Archive for the ‘mulching’ Category

Sizing Up Crape Myrtles (Including Most Recent Introductions)

Hybrid crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia fauriei x indica) have undergone significant makeovers over the past quarter century.  Several new cultivar series continue to arrive garden centers, including: Black Diamond™ series, Enduring Summer™, Delta™ series, and Magic™ series. In landscape terms size is very important and gardeners often make a serious error when not calculating the size of […]

Robb’s Spurge (Euphorbia)

I always been a fan of spurges, but some have not perform well in my garden. One that does not disappoint is Robb’s spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae), aka “Mrs. Robb’s Bonnet”. This evergreen spurge grows equally well in either sun or shade, including dry shade (USDA hardiness zones 6-8). This carefree slowly spreading groundcover displays shiny, dark green, […]

‘Sunshine’ Privet: A Great Accent Shrub and It’s Not Invasive

  For generations ligustrum (privet) had been a landscape plant in East Coast and Southern gardens. However, in several states,  privets have become declared as an notoriously invasive species . Unfortunately, you should never brand all privet cultivars the same way. Sunshine privet (Ligustrum sinensis ‘Sunshine’) is likely to change your mind (USDA hardiness zones […]

Multi-Purpose Lavender Spur Flowers Sparkle In The Cool Fall Air

  Lavender Spur Flower (Plectranthus Mona Lavender™) is a fast growing flowering annuial that is full of lavender blue flowers from late summer to autumn frost (USDA hardiness zones 9-11). Flowers can usually cope with light frosts of 25 – 30° F in early autumn.  Plants grow 2 to 2.5 feet tall and wide forming […]

Mussaenda: A Stunning Tropical For Summer Gardens

Mussaenda (Mussaenda spp.) is a small tropical tree or large shrub. It’s a spectacular bloomer that grows to 10-15 feet tall in tropical zones (USDA zones 10-12). It is sometimes called “tropical dogwood” or “Buddah’s lamp”. In large containers it will reach 1-3 feet tall. Mussaenda blooms from late spring to mid-fall in mild-winter areas. Bloom […]

Tropical Beauty Of African Rose Mallow

African Rose Mallow (Hibiscus acetosella), aka Red-leaf Hibiscus and false Roselle, is grown in most of the U.S. as a colorful annual, although it is rated as a perennial shrub for USDA Zones 9-11. It is native to Africa and, as expected, thrives in hot tropical environment such as in the deep South or Southern California […]

Avoid Dreaded Tulip Fire Disease

For over a one-half century Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio has been widely known for their fabulous tulip displays every spring. Over the past few years Kingwood’s garden staff had noted a decline in bloom because of a disease identified as “Tulip Fire” (Botrytis tulipae). This fungal botrytis disease tends to accumulate in the soil […]

Sun Or Shade –These Six Shrubs Don’t Care

A surprising number of flowering shrubs perform beautifully in either sun or shade, making them quite versatile where planning a landscape. All can be utilize around outdoor living areas such as decks and patios. Several good candidates are these six:   Japanese pieris, aka lily of the valley shrub (Pieris japonica) is a versatile shrub for […]

Comparing Encore™ and Bloom-A-Thon™ Azaleas

Hey gardeners, how about azaleas that bloom nearly 5 months a year. Flowering lasts for 4-6 weeks in spring and another 12-16 weeks in summer and fall. Check out Encore™ and Bloom-A-Thon™ series of azaleas (USDA hardiness zones 6-10). The main differences between these two azaleas is the Bloom-A-Thon series tend to bloom more abundantly in […]

Hard Working Perennials For Your Late Summer Garden

Add several fall-flowering perennials to your garden that will add late season color and pizzazz . These are reliable tough perennials, and beneficial pollinators love them.  Visit garden centers in August to make your purchases. However, for these great plants to return next year and subsequent years, plants need to get their root systems established. […]