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On Gardening: Dutch iris, a showy, camera-ready bloomer

Gardening / Gardening News /

The word on the street (I've always wanted to say that) is that the Dutch iris is a short-lived perennial. Tell that to Romano an incredible showy bloomer that we have in the garden which was planted in the late 1990's. I've led a life comparable to a house flipper so my personal experience on the longevity of perennials has been word of mouth ...Read more

The Greener View: Straighten up

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We had an ornamental pear tree planted on a berm about three years ago. It started to lean soon after planting, and the landscaper used a wooden stake and a wire to pull it back up straight. But wet soil loosened the stake, and the tree is leaning again. What are my options?

A: Let's start at the beginning. Berms are often created from the ...Read more

The Greener View: Planning a Vegetable Garden

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Have you received any garden seed catalogs yet? Developing a vegetable garden site takes time and resources -- a home vegetable garden can take three to five years to start producing well. Container gardening is a more short-term gardening option that works well with locations that have space restrictions, such as patios.

There are a few ...Read more

On Gardening: Colorful storm brewing in the spring garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

There has been a storm brewing in North Carolina and it is one that will prove to beautify our landscapes across the country. The Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station in Mills River N.C. already horticultural heroes of sorts with their incredible white flowered Sweet Tea Mountain Gordlinia are now bringing the landscape the Double Take ...Read more

On Gardening: 'Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme,' an old song for spring

Gardening / Gardening News /

After seeing some incredible mixed containers I told my young horticulturist son I had a vision of writing a column called Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, kind of a play on words from Simon and Garfunkel's famous album by the same name and of course the lyrics from "Scarborough Fair." The idea being to encourage you to use these herbs in ...Read more

The Greener View: All-American Selections Vegetable Award-Winners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we looked at the winners of the 2017 All-America Selections testing program. It has approximately 80 test gardens all over, from Alaska to Canada to California to Florida, as well as over 175 display gardens all across the continent, which are not used for judging but to show gardeners how well plants grow locally.

The judges ...Read more

The Greener View: AAS Flower Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

When you are looking at plants in a garden center or in garden catalogues, it is sometimes difficult to know how well a certain plant will do in your garden. All-America Selections, or AAS, is a nonprofit organization that tests new plants. It has approximately 80 test gardens in locations all over, from Alaska to Canada to Florida to California...Read more

On Gardening: Cyclamen flowers sport traditional Valentine's Day colors

Gardening / Gardening News /

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Walking down our long Crape Myrtle Allee we have several large Vietnamese glazed pots filled with cool season flowers. For this to be the first week in February, they are looking rather impressive thanks to what may be the perfect Valentine's Day plant, the Persian cyclamen. Just thinking Valentine's Day, use to give me the ...Read more

The Greener View: Genetically Modified Plants and Seeds

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have been looking at the vegetable garden seed packages at the store; some are labeled as being free of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, and some are not labeled as such. Should I be looking for packages labeled one way or the other? If the package says the product is non-GMO, can it still have genetically engineered ingredients?

A...Read more

On Gardening: Narcissus, the official trumpets of spring, bring incredible joy

Gardening / Gardening News /

The first hint of spring is trumpeting, so to speak, in the south with the arrival of the narcissus or daffodil. I hate writing about flowers that are opposite their planting season but on the other hand, there are certainly some lessons that can be learned. The biggest lesson to be learned is which ones will naturalize in your area. You have to...Read more

The Greener View: Tool Winners of the Green Thumb Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Last week, we talked about the new plant varieties that medaled in the 2017 Green Thumb Awards, which is presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This week, we look at the tools category. The winning products are judged on their uniqueness, technological innovation, ability to solve a ...Read more

On Gardening: Primulas' vibrant colors beat winter's doldrums

Gardening / Gardening News /

Forget about fake news it's fake flowers that have my attention. Actually, they are not fake; they are the brilliantly colorful primula. Recently, the astonishing color and beauty had passersby gawking in amazement.

It took about 72 hours of temperatures in the 20's and I was begging for mercy, and just like magic there they were, in a grocery ...Read more

The Greener View: Plants Winners of the Green Thumb Awards

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Six new plant varieties and five new gardening products have won for the 2017 Green Thumb Awards presented by the Direct Gardening Association (formerly called the Mailorder Gardening Association). This is the 19th year of the Green Thumb Awards. Judges include garden writers like me, although I didn't judge this year. This week, we'll look at ...Read more

On Gardening: Bamboo muhly grass treasured in the garden for texture and motion

Gardening / Gardening News /

Walking around the garden I was astonished by the beauty of grass that was so picturesque backlit by the sun. It was a muhly grass but not the pink cotton candy looking one you admire in the fall. This was bamboo muhly native to Arizona. You don't normally think about plants native to Arizona being so adaptable to the hot humid southeast but ...Read more

The Greener View: Mail Order Gardening

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

January is National Mail Order Gardening Month. Have you gotten garden catalogs in the mail yet? If you haven't received enough, or if you need more that are specific to a type of plant you want to grow, go to the Direct Gardening Association website for a list of companies that offer catalogs of plants and gardening tools. You will get a direct...Read more

On Gardening: Heuchera or coral bells, fabulous foliage, flowers attract hummingbirds

Gardening / Gardening News /

It wasn't long ago I was hiking around Blue Ridge Georgia and came across a few terrific looking heuchera or coral bells which I had only seen previously for sale in garden centers. All heuchera species are native to the United States including this Heuchera villosa native in the Southeast from Arkansas to Georgia and north to New York.

...Read more

The Greener View: New Year's Garden Resolutions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Many people will be glad 2016 is over. Research has often shown that people can relieve stress in gardens, either through enjoying an existing garden or the act of gardening. For those of us who like to work in our gardens, it is important to sometimes stop working and literally smell the roses. Right this moment, resolve to enjoy your garden ...Read more

On Gardening: Use deadnettle to liven up cool spring containers

Gardening / Gardening News /

If I told you to let deadnettle liven up your mixed containers you might think that it is an oxymoron or perhaps I was just a moron, as dead and nettle sound none too lovely in the landscape. As they say in France, au contraire, deadnettle is the common name for a terrific perennial or annual if you choose by the name of Lamium.

Botanically ...Read more

The Greener View: The Best Bird Feeders

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We want to give a bird feeder and some seed to some friends for Christmas but don't want to get a cheap set. Which do you recommend?

A: For the feeder, you can't go wrong with one from Aspects or Droll Yankee. They're made in the U.S. and have a lifetime guarantee. You will not find these feeders in big box stores, as they both support the ...Read more

On Gardening: Bright Lights Swiss chard is like a beet without a bottom

Gardening / Gardening News /

It seems wherever I go I'm seeing Swiss chard. This showy cool season plant sometimes called a beet without a bottom is showing up in the landscape, in mixed containers and there it is available in the local grocery store. Is it an ornamental or an edible you might ask and the answer is, both. Then you might wonder do you eat it fresh or do you...Read more

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