Archive for the ‘Bees and other pollinators’ Category

Summer Heat And Drought Tolerant Annuals

Annuals (bedding plants) provide many more weeks of colorful flowers and/or foliage than perennials and woody landscape plants. Planting a fabulous flower garden does involve lots of initial preparation, including adding lots of organic matter (compost) to the ground and tilling it in. First, plan your  summer flower garden before you plant. Choose those that […]

Virginia Sweetspire — A Standout Native Shrub

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) is a native shrub that touts showy white raceme flowers in late spring and brilliant reddish purple foliage in fall (USDA hardiness zones 5-9). Flowers are very fragrant and attracts hundreds of bees and other pollinators. VA sweetspire excels in moist, humus-rich, mildly acidic soils (pH 5.2-6.5). In its native habitat, […]

Night Blooming Plants For Temperate Climates

If you are working away from home all day long, you might consider growing a few plants that bloom at night. Here’s a short list of plants whose flowers will add beauty to your evening garden: Evening Primrose (Oenothera glazioviana)  – this biennial grows 1-5 feet tall. Plant(s) are basal growing in year one and produce sturdy floral […]

Tips On Growing Azaleas

Evergreen azaleas (Rhododendron spp.) are actually small-flowered rhododendrons. Depending on where you garden, azaleas enjoy a long bloom period from late March (zone 8) to June (zone 4) in the U.S. Many cultivars bloom for two weeks or more. Fall blooming types like Encore® and Bloom-a thon® series are also available. Azaleas have shallow root systems […]

Winter Daphnes Can Be A Rewarding Challenge

Native to China and Japan, winter or fragrant daphnes (Daphne odora) open to light pink or white flowers in winter and early spring in the southeastern U.S. and Pacific Northwest (USDA hardiness zones 7-9). Their welcome floral fragrance will pervade through your garden for nearly two weeks starting in late winter. Winter daphnes grow 3 to 4 […]

Annual Flowering Vines

This spring try vertical gardening. There are a number of annual flowering vines that grow in either the ground or in a large container. Some offer cooling shade on a deck or patio. Vines are highly ornamental with attractive flowers, foliage, and/or fruits. Annual vines grow quickly after planting. Plant seeds of these vines at the base of […]

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 […]