It's funny about 4 1/2 years ago I wrote an article titled "Deodar Cedar Simply Unbeatable in the Winter Landscape." That still holds true, but I would like to suggest a new title "Patti Faye Deodar Cedar Simply Unbeatable in the Landscape."
Every day as I come into the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens and as I leave I watch Patti Faye which ...Read more
These days, the grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence, and I don't say that because the grass hasn't been watered all summer. Fall is the time when most ornamental grasses begin to show off their best colors. The rusty reds, maroons and golds are highlighted by the low angle of the afternoon sunshine in autumn. This is ...Read more
The phone rang, and a gardener in tearful hysteria was there pleading for me to take her monarch caterpillars as she was totally out of milkweed leaves. At the time we had quite a few plants representing several species, both native and imports. I was shocked however when she brought me a box with 100 plus caterpillars. I went out to the garden ...Read more
Q: What can you tell us about those big, ugly green single-horned tomato worms? Where do they come from? How can we prevent them?
A: Tomato and tobacco hornworms are two huge caterpillars (up to 5 inches long) that feed on tomato, eggplant, peppers and plants in the tobacco family. There may only be a couple on a plant, but ...Read more
Before we go into today's topic, the effects of flooding on the landscape, we need to thank some people and count our blessings. The real heroes in our society are not the free-agent athletes making millions but the people who were out at 2 a.m. in Houston, Texas, helping those in need, whether it was their job or not. They ...Read more
It has been well over a decade since I last wrote about the scarlet sage, and this year it seems like I am discovering an old friend. It is like this plant I grew up loving had disappeared, but in truth, while I have been growing other flowers the scarlet sage has simply gotten better.
There is a good chance you have forgotten about this plant,...Read more
All over the Southeast America's most beautiful berry is astounding those who come across it in the wild. Those who have incorporated it into their landscape, however, are in a state of celebration. This berry is the American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana.
It is native in 14 states; from Missouri to Tennessee and Virginia to Maryland and ...Read more
Planting in Fall
Q: Fall plant sales are starting, and I want to add to my perennial beds. I bought a few plants and began planting them. Some had roots all over the inside of the pot, and some had hardly any roots at all, even though the leafy area of both plants looked the same on top. Should I spread out the roots or leave them in their pot-...Read more
The Shekhinah is ComingValjean Tchakirides
The Shekhinah is Coming: Secrets of the Divine presents a circular study of what Tchakirides calls "the divine plan that ends where it begins - 'in LIGHT'". This work bridges the gap between religion and science, offering explanations of recent NASA discoveries and suggesting what they might ...
Q: Even though my pond has a skimmer, lots of leaves accumulate in the gravel on the bottom. What do I need to do about this? My pond guy said I will need to do a cleanout in the spring, but the leaves are beginning to accumulate now.
A: If you wait to do a pond cleanout till the spring, your fish may be dead. Leaves in a pond can harbor ...Read more
Over the last few years, I have 'waxed poetic' if you will, about birds, bees, and butterflies but have given hardly a mention to the lowly moth. I say lowly only in the numerical position of where most people place the moth.
Oddly enough, moths have brought great joy to my family this summer in various locales of Georgia. If you can believe, a...Read more
This year it seems the caladium has appeared in both landscapes and as component plants in mixed containers including baskets. The caladium has been a little cyclical in popularity over the past couple of decades, but innovative designers have shown us we just haven't pushed the envelope with the artistic opportunities.
In 2017 it's been ...Read more
Q: Back in the spring, my kids and I planted some perennials that were supposed to attract butterflies, but we haven't seen any. What else can we do to attract them?
A: If all you want to do is attract adult butterflies, then you need to provide them with food, water, shelter and a food plant for the caterpillar stage of their life cycle.
It's been 20 years, 1997 to be exact since the Georgia Gold Medal program gave the award to one of the most persevering native perennials of all time, the Rudbeckia triloba.
At the time, finding one at the local garden center was rare even though it is native in 34 states. If you think about it, it is quite remarkable that a plant with no ...Read more
Q: Last fall, I put in a 5-foot burning bush and some other large shrubs. They are all sparse. They don't have very many leaves in the center or on the bottom half, especially the burning bush. I wanted them to be a privacy screen, but you can see right through them. Can I prune them to fill them in? If so, when and how?
A: Large shrubs that ...Read more
When it comes to the backyard wildlife habitat, the cup plant has it all. To me, it is the flag bearer perennial for bees, butterflies, and birds. It is a stalwart native in 34 states from Louisiana north to Canada crossing every border east. Alas however its size is quite imposing. It is big, bold and wonderful, and this is the time of the year...Read more
Q: We planted a juniper tree last summer, and it did fine until just recently. It is about 10 feet tall and growing taller, and it has a beautiful greenish-blue color except for a few large brown patches. It is planted in a flowerbed island surrounded by daylilies and other perennials. What could cause branches to die one at a time in different ...Read more
The Hydrangea paniculatas have to be the showiest plant in the summer garden, and I have an-affection for them all. Chantilly Lace and Pinky Winky, however, has captured my heart not only for their beauty but their proclivity to attract pollinators.
Here at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, we have several of the leading varieties of what ...Read more
Q: How do we get rid of nutgrass? We tried the vinegar sprays and a store-bought herbicide. We have also tried digging it out, but nothing seems to work. When we think we have it under control, it comes back in a few weeks as bad as it was in the beginning. What works?
A: Nutgrass is a sedge. Sedges are wetland plants. They love constantly wet ...Read more
Q: Every year at this time, my petunias and geraniums get a tiny worm that eats the blossoms. Unfortunately, the worm keeps growing and gets larger. I have sprayed the plants with insect killer but to no avail. I pick off the worms when I can see them. It's hard to see them when they are small. What can I do?
A: Most insect pests are specific ...Read more
The past couple of years I have been amazed seeing the potential of Silver Falls dichondra in mixed containers. This plant often ignored because it's silver or gray and of course is a cousin to the weed we fight in our precious lawns.
Silver Falls may be the ultimate spiller plant for baskets and mixed containers. While a showy trailer, Silver ...Read more