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Your USDA Hardiness Zone

Featured Articles!

How Dry I Am

Last year was a tough one – for people and plants. The U.S. Drought Monitor for 2010 shows that the Southern United States was in abnormally dry conditions for most of the year. And this is an area that normally averages over 50 inches of rainfall a year. In fact, it was so dry that cows were giving evaporated milk. The extreme lack of rainfall was bad enough, but coupled with record high summer temperatures for most of the eastern U.S., it was literally a killer. Especially in my garden.

>> read “How Dry I Am”    
Making Garden Memories

This winter, I’ve been thinking about how plants add meaning to our lives. I’m not thinking about our food plants, our medicinal plants or even plants that house us and clothe our bodies. Obviously, plants preserve and sustain our lives, and a study of even one economic plant is a fascinating pursuit. Rather, I am considering the plants that add sentimental value to life.

>> read “Making Garden Memories”    
Sneeze-free Gardening
Avoiding allergy problems in the landscape

Let’s face it – it is almost impossible to avoid plants that cause allergies. For one thing, pollen can travel many miles in the wind. It is also unreasonable to expect our neighbors not to use certain plants in their landscapes just because we are allergic to them. However, with a little care it is possible to avoid heavy exposure to the pollens of allergenic plants and be able to enjoy our gardens most of the year.

>> read “Sneeze-free Gardening”    
Cardoon
A plant that really shines in the winter. Try one today!

The cardoon is a fabulous plant that can provide plenty of interest in your garden. Cardoons form a rosette of deeply lobed, nearly 3-foot long silvery leaves. Mature specimens can reach upwards of 5 feet tall, so it is easy to see how this plant can make an impact. While the cardoon is truly an evergreen perennial for us in the piedmont of South Carolina, it really shines during the winter. We typically use cardoon at Riverbanks as a winter-interest plant, often using it as an annual to give some size and texture to winter bedding schemes.

>> read “Cardoon”       #Hot Plants
Branch Rot of Annual Vinca

Branch and stem rot can be a major disease problem for annual vinca (Catharanthus roseus) once the disease organism has been introduced into the residential or commercial landscape environment. This disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Phytophthora parasitica that can persist in the soil for several years. Under conditions of overhead watering or heavy rainfall, this disease can spread rapidly in a vinca planting. The fungus is often ...

>> read “Branch Rot of Annual Vinca”    
Cattleya Culture
Growing Cattleya Orchids

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 “Cattleya Culture”    
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
The Self-Sufficient Gardener
Developing Transplants from Seed is Easy in a Greenhouse

When growing your own transplants, it is very important to control temperature, ventilation, light and moisture. Temperatures for warm-season crops should be between 65 and 80 F during the day, with nighttime temperatures of 60 to 65 F.

>> read “The Self-Sufficient Gardener”    
Climbing Roses
Unbeatable Color and Beauty

Climbing roses create a color impact like no other plant can. When these beauties are in full flower, the colors and fragrances are staggering. It is no wonder that climbing roses rank among the most popular of all of the vining type plants available today.

>> read “Climbing Roses”    
Trap Crops
Managing insect pests of vegetables

The number one problem with vegetable production in the southeastern United States is insect pests that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Caterpillar pests of vegetables have long been the major issue for vegetable producers and home gardeners; for example, diamondback moth, squash vine borer, hornworms and armyworms. Those insects can cause 100 percent crop loss if control measures are not taken.

>> read “Trap Crops”    
Japanese Stewartia
Stewartia pseudocamellia

Are you looking for a pest-free, small- to medium-sized landscape tree with multi-season beauty? Would you like to have a variety that does not show up on every list of The 25 Most Common Trees? Does the idea of showy summer flowers on a tree appeal to you? If so, you may want to consider planting a Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia) ...

>> read “Japanese Stewartia”       #Hot Plants   #Trees
Let’s Stop Pruning with “Shear” Ignorance

What’s one of the most obvious and common mistakes made in landscapes anywhere in the southern U.S.? Improper pruning or excessive shearing (though it’s stretching the definition of pruning) of shrubs. Nothing jumps out of a landscape faster than a once graceful, natural-form shrub that has been sheared into a mathematician’s delight – be it round, square, pyramidal or rectangular. From a horticultural standpoint, unnecessary, form-damaging shearing of shrubs is almost as criminal as the topping of trees.

>> read “Let’s Stop Pruning with “Shear” Ignorance”    
 
 
 

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