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Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: New Hawaiian Ti varieties create a dazzling taste of the tropics

Gardening / Gardening News /

Our Taste for the Tropics just got a lot larger this year as Proven Winners has added five new Hawaiian Ti varieties under their Proven Selections label. This brings the Cordyline group to a total of eight selections. Most of us have never seen a named variety of Hawaiian Ti, known botanically as Cordyline fruticosa or Cordyline australis.

I ...Read more

The Greener View: Where to Buy Plants and Moving Bulbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Be sure to read this column next week because there will be a big announcement that you won't want to miss. It will be good news for all of you who love plants and landscaping.

Q: Last year I bought a pretty red flowering hibiscus tree for my yard from the grocery store. This spring it did not leaf out and it appears to be dead. I like the ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Let Heart to Heart caladiums create the unexpected in your garden

Gardening / Gardening News /

The Garden Guy made a trip across town to chat with son James and came away giddy on one hand and grumpy on the other because I had been scooped. I am used to being the dud when it comes to comparing my plant partnerships with his, but this time he showed me up with a new variety. I’m the new variety guy, not this whippersnapper, but he was ...Read more

The Greener View: Weather

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Before I get started today, I want you to know there will be a big announcement in this column in two weeks on June 1. It is good news that you won't want to miss.

I believe it was Mark Twain quoting Charles Dudley Warner who said that "everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." I am no exception, but I hope to give ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Graceful Tut family creates true container elegance

Gardening / Gardening News /

Prince Tut and the dwarf exquisite Queen Tut papyrus grasses have put the proverbial ta-da in ‘The Garden Guy’s containers this year. The story, however, really goes back to October. I have two containers I call smokestacked in their shape. They are about 20 inches tall, ceramic-glazed and about the diameter of a Frisbee. The containers get ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Mower Alternatives Again

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

In a recent article, I mentioned how an updated version of the old-fashioned reel lawn mower might be appropriate for the person who emailed their question. Sometimes, I edit the email to fit space and to zero in on one topic. In this case, several people complained that my answer wasn't comprehensive enough.

For instance, the original question...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Lemon Coral sedum celebrate the flowers

Gardening / Gardening News /

A funny thing happened on the way to May: I have what looks to be a million tiny yellow flowers. It happens every year for about four to six weeks, but no one talks about it. Some even look away.

Lemon Coral sedum was the 2019 Proven Winners Annual of the Year, yet I don’t remember flowers being mentioned. While I am at it, I will add, I ...Read more

The Greener View: Herb Gardening

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I have never tried planting herbs in my garden, so I don't know what to do or how to get the seasonings from them. Is an herb garden too complicated for an ordinary gardener like me?

Answer: You may have heard of herb gardens or kitchen gardens, or even gardens of herbs where the plants are trimmed into fancy mazes or knots, but you ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Aqua blue pots on a hill the 'peace' de resistance

Gardening / Gardening News /

Aqua blue pots in the landscape and staggered on the side of a hill were not my idea, but my bride's, the person who pops up on my phone as Jan My Love Winter. I have avoided this color like the plague for most of my life. To modify the French phrase, this project was going to be my "peace" de resistance. Jan is a gifted and natural plant ...Read more

The Greener View: Crocus Problem and Salad Bowl Gardens

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last fall we bought some crocus, daffodil and tulip bulbs. The daffodils are blooming, but the crocus and tulips are not. The crocus leaves started to come up but then stopped. The tulip leaves are there, but there are no flowers. What do you think happened and what can we do to prevent it next year?

A: The problem is most likely mammals. ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: The early butterfly gets the verbena. Do you have them planted?

Gardening / Gardening News /

Swallowtails were early at The Garden Guy’s house this year. Thank goodness I had Superbena verbenas in full bloom. It is as if they had been given the task of announcing the arrival of spring and the butterfly season. On March 22, I photographed an eastern tiger swallowtail on Superbana Royale Chambray verbena.

Your first thought might be, ...Read more

The Greener View: Potato Seeds or Seed Potatoes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I saw a sign in the store that said potato seeds, but it appeared that the boxes for sale had potatoes in them. I have never seen potato seeds. Can I buy potato seeds?

A: Both potato seeds and seed potatoes are real, but it is unlikely that you will be able to buy potato seeds. Potato plants are in the same family as tomato, pepper, eggplant...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Persian Shield is beautifully exotic

Gardening / Gardening News /

Recently I stumbled across a plant recipe called "This is the Life." Not only was it a collection of some of my favorite plants, it was a wake-up call to an old favorite: the Persian Shield. Known botanically as Strobilanthes dyerianus, it is native to Myanmar and has 8-inch-long iridescent leaves in shades of purple, lilac and pink with purple-...Read more

The Greener View: Landscaping Questions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you haven't bought an Easter lily, you should go buy one now. They will be on sale after this weekend, and if you want to you can call it a spring lily. You can enjoy the flowers and fragrance for the next few weeks and then you can plant it outdoors.

Keep the lilies in bright, indirect light until the outdoor nighttime temperatures stay ...Read more

Norman Winter/Norman Winter/TNS

On Gardening: Calibrachoa Superbells gave winter the one-two punch

Gardening / Gardening News /

As I write this on April 3, today was the day the ruby-throated hummingbirds returned to my house. Oddly, it was a feast of the Calibrachoas Superbells. This story, however, starts the first week of October, which is when I planted them.

I’ve been touting this for zone 8 and warmer for a couple of years. To be honest, after what I have seen, ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Mower Alternatives

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our lawn mower quit. We got just two mowings out of it this spring. The cost to repair it will be more than it is worth. I was thinking that we should get an old-fashioned mower that doesn't require gasoline, but my husband thinks they are heavy and that they don't cut very well. Have there been any improvements in lawn mowers besides the ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: The best supporting flower goes to…Blue My Mind and Blue My Mind XL

Gardening / Gardening News /

Blue My Mind and last year’s sibling Blue My Mind evolvulus are surefire winners of the 2022 Best Supporting Flower. This is for the flower that delivers an outstanding performance in a supporting role.

As I write this, I am a couple of hours away from the 2022 version of the Oscars. I don’t know what this year’s films are and have to ...Read more

The Greener View: Organic Mulch is Beneficial

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: The trees planted in our new subdivision have grass planted right up to the trunks. I want to add mulch around them but don't know how far out to go or what kind to use.

Answer: Installing mulch is one of the most beneficial things you can do for any tree, but this is especially true for new trees. However, if mulch is too thick or ...Read more

Norman Winter/TNS/TNS

On Gardening: Diamond Snow euphorbia a garden game changer

Gardening / Gardening News /

Diamond Snow has dramatically changed how we look at euphorbias, that not-so-glamorous common name of spurge. We all fell madly in love with its sibling Diamond Frost and subsequently gave it hundreds of awards in university trials. Diamond Snow, however, is a game changer.

Although Diamond Snow has only been out two years, it is racking up ...Read more

The Greener View: Grass Seed and Dormant Oil

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Does dead crabgrass look like white dead clumps dotted around the lawn? If so, should I dig each one up and fill in with grass seed, fertilizer and dirt?

Answer: At this time of year, all dead annual and many dormant perennial grasses look like white dead clumps. If the good grass in your lawn has some signs of green and there are ...Read more

 

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