Fresh Foundations
by Helen Newling Lawson

Foundation plantings – usually evergreen shrubs – have always had a reputation for being boring. To make matters worse, many of the South’s go-to choices are now also suffering from a host of disease and insect problems.

Luckily, there are several new introductions that make fantastic, low-maintenance substitutions with similar growth habits. Some even offer a fresh twist with colorful foliage or flowers that can add some pizzazz to your plantings.   >> read article
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The Unusual Suspects
One dozen off-the-beaten-path shrubs for your garden
by Garry Menendez

“And now for something completely different.” It’s time to play a little bit of classic comedy movie trivia. From which movie did the following line become famous: “We want a shrubbery”? If you’re my age or have ever in your life encountered the classic Monty Python skits you would know that this line is from the hilarious bridge scene as the Knights of the Round Table attempt to correctly answer the pun posed by the Knights that say “Ni!” to gain access across the guarded bridge in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.   >> read article
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Pruning Tips to Salvage an Overgrown Landscape
by Bob Westerfield and Adrianne Todd

As a horticulture specialist for the University of Georgia, I certainly get my share of frustrated homeowners that want me to help them recover their house from their overgrown landscape. Where they once had a beautiful vista of their backyard or swimming pool, they now suddenly have a blob of green obscuring the view. Many times, they are uncertain whether they should try to prune the bush down a few feet in hope of getting their window back, or go through the arduous task of yanking out the beastly plant altogether. While the best solution would have been to plant the appropriately sized plant to begin with, we do not always have that luxury when we purchase a used home. Renewal pruning, sometimes called rejuvenating pruning, is one option that can help recover a severely overgrown plant or landscape. This radical pruning technique can buy some time and add many years to your existing overgrown plants.   >> read article
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Oleander (Nerium oleander)
by Peter Gallagher

Oleander, also known as Nerium oleander, is a summer-flowering evergreen shrub, native to Asia and the Mediterranean region. It is hardy to about 15 F. This is an excellent plant for tough sites, tolerant of heat, drought and air pollution, drying winds, salt spray and sandy, dry soils. It can be found growing very well in bright exposed sites with no irrigation and minimal maintenance.   >> read article
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Topiary Gardens
by Denise Schreiber

Ultimately, gardening is the act of ‘controlling’ plants and shaping the landscape to our own designs. Topiary takes ‘gardening’ to a higher level. Topiary, the art of training live plants to grow into a myriad of shapes and forms by clipping foliage and branches has been practiced since Roman times. The word itself comes from the word topiarius, a description of an ornamental landscape gardener or the creator of topia ...   >> read article
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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick
Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’
by Mike Klahr, Ph.D.

Are you interested in the unusual, or even the bizarre? If so, your curiosity (and that of your neighbors) might be piqued by the uniqueness of the contorted European filbert, a plant fondly known as Harry Lauder’s walking stick ...   >> read article
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Common Ninebark
by Hubert P. Conlon

You may call it common or Eastern ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), but this native shrub has become anything but common. Ninebark has been to finishing school with several fabulous new cultivars introduced. Bright, colorful foliage – burgundy, copper, gold and variegated – have replaced the standard medium green leaves of the old-fashioned ninebark. The species has been tamed, a lot more compact and less vigorous.   >> read article
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Made in the Shade
Indicator Plants And Shade Gardening
by Gerald Klingaman

Shade is a major design consideration in most gardens in the Southern U.S. Given the opportunity, we nestle our homes under the spreading boughs of forest giants and are forced from the outset to develop a garden that will never know the full intensity of the sun. Or, if our subdivision was a cotton field or cow pasture in a previous life, we grow our own shade – never quite believing that those small switches we plant will one day become sylvan giants and rob sunlight like a thief in the night. Shade is a good thing, though. It makes our outdoor living spaces habitable during the muggy months and permits the summer-long enjoyment of our gardens.   >> read article
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