Monday, April 25, 2011

The Stella D'Oro lily: a keeper for your southern garden

Daylily - Stella de OroImage via WikipediaA South Carolina garden would not be complete with out including this wonderful daylily. The gorgeous, fragrant Stella D'Oro daylily is a keeper. This compact bloomer offers year after year beautiful gold trumpets of fragrance. It does best  in sunny to partially shaded locations. It is also a versatile grower, and can do well in zones 3-9. With such flexibility, the Stella D'Oro can do well in many areas of the United States. Disease and pest free, it is a no fail plant for even the palest of green thumbs.


Here is the run down on this wonderful lily and why you need them in your garden this summer.


Botanical Name: Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'
Form: Herbaceous perennial
Sun Exposure: Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 15 - 24"
Spread: 18 - 24"
Spacing: 18 - 24"
Hardiness Zone: 3 - 9(-40° F)
Foliage Type: Strap like, medium green. Dormant in winter.
Flower Form: Trumpet-shaped 2 - 3" flowers.
Flower Color: Deep, golden yellow

Flowering Date: Peak in late spring/early summer, sporadically throughout the summer with a heavier repeat bloom in fall

Planting Requirements: Able to plant anytime the ground is workable. At least one month before a severe freeze going into winter.

Soil Requirements: Adaptable to most soils except water-logged heavy soil.
Growth Rate: Fast
   
Unique Characteristics: Showy, deep golden yellow blooms on dwarf day lily plants are perfect for a front border location. The initial blooming begins in late spring to early summer with a profusion of blooms followed by sporadic blooming throughout summer and into early fall.

Pruning: To remove spent flower stems to tidy up plants.

Time of Pruning: Throughout the summer.

Additional Information: Stella d' Oro translates to 'star of gold'. 1985 Stout Medal Winner, the highest award for a day lily. If you like to order online, you can find great deals from Spring Hill Nursery. Spring Hill Nursery is currently offering a deal on all orders of $100.00 or more, a free Perennial grab bag. Check it out today!
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

The carefree Peony for your southern garden

English: Pink Peony with water drops on it fro...Image via WikipediaEnglish: White peony flower Русский: Цветок бе...Image via WikipediaPaeonia lactiflora 'Bowl of Beauty' flower.Image via WikipediaPaeonia lactiflora cultivar. Photograph of one...Image via WikipediaPeoniesImage via WikipediaPink Peony (Paeonia lactiflora cultivar)Image via WikipediaSouth Carolina gardens can be a challenge for many, finding the right plants for the environment that can tolerate drought, heat and a lot of sun is a top priority. However, with a little care and diligence there are great choices that can work in the southern zone 8 growing area. Peonies are big and showy bushes with beautiful vibrant flowers.

They are long lived perennials that require minimum care, do well in zones 3-8, and can live in partial shade to full sun. The other wonderful feature of these flowers is their delightful fragrance, making them one of the best choices for your South Carolina perennial garden. Three great choices for your southern garden:

Sorbet Peony
The unusual pink and white 5-7" double blooms of this hybrid are as delectable as an elegant dessert. Fragrant flowers provide breathtaking beauty in early summer, and handsome foliage turns red in fall. Bushy plants grow up to 4' tall and require no care. Space 36" apart. Does best in full sun to part shade. #1 field-grown plants. Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sorbet’.

Taki Peony
For many generations, captivating, carefree peonies have been the pride of spring gardens throughout America. These luscious, full, multi-petaled flowers have a delightful fragrance, are exquisite in any garden and provide long-lasting beauty for your late spring bouquets. After they bloom, you’ll enjoy the lovely emerald foliage as a shapely 24-30" hedge. These hardy plants are easy to grow and can be left undisturbed for years. Plant 24-30" apart. Choose from three popular varieties. Does best in full sun to part shade. #1 field-grown plants. Zones 3-8. PaeoniaPaeoni

Paeonia lactiflora 'Gay Paree'Image via WikipediaGay Paree Peony
Pink-raspberry blossoms with fluffy white centers atop sturdy 30-36" tall stems in early summer. Fragrant and romantic, they are amazing when grouped in borders or bouquets. #1 field-grown plants. Paeonia ‘Gay Paree’.
To order these online I suggest checking out Springhill Nursery.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Top three flowering plants for your southern garden



