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The Greener View: Pumpkin Varieties

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Several local stores are selling sugar pumpkins. I have never heard of this kind of pumpkin. I was told it is good for making pies or using as a small jack-o'-lantern. I bought a few, and I want to plant the seeds to grow more of them for next year. Is this a good idea?

A: You can save the seeds, plant them and grow them, but you may not ...Read more

On Gardening: Nothing says fall like the mari-mum

Gardening / Gardening News /

Gosh, I love this time of the year where everyone decorates with pumpkins and old flowers get ripped out and mums go in. As much as I treasure Belgian mums, I must admit there is something special about mari-mums. I would be quick to tell you there is no such thing as a mari-mum but in actuality, it has won the coveted Texas Superstar award, not...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Tilling

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I think you wrote that the preferred time to till soil in a vegetable garden is during fall, not spring. Why is that? I have always tilled in the spring.

A: It doesn't matter whether you have a northern garden that is planted in spring or a southern garden that is planted in fall. There are several reasons fall is the best time of year to ...Read more

On Gardening: Hurricanes make you appreciate floral beauty like the old-fashioned zinnia

Gardening / Gardening News /

After a hurricane, you find beauty and pleasure in simple things and in my case it is the old-fashioned zinnia. Now I say old-fashioned because we grew them from generic seed packets so I don't really know the variety. I would say it is the zinnia you grew up with as a kid.

If you are like me that was one of the first plants you grew from seeds...Read more

The Greener View: Clever Crocus Bulbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Clever Crocus Bulbs

Q: I always tire of winter long before spring comes. I was looking at the selections of spring bulbs in a catalog and thinking I might plant some crocuses throughout my lawn. Do they require different care to get them to come back every year?

A: My mother and many others have crocuses and other bulbs planted in their lawns....Read more

Michelle Obama harvests White House vegetable garden for the last time

Gardening / Gardening News /

WASHINGTON -- It was hard to miss the red and white gingham tablecloths, the lively green plants and the red and blue furry creatures jumping up and down above a pile of hay in the White House Kitchen Garden this week.

Children laughed as they ran around the tables, and the TV creatures behind the hay shouted with excitement as first lady ...Read more

On Gardening: Native blue mistflowers offer dazzling color and swirling butterflies

Gardening / Gardening News /

When I moved into my new house about this time last year, I was quick to notice my neighbor's flowers across the street. I could see drifts of wonderful tall blue flowers coupled with the complementary orange of swirling gulf fritillary butterflies. I knew immediately this was a real gardener as those showy blooms were the native blue mistflower...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Leaves

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As the cool weather arrives in the northern states, trees will start showing their hidden colors. The best color usually appears during the two weeks after the area receives its first killing frost of the season. Cool temperatures and bright sunshine promote better color. A cool, wet summer will keep more leaves on most tree species, so areas ...Read more

On Gardening: The angel's trumpets are heralding across the South

Gardening / Gardening News /

The trumpets are sounding, well not really but it sure looks like it all across the south. I'm talking angel's trumpets known botanically as Brugmansia. No matter what the color, white, pink, yellow, apricot, or a shade of red the sight of these flowers hanging downward just seems to capture the imagination.

Fifteen years ago I wrote in ...Read more

The Greener View: Azalea Lace Bugs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I feel your answer to the lady asking about browning leaves on the azaleas on the north side of her house should have included some information on lace bugs, which are very common on azaleas and typically cause the damage she describes.

A: You are right, I should have mentioned the lace bugs. Sometimes I run out of room in an article, and ...Read more

On Gardening: Croton, the world's most colorful shrub

Gardening / Gardening News /

It has been called the world's most colorful shrub which is certainly not an exaggeration and I have been in love with it ever since I made my first visit to the Caribbean 30 years ago. If you are a gardener then you probably know the plant I am talking about is the croton.

Crotons are known botanically as Codiaeum variegatum and though I first...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Mushrooms and Tree Sap and Resin

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: In the many years I've lived in my home, I'm noticing mushrooms in my front lawn for the first time. There are no dead roots or stumps in the yard, but there is some thatch.

What can I do to get rid of the mushrooms, or at least control them? I've noticed about three different types in the past few weeks.

A: Don't worry about them at all. ...Read more

On Gardening: Everillo carex or sedge adds texture and drama to the tropical landscape

Gardening / Gardening News /

In the last couple of years, there have been few plants that totally overwhelmed me with their beauty in the garden like Everillo. I briefly touched on this incredible sedge last winter but now after watching it for the second year, and seeing it through a brutal summer, even more, I know this is a must-have plant.

I have always lamented that ...Read more

The Greener View: Hibiscus and Tree Sap

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Could you give me some guidelines for trimming my hibiscus? It is blooming now. I see that some gardeners like to hedge them like a box, but I would like a more natural look. I appreciate the practical information you give each week.

A: Rose of Sharon, other hibiscus and shrubs that bloom on the ends of the new growth in the late summer or ...Read more

On Gardening: Hurricane Hermine brings magic flowers after the rain

Gardening / Gardening News /

Hurricane Hermine came in and was a tropical storm by the time it reached Savannah and while it left a wake of plant destruction it also magically brought us blooms by the dozens. The storm hit on Friday; on Tuesday morning when we returned after the Labor Day holiday we were welcomed by rain lilies.

Friday the day of Hermine's arrival the rain...Read more

The Greener View: Azaleas and Willows

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a long row of azaleas on the north side of my house that has been there for many years and has done great. I always prune them after they bloom. Due to the horrible heat this year, the leaves on most of the top have turned brown. They look sunburned. My question is, after the temperature cools off, can I prune all the dark-brown leaves...Read more

The Greener View: Houseplants in Fall

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I once stopped to help a man whose car had flipped over and off the road. The car was smoking like it might explode. We moved a distance away. I asked him what happened, and he explained that he had lost control of the car when he tried to dodge a rabbit that had hopped onto the road.

Fall is a dangerous time for animals and motorists. As ...Read more

On Gardening: Cape Plumbago entices a variety of colorful butterflies to your backyard

Gardening / Gardening News /

Growing Cape Plumbago is like having your own personal ticket to the butterfly wild kingdom. Not only will you be the proprietor of the daily nectar cafe but depending on where you live you will also be celebrating young ones as this is a host plant for the Cassius Blue butterfly.

This comes from someone who has become a recent butterfly geek ...Read more

Fixing Up Your Fall Landscape

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As we finish out summer and begin sending kids back to school, we can start thinking about fall gardening. Fall is a great time of year to work outside. A lot of garden and landscape chores are neglected over the summer, and it's not too hot, cold or wet to do them in fall. Fixing up the landscape will make it look nice through next spring.

...Read more

On Gardening: Copper worth every penny in the summer landscape

Gardening / Gardening News /

This morning in Savannah, the heat and humidity were simply staggering but as I drove into the garden there they were, two acalypha plants, the tropical troopers of the landscape. What I was looking at were Java White and the bright red cat tail like blooms of chenille plant.

When it comes to August temperatures we as gardeners need some tough ...Read more


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