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On Gardening: Bolivian Sunset is dazzling shady groundcover

Gardening / Gardening News /

Shady groundcovers that bloom are much sought after in the gardening world, and Bolivian Sunset holds one of the most beautiful opportunities. The name itself conjures up visions of exotic colors.

Bolivian Sunset is known botanically as Seemannia sylvatica and indeed is native to Bolivia and Peru. It also has another common name and that is ...Read more

The Greener View: Dealing With Yellow Grass

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We had large, soft maple trees taken out this summer; the large trunks were ground down. We took out the chips before having new dirt hauled in to fill up the holes. We sowed grass seed over the whole lawn during the second week in September. It was basically all perennial rye with some blue grass. We kept it watered, and we got a fairly good...Read more

On Gardening: Soap aloe offers striking foliage, gorgeous flowers loved by hummingbirds

Gardening / Gardening News /

The soap aloe is just one of those plants that stir up a passion in gardeners and plant aficionados across the country. It's known botanically as Aloe maculata, and at first glance, you would swear it is from Mexico but alas its home is over 9,000 miles away in South Africa.

I first fell in love with it when I would travel to the California ...Read more

The Greener View: Tree Transplants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We transplanted some 3.5-inch caliper trees six years ago. They seem to be generally healthy, but the leaves have never been full or bright or strong. The fruit trees and spruce trees we have seem fine, but the trees with this problem are red oaks, sunset maples, crimson king Norway maples and white birches. I had them professionally ...Read more

On Gardening: NuMex Easter pepper a stunning, All-America Selections winner

Gardening / Gardening News /

When it comes to new varieties, I feel like I am on top of things-but occasionally there are those Rip Van Winkle moments. This is the case with NuMex Easter ornamental pepper. Holy cow, what a beauty and the embarrassing part for me is that it was a 2014 All-America Selections Winner and I am just now growing it.

My apologies and my accolades ...Read more

The Greener View: Agricultural Hardiness Zones

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Recently, you mentioned that some ornamental grasses were only hardy to zone 5 or zone 7. Does that mean they are hardy from zones 1 through 5 or 1 through 7?

A: I am sorry for the confusion. The lower the cold hardiness zone number, the colder the average winter temperature. The lower the cold hardiness zone number, the hardier the plant is...Read more

On Gardening: Banner year for Graffiti pentas and butterflies

Gardening / Gardening News /

It seems to be a banner year for butterflies in the south. While the big Monarch migration hasn't hit, everything else appears to be high. I'm not sure if there is a correlation, but it also seems as if pentas are having the most incredible year ever.

What a quandary for the landscape industry. It's nearly time to start planting cool-season ...Read more

The Greener View: Managing Pine Needles, Crabapple Fruits and Fire Blight

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We have been in this home for less than a year, and we are running into new landscape questions all the time. We have a very large white pine tree in the backyard. It is at least 80 feet tall. It has suddenly started dropping thousands of pine needles. We've been told this is normal, but it seems like a lot. They are hard to rake up. Can we ...Read more

On Gardening: Fall in love with Patti Faye the most exquisite deodar cedar

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

The Greener View: Ornamental Grasses

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

On Gardening: Giant milkweed, consider the possibilities

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

The Greener View: Tomato Hornworms

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Tomato Hornworms

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

The Greener View: Landscape Flooding

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Landscape Flooding

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

On Gardening: Scarlet sage, an old friend even more dazzling

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

On Gardening: America's most stunning berry coming into rare and colorful beauty

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

The Greener View: Planting in Fall

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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 Greener View: Fish Ponds

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

On Gardening: Moths can stun with their beauty, too!

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

On Gardening: Let your artistic nature flourish with fancy leafed caladiums

Gardening / Gardening News /

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

The Greener View: Butterfly Gardens

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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.

...Read more

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