Archive for the ‘Butterflies’ Category

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Small Southern Magnolia Cultivars

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is one of nature’s magnificent landscape trees (USDA hardiness zones 6-9).  This reliable large tree, native to the Southern U.S., is at home in well-drained clay soils and hot summers. The species typically grows to 60-80 feet tall with a pyramidal (young) to a rounded crown (mature tree). It is not uncommon […]

‘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 […]

‘Furman’s Red’ Sage For Long Blooming Period

Texas sage (Salvia greggii) is a low bushy native perennial or woody shrub. It is native to Texas south to Mexico and varieties come in white, red and purple. It has proven to be exceptionally cold hardy (USDA hardiness zones 5b-9). Furman’s Red sage is a superior cultivar here in the Southern Appalachian region.Flowering is best in spring, less […]

Flowering Cabbage and Kale For Autumn Gardens

            Creating both edible and ornamentally pleasing vegetables has been a goal of plant breeders. Flowering cabbage and kale (Brassica oleracea) are a new landscaping niche in the autumn garden. Plants develop huge leafy rosettes and eventually form heads. Color patterns on leaves include white, cream, red and purple shades. The […]

Joe Pye Weed Is No Longer A “Weed”

                U.S. native Joe Pye (Eupatorium spp.), formerly “Joe Pye Weed”, has been tamed. Modern day selections grow more compact compared to 8+ feet tall wildlings that inhabit fields across eastern North America (USDA hardiness zones 4-8). Huge, terminal, domed, compound flower heads measure 12-18 inches across (depending on cultivar) and make […]