Landscaping

Invasive Plants – Cautions About Mimosa

Several plants that were once considered ornamental have escaped and caused great problems in Georgia landscapes. Kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, bamboo, privet and English ivy are all so aggressive that they crowd out everything in their path. When Theresa Schrum mentioned...

READ MORE

Invasive Plants

When I was a kid, I loved melting plastic toy soldiers. I’d climb into the loft of our garage and position myself by an open window. Setting a match flame to the head of a defenseless infantryman, I would thrill...

READ MORE

Gardening – Using a PDA

NOTE: this was written for the AJC in 2003, way before smartphones and their apps. It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come in just a few years! My wife’s garden club came to visit our house last week. We...

READ MORE

Garden Catalogs – Rating

Catalogs offering garden plants for sale have been around for hundreds of years. My guess is that ever since the first one came off the press, gardeners have wondered which ones could be trusted and which ones were frauds. As...

READ MORE

Galls

S.N. recently described for me a strange sight: “For the past two springs, we have found small red or reddish-brown mounds attached to our Chinese witchhazel shrub leaves. Could this be associated with lady bugs or praying mantids? If they’re...

READ MORE

Disease Control – Fungicides

A friend of mine recently told me about his drugstore bill. “It takes more than $100.00 per month to control my high blood pressure and cholesterol!” he complained. “I guess those hamburgers we enjoyed in college weren’t so good for...

READ MORE

Cold Damage

This article on cold damage was originally written in March, 2002 but the details it provides are accurate for any winter. Last night, the WEATHER.COM Web site was predicting 19 degrees at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning in my neighborhood. As...

READ MORE

Buying Plants – Research Before Purchasing

My old friend Von Woods sent me a question a few weeks ago that made me do a little research. “Do you have a list of dogwoods that are disease resistant?” he wrote, “I’ve heard that a new fungus is...

READ MORE

Banana – Overwintering

Given a mild winter and a sheltered location banana trees occasionally survive Atlanta winters untended. More often, the stem and roots turn to mush by spring. Gardeners who like the tropical look bananas afford but who don’t like the cost...

READ MORE

Viburnum – Pollination

Although hollies are better-known for their berries, viburnum shrubs can also have striking fruit each fall. Two of the best fruiting viburnums are tea viburnum, Viburnum setigerum and Linden viburnum, Viburnum dilatatum. Just as with hollies, good pollination produces best...

READ MORE

Viburnum – Distinguishing Snowball-type

As if gardeners didn’t have enough confusion sorting out plants which are not roses, but have rose in their name (rose of Sharon, rose moss, Confederate rose, etc), we also must distinguish between “snowball” viburnums. Chinese snowball viburnum is Viburnum...

READ MORE

Shrubs – Protection in Winter

My thoughts on the various alternatives when attempting to protect shrubs from winter cold: BLACK PLASTIC Though it seems counterintuitive, black plastic is a better covering for plants than clear plastic. The object of covering a plant at all is...

READ MORE

Shrubs – No Flowers

I visited the proud parents of a new baby last week and was allowed to hold the young beauty in my arms. Just fed, she gradually slipped into sleep as the adults talked and marveled at her perfect fingers. I...

READ MORE

Shrub Propagation – Soil Layering

Summer is a great time to propagate favorite shrubs by rooting stems underground. This is one of the simplest ways to multiply a shrub and it is fast and efficient. Start by looking for long shoots which can be bent...

READ MORE

Shrub – Transplanting

Back during the summer, my wife and I threw a big party to celebrate the end of remodeling our kitchen and sunroom. In honor of the occasion, I invited two people who knew my house “way back when”. Dottie Myers,...

READ MORE

Shrub – Pruning

As spring approaches, the first yellow blooms on forsythia plants remind some gardeners that they have once again put off pruning until the last minute. Plants are pruned for different reasons. Shrub roses need pruning annually, to make the new...

READ MORE

Shrub – Propagate from Cuttings

Early July is an excellent time to collect cuttings from favorite shrubs and to root them. Azalea, camellia and holly are easy shrubs to propagate by rooting. There are several techniques for helping a cutting to form its own root...

READ MORE

Shrub – Planting

Shrubs growing in a plastic pot may be planted 12 months a year. To transplant shrubs, evaluate the site to determine its suitability. A soil test for specific plants now can save you problems later. Avoid places where water tends...

READ MORE