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On Gardening: Suncredible Yellow ever-blooming bush sunflower

Gardening / Gardening News /

Everblooming and bush habit, are not two adjectives or descriptors you would ever expect to give a sunflower, but that has all changed. It's called Suncredible Yellow and botanically speaking it is a Helianthus hybrid.

I planted it about three months ago right close to a clump of Rockin salvias. Amazingly it has been blooming all summer and ...Read more

The Greener View: Protecting the Grapevine

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We bought a grapevine on a whim at Home Depot. We planted it along a fence. It grew OK for a couple years but didn't seem to produce any fruit. This year, we noticed there are lots of grapes, but the birds are eating them all before we can get to them. What is the best way to beat the birds to the grapes?

A: Birds like any fruit that we like...Read more

On Gardening: Gloriosa daisies are summer stunners

Gardening / Gardening News /

The Garden Guy has the tendency each week to tell you about the latest and greatest plants for the landscape, but this year I have been reminded that there are some flowers that have stood the test of time and should always be included in the landscape. This is precisely where gloriosa daises fall in the list of plants.

I'm a little worried ...Read more

The Greener View: Cucumber Chemicals

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I haven't tried growing cucumbers recently because when I last grew them, they were bitter, and I didn't really enjoy eating them. What did I do wrong?

A: Your cucumbers were fighting a chemical warfare battle with you. Many plants use bitter-tasting alkaloid chemicals to prevent it from being eaten by herbivores. Cucumbers naturally produce...Read more

The Greener View: Crabgrass Control

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our community replaced a bunch of sidewalks and curbs; then they repaired our lawns. They used grass seed instead of sod, and now we have a lot of crabgrass mixed in with the good lawn grass. How do we get rid of the crabgrass without hurting the new lawn grass?

A: Even though a lot of crabgrass sprouts in the spring, it can begin growing ...Read more

On Gardening: Holy Grail hibiscus a 'holy wow' plant

Gardening / Gardening News /

This has been the year of the hibiscus at The Garden Guy's house. The tropical selections like South Pacific Sipper, Monsoon Mixer, Hawaiian Big Kahuna, and Fiesta. The past few weeks it is the Holy Grail a hardy hibiscus that you simply can't take your eyes off. Holy Grail is part of Proven Winner's Summerific series. There are a total of 8 ...Read more

The Greener View: Magnolia Scale and Hot Tomatoes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My magnolia tree has been taken over by flies and wasps. There are half-inch pink bumps on the branches, and the leaves are turning black. Leaves are falling off the tree. What is wrong with the tree, and how can it be fixed?

A: Your magnolia has scale insects. They have a shell that looks like that of a turtle. Scale insects have sucking ...Read more

On Gardening: Orange You Awesome coneflowers are absolutely dazzling

Gardening / Gardening News /

Orange You Awesome made its debut in 2019, and I can truthfully say, it is, indeed. This is one of the new color-coded groups of echinacea from Proven Winners and it has captured this gardener's heart. The other selection is Yellow My Darling.

Orange You Awesome has performed like a champion all summer, and now, as we enter August, it is still ...Read more

The Greener View: Vines for a Trellis

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Can you suggest a vine-type plant that can grow and bloom mostly in shade? I have a trellis that I used to grow climbing roses on, but it has become quite shaded now. I don't want the vine to get too big.

A: The answer to your question will depend on how much shade the trellis gets during the summer. Most flowering vines will grow OK in deep...Read more

On Gardening: Old Town and Swallowtail Flats, an ecological dreamland

Gardening / Gardening News /

If you live in an upscale apartment called Coreopsis, Milkweed or Lantana then there is a good chance you live in Swallowtail Flats. In all likelihood, you are seeing more butterflies, obviously swallowtails, but others, as well, and of course hummingbirds, too.

Such is the case for residents of Old Town, a Southern Living Community in North ...Read more

The Greener View: A Deeper Look at Daylilies

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The botanical name for daylilies is Hemerocallis. It comes from two Greek words: Hemera is day, and kallos is beauty. The beauty of a daylily flower does last only one day. Thankfully, a mature plant may have over a hundred flowers. Daylilies come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes.

The smallest daylilies are under a foot tall, and the ...Read more

On Gardening: Native Clethra, how sweet it is

Gardening / Gardening News /

The Garden Guy has known of the summersweet or Clethra alnifolia for over 20 years; when the variety Hummingbird was selected as a Georgia Gold Medal Winner in 1996. If I may pose the question, however, do you, 'really' know it? Embarrassingly I have to admit, I didn't.

I am here to tell you it is a champion of pollinators. I have been watching...Read more

The Greener View: Types of Plant Problems

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Are you a plant-watcher? It may sound boring, but it can be interesting -- especially when something begins to harm your plants. If you pay attention to how your plants are growing on a regular basis, you will notice plant problems as they begin to develop. You will also have a better idea of how the plant is supposed to look when it is healthy ...Read more

On Gardening: Big Blue salvia is indeed big, blue, and wonderful

Gardening / Gardening News /

Last year Big Blue stunned us at the plant trials. This year, when we're able to get our hands on it, we can say it is indeed big, blue, and wonderful providing all of the spikes you could want to create excitement in the garden. Botanically speaking, Big Blue is a salvia farinacea x S. longispicata cross. If you are a salvia guru then you ...Read more

The Greener View: Problematic Pollarding

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I've got two trees in my yard that were pruned years ago -- before I bought -- by someone who had no idea what they were doing. The result is large branches that look like "clubs." All new growth comes from the end of the clubs. Imagine your forearm as the branch and your fist as the end, with a branch or two growing in every direction. What ...Read more

On Gardening: QIS Carmine gomphrena and Uproar Rose zinnia host a spectacle of nature

Gardening / Gardening News /

Carmine is not a word I grew up with describing color. By definition, it is a vivid crimson. The QIS Carmine gomphrena is a prime example. If you were partnering up a color, an intense yellow gold would be perfect, so send in a dozen or so American goldfinches to eat not only gomphrena seeds, but zinnias, too.

The spectacle has been happening ...Read more

The Greener View: Ant Invasion

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our landscape has been invaded by ants. Actually, the ants aren't out in the landscape but instead are in all the flowerpots on the patio, in between the patio bricks, in the shed, on the tree trunk next to the patio and, unfortunately, coming in the kitchen. We don't see any out in the garden or lawn. Bait traps seem to be starting to work, ...Read more

On Gardening: Calliope Large Orange Splash electrifying in color

Gardening / Gardening News /

Calliope Large Orange Splash geranium is new this year and has been causing an assortment of 'oohs and ahhs' at this year at trial gardens. It was particularly so at the Young's Plant Farm Trials at Auburn, Ala., First off, Calliope has really become the go-to geranium in the south for season-long performance.

Syngenta Flowers has packaged the ...Read more

The Greener View: Flood Mosquitoes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Many areas have continued to experience heavy rains recently, and a number of places are still flooded from previous storms. This will lead to the next natural phenomenon: mosquitoes. Of course, mosquitoes occur every summer, but there are some things you can do about them.

There are about 200 species of mosquitoes in North America. The biggest...Read more

On Gardening: Viking begonias shaking up the garden world

Gardening / Gardening News /

Life seemed as it should for all of us gardeners and horticultural gurus. We loved Big Begonias, Whopper Begonias and Tophat that had just introduced white. Shoot we still had Dragon Wing at the throne when it came to hanging baskets. Then something happened in the space-time continuum of begonias and gardeners. Our happiness has been shaken ...Read more


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