Archive for Trees, Shrubs, And Other Yardly Concerns

Everything’s Coming Up Groundcover Roses

Roses are among the most popular flowers in any language, anywhere on the globe.  While one need not be a gardener to enjoy roses, growing them at home can be so rewarding.  Rose plants take on various forms, from upright shrubs, to climbers that require support as they reach for the skies or ramblers that […]

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Alternatives to Boxwoods and Traditional Dwarf Hollies

Here are some of our favorite landscape plant selections that can be planted instead of the standard boxwoods and non-fruiting dwarf hollies: Ligustrum ‘Sunshine’ This 3’-4’ tall and wide evergreen shrub is a wonderful alternative to boxwoods. Easily trimmed as a hedge, its new yellow foliage is present nearly year round. This plant is reliably evergreen. […]

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Hot Time, Summer In The City (And The Burbs)

First, a brief history of lawns.  Then we’ll rant about how they are the single most wasteful use of water. (Just kidding.  But only a little.)  The word lawn may have evolved from the Middle English word launde, which described a naturally occurring opening between wooded areas, where a variety of low to medium height plants […]

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Fall Into Composting – Now’s The Best Time For It

The healthiest, most productive soils are deep brown, smell like brownies (to me, anyway), and are light in texture.   If you grab a handful and clench it briefly, it holds its shape for a few seconds, and then starts to gently fall away from the clump, sort of the way fresh brown sugar does.   This […]

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Uncommonly Interesting

For some home gardeners, when it comes to specimen trees and shrubs, it’s all about the fragrance.   For others, it’s multi-seasonal interest.  Here are a just a few interesting trees and shrubs that fulfill either or both of those landscaping preferences.  Halesia Carolina, Carolina Silverbell, native to the southern Appalachian Mountains, is typically an understory […]

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Increasing The Wattage Of Southern Bulbs

Have you ever noticed how some patches of tulips, some of which look like a cat planted the bulbs, thrive year after year, while others are just one hit wonders?  And how many times have you paid more than common sense would dictate for a lily corm, only to have it sputter out before its […]

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The Art Of The Judicious Prune

The three most significant principles of judicious pruning appear to be:  1) knowing what to prune, 2) when to prune it, and 3) how to prune it.  Mess up on one of these, and your victims of inappropriate pruning display those bad haircuts publicly for at least a season.  Imagine doing that to your teenage […]

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Staying Alive (Try to get that tune out of your head now.)

So I walked into my favorite plant nursery (you know the one) in early spring, and saw this strapping, young Stewartia pseudocamellia, just popping with flower buds.  Stewartia trees are generally not easy to find, and worth their weight in gold to those of us who love its form, bark, and blossoms.  Of course I […]

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It’s Too Darned Hot!

Keeping Cool We are reminded during mandatory flight safety videos to take care of ourselves, first, then help others.  The same principle applies to gardening in hot summer weather – we can’t water and tend to our gardens without first making sure that we are cool, protected, and hydrated. Avoiding the heat altogether is the […]

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We’ve Got It Covered

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a ground cover is “a low plant or group of plants used in a garden to cover the ground”.  If we loosely interpret the meaning of “low”, that pretty much grants us liberty to plant whatever works in our situation, and call it a ground cover.  We’re no longer obligated […]

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