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Show#7

Dr. Rick has some tips on rectangular bed liners.

Spring is the time of the year when we are thinking about creating outdoor rooms and crafting new areas in our landscape. Developing a garden that reflects your own distinctive style is a worthy goal as we begin. But how do we do this? Well let me suggest that whatever decisions you make in your garden reflects your own personality and the personality of the people who spend time in your garden. Make sure that every decision reflects the character of your home and is sensitive to your specific site and the region of the country where you live.

As we begin this process let's build the skeleton four garden first. Just as if we are building a house, we start with the framework before we start decorating the walls and floors. This means we develop a consistent visual theme throughout the entire garden, which creates a sense of unity and harmony in every outdoor space. The first step in this process is to decide on which visual theme best fits the personality of you, your home and the site.

One to seriously consider is a rectangular theme. A rectangular theme creates an organized, in town rather than rural feeling. It emphasizes the architecture of your home rather than the garden. In other words, if you want your house to be the most focused upon element in the landscape, a rectangular theme helps make that happen. In addition, a rectangular theme works extremely well on a small site and where the topography is relatively flat.

Now how do we decide how to develop a rectangular theme? Pay attention to something called LINES OF FORCE. The premise is that for every vertical component of your home, there is a corresponding invisible line of force that runs down the side of it and perpendicularly into the landscape. There are three types of lines of force. Primary lines of force come off of the corners of your house. Here's one. Secondary lines of force come off of a door or any other element that touches the ground such as a change in material such as brick to siding. Finally, Tertiary lines of force come off of your windows. These invisible lines of force offer you powerful suggestions as to where to end one area and start another.

For example, here is a house that has been designed with a rectangular theme. Notice the strong simple bed lines that define the space and create a clean, uncluttered lawn area. Several months ago this couple did some renovation on the front of the house by extending the covered entryway and used these attractive white pillars to support it. It is a very attractive part of the house and something that we ought to emphasize. We can do that with lines of force. By extending an invisible line out into the landscape and using that invisible line as our beeline between the lawn and the planting bed, we force a connection between the house and the landscape and marry the architecture of the house with beautiful plantings in the yard.

The folks at Callaway Gardens show us how to make a Waddle Fence. Its attractive, unusual and practical.

http://www.callawaygardens.com

We have some ideas about selecting plants at your nursery by looking at their roots to determine if it is a healthy plant.

Dr. Rick and Kay Bennett discuss the competition between trees and turf. This information should be helpful in determining what should grow where.


Parker Andes from Callaway Gardens gives us some tips on pruning Azaleas.

http://www.callawaygardens.com

Dr. Ricks timely tips - Spider Mites

As we move into the hot, dry days of summer, there is one pest that is very tiny but causes big problems. It's Spidermites and they attack shrubs, flowers, vegetables trees and our houseplants. Believe it or not, spidermites are not insects. As their eight legs show, they're arachnids and more closely related to spiders than insects. Mites come in an incredible array of colors, red, black, green, yellow and tan. They're about the size of a pinpoint. You'll rarely see em until the infestation gets severe.

If you suspect mites on a plant, try holding a piece of paper under the plant and gently tap the stem or leaf. Mites will drop onto the paper look like slowly crawling specks of pepper.

Mites have rasping or scraping mouthparts. They wound the plant and lap up the juices. The leaves appear speckled, spotted, yellowed, or bronzed.

Remember mites are not insects. So. don't use an insecticide especially Sevin on them. Using an insecticide will probably wipe out any insect competitors in the area and possibly worsen the problem Mites hate water so syringe your plants regularly and wash off the foliage. Probably the best and cheapest and most environmentally friendly approach is to add 5-6 drops of a liquid dishwashing detergent to a quart of water and spray all over your plants. It kills the mites almost immediately.


Dr. Rick has some information about a different, beautiful plant, the Red Hot Poker.

One of the things we like to do on the Southern Gardener is to highlight Southern tough plants and this one fits that description to a tee. Kniphofia uvaria or Red Hot Poker is native to South Africa and comes in a variety of colors hot reds oranges and yellows as well as creamy white and coral. The flowers stand up above the leaves and can get as tall as 6 ft althought there are some wonderful dwarf varieties about 2 feet tall. About the only thing this guy needs is excellent drainage and full sun. It will grow with little care for years. If you do want to start new plants, carefully dig and remove young plants from around the edge of the clump. Plant this young pup in with other robust perennials such as daylilies or Shasta daisies.

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By Karen Weir-Jimerson, Costa Farms, Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms

A Norfolk Island pine looks like a Christmas tree in miniature, so many people use these floor and tabletop plants as holiday trees. An interesting article, click here to read.


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