Posted on August 6, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
It’s hot, so get out early in the day for these mid-summer garden tips and tasks:
Early in the month
Continue deadheading summer-flowering perennials and annuals, cutting off the spent flowers to encourage the plants to keep blooming. Be sure to cut fresh flowers, too, to enjoy in bouquets indoors.
Nothing’s more frustrating that finding that birds have poked holes in your prized tomatoes. To discourage pecking, pick tomatoes before they are fully red and let them ripen indoors.
Filed under: Garden Tips & Tasks, Summer in the garden | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 9, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
We’d like to have a perennial garden, but we’ve moved into a place that has a lot of trees in the yard. We get some sun a couple of times during the day, but there is no place that gets full sun all day. What are some perennials that grow and bloom in part sun or shade?
Hosta and spiderwort are two shade-loving perennials to add to a shady landscape.
In mid-summer, many gardeners might say you’re lucky to have those shady spots, where you can be outdoors but can stay out of the blazing July sun. Landscape designers know the benefits:
“A shade garden in the summer is a wonderful place to relax,” says landscape designer Mary Higgins, who owns Lavender Blue Garden Design in Middle Tennessee.
“I take care of a lot of gardens in the sun. When I get home, I find I get a lot of pleasure out of my shade garden. The sunny garden takes work. The shade garden is a place I can actually sit and read, relax and slow down, even on a hot day.”
There are plenty of plants that can thrive in areas that don’t get full sun. Continue reading
Filed under: Grow a Garden, Perennials | Tagged: anemone, flowers, Helleborus, hosta, Hydrangea, landscape, perennials, rhodea, shade garden, shrubs, summer blooming | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 2, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
Things are heating up! Here’s a to-do list to keep the garden at its best this month.
Early in the month
It’s time for summer tomatoes! The fruits tend crack when watering is inconsistent, so keep the soil around tomatoes evenly moist.
Coleus’ beauty is in the foliage, so when it begins to bloom, pinch off the flower spikes to encourage the plant to grow fuller and bushier. Wax begonias also benefit from periodic pinching to keep them from becoming leggy.
For the best flavor, pick squash and cucumbers while they are still small and tender. You can plant a second crop of bush beans, zucchini and cucumber, summer veggies that grow quickly.
Filed under: Garden Tips & Tasks, Summer in the garden | Tagged: annuals, coleus, compost, garden pests, Irises, kitchen garden, lawn care, perennials, Tomatoes | 2 Comments »
Posted on June 25, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
I inherited a fairly large garden of hellebores when I moved into my current house. There is a problem with black spots on the leaves that I researched on the internet. I have cleaned out the dead leaves from the winter to improve their appearance and air circulation. What is the best way to deal with this problem?
If you’ve cut off the dead leaves of the hellebores and gotten any infected foliage around the plants cleaned up and destroyed, you’ve already gotten a good start on controlling the problem by non-chemical means. Leaf spot disease seems to be a fairly common affliction of Helleborus, caused by a fungus, and the first line of defense is to avoid spreading it around, and keep the area inhospitable to fungal growth.
Filed under: Diseases, Perennials | Tagged: black spot, fungus, hellebore, Helleborus, leaves | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 18, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
My hydrangeas have pink flowers. Is it true I can make them change to blue? How do you do that? Can I also change my white hydrangeas to pink or blue?
The French hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is the one with the big, round, blue or pink clusters of flowers. The color of the flowers depends on the pH level of the soil – how acid or alkaline it is. French hydrangeas growing in alkaline soil have pink flowers; if the flowers are blue, that indicates that the soil is acid.
Filed under: Flowering shrubs | Tagged: acid soil, alkaline soil, blue hydrangea, French hydrangeas, H. macrophylla, Hydrangea, pink hydrangea, soil pH, white hydrangea | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 11, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
Jay and Peggy Turman’s garden contains 400 different species of daylilies.
June is the big month for daylilies in Middle Tennessee, and Jay and Peggy Turman are in a good place to enjoy it. They are daylily collectors, and in the relatively small space of their Nashville front yard they grow 400 different cultivars of daylilies, which begin opening in late May each year and continue into July.
Today, they’re enjoying the view of a garden full of daylilies blooming in a range of colors and sizes, and looking forward to the Middle Tennessee Daylily Society’s annual show and sale, which takes place next Saturday (June 18, 2016) at Crievewood United Methodist Church.
The Turmans started MTDS in their living room 27 years ago: “In November, we had 11 for Continue reading
Filed under: Perennials, Seasons | Tagged: daylilies, Hemerocallis, hybridizer, Jay Turman, Peggy Turman | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 11, 2016 by Gloria Ballard
I received a gardenia plant in a 3-gallon plastic pot and a large, beautiful ceramic pot to plant it in for Mother’s Day. It’s outdoors in an area that receives part sun. Only one bloom has opened, but it’s full of buds and will be covered in white flowers soon, I hope. When should I repot it into the new pot? Are gardenias hardy in Middle Tennessee?
If buds have formed since you received this lovely gift, I’d wait to repot it until after it has finished blooming. Gardenias don’t always settle into a new environment easily, and a typical response to such a move is to stop flowering.
After the flowers fade, get ready to pamper this temperamental beauty. Continue reading
Filed under: Flowering shrubs, Shrubs | Tagged: fragrant flowers, Gardenia, repotting, USDA Hardiness Zone 7a, white flowers | Leave a comment »