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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

Joe-Pye Weed

Joe-Pye weed is one of my favorite perennials, even if the name is somewhat unfortunate and confusing! First of all, Joe-Pye weed is not a weed at all but rather a North American native perennial.

>> read “Joe-Pye Weed”       #Hot Plants
Dealing With Drought
Keep Your Garden Going When the Rain Stops

Over the past months, most areas of the country have set records for heat and drought. While the experts debate the “whys” and “hows,” the rest of us are stuck with the bottom line — it’s harder to grow things. Extreme temperatures and lack of moisture stresses most garden and landscape plants that would normally be considered tried-and-true standards. In addition, the availability and expense of irrigation has become problematic ...

>> read “Dealing With Drought”    
Invasives in the Trade
The threat in your own yard

Plant exploration has been an alluring and exciting facet of the horticultural world for millennia. Centuries ago, exotic plants moved along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia. During the age of sailing, individuals paid a king’s ransom for rare specimens for their glass houses and royal estates. During the Victorian era, the up-and-coming ...

>> read “Invasives in the Trade”    
Mamou
Erythrina herbacea

Erythrina herbacea is best known in Louisiana as mamou, but it also answers to coral bean, Cherokee bean and cardinal spear. A member of the Fabaceae (bean) family, mamou has compound (trifoliate) leaves, thorny stems and showy red flowers on tall spikes in late spring to early summer, followed by long slender pods opening to reveal bright crimson-red seeds.

>> read “Mamou”       #Hot Plants
Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are common pests of potted plants. The adults are tiny, mosquito-like flies. They don’t bite, but can be nuisances flying about the house. Folks who keep potted plants near their computer or TV often notice them flying near the monitor.

>> read “Fungus Gnats”    
Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs

If you drive through any small town across America, you will find either (or both) Mexican or a wide variety of Asian restaurants. Where burgers, pizza or fried chicken and mashed potatoes were once all that was available to choose from for supper, a huge variety of flavors have cropped up. Today, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Guatemalan and a vast array of other ethnic restaurants exist throughout the country ...

>> read “Three Tasty, Warm-Season Herbs”    
Boxelder tree
Acer negundo

Acer negundo is an Oklahoma native usually found in bottomland forests and populating old homesteads. Its tolerance to extreme cold and drought has made this tree a survivor through much of the U.S. It can be used as a temporary planting, providing fast growth and shade ...

>> read “Boxelder tree”       #Hot Plants
Air Layering
A Makeover for Overgrown Houseplants

Houseplants bring life to our homes and offices, but sometimes they outgrow their welcome. Those with woody stems, such as dracaenas, corn plants and scheffleras, can become too tall and lose their shape or threaten the ceiling. Instead of tossing them out and buying new plants or giving them to a friend with taller ceilings, try air layering. This easy propagation technique will not only rejuvenate your plants — it will reward you with new plants for your efforts ...

>> read “Air Layering”    
Lenten Rose Container

This easy care container plant will provide year-round excitement to a shady corner of your yard. The star of the show will certainly be any one of the plants in the Helleborus Gold Collection, but this container features Cinnamon Snow, with its pink and burgundy tints. Should you want to continue with a flowering plant through the summer, you can gently remove the hellebore and place it in another container or in the ground; then add a pink, purple or white Torenia that will bloom continuously until a hard frost, when you can return your Lenten rose to the container for a seamless year-round event.

>> read “Lenten Rose Container”    
The Underappreciated Biennial

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 “The Underappreciated Biennial”    
Designing with Ornamental Grasses
for Showy, Year-Round Intrigue and Ease

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 “Designing with Ornamental Grasses”    
Camouflage Gardening
Three Ways To Conquer Problem Areas In Your Landscape

Maybe you didn’t look for it when you found the house and didn’t even notice it right away. Then one day you pulled into the drive and saw nothing but the utility pole, or the air conditioner or the gas meter. How could you have missed such a spoiler? No matter if you move to the hills, the valleys or the plains, you will eventually find problem areas in your landscape.

>> read “Camouflage Gardening”