Archive for the ‘Pruning’ 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Shopping Tips When Purchasing Plants

    Spring and fall are excellent planting times and buying opportunities. A trips to a garden center can be very costly unless you go prepared. Here are some practical tips to make those shopping trips more enjoyable and a lot less expensive. Create your landscape plan first before buying plants. First, visit garden centers to pick up great landscaping ideas […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]