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On Gardening: Wild Irish daylily continues to mesmerize

Gardening / Gardening News /

This is my fourth year to be watching our American Hemerocallis Display Garden and each year the selection Wild Irish catches my eye like few other daylilies. Each year I post it on our Facebook and the hits views and likes come pouring in. It's no wonder that an internet search finds it readily available from numerous sources.

Wild Irish was ...Read more

The Greener View: Softwood Cuttings

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, graduations, reunions and weddings are times to remember. One way people remember others is to give gifts. Trees can make very long-lasting gifts. Ones that have historical significance for the giver and recipient are even more special.

For instance, President Andrew Jackson planted a Southern magnolia ...Read more

The Greener View: Magnolia Trees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last year, right as my magnolia was starting to flower, there was a bad frost, and no flowers survived. The flower buds did not fall off though. They lasted through the year and are still there. Any ideas as to what needs to be done? I hope I don't need to physically remove all the dead flower buds because this is a tall tree -- about 25 feet...Read more

On Gardening: A passion for pollinators and the paloverde tree

Gardening / Gardening News /

I'll never forget that rare cold morning at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. There they were Monarchs and Queens, cousin butterflies roosting in the Retama trees waiting for the sun to warm them for flight. I had already fallen in love with the trees for their flashy display of thousands of yellow blooms but also the green bark ...Read more

The Greener View: Sand and Poinsettias

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: The kids outgrew the swimming pool, and we removed it. There is a large pile of sand ranging from an inch or 2 deep to about 6 inches deep. We don't have any need for it; we just want to plant grass in place of the pool. Can we cover it with topsoil and plant grass, or can we till organic matter into the sand? It would be nice to keep it.

A:...Read more

On Gardening: Wedding Dance amaryllis, not just any old head of a horse

Gardening / Gardening News /

If I told you that the name of the most beautiful bulb you could grow derives from Greek words meaning 'head of a horse,' try as you might you probably could not conjure up the vision of an amaryllis. The amaryllis so exquisite in spring gardens in the South is known botanically as Hippeastrum, meaning the head of a horse, or horseman.

I assure...Read more

The Greener View: Bat Houses

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We heard a short presentation about bats and thought that we might want to attract them to our lake house yard so they will eat the mosquitoes. But we do not want them invading our house. What can we do?

A: Bats may have a bad reputation with some people, but they are very safe and benign to have around. Panicking at the sight of a bat is ...Read more

On Gardening: Fuzzy deutzia, a cascade of showy spring flowers

Gardening / Gardening News /

A deutzia renaissance is how my friend Dr. Gerald Klingaman, retired horticulturist, with the University of Arkansas, wrote about this new love that is occurring for this fuzzy heirloom that has been around for ages. If you haven't discovered the old-fashioned fuzzy deutzia, then make it a high priority, your landscape deserves it.

At the ...Read more

The Greener View: Have a Healthy Lawn

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I want a nice lawn, but some of my friends say that this is selfish and wasteful. Is there a way to take care of my yard and have it look nice without using so many chemicals?

A: Lawn care is one of the hot-button issues these days. It may not rise to the level of the presidential debates, but maybe it should be.

The grass plants that we ...Read more

The Greener View: Potted Vegetables

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I want to try growing some vegetables this year, but I don't have much space and I was wondering how well these types of plants grow in pots on a patio?

A: You should choose your pots and varieties carefully. Look at the seed package or the plant tag for "dwarf variety" or "bush variety." This is especially true for some of the vines like ...Read more

On Gardening: Vibrant orange-leafed Inferno coleus is a work of art

Gardening / Gardening News /

There is an inferno of color this spring coming from a coleus that has a lot going for it. The Inferno coleus is relatively new, but already it has heads turning especially when you consider that in the University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, and Michigan State trials it was total perfection.

It was tops at Missouri Botanical Garden ...Read more

On Gardening: South Pacific Sipper, enormous blossoms of exquisite beauty

Gardening / Gardening News /

Across from my backyard, my neighbor has been turning his pool into a virtual paradise with a pergola and rock work. Now all he needs is a South Pacific Sipper! This sounds like the perfect tropical beverage to enjoy while floating across the clear blue water, but in reality, it is one of the most beautiful hibiscuses in the market.

South ...Read more

The Greener View: Peony Planting

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Peony PQ: My local big-box store has peonies for sale. They are in bloom. They look healthy, but here is the problem: The peonies in my yard are only 2 or 3 inches out of the ground and won't be in bloom until Memorial Day. That means the ones in the store are blooming seven or eight weeks too early. It has other perennials in bloom that are ...Read more

The Greener View: Planting Blueberries

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I want to grow blueberries in my garden. I had the soil tested, and the results show the soil has a high pH, which is not good for growing blueberries. I have been told that I can add an acid to the soil to lower the pH, but I am afraid to try that. Do you have any suggestions? By the way, I don't understand what pH is.

A: Let's tackle the ...Read more

On Gardening: Banana Shrub, an heirloom of exotic fragrance

Gardening / Gardening News /

The past two months have been weeks of tantalizing fragrance that I am afraid not many children or families have experienced. This champion of aroma I am referring to is the banana shrub. The banana shrub is an heirloom from the 1800s and produces extremely sweet aromatic blossoms for months. It is one of the more amazing scents in the plant ...Read more

On Gardening: Emperor's candlestick, a nostalgic trip to the islands

Gardening / Gardening News /

I was working on a magazine piece this week on nostalgia gardening. While we tend to think of nostalgia gardening as being related to growing something that is heirloom or antique it can also be considered a plant that mentally transports you back to another time or place. One plant that instantly does that is the Emperor's candlestick, Senna ...Read more

The Greener View: Pestering Woodpeckers

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: For the past few years, woodpeckers have attacked my house. Sometimes they are hammering on the chimney. Other times they are drilling huge holes on the sides of the house and pulling out the insulation. I want to do something before they come back this year. Do you have any suggestions?

A: They are protected by federal law, so there are ...Read more

The Greener View: Grass Seed Mixtures

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a question regarding grass seed. I've heard that a bag containing various grass species is called a mixture, which would likely work best for most average lawns with various conditions, and that a blend of hybrid grasses (not true species) works best if your yard has the same growing conditions throughout. Is this correct?

A: Yes, you...Read more

On Gardening: Landscapes a drift with colorful roses

Gardening / Gardening News /

As you drive down our entryway to the Andrews Visitor and Education Center both sides of the drive are lined with large sweeps or drifts, if you will, of hot coral colored roses. It seems every time I look at them they are blooming which can't possibly be true.

The roses I am referring to are Coral Drift roses. If you have love Knock Out roses ...Read more

The Greener View: Working With Garden Mulch

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Spring is coming soon, and I need to replace the mulch in my flower beds. I have noticed during winter that there is no mulch left in large areas of the beds. I am sure weeds are ready to fill in if I don't add more mulch. The last mulch I used was from the local arborist. It didn't last very long. Is there a better choice that would last ...Read more


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