Archive for April, 2014

‘Summer Gold’ Kousa Dogwood

Get ready to alter your mindset with ‘Summer Gold’ Chinese (kousa) dogwood (Cornus kousa) (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Its diminutive size, 8 to 10 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide, makes it a great fit for a small city garden. Branching is distinctly upright, which partially accounts for its narrow space needs. ‘Summer […]

Don’t Shy Away From Annual Vincas (Periwinkles)

Annual vinca or periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) is a summer flowering annual popular in Southern and Midwest gardens (USDA hardiness zones 9-11). When summer’s heat and humidity soars, vincas look their best and bloom the heaviest. Vincas sparkle in containers, in flower beds, or in front borders around building foundations. Transplants are set out in mid-spring […]

Growing Sunflowers Fun Family Activity

Growing sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are the current rage. Sunflowers are native to Central America and have been cultivated for thousands of years. Sunflowers are classified as annuals, living one growing season, and often returning the following spring from seeds dropped the previous fall. Some gardeners put out large beds to feed the birds. Sunflowers come […]

‘Miss Kim’ Lilac Tackles Southeast U.S. Heat and Humidity

When northerners move south, they insist on growing lilacs (Syringa spp.). Southern U.S. heat and humidity often take their toll on these lovely fragrant and colorful spring flowering shrubs (USDA hardiness zones 3-8). One very popular and exceptionally reliable lilac is ‘Miss Kim’ lilac (S. pubescens ssp. patula ‘Miss Kim’). A cultivar of Manchurian lilac, […]

Mighty Rodgersias For Your Shade Garden

In a shade garden the large palmately compound foliage of rodgersias (Rodgersia spp.) make a bold statement (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). In recent years rodgersias are becoming more available at garden centers in the U.S. Three of five species are listed below. Hybrid forms are also available. Rodgersias thrive in moist, organically rich soils. They […]

Join The Brunnera Revolution

Over the past decade heartleaf brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla), aka Siberian Bugloss and Alkanet, has become a popular spring flowering perennial in U.S. and Canadian gardens (USDA plant hardiness zones 3 – 8). Native to Russia brunnera need little care when properly sited. Sprays of tiny blue-petalled /yellow centered forget-me-not flowers explode into a blue haze […]

Pest Alert: Kudzu Bug- Plant Pest And Home Invader

Kudzu bug was first seen in Atlanta, Georgia in 2009. Currently, this plant pest and home invader has spread rapidly through the southern U.S. (to Texas) and as far north as eastern Maryland and southern Delaware. Kudzu bug belongs to the shield bug family (Plataspidae), but does emit a strong odor. It secretes a noxious […]

‘Thailand Giant’ Elephant Ear Fun Novelty

‘Thailand Giant’ elephant ear (Colocasia gigantea) is rated as an annual (USDA hardiness zone 8-10), where the growing season may last 300 days and longer. Thailand Giant develops into a massive 9- foot tall plant with attractive grey-green foliage species. In the Southern Appalachian and Middle Atlantic regions they may reach 5 – 6 feet […]

Three Beautiful Ornamental Crabapples

Crabapples (Malus spp.) get a bad rap! Many gardeners associated them with the old diseased and pest prone varieties planted a half-century ago. Modern cultivars make nice small ornamental trees. The new cultivars exhibit exceptional resistance to five serious diseases of crabapples: apple scab, fire blight, cedar-apple rust, leaf spot and powdery mildew. Three of […]

Attracting Monarch Butterflies To Your Garden

From Canada to Mexico, gardeners are called upon to halt the decline of the Monarch butterfly populations across North America. The best way you can help is to fill your garden with Monarch’s favorite flowering nectar plants and milkweeds (Asclepias spp.). Plants should be sited in open full sun and moist well-drained soil. Avoid spraying […]