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The Greener View: Koi Pond Fish Kill

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I was gone for most of Memorial Day. When I got home, something strange was happening in my pond. Many of the goldfish and some of the koi were behaving abnormally. They were lethargic, and some were staying directly under the waterfalls in an apparent attempt to get more oxygen. Before the next morning, a 21-inch-long koi, a foot-long koi and ...Read more

On Gardening: Hummingbird mints add color and excitement to the garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

The Agastache plants have been laughing in the face of weather that most have called miserable since the beginning of May. The heat combined with no rain was fierce. Then June shows up where we have rainfalls that total four to seven inches a day and although temps are in the 80s the indexes say it feels like 94 plus.

It's been just over 4 ...Read more

The Greener View: Plums, Slugs and Tulips

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a plum tree with little holes in the leaves. This happened last summer and again this spring. Can you tell me again what the cause could be and how to treat it?

A: Plums, apricots and peaches all get a bacterial disease called "bacterial leaf spot." It is also commonly called "shot hole disease," because it looks like someone stood ...Read more

On Gardening: Fiesta hibiscus … vacation packaged as a plant

Gardening / Gardening News /

An old hibiscus has The Garden Guy under a magical spell this year for a couple of reasons. Now when I say old, I'm not talking about a specific plant but a variety, Fiesta, that made its debut 53 years ago.

It is incredible that major suppliers are still producing Fiesta after all of the countless new varieties that have made their debut in ...Read more

The Greener View: Pruning Details

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: In last week's article, you commented that one of the factors of plant deaths over the winter is the timing of fall pruning. I thought we were supposed to prune our trees and shrubs in the fall: Can you go into more detail on when we are to prune trees and shrubs?

A: Since we are still in spring, let's start there. We prefer to prune spring-...Read more

On Gardening: Superbena Whiteout verbena heads the list of great new white flowers

Gardening / Gardening News /

Each year my color-design guru son orders plants for use at his client's homes, shopping centers, apartment communities, and office complexes. Though he is now way better than his dad, I always reserve the right to ask, have you got plenty of blue.

The answer is always, of course, but the question has now been turned to the dad, as he asks me, ...Read more

On Gardening: Waikiki Sunset a festive lysimachia for mixed containers

Gardening / Gardening News /

Holy Wow gardeners you have got to try Waikiki Sunset lysimachia. It's been almost 20 years since I wrote about Outback Sunset and to be honest it just kind of disappeared from the market at the time. Waikiki is different, foliage more brightly variegated and flowers that are much larger acting making a real impact versus a conversation item.

...Read more

The Greener View: Winter Damage

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Apparently the polar vortex last winter killed several of my trees and shrubs. I had carefully selected the plants based on the hardiness zone maps in plant catalogs and on plant tags. I know it was cold, but shouldn't the plants have done better? Some of the trees were planted five to 10 years ago, but some of the shrubs were planted last ...Read more

The Greener View: Buying Fruit Trees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I need to replace a pear tree. The first one was planted in the fall; last spring, it didn't bloom, which is normal for a newly planted pear. However, what wasn't normal was that the tree started dying from the top down. It was exhibiting the symptoms of fire blight, which, as you know, is a quick-acting and deadly disease in pears. Fire ...Read more

On Gardening: Rockin salvias color, performance and pollinators

Gardening / Gardening News /

Rockin salvias are living up to that name in Georgia. I have never claimed to be a Madison Avenue marketing guru but the name Rockin for a salvia caught me as strange. Then again, who am I to instruct Proven Winners one of the most successful plant groups in the history of horticulture.

True to the name Rockin Deep Purple and Rockin Fuchsia are...Read more

The Greener View: Pesticide Breakdown

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have several apple and pear trees that I have treated with the fungicide Captan for several years to try to prevent fungal disease problems. It doesn't seem to work. Last year, I specifically didn't treat some branches of the trees to see if I could tell the difference. There was no difference. What can I do to protect my fruit trees?

A: ...Read more

On Gardening: Luna moth sighting one of life's special moments

Gardening / Gardening News /

Last year was a banner year for me in that I saw three Luna moths at my house. Let's just say I am a seasoned horticulturist and wannabe naturalist and probably have seen far less than a dozen in my life. I would ask, how many have you seen and pose the question a little deeper, have you ever seen one?

Some recent photos on Georgia Nature ...Read more

Heidi Stevens: 'It doesn't make the pain go away, but it makes it a little better': 29 years after girl's death, a community garden grows strong

Gardening / Gardening News /

CHICAGO -- Zoey Holmquist-Kuhn, 11, unearthed a slimy white slug and could not have been happier about it.

"I love slugs and worms and ants and spiders and flies and butterflies and moths and caterpillars," she told me. "I like slimy stuff and dirt."

She was in her element, surrounded by a dozen of her fellow Girl Scouts from Troop 25174, ...Read more

The Greener View: The Pine Cone Zone

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I would like some suggestions for what to do with all the pine cones that fall in my yard from the pine trees (other than just burning them, which so far, I have never done). I don't want them to make more trees. Have you got any suggestions? These are not the really attractive cones that can be used decoratively. They are just ordinary, ...Read more

On Gardening: Coreopsis light up the roadways and gardens across the country

Gardening / Gardening News /

Everywhere you look in Georgia, coreopsis, are lighting up the roadsides. It makes no difference whether it is a superhighway or a little country road there is the fiery yellow gold of thousands of coreopsis. You would swear it was The Year of the Coreopsis but believe it or not that was 2018, and besides, we always look like that.

This native ...Read more

The Greener View: Sweet as Honey

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I am sure you have heard the saying "stop and smell the roses." Well, let's say that we traveled 55,000 miles and stopped at over two million flowers. What would we get? Tired from bending over, for one thing, but if we were honeybees, we could have made some honey. It takes that many flowers and that much work to make only one pound of honey! I...Read more

On Gardening: Truffla Pink Gomphrena looks to be among hottest 2019 plants

Gardening / Gardening News /

Truffula Pink has everyone talking this year and is expected to be among the hottest plants at garden centers. It will be so hot you better buy it when you see it. Truffula is a new Gomphrena pulchella coming from Proven Winners. Like its taller sibling Fireworks, each iridescent hot pink bloom looks as though it is exploding with little yellow ...Read more

The Greener View: Too Much Pollen

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: On the news, I have seen amazing pictures of the clouds of pine tree pollen in North Carolina. Why is there so much this spring? Is there something wrong with the trees? Why are the trees producing so much pollen?

A: There is nothing wrong with the trees. There are many cycles of growth in nature, and sometimes they overlap. Seven years ago,...Read more

On Gardening: English dogwood the ultimate spring extender

Gardening / Gardening News /

This time of the year as our native dogwoods and azaleas have completed their glorious spring display, something magical happens. At least it does in those old cottage gardens, seen in small towns and hamlets found on America's backroads. Today's young gardeners will see, and utter ... is that a dogwood, where is that fragrance coming from.

The...Read more

The Greener View: Layering Techniques

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We don't have a lot of money for landscaping, but we want to propagate several shrubs in our yard. We want the plants to be the same kind and have the same color leaves and flowers. We figured that collecting and using seeds would potentially give us different colors. We don't have a greenhouse or any way to grow cuttings. What would be an ...Read more


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