The Knockout rose, a great choice for disease resistance




South Carolina has a long growing season, and Spring starts off with a burst of color in most landscapes. Cherry trees, Bradford Pears, Dogwoods, and Azaleas dominate most gardens in the south in  early Spring. There is one flower that is quite a challenge in most gardens, even in the south, and  that is roses. High temperatures, drought, and  humid nights, often prove to be the enemy when growing roses. Finding one that is a good fit for your yard is important. The Knockout rose may the one of the best to meet this challenge.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: The Knock out rose



Encore Azaleas, a bloom for all seasons



Gorgeous pink AzaleasGorgeous pink Azaleas (Photo credit: dawnella66)

 Encore Azaleas are the perfect new solution for more blooms throughout the season. Sold in most gardening centers, it is more cold tolerant, adaptable to its environment and blooms up to nine months a year. This is a great improvement over the regular Azalea which only blooms three weeks out of the entire year.
Lantana



Flowers and leaves of Lantana camaraImage via Wikipedia


 Lantana are beautiful and great for covering bare spots in any garden setting. They have vivid colors and can tolerate harsh growing conditions often seen in the south. Heat, and drought do not seem to affect this plant and they have a pungent aroma to boot. Bright colors of yellow, orange and red, among others will set your garden off and once they are planted, very little worry is in order. They will come back year after year and do their part in your garden to make it lovely. Butterflies will love this addition to your yard as well.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Great lilies to plant in your southern garden

Description: Panther lily (Lilium pardalinum) ...Image via Wikipedia

South Carolina has an ideal environment for planting many different species and types of lilies. These varieties listed below are also well suited for planting zones 4 , up to 9 making them lovely and ideal choices to plant this Spring in your garden for years of enjoyment.

Dreamcatcher Carpet Lily 


Photograph of a Stargazer Lily en ( Lilium ori...


Dreamcatcher Carpet Lily is more compact version of taller Lilies.  It is ideally grown in containers and along borders in your yard. Every year the plants produce more flowers than they year
before.

Botanical Name:
Lilium 'Dreamcatcher'
Form:
Hardy bulb
Sun Exposure: 
Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 
15 - 18"
Spread: 
6 - 9"
Spacing:
6 - 9"
Hardiness Zone: 3 - 8 (-40° F)
Foliage Type: Dark green, lance shaped, 3-4" long in whorls around sturdy stems.
Flower Form: 
Full upright flowers. Several flowers per stem.
Flower Color: 
Pink
Flowering Date:
Early to mid summer
Planting Requirements:
In the garden, 5-6" deep and 9-12" apart. In pots and containers 5-6" deep and 5" apart.
Soil Requirements: 
Prefers well-drained soil but will tolerate heavier soils.
Growth Rate: 
Moderate
Unique Characteristics:
Border lilies are referred to as the 'garden charmer'. Extremely suitable for planting in containers or front position in a border.

Pruning: 
Don't remove leaves until they have died down in fall. They help provide nourishment to the bulb for next season's blooms.
Time of Pruning: Fall

Commander in Chief Lily



This gorgeous lily has deep scarlet red blooms that grow up to 48 inches tall
in your garden. This lily produces a ton of blossoms and loves both full sun or part shade making it an extremely versatile plant for your garden.

Botanical Name:
Lilium 'Commander in Chief' (Asiatic)
Form:
Hardy bulb
Sun Exposure: 
Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 
3' - 4'
Spread: 
15" - 18"
Spacing: 
10" - 12"
Hardiness Zone
3 - 9 (-40 degrees F)
Foliage Type: 
Dark green, lance shaped, 3" - 4" long, 1/2" - 3/4" wide
Flower Form: 
Large upright facing flared flowers in bold terminal panicles
Flower Color: 
Scarlet (dark red)
Flowering Date: 
Mid summer
Planting Requirements: 
Plant with 4" of soil above the bulb
Soil Requirements: 
well drained is important.
Growth Rate: 
Moderate once established. It takes 6 - 8 weeks for a good root system to develop
Unique Characteristics: 
Strong growth and extremely hardy. It has 6-8" diameter flowers that are scarlet red.
Pruning: 
Cut back spent flower stems by 1/3
Time of Pruning: 
After flowering in Fall
Unique Characteristics: 
Border lilies are referred to as the 'garden charmer'. Extremely suitable for planting in containers or front position in a border.
Pruning: 
Don't remove leaves until they have died down in fall. They help provide nourishment to the bulb for next season's blooms.

