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The Greener View: Bird Feeders, Birdbaths and Birdseed

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Bird Feeders, Birdbaths and Birdseed

More than 82 million Americans feed wild birds. This isn't a new phenomenon. Wild bird feeders and birdbaths date back to ancient Egypt and other cultures. A 120-year history of American bird feeding is documented in the new book "Feeding Wild Birds in America" by Paul Baicich, Margaret Barker and Carrol ...Read more

The Greener View: Holiday Gifts, Planters, Augers and Trellises

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

You still have a couple of weeks to buy presents for the gardener on your gift list. Here are a few more ideas that will be appreciated:

A lot of people grow herbs indoors in small pots over the winter. The small pots are hard to take care of. They dry out too fast and tip over easily. A larger -- but not too large -- pot would be helpful, but ...Read more

On Gardening: The poinsettia a treasured Christmas tradition

Gardening / Gardening News /

Black Friday turned out to be a real shocker for me. It wasn't for store fighting, super discounts on large TV's or digital cameras but, instead, it was the rush to buy poinsettias. I was surprised that poinsettias made the 'lost leader' list, similarly, to the 39-cents-per-pound turkey at Thanksgiving. Secondly, I was just as shocked that the ...Read more

The Greener View: Gifts for People With Green Thumbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

With holiday shopping in full swing, I have a few suggestions for the gardener on your list. When I am working in my yard, I am constantly going back and forth into the house. I hate having to stop and untie my boots before I come inside, so I don't. Sometimes (my wife says often) I track some dirt into the house. Apparently, a clean floor is ...Read more

On Gardening: Japanese maples showing out in a tapestry of color

Gardening / Gardening News /

Currently western Georgia from Columbus to LaGrange is experiencing an explosion of color like many have never seen. Every maple species seems to be trying to outdo the next; as beautiful as they are, it is the Japanese maples that take your breath away. These small trees are ablaze with fiery red, orange, crimson, and yellow lending a tapestry ...Read more

The Greener View: Holiday Gifts for Gardeners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The growing season may be over for the gardener in your family, but the gift-giving season is just getting started. The gardener on your shopping list may tell you that he has all the gardening tools he needs, but I have a few here that he probably doesn't have and would be glad to receive.

I like combining several small items into one larger ...Read more

On Gardening: Conifers bring joy to the cool season landscape

Gardening / Gardening News /

There is nothing that adds a thrill to the winter landscape quite like conifers. Much to the chagrin of my wife I could be forever happy gardening among conifers. I love green selections, blue-gray varieties, and then there is nothing that causes my heart to race quite like the gold varieties. Then to add the magic I would like as many shapes ...Read more

The Greener View: Paperwhite Narcissus and Amaryllis

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I saw a display of Paperwhite narcissus and amaryllis bulbs at the store. The sign said that the bulbs didn't even need to be watered -- they would just grow and bloom on their own. That seems too good to be true. I bought several. What kind of soil and pot should I plant them in? Can I plant them outdoors in the spring?

A: The Paperwhite ...Read more

On Gardening: Cool season edibles offer dazzling beauty for the garden or landscape

Gardening / Gardening News /

The cool season vegetable garden can be one of incredible beauty all the while providing tasty produce. Such is the case with the Columbus Botanical Garden. Their Sally Adams vegetable terraces, located adjacent to the old historic Gin House, were designed by the renowned landscape architecture firm, Studio Outside Landscape Architecture of ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Fertilization

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We moved from California to Wisconsin back in June. One of my neighbors said that he fertilizes his lawn in November. I know there is a difference between my old warm-season lawn and a cool-season lawn, but November, really? What do you think?

A: You are right; there is a big difference in the lawn grasses from the warm south to the cool ...Read more

On Gardening: Yuletide camellia the landscape's Christmas plant

Gardening / Gardening News /

It is hard for The Garden Guy to imagine a more perfect Christmas plant for the landscape than Yuletide camellia. When you think about the colors of Christmas, red, green and gold are front and center and Yuletide puts them all on display.

The green is most obvious and that is the deep evergreen foliage that would make you want the plant for ...Read more

The Greener View: Keeping Varmints Away

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Wild animals have been coming around our neighborhood at night and causing a lot of trouble. We think it's raccoons, but we have not seen them. What can we do to keep them out of our yard?

A: Urban wildlife comes in all sorts of species and sizes. Animals that we tend to think of as only being found in rural areas or forest preserves are ...Read more

On Gardening: Native yuccas create landscape excitement

Gardening / Gardening News /

Look out America, Color Guard and Golden Sword are changing landscapes in dramatic fashion. Believe it or not, these two selections of our native Yucca filamentosa are crushing the cookie cutter, lookalike landscapes, no matter the season.

Now when I say our native, I'm not talking the desert southwest but the east from Texas to New York. That'...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Irrigation

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a friend who is having trouble with dogs going to the bathroom in her flowerbeds. She has tried ammonia, mothballs and red pepper. She isn't having any luck. Do you have any ideas?

A: Well, that depends on the answers to several questions. First, are they her dogs? If they are hers, training them to use another area may be possible. ...Read more

On Gardening: Your backyard birds need water

Gardening / Gardening News /

Two old tomato cages and a couple of rescued terra cotta saucers have made the Garden Guy's yard a "Finch Riviera." It hasn't been just finches but a host of birds. As a horticulturist I am pretty much up on plants that birds eat and have become fairly proficient with the feeder aspect like I suppose as many of you are.

The question is whether ...Read more

On Gardening: Your backyard birds need water

Gardening / Gardening News /

Two old tomato cages and a couple of rescued terra cotta saucers have made the Garden Guy's yard a "Finch Riviera." It hasn't been just finches but a host of birds. As a horticulturist I am pretty much up on plants that birds eat and have become fairly proficient with the feeder aspect like I suppose as many of you are.

The question is whether ...Read more

The Greener View: Pumpkins

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My pumpkin vine only has a few small pumpkins on it. It is too late this year, but what can I do next year to get better pumpkins?

A: Pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, melons, cantaloupes, watermelons and gourds are all vines that like hot weather and lots of water at the same time. Pumpkins like to stay well-watered. If the soil dries out too ...Read more

On Gardening: Georgia roadsides: Dazzling with flowers and butterflies

Gardening / Gardening News /

Recently I seemingly awoke from a daze while driving Interstate 85 north of Columbus, Ga., beautiful Pine Mountain was in the distance and a sea of yellow orange lavender and pink was almost iridescently glowing in the middle of the divided highway. I went back the next day, got out of the car and walked to the middle surround by thousands upon ...Read more

The Greener View: Clay Loam Soil

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: A friend of mine said my garden has clay loam soil. I am not sure if he meant it in a good way or not. Is clay loam a good soil for a garden?

A: Soil is made of three major components. They are minerals, water and air. Without the pores that allow water and air movement, the soil will not support many plants.

The mineral components of clay,...Read more

On Gardening: Early Wonder camellia shakes the gardening world

Gardening / Gardening News /

At 'The Garden Guy's' house a couple of Camellia sasanquas have started showing a little color while at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah they are already claiming the first Camellia japonica of the year. This is amazing because the Camellia japonica is normally a late winter and early spring bloomer.

Early Wonder is a most ...Read more

 

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