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On Gardening: This advices contains some great possibilities for winter growing

Gardening / Gardening News /

The last few weeks I have touting if not celebrating the arrival of pansy and viola planting season. No matter where you live there is a season for pansies and other cool season flowers. There are, however, those neighborhoods where the deer roam nightly and gardeners feel like the cool season is a lost cause.

Don't give up, but instead go ...Read more

The Greener View: Ice Melters

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My area gets a few ice storms each winter. We get a little snow, too, but that usually melts off quickly. My concern is getting rid of the ice. My neighbor told me I could use fertilizer to melt the ice and it would then fertilize the plants when the weather warms up. What do you think?

A: If you have traveled recently or just watched the ...Read more

On Gardening: No snow job: Arizona cypress makes a lovely Christmas tree

Gardening / Gardening News /

The Arizona cypress is one of those plants that horticulturists and season gardeners alike look upon with amazement at its beauty and performance in the hot and humid Southeast. Right now we are planting small ones as living Christmas trees in containers as part of our December Nights and Holiday Lights festivities at the Coastal Georgia ...Read more

Holly Pruning

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I planted a holly tree 2 years ago. It is growing long and tall, with leaves only on the ends of the branches. It is 5 feet now. When should I trim the long branches to make it thicken up? I thought I would be able to have some holly branches each winter for making into wreaths, but this entire plant wouldn't make a single wreath. It ...Read more

On Gardening: Elephant ears leave a large footprint in tropical landscape

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

On Gardening: It's not Russian and it's not sage, but this plant is a true beauty

Gardening / Gardening News /

Spikes of rare icy blue flowers partnered with the soft gray foliage make the Russian Sage a winner from zones 5-9, meaning much of the country can relish in its beauty. Winner it is, too, as 20 years ago it was selected as the Perennial Plant of the Year.

I've been growing it ever since that year, and I have grown to love it more with each ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Tree Pruning

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: During the summer, I was told not to prune my oak tree because beetles could be attracted to the cut off end of the branch and then spread diseases. I was told I could prune the tree after it was dormant. Now that it is fall, I am wondering how to go about trimming this tree. What are the steps I should follow?

A: You are right in believing ...Read more

On Gardening: Trumpeting the scrambling Blue Glory vine

Gardening / Gardening News /

A stroll through the garden today revealed Blue Glory looking as good today, the first week in November, as it did back in mid-May after it had returned after cold weather killed it to the ground. I first started growing Blue Glory a little more than a dozen years ago, and it has been everything we as horticulturists hoped it would be, and more....Read more

The Greener View: Fall and Winter Rose Care

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our new house has two big rose bushes that bloomed all summer off and on. I would like to keep them alive, but I don't know what to do with them over the winter. What steps do I need to take in the fall, winter and spring?

A: Protecting your roses is not too hard to do if you live in an area that does not freeze for many days in a row. They ...Read more

On Gardening: Caterpillars are lowly no longer

Gardening / Gardening News /

Monarch butterflies survived the long migration, and Hurricane Patricia, so I felt like calling attention to a new wave in the world of caterpillars. At almost every seminar I give there is a stopping point about midway where I ask the audience by a show of hands if they are caterpillar friendly. I am delighted to say I sense a real change ...Read more

The Greener View: Rose Protection

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I was given a rose bush that is growing in a pot on my third-floor apartment fire escape. It is big and beautiful. I can't plant it and I don't have room for it in the apartment. I am in planting zone 5, according to my garden book. Can I leave it outside over the winter? Can I bundle it up in a blanket or put it in a box?

A: Many people ...Read more

On Gardening: Brilliant camellias add to the fall colors

Gardening / Gardening News /

The fall camellia season at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens is simply incredible in its beauty and variety, and I know the "Judge" would be proud. I never knew the Judge. But I have planted many azaleas bearing his name, and to me he was like a horticultural hero. As a horticulturist I hope he would consider me a kindred spirit. The ...Read more

The Greener View: Grass Clippings and Hummingbird Feeders

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: In a recent column, you said that grass clippings should be left on the lawn. Won't this lead to a thatch problem?

Thatch is a very distinct item in the lawn. It is not the gray or tan, dead leaf blades left after mowing or from grass that died over the winter. Leaving clippings on the lawn does not contribute to thatch.

Thatch is a dark ...Read more

On Gardening: Fall gardens worth their weight in goldenrods

Gardening / Gardening News /

Goldenrod is nothing to sneeze at. Sure many people thinks it is the cause of hay fever, but the real culprit is ragweed, which usually blooms at the same time. I'll readily admit I have just about never met a goldenrod I didn't like. I'll confess that the first time I wrote about the attributes of goldenrods I received scowls from nursery ...Read more

The Greener View: Rubber Trees and Amaryllis Bulbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I planted a variegated rubber tree plant in my outdoor flowerpots this summer. It grew really well and is now too tall for where I need to put it in the house. It didn't branch. It just has one trunk with big white, red and green leaves. What will happen if I cut it off at a more appropriate height?

A: Even though it would be better to prune...Read more

On Gardening: New-generation abelia shrubs put on quite a show

Gardening / Gardening News /

Move over Edward Goucher, there is a new abelia in town. Actually there are several abelias that will absolutely take this from a ho-hum shrub to one that is dazzling in the landscape. All of a sudden you will find yourself looking at abelias for their colorful foliage, and flowers that will bring in both butterflies and hummingbirds.

...Read more

The Greener View: Allium

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I thought I was buying edible onions to plant in my garden, but I didn't read the package well enough and I bought ornamental onions. It looks like they are supposed to have a round ball of flowers on top of a tall stalk. Are they long lasting or are they more of an annual that lasts a couple of years and then dies out? I am trying to figure ...Read more

On Gardening: Ragin Cajun seasons landscape with vivid red blooms

Gardening / Gardening News /

Oh, my gosh, I just thought I loved Rajin Cajun ruellia, but after growing it in our Mediterranean Garden I am totally mesmerized. Clumps have been reported to reach about 4 feet but ours are in the 24- to 30-inch rain and about as wide. Our clumps have been bringing in hummingbirds and butterflies at a volume I have never witnessed.

Rajin ...Read more

The Greener View: Glass Clippings

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We live in an area with large lots, some of the area is wooded and there is a stream that has high water quality. Many people mow their properties and dump the grass clippings on the shoreline of the stream bank. Is this a good idea?

A: Is there a reason they are dumping the grass on the stream bank? Are they hoping the grass will wash away ...Read more

On Gardening: Colorful bush sage will enhance the palette for Monet celebration

Gardening / Gardening News /

Santa Barbara, the terrific dwarf Mexican bush sage, is playing a vital role in Savannah, Ga., as the city is beautifying to Make Way for Monet. This award winning Salvia leucantha is of one of approximately a dozen or so plants designated as part of the Spirit of Monet Collection of Flowers being used to enhance city landscapes.

The impetus ...Read more