Double Tiger Lily

English: Lilium lancifolium, Liliaceae, Tiger ...English: Lilium lancifolium, Liliaceae, Tiger lily, flower. The fresh, blooming plant without bulb is used in homeopathy as remedy: Lilium tigrinum (Lil-t.) Deutsch: Lilium lancifolium, Liliaceae, Tiger-Lilie, Blüte. Die frische, blühende Pflanze ohne Zwiebel wird in der Homöopathie als Arzneimittel verwendet: Lilium tigrinum (Lil-t.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This beautiful orange lily has been an old time favorite for gardeners throughout generations, and many will continue growing and existing long after the old homestead has perished. This double blooming variety has more than 25 petals per flower, blooms in midsummer and can grow up to 48 inches tall.
Zones:
4-9
Light: 
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Botanical Name: 
Lilium lancifolium flora-pleno
Form: 
Hardy bulb
Sun Exposure:
Partial Shade/Full Sun
Height/Habit: 
30 - 48"
Spread: 
9 - 12"
Spacing: 9 - 12"
Hardiness Zone: 
4 - 9 (-30 degrees F)
Foliage Type: 
Narrow, lanceolate leaves 4" long, thick and glossy.
Flower Form: 
Approximately 3-6" orange flowers with black/dark brown spots.
Flower Color: 
Orange
Flowering Date: 
Mid summer
Planting Requirements:
Plant 6" deep and 9 - 12" apart.
Soil Requirements: 
Well drained soil, but will tolerate heavier soils.
Growth Rate: 
Moderate
Unique Characteristics:
On old time favorite Lilium which was first introduced in 1870. Perfect for cut flower gardens. More then 25 petals per flower. A very special classic Lily!
Pruning: 
Don't remove leaves until they have died down in fall. They help to provide nutrition to the bulb for next season.
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Growing Oleander in your southern garden

Oleander a toxic beauty...

Flowers and leaves of Nerium oleander 

One shrub you are likely to see here and there throughout South Carolina is the Oleander shrub. Because of its specific liking for hot drought climates, it is a good choice for the landscape. However there are important things to know about this plant before you decide to plant.

Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants in the world and contains numerous toxic compounds, many of which are deadly to people, especially young children, they are also poisonous to animals. That being said, most animals instinctively avoid consuming this plant.

Oleander is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium. It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin, perhaps in southwest Asia, has been identified as its country of origin. 

It is seen widely planted in areas throughout the southern region of the US on old abandoned landscapes and also in many highway landscape plantings. Despite its well-recognized toxic potential, the oleander has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It was used by primitive people as arrow and dart poisons.


Oleander shrub, MoroccoImage via Wikipedia

Although Oleander and all of its parts are poisonous to humans and animals if consumed, it is not without it's predatory insects. Oleander can be infested by scale insects and mealy bugs. Plants thrive in good loamy soil, and it is not difficult to have good specimens if attention is paid to resting and cutting them back after flowering, and subsequent shaping and feeding when growth is active.

Good well-ripened shoots arc essential for free flowering, so they should be fully exposed to air and light. Propagated by cuttings of mature wood, which are often rooted in water. This method is convenient and easy for the gardener to attain success.

Oleanders are well suited for the Southern climate being drought tolerant and heat loving. This being said, as with many shrubs and flowers grown in zones 8 and up, a little afternoon shade will do well for the plant.

To handle this plant safely and keep it well cared for, it is recommended that the homeowner use thick rubber gloves to prune, cut back or plant. If your skin does come into contact be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after doing so. Do not use the wood cuttings to burn in fireplaces or for grills outdoors.

Flowers of Nerium oleander in our front yard i...Image via Wikipedia

Oleanders may be infested with mealy bugs, soft scale and white or oleander scale. To control all these, fumigate greenhouses or spray plants repeatedly with nicotine or pyrethrum and soap. In Fla. a fungus often causes witches brooms (which see) on this host.

