Archive for the ‘winter hardiness’ Category

Getting A Sourwood Tree Going

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) is one of our most beautiful U.S. native trees. Trees often grow multi-stemmed or shrub-like to 20-30 feet or in tree form to 35-40 feet high and narrow in spread. Trying to establish a new tree can be challenging. In the wild sourwoods are often found growing in shallow soils on steep […]

Four Very Different Annuals You Should Try

I asked three regional horticulturists to identify an under-planted drought tolerant annual. Here are four (4) that they recommended: Drumstick flower or “Billy Buttons” (Craspedia globosa) produces a golden-yellow display of spherical flowers that often reach the size of tennis balls (USDA plant hardiness zones 8-11). The silvery-gray foliage reaches about 2 feet tall and […]

Exceptionally Hardy ‘Margarita’ Carolina Yellow Jessamine

Carolina yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) is a lovely ignored native vine. It is native from Virginia to Texas to Florida, easily spotted growing in a sunny location growing on trees (USDA zones 6-9). It is the state flower of South Carolina. Grow it as a trellised vine or as a low shrub-like mound (ground cover). Flowers often serve as an early call […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Southern Gardeners Should Use The AHS Heat Zone Map

The AHS Heat Zone Map isn’t new. The American Horticultural Society developed it in 1960 and updated it in 1990. It has become an important reference for knowing both the cold and heat tolerances of garden plants. Many perennials in southern U.S. gardens struggle in the extreme heat and humidity. The heat zone map developed by AHS is […]