Archive for the ‘Container garden’ Category

Summer Heat And Drought Tolerant Annuals

Annuals (bedding plants) provide many more weeks of colorful flowers and/or foliage than perennials and woody landscape plants. Planting a fabulous flower garden does involve lots of initial preparation, including adding lots of organic matter (compost) to the ground and tilling it in. First, plan your  summer flower garden before you plant. Choose those that […]

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 […]

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, […]

Cool Plant Combos For Containers

  As more and more urban gardeners are growing in small spaces, including decks and patio of condos and town houses, container gardens are becoming more significant. They’re creating large mixed containers that include miniature trees and shrubs rather than their big cousins. For design containers may include thrillers (tall or spiky), fillers, and spillers (weepers). […]

Four Very Different Annuals You Should Try

I asked three regional horticulturists to identify an under-planted drought tolerant annual. Here are four (4) that they recommended: Drumstick flower or “Billy Buttons” (Craspedia globosa) produces a golden-yellow display of spherical flowers that often reach the size of tennis balls (USDA plant hardiness zones 8-11). The silvery-gray foliage reaches about 2 feet tall and […]

Blue Star Amsonia Is A Solid Performer

Blue Star (Amsonia tabernaemontana) is native to the central U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). This herbaceous perennial is frequently seen growing in open woodlands in the midwest and south to Florida and Texas. In mid-spring (in Tennessee), plants are filled with clusters of soft light blue star-like flowers, each nearly ¾ inches across. This clump-forming perennial […]

Butterfly Weed Named 2017 Perennial Plant Of The Year

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), aka butterfly weed, is a long-lived tuberous rooted perennial indigenous to the southeastern U.S and mid-western U.S. and Canada (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9). It grows in dry/rocky open woodlands, prairies, farm fields, and along roadsides. Individual plants typically grow as a clump to 2- 3 feet high and 1 -2 feet wide. Unlike many […]

Our Native Bumblebees In Trouble

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized ten more animal species as Endangered Species, providing them protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These 10 species include 7 species of bees. Endangered status will afford the rusty-patched bumblebee protection under federal law. Bumblebees build their nests in the ground (and other places). Honeybees, however, […]