Archive for the ‘mulching’ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Little Goblin® Series Of Deciduous Hollies

Little Goblin® Red (Ilex verticillata ‘NCIV1’) is one of the new creation from plant breeder Dr. Tom Ranney, at the North Carolina Research And Extension Center in Mills River, NC. It is the first ever tetraploid winterberry. This dwarf variety is also exceptionally hardy and easy to care for. Little Goblin® Orange (‘NCIV2’) is extremely early flowering and […]

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 […]

Announcing AAS Ornamental Winners For 2017

All American Selection (AAS) has named six Ornamental winners for 2017. Some include some new color breakthough in the series that you already know as well as some newbies. Dianthus ‘Supra Pink’ (Hem Genetics) is an easy-to-grow interspecific dianthus for three-seasons (spring, summer, fall) of garden color. Its mottled, frilly pink flowers stand up to summer’s heat and […]

American Witchhazel Blooms in Autumn

American witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is the last native flowering plants to bloom in the calendar year. It is a deciduous shrub or small tree, native to woodlands, forest margins and stream banks in eastern North America (USDA hardiness zones 3-8). It typically grows 15-20 feet tall as a multi-stemmed shrub and 30 feet tall in tree form. Beginning in […]

Polar Express Sunbelt Rose Big Winner At 2016 Biltmore Gardens Rose Trial

If you grow roses in the U.S. Mid-South region, the historic Biltmore Gardens in Asheville, NC is key source for discovering what varieties you should be growing. Recently, a jury of world rose experts selected the winning roses in the 2016 Biltmore International Rose Trials. Since 2011, Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden has been home to the trials in which more […]