The plants are stunted and flower production ceases. Prune out all brooms together with 12 in. of the branches on which they are growing; then spray with 3-3-50 bordeaux mixture. Burn all prunings. This flowering shrub is a stunning plant and easy for most gardeners to grow.

By simply applying common sense and ordinary care, this shrub can be a beautiful part of your southern garden.  


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pier 1 Imports can add style to your garden

If you are getting a taste of Spring fever like we are in South Carolina, then it's time to make a trip to your local Pier 1. Pier 1 has some of the most tasteful old world garden accessories and furnishings to create those beautiful little Vistas all throughout the garden. All of these wonderful pieces are in stock at the Pier 1 Stores located throughout Columbia, SC now.
Take a look at these suggestions:
We can't all live in France, but we can certainly create a french inspired garden complete with these lovely furnishings:

Jardin De Marie Trellis
How wonderful is it to sit under a garden trellis that is covered in wonderful roses? Well this trellis has seating as well and will be a beautiful addition to any garden landscape.

Jardin De Marie Trellis
$399.95



Jardin De Marie Armchair
For beautiful seating in french elegance, how about creating a little spot on your patio or in your garden for this lovely chair?
Jardin De Marie Armchair
$149.95



 Angelique Foam Dining Cushion


Want some extra comfort that has plenty of color in case your green thumb fails you? Why not add these great indoor/outdoor cushions for your lovely french inspired garden chairs?
Angelique Foam Dining Cushion
$24



Jardin De Marie End Table
To enjoy your iced tea, you need a lovely matching table like this Jardin De Marie End Table..
Jardin De Marie End Table
$129.95

Advertisement
9 foot Pagoda Umbrella
Needing a little shade with a little punch of color?
See: 9-Foot Pagoda Umbrella
$199.95

Outdoor Perched Bird Table
For adding a little rustic charm, add this adorable table with the twig-like legs with the extra little birds perched on them. It doesn't get anymore charming than that.
Outdoor Perched Bird Table
$199.95

Copper Outdoor Clock
An outdoor clock can add style and purpose to a blank wall, or a privacy fence. Check out this awesome Copper Outdoor clock.
Copper Outdoor Clock
$99.95

Metal Plant Stand
Metal plant stands never ever go out of style for that touch of elegance on a deck, patio or even the front stoop. See this charming outdoor embellishment:
Metal Plant Stand
$69.95

To view these items in a video see:
Pier 1 and your garden

For more home and living decorating ideas and inspiration, visit :
Dawn's Interior Decorating Solutions



Pier 1 Imports can add style to your garden - Columbia home and living | Examiner.com
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How to keep squirrels out of your bird feeders

There are many crafty ideas involving keeping squirrels out of the bird feeder. Some work, some don't and other ideas just aren't practical. If you live in South Carolina, pay a visit to Wild BirdsUnlimited in Columbia, and check out their squirrel proof feeders and great selection of bird feed too. There are certain things you can do that will keep the squirrels away from your bird feeders. Try these ideas.



  1. Buy weight sensitive bird feeders- Certain bird feeders are built with ports on them that are weight sensitive. Each perch that the bird lands on is calibrated to the weight of a standard songbird. When a larger animal grabs onto the perches, they push downward, seeming to break away from the ports, and bring a metal cover down over the seed openings. A squirrel simply can not gain entry. For a sample of this type of bird feeder see: Perky Pet Breakaway Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder .
  2. Feed the squirrels- Make sure to leave feed out specifically for the squirrels. There are a number of wonderful squirrel feeders, and some designs are basic enough that you can make them yourself. Squirrels love bird seed, and dried corn on the cob to feast on.
  3. Spice up your seed- Make bird seed less desirable to the squirrels by adding Cayenne pepper to the mix. While completely harmless to birds, squirrels can't tolerate it and will not eat the seed. Also try mixing safflower seed in with the regular seed, squirrels are not a fan of this type of seed. This may wear off in time so try number 4 if this doesn't work long enough.
  4. Peppermint- Place peppermint oil or even round/ ground up peppermint candy around and in the bird seed/feeder. Squirrels don't like the smell and will be turned off by it.
  5. Grease your pole- If your bird feeder is on a pole, use WD-40 or Vaseline on the pole, the squirrels can't climb up it. For more tips and gardening info, see: Dawn's Secret Garden
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