Archive for the ‘Attracting Butterflies’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Landscape Trees With Winter Interest

Does your winter landscape look a bit shabby? This coming spring take some action by planting trees that should perk up its appearance. New tree choices should ratchet up seasonal interest, attract more bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds in the spring-summer and hungry fruit feeding birds in fall-winter. Making smart tree choices can add four-seasons of interest to your yard. […]

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 […]

Announcing The AAS 2017 Vegetable Winners

For 2017 All-America Selections (AAS) has selected these winners in the vegetable category. Each is an outstanding garden performer compared to other varieties that it tested against. Three are national winners and one is a regional winner. Fennel ‘Antares’ (Bejo Seed) is a national winner. AAS had never before trialed fennel previously. This beautiful plant has multiple uses: as […]

‘Midwinter Fire’ Dogwood Brightens Up The Winter Landscape

Bloodtwig dogwood (Cornus sanguinea), indigenous to Europe and Asia, is an upright branched, round-topped, spreading deciduous shrub (USDA hardiness zones 5 to 7). In the wild the species matures to 8-15 feet in height and spread. Its common name “bloodtwig” is misleading. Winter wood on 1-2 year old branches is not red. Instead, winter stems turn […]

Monarch Tagging Program*

*Blog is guest authored by Joy Stewart, University of Tennessee Master Gardener. She lives in Bristol, TN. For such a small creature, weighing in at only half a gram, the Monarch butterfly has almost more remarkable facts and puzzling mysteries attached to it than one can count.  No other butterfly in the world migrates like […]