Archive for April, 2015

Sooty Mold Is Symptom Of Aphid Feeding

              Aphids are small (1 to 10 mm long) and pear shape. Infestations are often worse during wet cool days of spring; they are frequently feed on new growing shoots and leaves. Actively growing weeds also harbor aphids and may migrate over to favorite garden plants. Summer feeding aphids should never […]

American Fringetree – A Spring Flowering Treasure

American fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) is one of the finest spring flowering trees (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). Individual flower heads are large and billowy, snowy white, and very fragrant in the early evening hours. Flower panicles peak through the large leaves, and are large and showy compared to Chinese fringetree (which I also like). Leaf sizes […]

New ‘Pam’s Mountain Bouquet’ Kousa Dogwood

  ‘Pam’s Mountain Bouquet’ is a new Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa) cultivar from the plant scientists from the University of Tennessee Dogwood Working Team (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Mountain Bouquet is a near-white flowering form whose petal-like bracts fuse into near perfect squares. The cultivar blooms slightly later than other flowering dogwoods, helping to extend dogwood’s […]

Japanese Kerria Beautiful Old-fashioned Shrub

                Japanese Kerria (Kerria japonica) is an old fashioned shrub that never seems to go out of style (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Some call it the “Yellow Rose of Texas”, although kerria originates from eastern Asia. Its showy yellow buttercup-like flowers bloom in spring, after the forsythias have […]

Many New Beebalm Cultivars Continue to Roll Out

Bee balms, aka bergamots or Oswego tea (Monarda spp.) are native to eastern North America (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). Plants are easy to grow, bloom beautifully, and multiply rapidly. They are treasured for their raging colored flowers and medicinal properties. Numerous bee pollinators as well as butterflies and hummingbirds favor the summer blooms. The native […]

Wonderful Bellworts For Woodland Gardens

                  The soft yellow bell-shaped flowers of bellworts (Uvularia spp.), aka merrybells, contribute to spring’s awakening in U.S. woodlands and shade gardens (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). On both U. grandiflora and U. perfoliata, flower stems pierce (pass through) the center of the leaves. A third species, (U. sessilifolia), nicknamed Wild Oats, […]

Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) For Summer Easy Color

                  Gomphrena, aka Globe amaranth, is an annual bedding plant that blooms profusely in the summer heat and sun. Small ball-shaped flowers are clove-like  in appearance. Many gardeners tend to ignore them at the garden center for showier flowering annuals. By mid-summer, a peek into your neighbor’s yard may cause to rethink that decision. Gomphrenas […]

Less Invasive Rose Of Sharons (Altheas)

            In several states rose of Sharon or altheas (Hibiscus syriacus) are classified as exotic (non-native) invasive shrubs (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Their seedlings are invading U.S. woodlands. Plant breeders are now developing less invasive cultivars. The double-flowered altheas produce far fewer fertile seeds; stamens and pollen sacs are mostly embedded within the flower petals. Azurri Blue Satin® is […]

Ground Nesting Bees Are Beneficial Pollinators

Spring signals the return of many species of birds and the bees to yards and gardens. In early spring increased activity by ground nesting bees cause alarm for many people; dirt pile nests start appearing in bare patches in the lawn. They are beneficial pollinators in the garden. Bees in the families Colletidae and Andrenidae represent the ground nesting […]

Million Bells (Calibrachoa)

              Among gardeners “million bells” or “callies” are common names for calibrachoas (Calibrachoa x), spring-summer-fall flowering annuals; they’re closely relative of petunias (Petunia spp.). Low spreading plants are blanketed with small petunia-like flowers from spring until frost. Blooms hold up well to rain showers and do not need to be deadheaded. Plants are heat-tolerant and disease […]