Archive for the ‘Bees and other pollinators’ Category

Avoid Dreaded Tulip Fire Disease

For over a one-half century Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio has been widely known for their fabulous tulip displays every spring. Over the past few years Kingwood’s garden staff had noted a decline in bloom because of a disease identified as “Tulip Fire” (Botrytis tulipae). This fungal botrytis disease tends to accumulate in the soil […]

Sun Or Shade –These Six Shrubs Don’t Care

A surprising number of flowering shrubs perform beautifully in either sun or shade, making them quite versatile where planning a landscape. All can be utilize around outdoor living areas such as decks and patios. Several good candidates are these six:   Japanese pieris, aka lily of the valley shrub (Pieris japonica) is a versatile shrub for […]

Comparing Encore™ and Bloom-A-Thon™ Azaleas

Hey gardeners, how about azaleas that bloom nearly 5 months a year. Flowering lasts for 4-6 weeks in spring and another 12-16 weeks in summer and fall. Check out Encore™ and Bloom-A-Thon™ series of azaleas (USDA hardiness zones 6-10). The main differences between these two azaleas is the Bloom-A-Thon series tend to bloom more abundantly in […]

Hard Working Perennials For Your Late Summer Garden

Add several fall-flowering perennials to your garden that will add late season color and pizzazz . These are reliable tough perennials, and beneficial pollinators love them.  Visit garden centers in August to make your purchases. However, for these great plants to return next year and subsequent years, plants need to get their root systems established. […]

Pineapple Lilies For Summer Garden

Pineapple lilies (Eucomis spp.) are native of South Africa and are easy to grow (USDA hardiness zones 7-10).  Several hybrid cultivars are winter hardy in zone 6 if provide a protective layer of mulch or loose leafy compost. Plants have basal rosette of strap-like, wavy-edged, purple-spotted, dark green leaves which spread upward and outward to […]

Distyliums Substitute For Cherry Laurels and Hollies

Distyliums (Distylium x), aka Isu tree, are being billed as “the best new plants you’ve never heard of”. Get accustomed to seeing these boxwood-like shrubs in local garden centers, e.g., if you live within USDA hardiness zones 6b-9. Distyliums are the result of selective breeding efforts to improve an evergreen shrub native to China at […]

Thistle-like Bear’s Breeches

Spiny bear’s breeches (Acanthus spinosa) is a clump-forming perennial treasured for its attractive thistle-like foliage and architecturally bold flower spikes (USDA hardiness zones 5b-9). Plant requires little maintenance and is long-lived. Deeply-cut, arching, glossy green, spiny, thistle-like leaves attain 2-3 feet in length on older plants and remain attractive through the growing season. Leaves bear mostly hidden spines on […]

Best of MT Cuba Center 2017 Monarda Study*

Monarda, commonly known as bee balm or wild bergamot, is a popular summer flowering perennial. Their large, brightly colored flower clusters brighten the season. Flowers attract many types of wildlife, including hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, moths, and seed-eating birds. Unfortunately, many cultivars are susceptible to powdery mildew disease which causes defoliation and plant loss. Over the past three […]

Ground Cover Types Of Flowering Abelias

Flowering abelias (Abelia x grandiflora) come in all shapes and sizes (USDA hardiness zones 6-9). Over the past decade the ground cover types have become very popular. They’re also utilized as accent plants in large containers. In zones 7 -8, they are evergreen. The term “ground cover” is used here to emphasize cultivars that  grow low, mostly […]

Firebush Is One Tough Texas Flowering Plant

Firebush. aka scarlet bush (Hamelia patens),  is indigenous from Mexico to Central America (USDA hardiness 10-11). Treat it as a tempermental perennial in zone 9, and an annual everywhere else it is not hardy. This fast growing plant blooms through most of summer into fall with showy clusters of tubular red buds and flowers. Firebush thrives in Texas heat […]