Archive for the ‘Garden Maintenance’ Category

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 […]

Controlling Rabbits In Your Garden

Rabbits make their homes in brushy areas such as along fence rows or untended areas between neighboring yards. They frequent nearby yards and gardens, perhaps your own, in search of vegetation to eat. Most people, particularly young children, adore them but a cute bunny can cause lots of damage in a flower /vegetable garden or […]

Curing Winter Blues… A Trip To The Philadelphia Flower Show

Since 1827, the Philadelphia Flower Show has been the world’s longest-running and largest indoor flower show. This 8 days flower show, from 11 March 2017 (Saturday) to 19 March 2017 (Sunday), is organized by Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS). The 8- day event features incredible large-scale floral displays, elaborate gardens, and creative floral arrangements. Over ¼ […]

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 […]

Pest Alert: Update On Emerald Ash Borer

Across the U.S. and Canada, ash trees are dying from infestations of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an Asian insect pest. In many U.S. cities, ash (Fraxinus) is a major urban tree genus. Since 2002 EAB has become a serious pest that has killed more than 40 million ash trees in 18 states. This hardwood tree is important to […]

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 […]

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, […]

Comparing Western Red Cedar And ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitaes

Western red cedar or giant red cedar (Thuja plicata) is native to the Pacific Northwest. In the eastern U.S. it is called western arborvitae and landscapers typically do not plant it. Instead, they plant the hybrid cultivar  ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae, a cross between western red cedar (T. plicata and Japanese arborvitae (T.  standishii). Western arborvitae […]

Landscaping Plantings Around A Garden Railroad

      Garden railroad layouts are becoming more popular. A number of dwarf and compact growing plants play a major role in landscaping around the layout. Many miniature forms of taller varieties are available. Here are several great plant choices to add the your garden railroad: Trees and Shrubs – offer scale or tall canopy […]