Archive for the ‘Flowers’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

Tips On Growing Azaleas

Evergreen azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) are actually small-flowered rhododendrons. Depending on where you garden, azaleas enjoy a long bloom period from late March (zone 8) to June (zone 4) in the U.S. Many cultivars bloom for two weeks or more. Fall blooming types like Encore® and Bloom-a thon® series are also available. Azaleas have shallow root systems […]

Partridgeberry – Evergreen Groundcover For Deep Shady Areas

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) is grown for its evergreen foliage, spring flowers and winter berries. This native low-growing groundcover can be found in moist woodlands and along stream banks in the Eastern and Midwest U.S. It is a good choice for planting in deep shaded garden areas (USDA hardiness zones 4–8). In the spring woodlands, small […]

Keep Your Eye on Red Buckeye

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is shrubby or low branching tree maturing to a 15 – 20 feet in height and spread. This southeastern U. S. native is becoming more recognizable as a good choice as a landscape tree for a small urban garden. Plant the tree in either full to partial sunlight and in average well-drained soil. A tree may […]

Basic Care Tips In The Spring Perennial Garden

              In late winter – early spring, after the snow has melted and daytime temperatures are steadily above freezing, let’s get busy with the cleanup in the perennial garden. First, if you garden in a severe winter region such as zones 4 or colder, remove all winter protection such […]

Winter Daphnes Can Be A Rewarding Challenge

Native to China and Japan, winter or fragrant daphnes (Daphne odora) open to light pink or white flowers in winter and early spring in the southeastern U.S. and Pacific Northwest (USDA hardiness zones 7-9). Their welcome floral fragrance will pervade through your garden for nearly two weeks starting in late winter. Winter daphnes grow 3 to 4 […]