Everything About Azaleas
by Donald W. Hyatt

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
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Myrtle Mania
So many new crapemyrtle varieties to choose from
by Allen Owings

New varieties of crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) are currently available in abundance. We could almost say, “Enough is enough.” Yes, it is overwhelming with the numbers of new crapemyrtle varieties. Developers are introducing plants with the goals of smaller growth habits, dark foliage (such as burgundy and black), earlier blooms, and darker flowers (better red, purples, etc.). In one recent evaluation, new crapemyrtles went from fewer than 20 varieties to over 50 varieties in a very short period of time.   >> read article
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How to: Dividing Orchids
by Peter Gallagher

Here's an example of an orchid that has been in the same container for probably about ten years in the greenhouse. It really should have been divided 2 or 3 times in that period of time, but since it was not, we will try to show you what you would do to get that back in better shape.   >> read article
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Lilac Chaste Tree
Plant Profile
by Peter Gallagher

Lilac chaste tree also known as Vitex agnus-castus provides a dramatic flower display at a time when spring flowering plants have faded and prior to most of the summer flowering shrubs. In fact it has the potential for reblooming in the heat of summer.

The overall growth habit and twisted multi-stemed truck lend an aged look to the landscape similar to that of ancient olive trees of Italy or old established grape vines. Lilac chaste tree makes a great plant for the zones 7-10. Tolerating a minimum temperature above 0°F. This plant might be found in an older established garden where it performs very well in a dry exposed sunny spot. A loose sandy soil is quite suitable. A fresh layer of mulch is always helpful to avoid extremes of temperature and moisture loss.   >> read article
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Taking Care of Irises
Late summer is prime time for planting and dividing bear
by Carole Howell

Sometimes called the poor man’s orchid, the bearded iris, with its myriad of colors, puts a new box of crayons to shame. These diverse, drought-resistant garden beauties provide an elegant centerpiece for many Southern gardens, with their magnificent spring blooms. But the plants are great in the garden even after the blooms have faded, thanks to their lush green stalks.   >> read article
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Small Spring-Flowering Trees
by Scott A. Zanon

This is the time of year when you notice all the blooming trees — they just seem to pop out of the landscape. Maybe it is time you added one or two (or all of them!) to your garden.   >> read article
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High Octane Vines
Garden Rooms Exhibit Creativity
by Norman Winter

Many gardeners today are transforming their landscape with “high octane” vines that grow with extreme vigor, climb easily on their own with tendrils or disks and provide almost instant cover. These hot, new vines may be annuals or perennials, depending on the selection.   >> read article
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Cattleya Culture
Growing Cattleya Orchids
by W. Dave Holder

To many people, the beautiful Cattleya is what they think of when the word “orchid” is mentioned — and with good reason. The flowers of the cattleya orchid are large, showy and colorful. Because of their popularity for use in corsages, cattleyas are commonly known as “the corsage orchid.” Named for the English horticulturist William Cattley (1788-1835), Cattleya is among the easiest of the orchid ...   >> read article
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