Hanging Baskets Made for Shade Hanging baskets provide a great way to add color and interest to our summer landscapes. While there are many great blooming plants for hanging baskets, I like to use hanging baskets in shady areas. Baskets in shade are easy to care for as they don't require nearly as much watering as their sun-drenched counterparts.
Designing an Easy-Care Landscape Spring fever has arrived in the lower south. This wonderful affliction calls to the gardener deep inside everyone, drawing us outdoors to dig and plant. With a little forethought and planning, we can create landscapes that are both beautiful and easy to maintain in the years to come.
If you have put off planting roses because you either think they are too much trouble or you don't care for the look of a formal rose garden, then I have some great news for you. Roses are for everyone, everywhere.
Fall Color Southern Style Dogwood is one of the great plants for dependable early fall color in the south. Each fall a glorious spectrum of colors blankets hardwood trees across the country. In Colorado, the gold of aspens catch the eye. In the Midwest and New England, sugar maples are among the most stunning of trees with their brilliant red/orange and yellow hues.
Environmentally Smart Lawn Care
All land drains to some body of water. We can all learn how to maintain beautiful lawns and gardens while avoiding needless damage to the environment. There is a debate here in the south over the role lawns should play in the future of our landscapes. Some say turfgrass is environmentally unsound and should be minimized or eliminated.
Peppers Remain a "Hot" Gardening Trend
The small, fiery hot fruits of chili pequin peppers are quite ornamental. They are prized by birds and thus often come up wild in the lower south.Peppers Remain a "Hot" Gardening Trend. Peter Piper was definitely ahead of his time. Peppers are still the trendy veggies that you must have for your garden to be
well, to be "cool."
Some gardeners seem able to make anything grow. Their secret is not a green thumb. It's the right soil.
Fall is for Propagating Plant Plant propagation is fun and easy, despite the mystery and air of difficulty that often shroud the simple truth. I have learned that the complicated science of plant propagation can be simplified down to a few easy techniques that anyone can use to successfully multiply their plants with a high percentage of success.
Containers for Color I love growing foliage and flowering plants in containers. Containers are a great way to add instant color and pizzazz to the landscape, and they provide people with limited space a chance to garden. Your porch, patio, balcony, or driveway can go from drab to dazzling with the addition of flowering containers.
In My Garden - Making a Home for Houseplants Dwarf forms of English ivy make an excellent, fast-growing houseplant. The term "houseplant" is really somewhat misleading. No plants are "native" to the house. Most so-called houseplants are native to the understory layers of tropical rain forests, where they thrive in the moist, humid, low-light environment.
Summer Dreams of Gardening I was watching a gardening TV show the other day based on the idea that a crew can come in to someone's yard and build an instant garden while the owners step out for a day. They leave their tired old lot in the hands of the miracle workers and return to a dazzling new showplace.
The Quiet of a Southern Summer Now is the part of the year we refer to as the summer dormant season down here in the South. All but our southern heat-tolerant plants are dormant. That even includes most gardeners! When things really heat up, we limit gardening to early morning and early evening hours.
Watering Wisdom Rising temperatures mean our gardens are getting thirsty. Thankfully we've had plenty of rain lately in Texas, delaying the inevitable dance of the hoses I do every summer in my yard and garden. Dragging hoses is great exercise and offers hours of quiet, mindless opportunities to contemplate life or just daydream.
Summer-Tough Flowers and Veggies Our southern gardens are once again in transition. The first transition was when danger of frost passed and we began to plant warm-season veggies and flowers. Now the weather is moving from warm to hot. That means the cool-season plantings such as broccoli are almost all done and wimpier warm-season flowers such as Dianthus and petunias will soon look like they were blasted with a welding torch.
Pining for Vines I've become partial to vines in recent years. Last year we planted a number of vines along fences, over arbors, and even as container plants. Vines add a third dimension to the garden, providing overhead and vertical interest. It seems to me that vertical structures are underutilized in our southern gardens. Our hot sunny summers should guarantee that an arbor, vertical pillars with vines, or climbing roses would be an integral element of most landscapes, but I see few of them.
Preparing for the Heat Wave You just can't beat the wonderful weather and temperatures we've had this spring here in the South. In most areas a late frost never arrived to spoil the show and our plants are really growing great. Temperatures are so perfect that even the "fair weather" gardeners are staying busy and active in the garden.
Pests: This is the best time of year to be strolling through
the garden. Everything is growing like crazy and the temperatures are
absolutely fabulous. I was out examining the plants the other day and
noticed the tomatoes are already blooming and the squash is not too
Look for an affordable professional pest control company in your area!
We've been enjoying the spring rains this week, although at times they may get to be too much of a good thing. Gardeners who did not plant in raised beds often find frequent rainfall turns the garden into a swamp.
So Many Bloomin' Things To Do These warm spring days are really great for gardening. Our plants are in high gear during this transition from winter to summer in the south. Cool-season plants love it because it is not too hot, but it's warm enough for warm-season plants to really take off. This makes for our busiest season.
Patience and the Spring Gardener Spring is the season for gardeners! Can't you feel the fever of gardening as it runs rampant through your town or county (or parish for you Louisiana gardeners!)? We all love to garden but this time of year even our not-so-dedicated neighbors get into the act, even if it is just to buy a sack of fertilizer to green up the lawn.
The Real Dirt on Gardening This past week we took advantage of the great weather to get out in the garden and build a few more raised beds. We had a sunny spot where I wanted to add some vegetable beds, so we worked in some compost and turned the soil.
Bugs We are in the late-summer-to-early-fall season when bugs seem to proliferate in our landscapes and gardens.
Strawberry Next to the computer I have a picture of our strawberry patch from a few years ago. My youngest daughter is perusing a nearby peach tree, inspecting the crop of fruit.