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The Greener View: Tree Roots and Stumps

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I planted a Maple tree a few years ago. It's about 15 feet high now. Recently, I noticed that there are many roots near or above ground level. Is it because it's not getting enough water? We have bad soil, very clay like. Can I change the watering technique to help it grow more roots deeper in the soil? Will the tree be more likely to ...Read more

On Gardening: Cora Cascade vinca spreading color and happiness

Gardening / Gardening News /

The last time I reported on the Cora Cascade was in 2010; so much has changed with this trailing beauty, it's now even better than we knew it then, so I thought I'd write an update.

Cora Cascade vinca has been beating the brutal summers in simply amazing fashion and if you are looking for trailing color look no further. Twice this summer I have...Read more

The Greener View: Summer Rose Care

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last week, you said to fertilize flowers that aren't blooming. My rose bushes are supposed to bloom all summer, but they have stopped. Can I fertilize them or is it just too hot?

A: Roses come in several groups and some only bloom once in a summer, including may old-time roses and many climbing roses. Most new varieties will bloom several ...Read more

On Gardening: Variegated tapioca, an award winning landscape thriller

Gardening / Gardening News /

The variegated tapioca continues to be one of the hottest plants in the garden. First and foremost it is an incredibly showy plant, but the real impetus may have been that it was chosen as a Texas Superstar Award Winner and placed extremely high in University of Georgia trials.

Once again this selection demonstrates that a zone 9-10 tropical ...Read more

The Greener View: Watering in a Drought

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Unlike other parts of the country, we have had plenty of rain all spring and summer. We did have a 15-day hot and dry spell at the end of June. That is when I noticed all of the trees in my yard started dropping leaves. Some were yellow and some were green. Do I need to fertilize them? How do I do that?

A: You don't need to fertilize the ...Read more

On Gardening: Sweet Tea Mountain Gordlinia has made the landscape 'oh so sweet'

Gardening / Gardening News /

Sweet Tea Mountain Gordlinia has been causing quite a stir not only because it is blooming in the garden, but we have been posting photos on Facebook and Twitter. Now, to be honest, it is the plant community, botanists, taxonomists, and horticulturists alike that are in a state of bliss.

The credit for this wonderful and rare hybrid really goes...Read more

The Greener View: Getting Rid of Rose Rosette

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have various kinds of roses in a small flower bed. An unusual thing has happened to one of the rose bushes. This spring it started growing very small leaves -- really small, and there are dozens in just a couple of inches of new branch growth. Can you tell me if this is a disease?

A: Unfortunately, it is a problem. Your rose bush has rose ...Read more

On Gardening: Pride of Barbados — your own key to the islands

Gardening / Gardening News /

The Pride of Barbados is one of the most beautiful tropical plants for the home landscape. As the name suggests, it is the national tree of Barbados the island paradise in the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles. It is such an incredible plant, it was also named a Texas Super Star Winner.

Now your first thought is that they grow citrus in Texas so no ...Read more

The Greener View: Leaf Spot Diseases

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Brown spots are appearing on the leaves of my tomato plant. The tomatoes are still small and green. Last year these same spots appeared, and the leaves died, and the tomatoes stopped growing. What can I do to keep the plants alive this summer?

A: This is the time of year that tomatoes often become infected with different kinds of leaf spot, ...Read more

On Gardening: Abuse-free crape myrtles

Gardening / Gardening News /

A 300-foot long crape myrtle allee is a sight to behold especially when it is in full bloom as it happens to be right now. While the visitors are shocked, if not mesmerized by the amount of blooming color, they are equally stunned to know we don't prune. You see, most gardeners think that pruning gives you more flower canopy, but it simply isn't...Read more

The Greener View: Fighting off Spirea Aphids

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I was gathering some flowers for a vase, and I wanted some greenery, so I cut off some spirea branches. I laid them all out on the counter to make the arrangement when I noticed millions - I really mean millions -- of green insects crawling all over the spirea stems and the counter. I destroyed them all, and when I looked outside I saw that ...Read more

On Gardening: Create a Caribbean paradise in your backyard with elephant ear plants

Gardening / Gardening News /

This has been a banner year for tropical plant nuts like me as Regal Shields, Borneo Giant, and Portora just to name a few started showing up in area garden centers. These are just a few of the elephant ears that lured the gardeners in my family to not only bring out the pocketbook but to redesign for the lush look of the islands.

If you love ...Read more

The Greener View: Preventing Black-Spot Fungus

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I've had many rose bushes for years. They look great during the year, but every summer I begin to see black spots developing on all of them. By mid- to late summer most of the leaves have fallen off, and the plants really look sad. Do you know what's happening?

A: Your bushes have black-spot fungus, a fungus that causes black spots to grow ...Read more

On Gardening: Surfinias, Waves and some Raspberry Blasts create a party atmosphere

Gardening / Gardening News /

It is one thing to go to a botanical garden for plant and design ideas but you may just pick up some tips from your local shopping center, if they are into flowers. I was visiting one such center in Columbus, Ga., and couldn't take my eyes off the baskets, containers and beds. I've experienced this horticultural ecstasy if you will, in similar ...Read more

The Greener View: Dethatch a Lawn

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We live in the south and have a zoysia grass lawn. It feels spongy when we walk on it. We have been told that thatch is growing. It costs a lot to dethatch a lawn. Is it very harmful to the lawn? Is there a less expensive way to get rid of it?

A: Thatch is made up of above-ground roots and stems of a grass plant. It is not the tan-colored ...Read more

On Gardening: Verbena on a stick offers rare beauty and summer-long performance

Gardening / Gardening News /

I could see activity all around as I approached the bed and the plant looked like it was a butterfly magnet. I am always impressed when I see multiples of one species hitting on flowers and such was the case when I witnessed American Lady Butterflies feeding on a plant we call, Verbena on a Stick.

Botanically speaking this is Verbena ...Read more

At White House garden, Michelle Obama promotes healthy, fresh eating

Gardening / Gardening News /

WASHINGTON -- First lady Michelle Obama wasn't afraid to get her hands a little dirty Monday afternoon. Kneeling in the White House's kitchen garden on the South Lawn, she yanked out turnips, kale and other vegetables for a fresh meal to be prepared just a few steps away.

As part of her healthy eating initiative, which she launched in 2009, ...Read more

The Greener View: Sawflies and Leaf Cutter Bees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My azaleas suddenly started losing their leaves. I saw some small, green things that look like caterpillars on the branches, but after spraying them with Bacillus thuringiensis, they are still alive and well. The azaleas are large and thickly clustered, so I can't reach back into the branches where they are. What can I do?

A: It sounds like ...Read more

On Gardening: Little Adder, a great new compact hummingbird mint

Gardening / Gardening News /

Hummingbird mints, also called anise hyssops, are among my favorite perennials. In fact they are must have plants in my garden for their non-stop blooming ability and a penchant for bringing in pollinators like few other plants. So when Little Adder made its debut as a compact powerhouse version I was eager to give it a try.

Hummingbird mints ...Read more

Herbalist Suki Roth takes healing back to the garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

GRAHAM, N.C. -- A sign in Suki Roth's basement says "Make Tea Not War."

And across the room, in jars lining floor-to-ceiling shelves, Roth has just the tea for what ails you.

"This one's excellent for the heart and high blood pressure," she says of the jar labeled hawthorn.

"Ground ivy's excellent to dry up the runny mucus we get all allergy ...Read more


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