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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Foxgloves in the Southern Garden

The transition from the riot of color during spring’s awakening of the garden to the lazy days of summer is one of my favorite periods. Though the calendar tells us it is still spring, the flowers and the warmer temperatures inform us another spring will soon pass into the record books. It is during this transitional period that many old-fashioned favorite garden plants bloom. Irises, peonies, hollyhock and especially foxgloves make their presence known during this period.

>> read “Foxgloves in the Southern Garden”    
Rescue or Theft

There is a movement among many garden enthusiasts to “rescue” the wonderful heirloom bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers of our ancestors’ time. Many areas where they grow are being bulldozed for construction of homes, businesses and highways, while other areas are getting so overgrown with trees, vines and weeds, the plants are unable to survive without the necessary sunlight. Although saving these bulbs for future generations is a noble activity, it does not give us the right to take something that does not belong to us. Let us be clear about this fact. All land belongs to someone.

>> read “Rescue or Theft”    
Nandina Flirt
Nandina domestica ‘Murasaki’

Good looking and oh so easy – no wonder they call this one Flirt. New leaves emerge deep red, transition through burgundy and finally age to green. At times, all three colors are present on the same plant. Normally you would need two plants to get contrasting foliage, but this one does it all.

>> read “Nandina Flirt”       #Hot Plants
Hairy Wood Mint
Blephilia hirsuta

Hairy wood mint (Blephilia hirsuta) is a wonderful native plant that can be grown in a rock garden or in light dappled shade at the edge of the woodland garden. Like most mints, it is fragrant, and the small, tubular flowers are dotted with purple at the edge of the lip. It has unusually hairy stems, opposite leaves and whorls of small flowers ...

>> read “Hairy Wood Mint”       #Hot Plants   #Natives   #Ornamentals
How To Design a Historic Landscape

Romanticized in film and novels, the traditional plantation garden is often envisioned as a spacious ornamental landscape with sweeping lawn vistas and long allees of oak trees leading to an elegant manor. While this landscape may have been true in some cases, landscape historians report that this image is “gone with the wind,” as many plantations were really working farms and offered little time for maintaining vast ornamental gardens.

>> read “How To Design a Historic Landscape”    
Whitewater Red Bud
Cercis canadensis

Cercis canadensis ‘Whitewater’ is a “hot plant” out of North Carolina and a North American native tree too! This small, deciduous tree with beautifully variegated white and green leaves was developed by Dr. Dennis Werner at North Carolina State University. It’s a good choice to incorporate into your garden where contrasting foliage color is desired. Traditional magenta-pink flowers of the redbud emerge in the early spring on bare branches ...

>> read “Whitewater Red Bud”       #Hot Plants
Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening

Like most gardeners in the South, you probably maintain a vegetable garden for three seasons: spring, summer and fall. But if you’re not living in Zone 9, where plants can grow all year round without much protection, you might think that keeping a winter garden is difficult at best ...

>> read “Space Saver Tips for Winter Vegetable Gardening”    
The American Chestnut Story
Hopefully there will be a happy ending

It’s sad, but much of today’s news contains stories about the endangerment or extinction of a plant or animal, or even an outright environmental catastrophe. Contrary to that trend, when I recently stumbled on an article about efforts to restore the endangered American chestnut tree to a place of importance in our forests, I immediately thought...

>> read “The American Chestnut Story”    
Creating Successful Hanging Baskets
A great return for a little investment

Bright, colorful hanging baskets are like exclamation points in your garden story. They can draw your attention to other areas in the landscape; connect the garden to the house; or add a bright spot to an otherwise dark area of the porch or patio. As yards get smaller and gardening time is lost to busy schedules, a hanging basket may be the fastest and easiest way to bring color into your landscape. Successful three-season baskets are possible by paying attention to the core components: correct soil mix, adequate fertilizer, proper watering and good plant choices.

>> read “Creating Successful Hanging Baskets”    
Plant The Yard For Beauty And Food

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of shady overhanging trees can keep these five fantastic edible landscape plants from becoming standards in the Southeastern garden: crabapple, yucca, sunflower, native rose and pawpaw.

>> read “Plant The Yard For Beauty And Food”    
Street Trees are Money Trees

Neighborhood street trees increase property value, save energy and help with storm water retention. They also create shady, walkable sidewalks ...

>> read “Street Trees are Money Trees”       #Finance   #Landscaping   #Trees
Putting Your Equipment to Bed for the Winter

As we head into the later months of autumn and get closer to winter, our minds are filled with thoughts of a Thanksgiving feast, Christmas trees and New Year’s celebrations. Perhaps the last thing we think about is our garden or landscape, since most of us tend to put these on autopilot during the cooler months. While our gardens and landscape can survive the cold winter months without much assistance ...

>> read “Putting Your Equipment to Bed for the Winter”