Best Bang for your Buck
Make your plants earn their keep
by Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp

You know how to pinch a penny, and you always save for that rainy day. Now it is time to make your plants work hard and earn their keep!

Gardeners like plants that are easy to grow and those that multiply without a lot of effort, especially if they have a lot of ground to cover.

Some perennials and annuals self-sow, casting their seeds to the wind to root some place else in the landscape. These can be transplanted to desirable locations or shared with others.   >> read article
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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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It’s All About the Berries
by Susan Crawford

If you have ever seen a beautyberry in fruit, you are not likely to forget it. The brilliant, iridescent purple berries that cluster along the stems of Callicarpa dichotoma and C. japonica in late summer and fall will stop you in your tracks.   >> 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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Henderson’s Daphne
Daphne x hendersonii
by Joseph Tychonievich

See Daphne x hendersonii in the garden and first, you fall in love with the dense, gorgeous, glossy, dark, evergreen foliage. Already in love with the leaves, you’ll faint when spring comes and the shrub covers itself with lush clusters of rich pink flowers. Bend down for a closer look and catch a whiff of that incredible fragrance and you’re a goner. Even better? Come late summer it blooms again, just as profusely and fragrantly ...   >> 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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