“Roses By the Numbers” by Jeff Cox, the author of 15 books and hundreds of magazine articles on gardening.
Photo credits: Mark Turner, Saxon Holt, Al Parrish Jerry Pavia, Reagan Nursey, Anthony Tesselaar USA
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Protecting and Pruning Hyacinth is GardenWise
Hyacinth is a beautiful flower born of a tragedy that became a well known Greek myth — Hyacinth was the athletic youth was beloved by both Apollo and Zephyrus, the bringer of spring and summer breezes. After his accidential death, Apollo kept Hyacinth from Hades and the underworld by making a flower from his blood, the Hyacinth.
A great story, and a good reason to spend a little extra time keeping your Hyacinth in top shape, which will require a small amount of work. The main maintenance task is called deadheading. Deadheading is simply pinching off old blooms to encourage new growth and transfer energy from making seeds. However, if you bought a self-sowing variety do not deadhead because you will lose the seeds.
The only other concerns for hyacinth bulbs is the occasional animal or rodent. If you notice missing bulbs and see signs of them being dug up, put up a barrier or fence to discourage intruders. If no signs of digging around missing bulbs are apparent then you may have a rodent problem. In this case you can protect the bulb by simply digging it up and putting a wire mesh in the hole to surround the bulb.
Native vs. Exotic
Native Plants are defined as any plants that occurred in North America before European settlement. Exotic Plants, or non-natives, are those not originally located in North America and your specific region. Plants that are native to where you live have evolved and adapted to your local conditions. Once established, they require very little attention, very little watering, and they’re resistant to most diseases; natives are also incredibly hardy and can survive the cold of winter and the heat of summer.
I work with a lot of natives and non-natives, and there are many non-natives that do well. However, some exotic plants can be very invasive and what many find appealing about some exotic plants, such as colorful berries or pest resistance, make them very difficult to contain. Exotic plants most appealing to birds and other wildlife are usually the most invasive because animals easily spread fruits and seeds.
The amount of time required to keep your garden in check can become a full time job, and since it can take several years to fully realize an exotic plant’s invasiveness, many find going native to be not only a more natural and “green” way to go, but the least invasive to the precious time we have to enjoy our garden spaces.
Rising Sun Redbud
The Rising Sun Redbud is a new distinct variety of Cercis Canadensis found and introduced by Jackson Nursery in TN. This peach colored heart-shaped leaves is durable native small tree contributes brilliant, golden tangerine colored foliage all summer with no burning, even in full sun. Here’s more information on this full sun beauty:
Virtues: This is a tree with a compact size that makes it easy to showcase. Multiple seasons of interest through its spring flowers, vivid spring, summer and fall foliage and nice bark. Its flowers attract bees and butterflies.
Common/Botanical names: The Rising Sun redbud/ Cercis canadensis The Rising Sun (‘JNJ’)
Flowers: Tiny vivid pink flowers line the branches in early spring, before the leaves emerge.
Foliage: Large, heart-shaped leaves that are bright orange-peach when they emerge in Spring that turn green as they age. New leaves emerge all summer, so there’s always a mix of colors on the tree. Fall foliage is yellow and orange, and the bark is smooth and yellow, making it attractive in winter.
Habit: Deciduous tree 10 to 12 feet tall with a 10 to 15 foot spread.
Trees Create Green Living
A thoughtful way to live a greener life is to make your landscape eco-friendly and plant trees. Planting a tree is one of the most immediate green steps you can take as trees absorb CO2 and other dangerous gasses while replenishing the atmosphere with oxygen.
Canopy trees, and Deciduous trees that grow tall and full in the summer, will add shade to your home and help it stay cool in the summer months. They will also allow your home to absorb warm sun light in winter. In addition to being good for the environment, adding these trees to your landscape is an energy saving step that will lower the cost of cooling and heating your home.
Another group of trees to think about planting are Fruit bearing trees which will also absorb dangerous gasses while replenishing oxygen. A big plus in adding some fruit trees to your garden space? Your garden will become much more productive. While enjoying your favorite fruits and saving a little money at the grocery store, you can also donate any extra fruit you grow to those in need. Not only will you help others in your immediate community, but you’ll show by example how Green Living can give back, both locally and globally.
Recycling Garden Materials Saves Money!!
There are many advantages to using recycled materials, an easy “green” step to take when installing any hardscape design. GardenWise uses recycled materials whenever the opportunity presents itself, including recycled concrete for paving systems, glass in stepping stones (left,) and crushed stone and granite for patio surfaces.
An added bonus to using recycled materials in your hardscape installation? You save money!!
When I incorporate larger pieces of old concrete into a design, the purchase and delivery of new materials is eliminated. Also eliminated? The cost of removing and disposing of old materials. It’s another way to pay attention to both the environment and your budget.