Archive for the ‘alkaline soil’ Category

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 […]

Arctic Fire™ Dogwood Brightens Up Winter Landscape

Red-twig or red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) is a native shrub (USDA hardiness zones 2-7). It reaches 8 to 10 feet in height and roots sucker prolifically. It can become a chore keeping it contained in small garden spaces. Arctic Fire™ is a superior cultivar identified by its fiery red stems and compact growth habit. Expect […]

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 […]

Mapleleaf Viburnum For Woodland Areas

The genus Viburnum is a rich source of over 150 species of great flowering shrubs worldwide. Many viburnums are native to North America including mapleleaf viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium). This totally underutilized deciduous viburnum is a great choice to plant in shrub borders, foundation, or hedging, as well as to naturalize in an open woodland area (zone 3-8). Shrub grows 4 – […]

Fritillarias – Very Different Spring Flowering Bulb

Crown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis), aka fritillaria, is an impressive spring flowering bulb that is native of Southwestern Asia to the Himalayas (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). In late April to May, large drooping orange, red, or yellow bell-shaped flowers are topped by a small pineapple-like tufts of leaf-like bracts. The leafy fringe on top resembles a […]

New PG Hydrangeas Excel In Performance

Panicle, PeeGee or PG hydrangeas (Hydrangea panculata) brighten up the July and August garden landscape. They’re native to China and Japan. They grow and bloom almost anywhere in the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 3 – 8). Unlike mophead hydrangeas (H. macrophylla), that often fail in full day sun, PGs excel in 6 hours or more of sun. PG hydrangeas are vigorous growers with upright branching and coarse textured […]

Spider Flowers Excel In Summer’s Heat And Humidity

Spider flowers (Cleome x hybrida) are top performing summer flowering annuals. Each year plant breeders introduce compact varieties to beautify flower beds and container gardens. Select among vegetative and seed produced types. Spider flowers ask for weekly watering and full day sunlight (best)  to achieve maximum blooming potential. They will grow in a partially shaded beds but bloom less and the plants tend to […]

Yarrows Come In Many Size And Colors

              Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a rhizomatous spreading perennial (USDA hardiness zones 3 to 9). The species originates from Europe and Asia and was introduced to America in colonial times. Today, yarrow is frequently seen naturalized along roadsides, fields, and gardens throughout the U. S. Yarrow has fern-like, aromatic, foliage. […]

Three Native Landscape Grasses To Try

These three native grasses are easy to establish in average, dry to medium moist, well-drained soils and in full sun. They tolerate a wide range of soils including dry rocky sites, and are exceptionally drought tolerant. Figure on 1 to 2 years for each to become fully established. Blue Lyme Grass (Leymus arenarus ‘Blue Dune’) is a vigorous spreading cool […]

Hold In Confinement

Some plants are incredibly aggressive. Herbicides like Roundup™ won’t phase them. They often escape and take over other areas of your garden or neighborhood. Four notorious examples are ditch lilies (Hemerocallus fulva), swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana), and pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa). You can grow these four weedy offenders in confinement. All will survive […]