Archive for April, 2017

Gardenias Continue To Disappoint In The Mid-South

The lure of fragrant white flowers have mid-South gardeners (zones 6 and 7) wanting to grow gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides). New cultivars, supposedly hardier than previous ones, hit garden centers every spring. Unfortunately, zones 6 and 7 winters usually prove them wrong. Recent purchases of new cultivars ‘Frostproof’ and Pinwheel® and older selection ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ have […]

Quest For The Perfect Tomato Continues

Improved disease resistance, fruit color, firmness, and flavor continues to be the main goals of tomato breeders around the U.S. Leaf and root diseases vary from one region to another across the country. Here in the eastern U.S.,  late blight resistance is of key interest. Over the past 33 years, Dr. Randy Gardner, tomato breeder extraordinaire in […]

Tips On Planting Landscape Trees or Shrubs

For some senior gardeners, planting a tree or shrub in your landscape may be a difficult task. The loss of a newly planted tree may be expensive as well as heartbreaking. Following proper planting techniques should avoid any mistakes. Here are a few tips to make the job a lot easier. No need to dig deep […]

ACS SOUTHEAST REGION CONIFER REFERENCE GARDENS*

I hear people say that conifers won’t grow in the southeastern U.S. Wanta bet! 2016 marks the 8th year of the Reference Garden program sponsored by the American Confer Society (ACS)- Southeast Region. From Kentucky and Virginia south to Florida, 19 public gardens were now participating in the program. Two of the latest additions are Brookgreen […]

Virginia Sweetspire — A Standout Native Shrub

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) is a native shrub that touts showy white raceme flowers in late spring and brilliant reddish purple foliage in fall (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Flowers are very fragrant and attracts hundreds of bees and other pollinators. VA sweetspire excels in moist, humus-rich, mildly acidic soils (pH 5.2-6.5). In its native habitat, […]

Sweet Potato Vines

Ornamental sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) have been around since the late 1980’s, but their popularity have soared over the past decade. These sweet potatoes aren’t for the table. The colorful vines thrive in the intense heat of U.S. summers from May through September (zones 5-11). These easily grown plants work well as a low-growing bedding plant, […]

Night Blooming Plants For Temperate Climates

If you are working away from home all day long, you might consider growing a few plants that bloom at night. Here’s a short list of plants whose flowers will add beauty to your evening garden: Evening Primrose (Oenothera glazioviana)  – this biennial grows 1-5 feet tall. Plant(s) are basal growing in year one and produce sturdy floral […]

Late Rising Perennials

              As air temperatures rise in the spring, most garden perennials and wildflowers are emerging from the ground. With the sudden appearance of 80°F temperatures, many seem to blast through the still cold soil in 1-2 days, and in full bloom a few weeks later. Yet, through the month […]