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
You can spot Lime Sizzler a mile away! Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but the new Lime Sizzler firebush is definitely an attention grabber. Ever since firebush was declared a Texas Super Star Winner, 20 years ago, it has captured the fancy of gardeners, hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Now with the addition of Lime Sizzler, everyone...Read more
The princess flower loads up with uncountable blossoms of royal purple, making it unchallenged as the most beautiful plant in the late summer garden. Botanically speaking the princess flower is known as Tibouchina urvilleana and is native to Brazil the site of the 2016 Olympics. The family name is Melastomataceae and is most likely quite rare at...Read more
Names like Queen Lily and Emperor belong to an incredible group or genera of gingers called Curcuma, and they are among the most beautiful plants you can grow in the landscape. As the names suggest, they are indeed fit for royalty.
In addition to these, there are others that might best be described as the crown jewels. Jewel of Thailand, Jewel ...Read more
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 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
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 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
In the Shadows of the Oaks: An Urban TaleFrank Settineri
This is a love story between Sean, Landi and Brenda, the latter who were once best friends and now are indelible enemies.
As their relationships spin out of control the surrounding urban community races out of control, besieged by the murder of a black youth by a white policeman, a ...
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
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
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
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
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
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