Home & Leisure



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

The Greener View: Moving Plants Indoors

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Moving Plants Indoors

Q: Last summer, I bought several house plants that I used as patio plants. I spent more money than I had initially planned, but rationalized that it was OK since the plants would continue past the summer indoors and then I could use them again as patio plants this summer. I waited until fall, before the first frost, and ...Read more

On Gardening: Autumn clematis provides cover and color

Gardening / Gardening News /

The last few weeks the sweet autumn clematis has been among the showiest plants in our cottage garden at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. It was the perfect choice to drape over a new lattice fence. If you have an ugly fence or wall that you need to dress up, this may be the perfect vine for you.

The blooming of our sweet autumn ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Bulbs for Spring

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If your spring landscape needs a little brightening, fall is the time to plant some bulbs. With a proper selection of bulbs and bulb-like plants, you can have very reliable blooms from February until November, but spring is when bulbs shine the most.

True bulbs, like daffodil, lily, tulip and onion are composed of modified leaves. Cutting a ...Read more

On Gardening: Cuphea good for hummingbird and colorful fireworks

Gardening / Gardening News /

If you are thrilled when a hummingbird comes to your feeder, then you will be ecstatic when they come to the plants you have placed in the landscape. Though much of the country has the first cold front of the year in the forecast, hummingbirds are still feeding, and one group of flowers standing out is the cuphea. If you aren't familiar with ...Read more

The Greener View: Dividing Perennials

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have been told that my flowerbed is becoming crowded and that I should divide some of the perennials. I also have canna, dahlia and other summer flowering bulbs that I am not sure what to do with. What do you think?

A: Without seeing your flowerbed, I am not sure if it needs to have the perennials divided or not, but this is a good time to...Read more

On Gardening: Make room, literally, for this expansive tropical shrub

Gardening / Gardening News /

Giant heart-shaped leaves and a cluster of a hundred salmon coral flowers in a pagoda-shaped panicle make the Starshine clerodendrum among the most exotic shrubs for the tropical garden. I first saw this variety a few years ago at the Universtiy of Georgia Plant Trials in Athens, Ga. I knew if I was seeing it there it had dynamite potential in ...Read more

The Greener View: Avocado Trees and Lime Trees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I have started some avocado seeds in water, suspended by toothpicks. Two of them have begun to root and sprout stalks. I intend to plant them soon, but wonder if I should prune them in any way or if they are simply meant to grow straight and tall. Will they grow large? Will it take years? Will they ever grow fruit?

Answer: Avocados ...Read more

On Gardening: Beebalm species are a magnet for flying creatures

Gardening / Gardening News /

If you are into bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, then by all means put the monarda or beebalm species at the top of your must-plant list. I find it amusing that in more than 20 years of garden writing, I've never touted a beebalm. I've always loved the scarlet beebalm, Monarda didyma, especially when hummingbirds come into feed. When examined...Read more

The Greener View: Squash Vine Borer

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: My zucchini plant was doing fine and giving me lots of huge fruit, when all of a sudden it died. It only took a day to go from healthy to dead. What can work so fast, and how do I prevent it from happening next year?

Answer: It sounds like your plant had a borer. The larva of a moth called the squash vine borer is capable of causing ...Read more

On Gardening: Gingers bring a taste of Tahiti to late summer

Gardening / Gardening News /

As the dog days of summer make many of us cast a wishful eye toward the Arctic for relief and our gardens look a little tired, gingers start to really put on a show. Though it was in the Caribbean that I first developed a passion for them, they have since become an integral part in all of my personal gardens. They are doing that now at the ...Read more

The Greener View: Yellow Jacket Wasps

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My patio is being overrun with yellow jacket bees. I want to find the nest and spray them, but a friend said they are beneficial insects. Are they really doing good for my garden, or can I just get rid of them?

A: Yellow jackets are not bees, but are small yellow and black wasps up to an inch long. They nest in the ground, in walls, under ...Read more

On Gardening: Panama Red hibiscus puts on a maple-like show in summer

Gardening / Gardening News /

No plant can stir up a conversation this time of the year quite like the false roselle or African rosemallow. The reason it stirs up the conversation is that a huge percentage of the visitors think it is a Japanese maple. Indeed the selling point of the plant is the incredible foliage.

Those gardeners who do grow it probably don't refer to it ...Read more

The Greener View: White Garden and Fall Webworms

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I wanted to create a white garden using plants that have white flowers or white on the leaves. Some of the area is shade and some is sun. I am having problems with some of the white leaved plants. They are turning black on the edges -- almost like burnt paper. I am attaching a picture of a leaf. How do you recommend I treat this ...Read more

On Gardening: Little Ruby has a growing reputation in the plant world

Gardening / Gardening News /

Chalk up another award for Little Ruby. In a period when we write about, or tout, some new coleus on what seems a weekly basis, there is one little alternanthera out there hitting it out of the park.

Little Ruby is a variety of Alternanthera dentata developed in South America and becoming one of the hottest trends in garden color. If the ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Vegetable Garden

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our vegetable garden this summer has been a disaster. First, it was too cold, then too wet and muddy, and now the weeds have taken over. I want to start over. Are there short-term crops that will still give me a crop if I plant again soon?

A: It is possible to get three crops in a single year in northern gardens and maybe even four crops in ...Read more