Archive for January, 2013

Leatherleaf Mahonia – Love It Or Don’t Plant It

Leatherleaf mahonia (Mahonia bealei), aka Beale’s barberry, is a holly-like evergreen shrub which appears in your garden uninvited. It is a member of the barberry family (Berberidaceae) (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). It has no sharp thorns on the stems, but leaf tips are sharply pointed. Leatherleaf mahonia is a princely evergreen shrub which blooms in […]

Add Some Gold to Your Landscape

Is your garden awash in green foliage? A few well placed bright gold-leaf shrubs or perennials can awaken almost any dull green landscape spot. Here are two shrubs, Mellow Yellow® spirea and Gold Nugget barberry, plus one perennial (‘All Gold’ hakone grass) that may add some flair. Mellow Yellow® Spirea (Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’) forms small white flowers which cover […]

Vernal Witchhazel and New Cultivar ‘Quasimodo’

  Vernal witchhazel (H. vernalis) is a dense growing 8 to 12 foot native shrub which blooms in mid-winter in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7). It is winter hardy to zone 4. Small ½ inch wide yellow flowers, flushed red at the base, emit a pleasant witchhazel aroma in the February […]

Fragrant Honeysuckle Is Long-Lived Heirloom Shrub

Fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) has creamy white flowers which open in January during a brief warm-ups and continues, off and on, through February and March in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 6 and 7). It is an old heirloom shrub indigenous of China. It’s hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4-8. Fragrant honeysuckle is […]

‘Otto Lukyen’ Cherry Laurel Exhibits Better Winter Hardiness

Otto Luyken (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’) is a very compact form of cherry laurel. It produces showy, fragrant, erect white spike flowers primarily in the spring, and repeats with light blooming thru the summer months. Its fragrant white flowers are showy racemes which rise several inches above the foliage in mid-spring. Its glossy pointed tip […]

Skip (Schipka) Laurel Creates Dense Evergreen Privacy Screen

Schipka laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’) is a dense growing evergreen shrub with lustrous evergreen foliage and clusters of small white flowers in the spring. It is rated as one of the cold hardiest of cherry laurels (USDA hardiness zone 6-8). In the garden center it is often labeled ‘skip laurel”. Skip laurel grows 10 to […]

Will The Best Cherry Laurel Please Come Forward?

Not all cherry laurels (Prunus laurocerasus) are created equal. “Skip” laurel  (var. Schipkaensis) and  Zabel (var. ‘Zabeliana’) are large size shrubs at 9 to 10 feet in height and 6 to 8 feet in width. Both cultivars are rated the cold hardiest of the tall growing types . ‘Otto Luyken’ is the hardiness small leaf […]

Witchhazels Invent Their Own Season

  Witchhazels (Hamamelis spp.) are medium to large shrubs which can be shaped into small trees by judicious pruning. In general, all witchhazels grow in full sun but can prosper with moderate amounts of shade. Other than pruning, they require little extra care. Plant in any soil type as long as it is adequately drained and mildly acidic. Species native to the Eastern […]

Pest Update – More Pesticide Options for Hemlock Adelgid Control

Twenty years ago predictions of the demise of our native Canadian (Tsuga canadensis) and Carolina hemlocks (T. carolina) from home and commercial landscapes turned out to be incorrect. The key reason was the effectiveness of the insecticide Imidacloprid®. This product is licensed by Bayer AG, and is found in a number of lawn and garden […]

Long-Lived Cedar of Lebanon – A Record Of Human History

Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) is a tree aristocrat among conifers. Among the true evergreen cedars it is rated the cold hardiest (USDA zone 5). Its broad horizontal branching and dark green needles defines this tree. The bright green tufted needles are less than 1 inch long and not as showy as the more popular […]