serious canker diseases attack evergreens in the fall and winter if soil moisture is not plentiful. These diseases include botryosphaeria, cytospora, phomopsis, and seiridium cankers. Each organism is capable of causing branch dieback or […]

Natural Evergreen Needle Drop in Autumn

Some needle loss on evergreens in the fall is natural. As night time temperatures cool, needles in the interior of many evergreen trees or shrubs regularly turn brown (or golden yellow) and drop off. Needle loss is most obvious on pines (Pinus spp.) and arborvitae (Thuja spp.) in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). The […]

Alaska Cedar Is Awesome Weeping Evergreen

Over the past decade, gardeners have been planting different evergreen trees in their Southern Appalachian landscapes (USDA zones 6 and 7). One of the newbies is Alaska cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis),  a wonderful medium-sized evergreen tree from the west coast of North America. Alaska cedar matures into a graceful pyramidal tree form. Long pendulous flattened sprays of  bluish green needles drape from […]

Sacred Lily (Rohdea) Brings Good Fortune

Depending on where you garden, Sacred Lily (Rohdea japonica) is either an evergreen or herbaceous perennial groundcover. It is slow growing and prospers in a moist shady woodland environment.  Small clumps of  long, strap-like leaves emerge from an underground crown to about 15” in height. Foliage is comprised of 18 inch long strap- like leaves […]

Winter Storage of Non-Hardy Tropicals*

There is frost on your pumpkin. By late October, northern U.S. gardeners (USDA zones 3 thru 6) must protect non-hardy tropicals such as cannas (Canna spp.), bananas (Musa spp. and Ensete spp.), elephant ears (Colocasia spp. and Alocasia spp.) and angel trumpets (Brugmansia spp.). Most gardeners living in zone 7-b and further south have little […]

‘Duet’ – A New Variegated Beautyberry That Is Stable

                  ‘Duet’ is a variegated leaf cultivar of white fruited Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa dichotoma ‘Albifructus’). It was discov­ered at Tennessee Technological University in 2000 by Dr. Gary Bach­man and Mr. W. Edgar Davis. ‘Duet’ beautyberry was released jointly by the U.S. National Arboretum and Tennessee Technological University. […]

Virginia Creeper – A Question of Place

Autumn foliage color is upon us in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). On a weekend drive through the Smoky Mountains, vivid red Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) foliage draped highway fences and tree branches. Virginia creeper foliage peaks 2 to 3 weeks ahead of most woodland trees and shrubs. Lots of gardeners […]

‘Diabolo’ Ninebark Has More Than 9 Lives

  The cultivar Diabolo ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’) is an aggressive grower. A knowledgeable gardener with a sharp pair of pruners may quickly and easily train Diabolo ninebark into a small tree. Plant a ninebark tree in a large container for multi-seasonal color around your deck or patio. Its common plant name “ninebark” says a lot. […]

Fall Color in U.S. Native Azaleas

Finally, Americans are paying closer attention to our wonderful native plants. In the Southern Appalachian region, there are 16  and more species of deciduous azaleas which may be grown here. In addition, there are numerous natural hybrids growing in the mountains. I asked Jay Jackson, owner of Appalchian Native Plants, Inc. in Laurel Bloomery, TN […]