Archive for June, 2015

Delightful Dragonflies And Damselflies

                Watch them flitter… Dragonflies and damselflies, also called “darning needles” and “dining needles”, are common spring/summer inhabitants in many U.S. gardens, particularly around water gardens, streams and other water features, where they reproduce. Adults lay eggs on the plants around the water’s edge; the nymphs hatch from the […]

Persian Shield Offers Radiant Foliage Color

The iridescent purple foliage of Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) radiates in a warm summer garden in the U.S. Here it is treated as an annual (USDA hardiness zones 9-11). Persian shield is native to tropical Myanmar (formerly Burma), where it is a 3-4 feet tall soft-stemmed evergreen shrub or subshrub. In temperate regions it grows […]

Obedient Plant For Late Summer Blooming

    Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) is native from the Central to Southern U.S. and northern Mexico (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). It is called “obedient plant” because each tubular flower will, upon being pushed in any one direction, stays in new position. From July to September obedient plant is valued for its late season pink or white […]

Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea

  Vanilla Strawberry™ hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) is a new peegee hydrangea selection introduced from France and it is really catching on with U.S. gardeners (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). This exceptionally cold hardy hydrangea blooms from late June thru early September. Blooms are enormous and stand upright. Following a heavy summer shower, saturated floral trusses temporarily bow down under their sheer weight, but gradually recover. Flower color […]

Lots Of Stokes Asters To Pick

Stokes aster (Stokesia laevis) is an underutilized herbaceous perennial. It is indigenous to the southeastern United States (USDA hardiness zones 5-9 and AHS heat zones 4-11). Many attractive cultivars are now available (see below). Most stokes asters produce mostly blue and purple colored floral cultivars, but violet, yellow, white, and blended color forms are also […]

Swamp Azalea Deserves More Garden Space

              Swamp Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum, formerly R. serrulatum) is very different among deciduous azaleas. Most rhododendrons (azaleas) do not care for soppy, poorly drained soils. This U.S. native is an exception, indigenous to swamps, bogs, stream edges and wet lowlands from southern Maine to northeastern Ohio south to Florida and […]

Japanese Hydrangea Vine Worth The Wait

              Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangoides) ‘Moonlight’ is a deciduous woody vine (USDA hardiness zone 5 to 8). It is closely related to climbing hydrangea vine (Hydrangea anomala ‘Petiolaris’). This ornate climbing vine is valued for its silvery, silvery-green, heart-shaped foliage and large, flat-topped, lace cap hydrangea-like clusters (8-10 […]

Managing Leaf Spot Infections

There are nearly 1,000 fungal pathogens that cause leaf spot diseases on garden plants. Fungal leaf spots vary in size—from the size of a pinpoint to lesions that consume the entire leaf. Many leaf spots are tan to dark brown in color and may be circular, angular or irregular in shape. Some of the common […]

Sunset Cutie® Gaillardia

New from PlantHaven is a new 15-inch gaillardia (Gaillardia x grandiflora) called Sunset Cutie® with red-bronze flowers edged in creamy yellow. It will leave a bright fiesta feel to our home landscape. Sunset Cutie has a compact mounding plant habit. It will bloom nonstop on your patio this summer or in your perennial flower bed. It is hardy to Zone 5 […]

Winter Damage On Crape Myrtles

                Extremely cold winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 have damaged many cultivars of crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia x indica). Don’t assume that new crape myrtles are hardy; many are rated hardy only to zone 7. Several of the U.S. National Arboretum cultivars are hardy in zone 6. Gardeners living in the […]