Archive for the ‘Bees and other pollinators’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

Pest Alert: Update On Emerald Ash Borer

Across the U.S. and Canada, ash trees are dying from infestations of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an Asian insect pest. In many U.S. cities, ash (Fraxinus) is a major urban tree genus. Since 2002 EAB has become a serious pest that has killed more than 40 million ash trees in 18 states. This hardwood tree is important to […]

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. […]