Before I get started today, I want you to know there will be a big announcement in this column in two weeks on June 1. It is good news that you won't want to miss.
I believe it was Mark Twain quoting Charles Dudley Warner who said that "everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." I am no exception, but I hope ...Read more
Prince Tut and the dwarf exquisite Queen Tut papyrus grasses have put the proverbial ta-da in ‘The Garden Guy’s containers this year. The story, however, really goes back to October. I have two containers I call smokestacked in their shape. They are about 20 inches tall, ceramic-glazed and about the diameter of a Frisbee. The containers get ...Read more
In a recent article, I mentioned how an updated version of the old-fashioned reel lawn mower might be appropriate for the person who emailed their question. Sometimes, I edit the email to fit space and to zero in on one topic. In this case, several people complained that my answer wasn't comprehensive enough.
For instance, the original question...Read more
A funny thing happened on the way to May: I have what looks to be a million tiny yellow flowers. It happens every year for about four to six weeks, but no one talks about it. Some even look away.
Lemon Coral sedum was the 2019 Proven Winners Annual of the Year, yet I don’t remember flowers being mentioned. While I am at it, I will add, I ...Read more
Question: I have never tried planting herbs in my garden, so I don't know what to do or how to get the seasonings from them. Is an herb garden too complicated for an ordinary gardener like me?
Answer: You may have heard of herb gardens or kitchen gardens, or even gardens of herbs where the plants are trimmed into fancy mazes or knots, but you ...Read more
Aqua blue pots in the landscape and staggered on the side of a hill were not my idea, but my bride's, the person who pops up on my phone as Jan My Love Winter. I have avoided this color like the plague for most of my life. To modify the French phrase, this project was going to be my "peace" de resistance. Jan is a gifted and natural plant ...Read more
Q: Last fall we bought some crocus, daffodil and tulip bulbs. The daffodils are blooming, but the crocus and tulips are not. The crocus leaves started to come up but then stopped. The tulip leaves are there, but there are no flowers. What do you think happened and what can we do to prevent it next year?
A: The problem is most likely mammals. ...Read more
Swallowtails were early at The Garden Guy’s house this year. Thank goodness I had Superbena verbenas in full bloom. It is as if they had been given the task of announcing the arrival of spring and the butterfly season. On March 22, I photographed an eastern tiger swallowtail on Superbana Royale Chambray verbena.
Your first thought might be, ...Read more
Q: I saw a sign in the store that said potato seeds, but it appeared that the boxes for sale had potatoes in them. I have never seen potato seeds. Can I buy potato seeds?
A: Both potato seeds and seed potatoes are real, but it is unlikely that you will be able to buy potato seeds. Potato plants are in the same family as tomato, pepper, eggplant...Read more
Recently I stumbled across a plant recipe called "This is the Life." Not only was it a collection of some of my favorite plants, it was a wake-up call to an old favorite: the Persian Shield. Known botanically as Strobilanthes dyerianus, it is native to Myanmar and has 8-inch-long iridescent leaves in shades of purple, lilac and pink with purple-...Read more
If you haven't bought an Easter lily, you should go buy one now. They will be on sale after this weekend, and if you want to you can call it a spring lily. You can enjoy the flowers and fragrance for the next few weeks and then you can plant it outdoors.
Keep the lilies in bright, indirect light until the outdoor nighttime temperatures stay ...Read more
As I write this on April 3, today was the day the ruby-throated hummingbirds returned to my house. Oddly, it was a feast of the Calibrachoas Superbells. This story, however, starts the first week of October, which is when I planted them.
I’ve been touting this for zone 8 and warmer for a couple of years. To be honest, after what I have seen, ...Read more
Q: Our lawn mower quit. We got just two mowings out of it this spring. The cost to repair it will be more than it is worth. I was thinking that we should get an old-fashioned mower that doesn't require gasoline, but my husband thinks they are heavy and that they don't cut very well. Have there been any improvements in lawn mowers besides the ...Read more
Blue My Mind and last year’s sibling Blue My Mind evolvulus are surefire winners of the 2022 Best Supporting Flower. This is for the flower that delivers an outstanding performance in a supporting role.
As I write this, I am a couple of hours away from the 2022 version of the Oscars. I don’t know what this year’s films are and have to ...Read more
Question: The trees planted in our new subdivision have grass planted right up to the trunks. I want to add mulch around them but don't know how far out to go or what kind to use.
Answer: Installing mulch is one of the most beneficial things you can do for any tree, but this is especially true for new trees. However, if mulch is too thick or ...Read more
Diamond Snow has dramatically changed how we look at euphorbias, that not-so-glamorous common name of spurge. We all fell madly in love with its sibling Diamond Frost and subsequently gave it hundreds of awards in university trials. Diamond Snow, however, is a game changer.
Although Diamond Snow has only been out two years, it is racking up ...Read more
Question: Does dead crabgrass look like white dead clumps dotted around the lawn? If so, should I dig each one up and fill in with grass seed, fertilizer and dirt?
Answer: At this time of year, all dead annual and many dormant perennial grasses look like white dead clumps. If the good grass in your lawn has some signs of green and there are ...Read more
The past couple of years there has been a lot of love in the world of petunias, thanks to one unique variety by the name of Supertunia Lovie Dovie. We have all seen petunias with stripes, some stars, others halos and blushes, but this is a special one with hearts.
It’s funny, Proven Winners doesn’t tout them as hearts, but rather white and ...Read more
Q: Can you suggest a way to buy good vegetable seeds? I can't afford to get a lot of plants, so I buy seeds. There are several brands at each store, and I don't know which will grow best for me. I always seem to have low success rates because of disease problems.
A: Plant varieties that have won an All-America Selections award should do well. ...Read more
The esperanza is one of those shrubs that brings about hope and anticipation for the growing season. Actually, that is what "esperanza" means in Spanish. As a gardener who got his horticultural roots in Texas, I can tell you the Esperanza is a plant to be treasured, and even more so with the debut of Chicklet Orange in 2022.
Chicklet Orange is ...Read more