Adding color to your garden in winter can be a challenge. For many gardeners, barren beds are something we learn to live with until spring. After all, our winters can be harsh with temperatures frequently dipping below freezing. Most flowering plants do not survive in these conditions. However, there are some that flourish, and even thrive, in cooler temperatures. Brightening a winter garden doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to pick the right plants for your conditions. >> read article
Azaleas are more than a harbinger of spring. All across the Southeast, masses of red, white, pink and purple azaleas boldly proclaim that the season has arrived. Many people think azaleas come in just four colors, and some may even criticize their use as commonplace. Discriminating gardeners know better. This article cannot possibly discuss everything about azaleas, but it may foster an appreciation for their amazing diversity while providing some practical advice.
All azaleas are really rhododendrons, and fall into two general categories: evergreen or deciduous. Evergreen azaleas are very common in American gardens but they are not native plants. They all originated in western Asia, primarily Japan and China. North America is home to 17 native azalea species and they are all deciduous shrubs. Surprisingly, most are native to the Southeast! Admired in Europe since the 1800s, they have been woefully underrepresented in our gardens. >> read article
Whether you’re planning a new landscape or rejuvenating an established one, ornamental grasses can add surprising pizzazz. They are dynamic, versatile and carefree in ways that few other plants can match. Widely known as the stars of autumn with their showy, long-lasting plumes, they can provide almost year-round interest. These grasses not only bring structure to the landscape, but sound and movement as well ... >> read article
Fans of perennial flowers admire both their longevity in the garden and their capabilities. Where they once planted a daylily, by division, they can have three or more clumps in a few years. Fans of annuals tout their quick results and their lengthy bloom period. Pop in your six-pack and, if it isn’t blooming already, it soon will be – and will bloom for months on end. No wonder biennials are the Rodney Dangerfields of the flower world ... >> read article
The eastern redbud has long been a staple for southern gardeners and when the delicate flowers fill the forest edges, warmer weather is just a whisper away. While the eastern redbud’s popularity remains strong, there have been a host of newcomers hitting the streets in the last few years. One of my personal favorites is Cercis canadensis
‘Appalachian Red’ or the Appalachian red redbud. >> read article
Persian shield is a stunning foliage plant that once you grow it, you’ll want it in your garden every year. Native to Burma (Myanmar), it was a popular plant during the Victorian era and is regaining popularity after the University of Georgia reintroduced it a few years ago. This plant loves heat and humidity and doesn’t start growing well until days start to get warmer. >> read article