Archive for February, 2014

Sweetbox – Excellent Evergreen Shrub For Shady Areas

Few evergreen shrubs grow in the shade. Sweetbox (Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis) is a compact dwarf evergreen shrub or ground cover which is easy to grow (USDA hardiness zone 5-b to 8). Foliage remains lustrous dark green year-round. Sweetbox grows in partial to full shade, 1 to 2 feet tall and 6 to 8 feet […]

Challenging Sourwood Worth A Try

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), aka lily of the valley tree, is one of the most beautiful U.S. native flowering trees (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). However, attempting to establish one in your landscape may prove challenging. The tree grows in sparse populations from eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and Georgia Piedmont. It grows naturally to 20-30 feet […]

Tips On Growing Sourwood Trees

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) is one of the most beautiful flowering trees in the U.S. Trying to establish one in your landscape can prove quite challenging. In the wild sourwood grows in shallow soils on steep craggy or rocky ground. Dry ground seems to be the rule. It grows either multi-stemmed (shrub-like) to 20-30 feet or […]

Prune to Rejuvenate Old Foundation Shrubs

Eventually, old foundation shrubs around your home grow too tall and spindly and need to be started over. Rather than digging them up, most deciduous and a few broadleaf shrubs respond to rejuvenation pruning. Sorry, evergreen conifers do not respond to this form of pruning. Get started with a sharp pair of pruning loppers or tree […]

Give Edgeworthia A Try In Your Winter Garden

To begin, I must thank South Carolina nurseryman, Mr. Ted Stephens, who gifted me a Chinese paperbush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) 12 years ago. Most plant authorities rate its winter hardiness to USDA zones 7 and 8, but no one told this to my edgeworthia in zone 6-b. People who see it blooming in my early March […]

‘Thunderhead’ Pine

Thunderhead Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’) is a dwarf compact form of Japanese black pine (USDA hardiness zones 5b-8). Expect this slow-growing conifer to reach 5 feet high and 4 feet wide in 10 years. Whereas Japanese black pine grows 60 to 80 feet tall, Thunderhead matures to 20 to 25 feet in height […]

Hepaticas Bloom In The Early Spring Garden

Hepatica (Hepatica spp), from the Latin word “Hepaticus” meaning liver, is sometimes cataloged as “Liverleaf” or “Liverwort” (USDA hardiness zones 4 – 9). It is one of the first spring wildflowers to bloom (March-April). H. americana, native to the eastern U.S. and Canada, bear showy white flowers that are sometimes tinged pink or blue. H. […]

2014 Plant Winners Announced

At the start of each year the Motion Picture Industry awards their Golden Globes and Oscars. The Music Industry has the Grammys. Gardening associations also announce the award-winning plants. The National Garden Bureau (NGB) has declared 2014 Year of the Echinacea (coneflower) in the perennial category. NGB declared the mighty cucumber as Vegetable of The […]

Christmas Ferns Are Easy To Grow

On a woodland hike in the eastern U.S., lush colonies of evergreen Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides) flourish along the moist slopes (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 8). This native perennial fern favors either a deep or light shade environment. A vigorous clump may grow 18 – 24 inches in height and width. Set new plants […]