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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

The Greener View: Unique Gifts for Gardeners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I am always on the lookout for space-saving designs. Several of my windows would be perfect for growing plants, but the windowsill is not wide enough to set a flowerpot. Besides, the cat would knock it off anyway. For a couple of years, I have been growing a phalaenopsis orchid upside-down in a Sky Planter from Boskke.

At first glance the pot ...Read more

On Gardening: Cool Wave pansies are in season

Gardening / Gardening News /

During the summer we think of flowers like petunias as those fragrant, spilling or tumbling flowers cascading over the rims of baskets and mixed containers. That same show of incredible color coupled with tantalizing fragrance can now be achieved during the cool season with pansies like the Cool Wave series in some zones.

I'll be honest when ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Gifts Part Two

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

There is still time to get presents for your gardener. The following are additional holiday gift options.

The Worx Aerocart 8-in-1 Wheelbarrow can carry 200 pounds, but the way it is balanced, it will only feel like 20 pounds. I like the fact that it has two wheels instead of one. I once tipped a one-wheeled wheelbarrow of concrete into a rose ...Read more

On Gardening: Let Ascot Rainbow color your world

Gardening / Gardening News /

Mention the word "ascot" and a silky men's tie worn by the upper crust of European society comes to mind. Today, however, I want you to associate the name with Ascot Rainbow, an evergreen perennial euphorbia capturing the imagination of the gardening world.

Botanically speaking, Ascot Rainbow is known as Euphorbia martinii. It is native to ...Read more

On Gardening: The brassicas are taking center stage along with kale, mustard, and collards too

Gardening / Gardening News /

The brassicas are taking center stage! In the fall and winter season, we have always dabbled in flowering kale and cabbage but it seems in the last couple of years things are changing. The cruciferous crops are doing their part to create the WOW factor in flower beds across Georgia. It's not just flowering kale and cabbage but edibles like the ...Read more

The Greener View: Gardening Gifts

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The gardener you're shopping for this holiday may tell you that they have all the tools they need. But here are a few they probably don't have and will be glad you gave to them.

I like combining several small items into one larger present. For instance, a pair of garden gloves, some insect repellent and a bottle of hand soap or hand lotion in a...Read more

The Greener View: Poinsettias for Winter

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you have been in a grocery store or big-box store recently, I am sure you have seen red poinsettias for sale. Red poinsettias are the favorites; they easily outsell all the other colors. But in recent years, newer colors have become popular. Some of the new varieties are various purple, magenta and pink hues, as well as speckled and two-toned...Read more

On Gardening: Dazzling with cool season planters

Gardening / Gardening News /

Recently, I was schooled, so to speak, on 'Pansies and their Partners' as I was invited to visit Old Town, a 2016 Southern Living Community of the Year award winner in Columbus, Ga. I'm a pretty good cool-season container guy but everywhere I looked was foliage and cool season color combinations I had never tried.

This community may be one of a...Read more

On Gardening: Misplaced sage, a stunner in the fall garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

The misplaced sage heads up a group fall-blooming salvias that are absolutely riveting now in the garden. Salvias just may be the favorite collector plants by gardeners in the United Sates and rightfully so as I will further explain.

Your first question is probably what is the misplaced salvia? Well botanically speaking it is Salvia disjuncta. ...Read more

The Greener View: Picking a Pruner

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Looking for a holiday present for your gardener? A high-quality pruner is a valuable tool for any gardener. The repetitive motions of actions like hedge pruning can aggravate hand and wrist injuries. Your gardener will appreciate tools that are easy to use and reduce the amount of work and energy required to use them.

Hold your hand out in ...Read more

On Gardening: Fall blooming camellias offer stunning landscape performance

Gardening / Gardening News /

Hurricane Matthew gave our Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia garden a stiff uppercut as it brought down a lot of large trees. But now one month later, the fall blooming camellias are bringing in guests: pollinating visitors like honeybees that are relishing every moment. The bees seem to be in ecstasy as they literally dive into a cave of pollen. It...Read more

The Greener View: Protecting Unplanted Trees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I planned on tearing down a garage and the new empty space would be enough room to plant some dwarf fruit trees. Unfortunately, the project was delayed and the final location for the trees won't be ready before winter and the ground freezes solid. I already have some of the trees purchased. They are in a variety of pots. What would be the ...Read more


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