Archive for the ‘Bee Favorite’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

50+ Flowering Pollen/Nectar Plants For Bumblebees

Here are three key points in planning your pollination garden. To attract U.S. native bumblebees: First, add both early(*), mid-summer, and late(**) flowers in the mix for a three seasons long garden. Second, mass together many of the same kinds of flowers, not just one or two plants, so that bees will spot them easier and to visit the planting frequently. […]

Our Native Bumblebees In Trouble

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognized ten more animal species as Endangered Species, providing them protections under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. These 10 species include 7 species of bees. Endangered status will afford the rusty-patched bumblebee protection under federal law. Bumblebees build their nests in the ground (and other places). Honeybees, however, […]

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 […]

Fine Tuning Growing Calamondin Orange In The Home

Calamondin orange (Citris mitis) is challenging to grow in a home environment. It is hardy to 20°F., more than most other true citrus (USDA hardiness zone 8). It does not grow well in temperatures below 45ºF. In temperate regions calamondin spends the active growing months (May – October) outdoors either in direct sunlight (in northern areas) and in half day shade (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 […]

Happidaze® Sweetgum Produces No Gumballs

  Sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is a low-maintenance deciduous shade tree. The species is native from Connecticut to Florida and west to Missouri and south to Texas and Mexico (USDA hardiness zones 5 – 9). A popular landscape shade tree, it typically grows to 60 to 80 feet tall with a straight central trunk. A young […]

Try Popcorn Cassia For Its Lush Tropical Look

Big and bold is this tropical annual (USDA hardiness zones 9-11), known by several names including popcorn or peanut butter cassia (Senna didymotrya), formerly Cassia didymotrya. Popcorn plant is a legume family (Fabaceae), indigenous to tropical Africa. It is also been utilized as a cover crop or green manure crop in some areas of the world. It thrives […]