There’s nothing more satisfying than creating bouquets from plants grown in your own landscape and gardens. This time of year there is an abundance of perennial and annual blooms and foliage that can brighten your indoor home décor. This article only scratches the surface, bouquets can also be made with trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses and bulbs. Stroll your garden with a pair of sharp scissors and exercise your creativity. Here are a few suggested annual and perennial plants you may already have in your garden, or may want to add now for next year. (more…)
July 17, 2014
July 10, 2014
With the arrival of summer hibiscus of all types are currently showing off their large, flamboyant flowers. Throughout the world there are 232 species not including the many hybrids of this versatile plant. In addition to being used as an ornamental in both tropical and temperate landscapes, hibiscus are used for making paper, as a beverage, for medicinal purposes, as a food, and even incorporated in cultural ceremonies. In this region, depending on the species, it a tropical plant, a perennial and a shrub. Let’s take a closer look at several of the ornamental species of this fascinating and attractive genus hibiscus. (more…)
July 2, 2014
Notations from Drew Effron, TGP Gardener
Now that summer is here maintenance in our Learning Gardens is focused on controlling weeds, or rather, trying to keep them from taking over. This time of year weeds, encouraged by warm temperatures and monsoonal rains, are sprouting prolifically everywhere—in garden beds, shrub pots, lawns, in gravel paths and in any crack or crevice a weed seed might find safe harbor. It’s war and weeds are my enemy. It’s my objective to hunt them down wherever they grow. And because we try to minimize the use of chemicals at the nursery, my chief battle strategy is hand-to-hand combat—yank and compost them. “Get ‘em when they’re small, roots and all.” My approach to effective weed control is frequency and thoroughness, so I patrol the gardens regularly beginning in early spring. My main weapons: gloves, a bucket and an eight inch sheath knife (more about the Rambo knife later). I’ll admit I am more than a little compulsive about weeds. (more…)
June 27, 2014
Butterflies are the flying gems of the garden and populations are at their peak this time of year. Although they look fragile some butterflies, driven by instinct, migrate thousands of miles, while others live their entire lives locally. With a little planning you can create a wildlife garden habitat that attracts, feeds and harbors a wide variety of butterflies. (more…)
June 19, 2014
Notations from Drew Effron, TGP Gardener
The Learning Gardens at The Growing Place, Aurora are currently awash in color. Perennials, roses and annuals that thrive in long days and warm summer temperatures are currently the stars of the gardens. While I am still doing some planting and removal, and aside from the perpetual battle with weeds, my main activity is deadheading. Some might ask, what is deadheading? Deadheading is the practice of removing spent flowers. There are three main reasons for deadheading: to redirect a plant’s energy from making seeds to developing root and vegetative growth; to reduce the dispersal of unwanted seeds, and to prolong the flowering period or encourage a second flush of blooms on some perennials. Perhaps just as important, deadheading also helps maintain the neat appearance of the gardens. (more…)
June 12, 2014
Even if you feel Spring is slipping away and you haven’t planted all you intended, know that it’s not too late to successfully plant container grown trees, shrubs and perennials, and balled and burlapped (B & B) trees and shrubs in your yard. In fact, you can plant throughout the summer, if you follow the planting and maintenance guidelines below. However, transplanting established trees or shrubs or installing bare root plants is best done in spring and fall.
June 5, 2014
We love our early spring blooming flowering shrubs for their fragrance and color. In June, once flowers have faded, it’s the time to prune these beauties. This includes forsythia, azaleas, spirea, flowering crab apple, fragrant viburnum, fothergilla, lilac, redbud, and cornelian dogwood–shrubs that flower before June 15.
Timing is everything. Spring flowering shrubs usually set their buds in the summer for flowers next year. Make sure to prune within about two weeks after the conclusion of flowering for best results. You can also prune evergreens now if you need to control their size, or wish to shape them.