The Perennial Plant of the Year™ program began in 1990 to showcase a perennial that is outstanding among its competitors. The selection process is quite simple – PPA members vote for the Perennial Plant of the Year™ each summer.
With this odd start to the summer season, many seem confused about this season’s lawn care. What is an appropriate mower height? How often and how much should I water? When is the best time to fertilize, dethatch and renovate existing lawns? For the answers to these questions, you first need to understand the growth cycle of turf grass. Most lawns in our area are cool season grasses, which include Kentucky Blue Grass, Perennial Rye Grass and Fine Fescues. These grasses naturally slow their growth and may go dormant in the hottest of summer months.
This late spring has really delayed our work on the flower farm. Flats of flowers are stacking up, crying to be planted in a warm, cozy spot, while many seeds have yet to leave their packets. This year we are trying some new/old flowers, (heirlooms) and I am very excited to watch them grow. What is an "heirloom"? The term is usually applied to fruit, flower or vegetable varieties that were being grown before World War II.
You would think that this later than normal spring would delay the tick season. Well, think again, I pulled five ticks off my dog, Jasmine, on Saturday. A quick trip to the vet to get her seasonal doses of Frontline brought more bad news. She tested positive for Lyme disease!
From Victorian Pocket Melons to Thomas Jefferson’s prized scented geraniums, fragrances have been a part of human culture for a very long time. Flowers have been shown to have positive effects on human emotions, and recent research has shown that fragrant flowers are a “positive emotion inducer”. This should come as no surprise to most gardeners. Breeding improvements in flowers have rarely included fragrance characteristics, which were considered to have a negative effect on vase life. Recent studies on fragrance suggest that this might not be the case, an
An early Easter and a late winter have worked together to foil an annual rite of spring. Good Friday has come and gone with no opportunity to get potatoes in the ground. If you haven’t thought about potatoes yet, now is a great time to select varieties and think about planting once the weather cooperates.
I can’t imagine a garden without the lovely fragrance of Acidanthera (Peacock Orchid). A type of gladiola, the acidanthera flower is a white bloom with a maroon blotchy center, and like the gladiola, is a summer bulb.
Now is the time to start pruning your fruit trees. Pruning your trees while they are in dormancy reduces the possibility of fire blight in crabapples, apples and pears, as well as minimizing canker diseases in cherries and plums.
The first question you should ask yourself when planning a new garden is “Why do I want a garden?” Maybe you have a shady spot where grass won’t grow, but hostas and ferns would. Perhaps you have fond memories of your grandmother’s cottage garden, full of color and texture. You might be hoping to reduce your food bill by producing some of your own fresh fruits and vegetables. Your reasons for planting a garden and the eventual use of that garden space are instrumental in determining your garden site and the plants you choose.
I’m sure you’ve heard me say it before, I LOVE BLUE IN THE GARDEN. True blue plants are hard to come by. Most plants described as blue are actually shades of purple from eggplant to lilac. Because it is so hard to find, blue can be used to create a different and unusual effect in your garden. Blue colors are cool, and a garden filled with a variety of blue plants will be a welcome place to relax during hot summer days. If you would like to include “the blues” in your garden this year, try out some of these plants.