Archive for the ‘Summer flowering’ Category

Exceptionally Hardy ‘Margarita’ Carolina Yellow Jessamine

Carolina yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a lovely ignored native vine. It is native from Virginia to Texas to Florida, easily spotted growing in a sunny location growing on trees (USDA zones 6-9). It is the state flower of South Carolina. Grow it as a trellised vine or as a low shrub-like mound (ground cover). Flowers often serve as an early call […]

Transform These Three Shrubs Into Trees

Some large shrubs can be trained into lovely small flowering trees. These three flowering shrubs may be trained into small 15-25 feet tall, single or multi- trunk trees: Siebold viburnum (Viburnum sieboldii) is a tall upright branched deciduous shrub (USDA hardiness zones 4-7). This native from Japan grows to 15-20 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide […]

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 […]

Stop The “Crape Murder”

In Tennessee (where I live) and in the Southeastern U.S., bad crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia x) pruning continues to be done by professional landscapers and homeowners (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). This practice, also called “topping”, reduces tree (or shrub) height. Over 25 years, Southern Living magazine called this “crape murder”. Crape murder is not going away. More crape […]

50+ Flowering Pollen/Nectar Plants For Bumblebees

Here are three key points in planning your pollination garden. To attract U.S. native bumblebees: First, add both early(*), mid-summer, and late(**) flowers in the mix for a three seasons long garden. Second, mass together many of the same kinds of flowers, not just one or two plants, so that bees will spot them easier and to visit the planting frequently. […]

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, […]

Five Simple Pruning Tips For DIYers

Gardeners are frequently scared about making pruning mistakes. There are lots of gardening books filled with lots of before and after photos. Let’s face facts…your yard tree or shrub does look like the ones pictured in the pruning book. Here are my simple 5 steps for pruning: Why and When to prune: You can prune a […]

Small Southern Magnolia Cultivars

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is one of nature’s magnificent landscape trees (USDA hardiness zones 6-9).  This reliable large tree, native to the Southern U.S., is at home in well-drained clay soils and hot summers. The species typically grows to 60-80 feet tall with a pyramidal (young) to a rounded crown (mature tree). It is not uncommon […]

Crape Myrtles Exhibit Beautiful Bark In Winter

The flowers of crape myrtles are a wonderful floral treat in the summer months, several exhibit gorgeous exfoliating bark. Some also show off autumn foliage colors. Here are the best ten species and cultivars of crape myrtles noted for their exfoliating bark. Lagerstroemia hybrids (L. indica x L. fauriei) Hopi – 8-10 feet semi-dwarf shrub; gray brown exfoliating bark; medium pink […]

Photoperiodism – Short Day/Long Day Plants

“Photoperiodism” or daylength is responsible for triggering flowering in numerous plants. Some examples of short day plants are poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), fall mums (Dendranthemum spp.), asters (Symphyotrichum spp.), Thanksgiving (Schlumbergera truncata), Christmas (S. bridgesii) cacti, Kalanchoes (Kalanchoe spp.) and Salvias (Salvia spp.). “Photoperiodism” is the amount of light and darkness a plant is exposed to. The […]