Archive for June, 2014

Blazing Star– Electric Summer Flowering Perennial

Blazing star (Liatris spp.) is a popular summer flowering perennial. Also called gayfeather, it belongs in the aster family. This tall, upright, clump-forming perennial is found in moist meadows and at the edge of a marsh. (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). Liatris makes an excellent addition to a rain garden. Its distinctively reddish-purple flower spikes win […]

Lovely Tall Stewartia Deserves Your Attention

Not enough gardeners know about stewartias (Stewartia spp.). Six species are found under cultivation, 2 native to the U.S. and 4 of Asian origin. One of the rarest seen in U.S. gardens is tall stewartia (S. monadelpha) (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Tall stewartia is a more site forgiving than Japanese stewartia (S. pseudocamellia), the most […]

Gladiolas Are Wonderful Cutflowers

Across most regions of the U.S., planting gladiola corms (they’re not really “bulbs”) begins a week before the probable frost-free date has passed in the spring. Stagger individual plantings every 2-3 weeks through mid- July. Many people opt to grow them as cutflowers for their homes. Purchase large or premium sized corms that measure 1 […]

Expect Garden Visits From Pipevine Swallowtail

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) is a beautiful butterfly common over a large geographic area of North and Central America. Pipevine swallowtail can be sighted in open meadows, parks, along streams, and hopefully in your garden. The butterfly larvae (caterpillars) feed on plant members of the pipevine family (Aristolochiaceae), particularly Dutchman’s pipevine (Aristolochia spp.), including Virginia […]

‘Going Bananas’ Daylily Blooms Continuously

‘Going Bananas’ is an extended-blooming daylily. This diploid cultivar flowers a three month long continuous blooming cycle (rather than stopping and starting again) from early summer into fall. Each bloom stays open longer, at least 16 hours per day. Each trumpet-shaped flower opens wider, a new genetic trait in daylilies. Going Bananas features slightly fragrant, […]

‘Stella D’Oro’- First And Last Daylily To Bloom

For over a quarter of a century, wherever daylilies (Hemerocallus spp.) grow, you will find the very popular gold-flowered ‘Stella d’Oro’ daylily (USDA hardiness zones 2-9). It’s one of a few daylilies that blooms 3 out of 4 seasons. Its small size makes it an ideal choice as a ground cover. This short clump growing […]

‘Hyperion’ Daylily Still Popular 90 Years Later

‘Hyperion’, a mid-season June-July bloomer, was designated the 2011 Award of Merit winner by the British Horticultural Society. That’s not bad for a daylily (Hemerocallus spp.) variety that was introduced in 1924. It’s still very popular among gardeners and garden designers. You see it everywhere, planted in shopping mall parking lots or along NC highways. […]

Smoketree – Reliable Urban Tree Or Shrub

“Smokin” may be a corny way to describe the billowy inflorescence (floral head) of common smoketree (Cotinus coggygria). It is native from eastern European to central China. U.S. native, American smoketree (Cotinus obovatus), is far less popular as its inflorescence is much smaller and less showy. Dusky 6-8 inch diameter ball-shaped inflorescences appear in late […]

Mexican Sycamore Thrives In Warm Wet Locales

Mexican Sycamore (Platanus mexicana) is a fast growing deciduous tree hardy in Northeast Mexico (USDA hardiness zones 7 -10) where it inhabits soils that are semi-arid and subject to periodic flooding. Summer leaves are medium-sized, only 8-inches wide. When leaves fall away in autumn its beautiful chalky white bark is a winter asset. The bark […]

How To Grow Milkweeds

Milkweeds, aka butterfly weed (Asclepias spp.), are the favorite food of the Monarch butterfly. Farmers and most gardeners rate them as a noxious weeds. They’re commonly spotted growing along roadsides or in unplowed ground (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). Milkweeds average 3 feet in height, but may vary from 2-6 feet depending on species. Most species […]