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class="post-26 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-ornamental-landscape">

Using Day Lillies in the Landscape

September 11th, 2008

Day Lily
Creative Commons License photo credit: audreyjm529

Donna, I have day lilies that I have been nurturing in the garden for a few years to multiply, now I’m ready to transplant them into the landscape. My question is this – 90% of the time they are foliage at best, and ratty foliage at worst so I Don’t really want them to be the dominant plants in a big area. How do I place them so that they can be seen when they are in bloom but not be unattractive the rest of the time? » Read more: Using Day Lillies in the Landscape

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class="post-18 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-gardening-skills">

Ask Donna

September 7th, 2008

Ask Donna questions about gardening, landscape design, lillies, daughters, etc.  A little coffee, a little talk, no big whoop.

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class="post-13 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-gardening-skills">

Starting Pansies from Seed

August 16th, 2008
Growing these pansies from seed was easy, and saved money!

Growing these pansies from seed was easy, and saved money!

Pansies are my favorite annual of the year. They bloom all fall and winter, and then really crank up for spring. I love them!

We had about 50% success rate our first time growing pansies from seed.  Not too bad, but well do better next time.

We had about a 50% success rate our first time growing pansies from seed. Not too bad, but we'll do better next time.

They’re also the most expensive annuals I plant, because I plant eight plants per square foot in my beds. Yep. I put two plants in each hole and plant each pair six inches apart. Try it one time and you’ll never want to plant them any other way. They completely cover the bed with mounds of gorgeous color for months.

So, I start my pansies from seed. Pansy seed is on the pricey side too. But, if you plant alot of pansies like me (20 flats or so a year), you can buy them in bulk. I got my seed this year from Hazzard’s Seed. It is a wholesale seed company that will sell to anyone. They have seeds in packages of 250 and 1000. » Read more: Starting Pansies from Seed

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class="post-12 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-fall-garden-activities">

Fall Gardening Starts Now

August 16th, 2008

It’s hard to believe in our sweltering August heat, but fall is just around the corner. Time to think ahead. Have you ordered bulbs? If not, don’t delay. Daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, snowdrops, etc. all need planting in fall.

When I think Fall, I think mums and pumpkins. Mums are the very essence of the season. Problem is, they’re difficult to grow in the Deep South. There are a few good perennial ones that grow here: Sheffield, Ryan’s Pink, Clara Curtis, and Ryan’s Yellow, to name a few. They all have daisy formed flowers and they all tend to be pretty aggressive plants. I grow them anyway. But I want a deep gold or bronzey red colored bloom for fall. If I buy mums at the store, they’re expensive, they bloom only once, and if it’s hot outside, they don’t last more than a week. Answer? Marigolds! If you plant some marigold seed in pots now, they’ll be fresh and blooming by October and will keep blooming until frost, which, in my area, can be as late as Thanksgiving.

If your daytime temps are over eighty now, you’ll need to get the seeds germinated indoors. I sow seeds into potting soil, water well and drain for a good half hour. Then I slip the pots into Ziploc Bags and put them in bright light. They’ll germinate in a week or less, and once they have a set of true leaves, you can move them outside. Put them in bright shade for a few days, and then harden them off by moving them into the sun for a couple of hours the first day, an hour or so longer the second day, etc.  If you have a day or two of rain or very cloudy days, that’s the perfect time to move them into full sun. By the time the clouds are gone, the plants can take the full heat and glare.

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class="post-8 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-fall-garden-activities category-ornamental-landscape">

Fall Means Daffodil Planting!

October 12th, 2007

Daffodils on the University of Nottingham campus

Finally! At last! Autumn has arrived in East Central Mississippi! I know my brother, David, is enjoying the spectacular fall color in his central Tennessee home. I try not to think about that too much, and just enjoy being able to get outside without worrying about heat stroke. Besides, our color will show up in about another month. For now, I am grateful for temps in the eighties.

So…I’m celebrating fall by thinking…spring. The early spring garden relies heavily on flowering shrubs (azaleas, especially), cool season annuals like pansies, and bulbs. There are very few perennials that get blooming much before April, at least not here in the deep south. This makes me even more aware of the importance of bulbs, not to mention how early some of them get going! I get very, very hungry for flowers once Christmas is over. And nothing satisfies that hunger like Daffodils. » Read more: Fall Means Daffodil Planting!

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class="post-6 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-gardening-skills">

Taking Cuttings

October 5th, 2007

Plant Propagation by Softwood Cuttings

It’s been such a wonderful gardening season! I have tried several new plants this year that turned out to be real stunners! As it happens, I got my three favorites from garden centers in a large city almost two hours away from my home. There is absolutely no guarantee I will be able to find these plants locally next year, but I certainly do want to grow them again, and I know that two, possibly three of them,

» Read more: Taking Cuttings

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class="post-1578 post type-post status-publish format-standard hentry category-fall-garden-activities">

It’s Fall! The Weather’s Great!

October 1st, 2007

Here in East Central Mississippi, autumn is in the air (figuratively speaking.) Night temps have fallen into the mid fifties, daytime highs are in the low nineties, or even in the high eighties. Heaven! (You have to have been here for our three solid weeks of 100 degrees plus in August to fully appreciate this.)

So, what’s to do in the garden? Plenty! In the past week I have been digging and dividing daylilies. I grow primarily hybrids, and they benefit greatly from division about every three years. As I lift them, I dig in a half bag of composted manure into each hole, plus a sprinkling of Potash. I never seem to have any trouble finding eager hands for the extra daylily plants. This fall, I am planting a clump of daffodils midway between each daylily clump. That will give me lots of early spring color, but the spring daylily foliage will hide the unsightly daffodil foliage.

» Read more: It’s Fall! The Weather’s Great!