No matter where you go this summer the tropical look will be hot, and one of the key ingredients for this Caribbean style garden is the elephant ear, the drama queen of the landscape. With leaves that defy logic for their size and proportion vs. other plants it's not hard to see why this plant is so loved by Southern gardeners. It is not ...Read more
Q: I sure could use some advice on my red tip photinia; the shrubs have been planted since 2004.They are planted around the house facing the very hot west side. They did pretty well for a few years and then began having black spots and growing very sparse.
I have tried several things suggested from the local garden centers, but nothing is ...Read more
Spicy Jatropha Offers Blooms Birds and Butterflies
Blooms, birds, and butterflies are the attributes everyone experiences when growing the award-winning spicy jatropha. Spicy jatropha also commonly known as peregrina and firecracker jatropha is really a must have plant for the long hot season ahead. No amount of heat will deter it from ...Read more
Question: Our tree died and we want to replace it with a small tree, but we don't know anything about trees. What do we need to consider for picking a good tree for our yard?
Answer: Often, the best tree to plant is the one that no one else in the neighborhood has. If an insect or disease comes along and the neighbors don't treat their trees, ...Read more
LISSE, Netherlands -- As we're driving toward Keukenhof, the sweet scent of hyacinths drifts through our bus of 26 travelers. Our tour guide thought we might like to see the growing fields filled with blooming bulbs. She was right.
No one could believe the seemingly endless rows of flowers, the sights and smells. Think of driving through field ...Read more
Sitting at your local garden center right now just waiting for adoption is one of the most easily grown perennials, the lanceleaf coreopsis known botanically as Coreopsis lanceolata. You might be thinking, "Just how easy is it to grow?" Would you believe it is so easy it is native to all but 7 of the lower 48 states? This means you can grow it...Read more
The best time to prune flowering shrubs is the month or two after they bloom. Most shrubs in North America are spring bloomers, so now is the time to begin pruning.
Spring bloomers get pruned in late spring and early summer, not in the fall when many people do prune them. Fall pruning of spring blooming shrubs cuts off flower buds, reducing the...Read more
Until something unseats it, Amistad salvia is the most beautiful salvia to ever hit the market. Amistad is a Salvia guaranitica or anise sage and is a rich purple violet color fit for royalty. You can't fault a name like Amistad or Friendship salvia. This plant is special and deserving of something regal.
But as Shakespeare said, "What's in a ...Read more
When It's Time to Say GoodbyeMarti Tote
"When It's Time To Say Good-Bye," is a beautiful story of life, love, perseverance and the will to survive even when all seems hopeless. It will grace you with the understanding and significance of each and every breath we take. It will hopefully give you the courage to take chances as you ...
Q: Our water garden pond seems to have a slow leak. Over the winter, when the pump wasn't running, the water didn't go down. There is a main pond that is about 10-by-10-by-2.5 and an upper pond that is only 2-by-2-by-1. They are separated by about 6 feet of stream. How do I find the leak?
A: Finding a leak in a pond can be really frustrating. ...Read more
I remember it like yesterday. I returned from a Rotary Club meeting in Mission, Tex., to see a good sized group with cameras gathered around a patch of flowers at the National Butterfly Center there. I quickly went in and asked what were they seeing? The answer was a Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly. Today when I give a presentation on ...Read more
How would you like to increase the value of your home from 5 to 10 percent? What is your home worth today? Let's just use an easy round number like $100,000. Ten percent of that is a cool $10,000. You can make five to 10 grand just by planting trees in your yard. Maybe money does grow on trees.
Now, of course, they need to be the right trees ...Read more
Members of the aster family can be described by a lot of wonderful adjectives, but "lush" and "tropical" are typically not among them. Yet that is the case with the giant leopard plant. Botanically speaking, I am referring to Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum,' and though it is found growing on rocky cliffs in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, it is turning...Read more
If you still have an Easter lily, you can keep it as a perennial plant in your garden. Removing the flowers as they die will help make the plant's food production go into enlarging the bulb and not producing seeds. They will rebloom easily if planted outdoors in hardiness zones three through seven.
Keep them in bright, indirect light until the ...Read more
My jaw dropped as I stared at the most beautiful cross vine used to perfection. It is a rare garden I visit where the native cross vine is used to its true potential, but such is the case at home in Savannah, Ga.'s beautiful historic district. The Victorian Style home was painted a golden apricot that served as a stunning backdrop.
I've got ...Read more
Q: I was talking to a neighbor the other day about getting his garden ready, and he mentioned sharpening his shovels. I have never sharpened a shovel, but he made it seem like they should be practically razor sharp. Isn't the soil just going to dull it as soon as he uses it? Am I crazy or is he?
A: I know gardeners who sharpen their shovels ...Read more
The southern roadside and forest are alive with the spectacular blooms of the red buckeye, Aesculus pavia. You have to admit it is pretty amazing how nature times blooming in sequence with the return of the hummingbirds. Last year I wrote about the coral honeysuckle that is also blooming now, and both are providing nectar to the first ...Read more
In honor of April Fools' Day, let's take a look at some foolish gardening advice gardeners. Have you read that hairy-leafed plants like African violets can be sunburned by water droplets sitting on the hairs above the leaf? Sunlight is supposed to be concentrated by the water droplets like magnifying glasses and the light is focused on the ...Read more
It was love at first sight that day in Brookhaven, Miss., when I came across the grand crinum lily, Crinum asiaticum, I fell in love even though it wasn't blooming. The tree-like structure of the stem or stalk and the large exotic foliage sold me with its texture before I had even experienced the beauty of the white blooms or tantalizing ...Read more
Q: Last spring, I planted lettuce early in the spring. We didn't get to harvest much as they started flowering and the heads of lettuce were not heads anymore. What can we do to prevent this from happening this spring?
A: There is nothing you can do except pray for a cooler spring. Lettuce is a biennial. Biennials live two years and are only ...Read more
As spring fast approaches to our favorite past time of gardening it is high time we give some thought to raising the Spanish flag. While that is a little tongue and cheek the extraordinarily beautiful vine we call Spanish flag is certainly one that will cause your friends and neighbors to be green with envy. It is has another common name, exotic...Read more