Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Summer Blooming Oyama Magnolia

A friend on vacation sent me the attached photo from Wooster, Ohio.  When I told him that it was Oyama magnolia(Magnolia sieboldii), he asked why gardeners are not growing it. Good question! Oyama is a 10-15 feet tall (and equal spread) deciduous tree or large shrub from eastern Asia. It prefers to grow in partial […]

Where Can I Buy That?

Let’s face it – rare and unusual plants are not likely for sale at your local garden center. Full service garden centers located in large metropolitan areas may sell one or two.The internet has become the best plant finding source. Some on-line purveyors may carry a rare item, but not sell it in large quantities. High sticker shock may chase you […]

Callaway Gardens

Perhaps, azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) offer the broadest color array of any shrub category in the spring garden. Very few public or private gardens display azaleas better than Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. In late March, Jane and I enjoyed a 2-day visit at Callaway. We arrived to catch the early blooming azalea sequence and were not disappointed. […]


Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.) are healthy for you and exceptionally easy to grow organically (without pesticides). Why?- because blueberries are bothered by very few disease and insect problems. Success in growing blueberries depends upon pre-plant soil preparation. If you’re thinking about growing blueberrues for the first time, then allot this  calendar year for soil preparation. Put off planting blueberries until the early fall or […]

Revitalize Pansies Now

Across many areas of the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7) snowfall has been plentiful this winter, but total rainfall is below normal. It takes 10 inches of snow to equal one inch of rainfall. Fall planted pansies and violas are now both hungry and thirsty. Provide them with a shot of fertilizer and water. […]

Doghobble for Shady Landscape Areas

Drooping doghobble or fetterbush  (Leucothoe fontanesiana) is native to woodland areas in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). Doghobble is a tall ground cover, averaging 3 – 4 feet in height.  The long gently arching evergreen branches display a rambling nature, best reined in with hand pruning as needed. White fragrant flowers, […]

Plant Lovely Camassia for the Spring Garden

Camassia is native to the mountains and prairies of western North America, where it is called Indian quamash. In earlier times several native North Americans tribes commonly cooked this edible bulb, particularly of species C. quamash. Camassia tolerates moist wet soils. It may be planted along the edges of ponds or in the front of […]

Tips on Planting Peonies

Peonies (herbaceous types) are old-fashioned perennial favorites garnering new attention from 21st century gardeners. Their gorgeous spring flowers stand tall above the lush shrubbery growth. This fall, plant dormant bare-root divisions of herbaceous peonies purchased from a mail-order nursery or a nearby garden center. Each division must exhibit 3 to 5 eyes (buds). Space plants […]

Fall Planting Deadline for Pansies and Violas

To grow pansies successfully, follow this four- step program. Start with: Purchasing healthy plants Planting by mid-October or earlier Watering in the fall and winter as needed Fertilizing monthly through the winter and spring months. Shop for vigorous dark green plants at local greenhouses and garden centers. Closely inspect for lots of white growing roots. […]

Franklinia – Native Tree Lost in the Wild

Franklinia (Franklinia alatamaha) is a wonderful small tree or large multi-trunked shrub with fragrant white camellia- like flowers. Franklinia is related to world-class flowering shrubs like camellia and stewartia. Its white 3 – 3 ½ inch camellia-like flowers appear from early August thru late September. Franklinia is winter hardy in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA […]