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The Greener View: Sweet as Honey

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I am sure you have heard the saying "stop and smell the roses." Well, let's say that we traveled 55,000 miles and stopped at over two million flowers. What would we get? Tired from bending over, for one thing, but if we were honeybees, we could have made some honey. It takes that many flowers and that much work to make only one pound of honey! I...Read more

On Gardening: Truffla Pink Gomphrena looks to be among hottest 2019 plants

Gardening / Gardening News /

Truffula Pink has everyone talking this year and is expected to be among the hottest plants at garden centers. It will be so hot you better buy it when you see it. Truffula is a new Gomphrena pulchella coming from Proven Winners. Like its taller sibling Fireworks, each iridescent hot pink bloom looks as though it is exploding with little yellow ...Read more

The Greener View: Too Much Pollen

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: On the news, I have seen amazing pictures of the clouds of pine tree pollen in North Carolina. Why is there so much this spring? Is there something wrong with the trees? Why are the trees producing so much pollen?

A: There is nothing wrong with the trees. There are many cycles of growth in nature, and sometimes they overlap. Seven years ago,...Read more

On Gardening: English dogwood the ultimate spring extender

Gardening / Gardening News /

This time of the year as our native dogwoods and azaleas have completed their glorious spring display, something magical happens. At least it does in those old cottage gardens, seen in small towns and hamlets found on America's backroads. Today's young gardeners will see, and utter ... is that a dogwood, where is that fragrance coming from.

The...Read more

The Greener View: Layering Techniques

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We don't have a lot of money for landscaping, but we want to propagate several shrubs in our yard. We want the plants to be the same kind and have the same color leaves and flowers. We figured that collecting and using seeds would potentially give us different colors. We don't have a greenhouse or any way to grow cuttings. What would be an ...Read more

On Gardening: Louisiana iris species preservation project looks to stem losses due to habitat damage

Gardening / Gardening News /

As a graduate student at Texas A&M, it was brought to my attention on more than one occasion about the incredible preservation work of Caroline Dorman from Louisiana. Though I never knew her, I do know she made a lasting contribution in the world of native flowers that is still recognized today. Her work comes to life when you visit the Caroline...Read more

The Greener View: Clover and Weed Control

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Clover and Weed Control

Q: There is an outbreak of clover on my lawn and in my flower beds. It has been spreading for several years. I tried a pre-emergent weed killer, and it didn't help. What do you recommend to prevent it from taking over the whole lawn?

A: There was a time when the pre-emergent weed killer may have helped, but that time is...Read more

On Gardening: Supertunia Daybreak Charm stunning in vigor and color

Gardening / Gardening News /

Supertunia Daybreak Charm captured my heart right from the start last April. I had some experience with Supertunia Indigo Charm in Savannah and loved it but Daybreak Charm is different. It's artistic and colorful with sunshine yellow throats surrounded by a rich watermelon pink. I was most surprised that they lasted through the heat of July and ...Read more

The Greener View: Mulching Your Garden

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our flowerbeds need mulch. We have seen mulch that is colored red or black. The black mulch looks nice, but we are concerned that the coloring may not be safe for our dogs, and for any vegetables we plant.

A: The dyes used to color wood mulch are primarily carbon-based and iron oxide-based. Iron oxide (rust) is the most commonly used dye. It...Read more

On Gardening: Let the jealousy begin; you've been out-phloxed again!

Gardening / Gardening News /

It is happening all across the South right now and probably rates high on the list as one of the saddest moments in the landscape. It is, of course, when gardeners come to that realization that they have been 'Out Phloxed' another year, by their neighbors! If you are in this category, then now is the time to correct the situation by planting ...Read more

The Greener View: Spring Gardening

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Believe it or not, spring is coming. It has started in the south and is moving north. Spring is an exciting time to be a gardener, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. Sometimes the whole yard and all its many nooks and crannies can seem overwhelming.

It does not matter if your yard is new or old. Planning is one of the most important steps. ...Read more

On Gardening: 2019 the year of the salvia equates to the year of the hummingbird

Gardening / Gardening News /

The National Garden Bureau has proclaimed 2019 as The Year of the Salvia. I would be the first to proclaim a hearty AMEN! Then I started thinking that for The Garden Guy every year is the year of the salvia. Then I went into despair thinking what if I had a year without salvia? It would be like the old "Hee Haw" TV show song, "Gloom Despair and ...Read more

The Greener View: Creating a Habitat

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I am often asked how a landscape can be changed or added to so that it will attract more wildlife. Usually, this means birds and butterflies and not pesky mammals.

Birds and other wildlife live in areas that give them the proper food, water and shelter. We call these areas habitats. Ducks live in lake habitats. Squirrels live in forested ...Read more

On Gardening: Pantone Color of the Year: 'Living Coral,' a grand slam in the garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

'Living Coral' is the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019 as set by the gurus of all things color. Typically, we think of clothing or fashion, home decor, and all things indoors when it comes to the color of the year but The Garden Guy says let's take this outside too.

Coral or as they say Living Coral is probably the rarest of flower colors ...Read more

On Gardening: This loropetalum will make you a daydream believer

Gardening / Gardening News /

Purple Daydream will capture your heart and probably make you forget all other varieties of loropetalum. I'm growing it with October Magic orchid camellias, Autumn Jewel azaleas and Gold Mound chamaecyapris and its graceful and elegant habit just screams "look at me."

Purple Daydream reaches about 3-feet tall with a slightly pendulous spread to...Read more

The Greener View: Green Thumb Awards, Tool and Accessory Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we talked about the plant varieties that have won the 2018 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mail Order Gardening Association). This week we look at the tools and accessories category. The winning products are judged on their uniqueness; technological innovation; ability to solve a ...Read more

On Gardening: Buckeyes have started blooming let the hummingbird and butterfly season commence

Gardening / Gardening News /

The red buckeye blooms have started so let the hummingbird and butterfly season commence. This report came in the form of a photograph from an excited gardener who wanted it identified. He was seeing it for the first time and was riveted by its beauty.

I still get thrilled when I see them at the forests' edge or along the roadside. You have to ...Read more

The Greener View: Green Thumb Awards, Plant Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Four new plant varieties and two new gardening products have won the 2019 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 21st year of the Green Thumb Awards, and I was on the judging panel. This week we look at the plants, and next week the products. The winners...Read more

On Gardening: Magnolia magic happening across the Southeast

Gardening / Gardening News /

Magic is happening all across the Southeast right now with incredible blooms of the early season magnolias. If you have never seen them then you might be thinking I am talking about some early variety of the Southern magnolia of which movies are made, and books are written.

These are different and go by names like saucer magnolia, tulip ...Read more

The Greener View: Plant Hardiness Zones

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: In the past couple of years, we planted several kinds of evergreen and deciduous trees in our landscape. We carefully checked the hardiness zone maps before planting. We are in zone 5, which is supposed to have extreme minimum winter temperatures of -10 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. During the polar vortex at the end of January, our thermometer ...Read more


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