PITTSBURGH — After 30 years of work, Marianne Kramer was pleased with her backyard garden in McCandless, Pennsylvania. She had carefully planted perennials and annuals in beds around mature trees and shrubs and a railroad-tie retaining wall.
“We had gorgeous white birch trees and rose of Sharon,” she said.
But the retaining wall was ...Read more
You may have heard the old saying, "That plant is so easy to grow, all you have to do is plant the green-side up." I am here to tell you when it comes to Heart to Heart caladium tubers, all you have to do is plant the white side up.
Son James and I took possession of several boxes of Heart to Heart caladium tubers in the early spring. To be ...Read more
"Does Your Nose Know What My Nose Knows?" was the name of a creative article written by an author during my time as the executive director of the American Rose Society. The reference was to the fragrance found in roses.
I would like to pass this question on to you and the butterfly bush, or buddleia. My wife, Jan, and I are blissfully on the ...Read more
As strange as it sounds, my secret garden is a daylily garden. This doesn’t mean I am a closet daylily enthusiast, quite the opposite. It started a couple of years ago when my wife, Jan, said the side of our house was an embarrassment, and we needed plants. To be honest it was rather a sort of Garden Guy Gulley.
In the backyard there are ...Read more
Sitting on the couch sometime last winter with my trusty perennial catalogue in hand, I gawked over the Pyromania Red Hot Pokers, or torch lilies. We grew Red Hot Pokers at the Columbus Botanical Garden and at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden in Savannah. Why not at The Garden Guy’s house?
When they arrived and were sitting in the ...Read more
Shadowland Autumn Frost is an award-winning hosta that will stop you in your tracks.
Recently I posted a photo and called it a heart-thumping hosta. One of my Facebook followers said something rather meaningful: "You will love it Norman, I have 300 assorted hostas!"
That statement says it all — hostas can be addicting. I have gone to 30 ...Read more
The answer given when the mayor asked a friend of mine in the nursery industry how best to improve the image of the small but growing city? "Plant flowers." You might think this would be the obvious answer from someone in the greenhouse industry as they would stand to benefit from this beautification endeavor.
If you do an internet search on ...Read more
Stop the presses and throw all of your preconceived notions about the monarda or bee balm out the door. I swear, I have had marigolds taller than these new monardas. I have more flowers now on my monardas than I normally get from an entire season’s bloom. I am talking about the Leading Lady series.
First know that 2021 is the National Garden ...Read more
If there were a color that represents happiness in the garden, it would have to be yellow. One of the three primary colors, it has the power to evoke hope and excitement. When the forsythia breaks forth in the early spring, it not only catches your eye, it invigorates your step. Winter is over and a new season has been born.
On the other hand, ...Read more
There are gardens of untold beauty for whom the coral bells show — and I know many of you in the South desperately want them. Just think all of those pages of gorgeous heuchera varieties (coral bells) have their DNA forever linked to natives in the United States.
The Garden Guy came across gorgeous wild ones in the North Georgia Mountains, ...Read more
Spring has been incredible at The Garden Guy’s house, and I am absolutely thankful for the Superbena Stormburst verbena. Swallowtails and hummingbirds came really early this year, not only in Georgia but throughout the Southeast.
So while I have been waiting for lantanas, salvias, agastaches and cupheas to reach the blooming stage, the ...Read more
Petunias for pollinators could be paradise.
At least it seems this way at The Garden Guy’s house.
First off, my wife, Jan, and I are having the most beautiful spring. Not too long ago I wrote a column that planting a fall crop of Supertunias was a great idea. That is proving to be a huge understatement. The October planting survived the ...Read more
The Garden Guy traveled for a few days to speak in Lafayette, Louisiana, LA and returned home to see my "punch" had exploded in color. I am referring to Superbells Calibrachoas Pomegranate Punch, Grape Punch and Tangerine Punch. There are seven punch selections in what has now become a whopping 42 varieties of Superbells.
They are all so rich ...Read more
Dad, you’ve got to come look at this spring combination, said my color deign guru son, James. It made me want to scream wow because it was so beautiful. He chuckled, saying it was kind of an accident. The stunning partnership featured Double Play Candy Corn spirea and Primo Wild Rose heuchera. One of his crew had cut the spirea to the ground ...Read more