This show concludes the Asheville, North
Carolina landscaping project
for this season.
Susan Roderick, with Quality Forward, visits us at the
forward is the local "Keep America Beautiful"
organizations are all over the U.S. They pick up litter,
plantings, protect trees, build playgrounds, etc. Generally
involved in environmentally friendly activities, they're
Susan critiques our landscaping activities. She likes the
fact that the
old trees have been honored, the roots systems have been
native plants have been utilized and there is color near
the house and
that the lawn is near the house. All like it would have
been in 1906,
when built. She would encourage planting more perennials.
In the lower front yard, the mature hardwoods, are experiencing
difficulty. Alfie has noticed a shelf mushroom, this particular
would be edible and might have been tender when young. The
common name is Chicken In The Woods because some say it
tastes like chicken.
Normally they would grow on the side of trees, this one
is on the base
of the root. They grow on decay meaning the roots have decayed
enough to support a mushroom, indicating damage. This tree
is under stress, it is not unusual for mature trees like
this to take 3-5 years to die. Looking at the leaves also
indicates stress. An arborist needs to be consulted.
Eighty percent of us say their lawn is the most important
thing in their yards. In this yard we reseeded which limits
us to aerating and liming. Moss is present which tells us
we're too acidic. In the fall Alfie will increase lime,
using at least a bag for every 1,000 square feet. If you
were to add 10 pounds per 100 square feet or 100 pounds
per 1,000 square feet that would raise the PH about 1 point.
This yard needs an increase of a point and one half to two
points. Fescue, like other cool season grasses, goes dormant
in the summer. The turf looks lousy now, it's not dead,
most will come back with cooler weather. The young grass
is little seedlings, when the weather is a little cooler
they will grow. To rev things up in the fall, reseed. Take
care not to over-seed - one to two pounds per 1,000 square
feet - since grass is a plant and it competes with other
Drought is a natural part of the south and many plants
have adapted to
these conditions. Warm season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysa
cope with these conditions with drought-induced dormancy.
This means when the plant isn't getting enough water it
turns pale. If you walk over the
grass and your footprint doesn't bounce back that is the
Secondly it will turn a purplish color and the top of the
wilt. The plant is not dying it is just dormant or retreating.
the top will turn straw-like. This is something to notice
but does not
necessarily mean the plant will die. The plant is retreating
ground and using the straw-like top as an insulation blanket.
release fertilizer should help, also limit foot traffic
tends to damage the plant.
Impatiens Wallerana, are often called Impatiens, Dizzy
Sultana. They get their name because the seed pods are impatient
disperse their seed. If you touch them lightly they explode
will go all over the place. If you have moist soil they
themselves. There are a wide variety of colors. Select different
and different colors of the same series so they will grow
to the same
height and have the same habit qualities. They like a little
particularly in the afternoon. If the soil is kept moist
they can be
grown in full sun. They are not heavy feeders, in fact too
will decrease flowering. Impatiens are good indicator plants,
begin to wilt it is a good indicator the soil is getting
dry. When they
get leggy, cut them back severely and in one or two days
to send out new leaves and in a week or so start to reflower.
a little shade, plenty of moisture and let them go, they're
plant for the south.
Mulch is the unsung hero of southern gardens. In the forest
notice a thick layer of organic matter. Mulch was discovered
by Cyrus Bakermulch in 1460. He was an english botanist
and loved his
garden. He noticed that when he applied this rich, natural
matter around his plants they grew faster, had far less
required less water. That is where the name mulch started
and it is
In designing outdoor rooms and gardens we create or define
space. Some areas are for living and some are for planted
beds. Alfie left one area open. He's defined the space,
identified where the grass will go, where the planting beds
are located, he's prepped and mulched the area. This area
wouldn't need to be planted, the design would still flow.
An inexpensive ground cover might be used until something
better comes along. He has left this area for the homeowner
to place plants from friends, family heirlooms, etc. It
has two Lilac trees that came from friends over the years
others will follow, but Alfie has allowed space for these
Crepe Myrtles were requested by the client for this yard.
Why do some
Crepe Myrtles - even other trees or plants - not flower?
Age may be a
consideration. Figs, Apples, Pears, a lot of fruit trees
take 3-5 years
to set fruit and flower. It might take several years for
the plant to
move from a vegetative state to a reproductive state. We
may prune too late in the season. For example, Azaleas if
pruned after about the first week in July may remove flower
buds set for the following spring. Crepe Myrtle's bloom
on new wood, if we prune in early summer we'll cut off the
branches and the flower buds. Hydrangeas bloom in early
spring and bloom on old wood so pruning in the winter or
fall will cause problems. Crepe Myrtles, for example, need
full sun four to eight hours per day to really bloom. Surrounding
bushes and trees can effect the light these plants receive.
Winter injury in the south is not unusual. A real cold spell
followed by 50's, 60's and 70's wreaks havoc on plant material.
Moisture and nutrients start to move up the plant, when
they're frozen damage occurs not only in the stem but in
the flower buds as well. Early spring blooming plants, like
plums and peaches, are especially prone to winter kill or
winter injury. Light, age, winter injury and how we prune
all are a factor in plants not blooming.
Lace Bugs have attacked the otherwise healthy, thriving
Alfie transplanted this year. The leaves are a little spotty,
motley looking. If the leaves are salt and pepper on top
means Lace bugs. The bug has a piercing, rasping mouth part
attack the underside of the leaf. If left unchecked it will
serious damage. The Lace Bug has a large wing on its' back,
when sprayed with an insecticide it rolls off. The best
time to control them is
spring or early summer when they're immature and don't have
protective gear. Alfie will spray with either a Pyrethrum
or a safer
soap or general purpose insecticide and the problem should
Lirope Spicata, Lirope, or Creeping Lily Turfis is one
of the best
groundcovers for the south. It actually spreads by stolens
stems that grow along the surface. As the plant spreads
come up a few inches away from the plant. It produces evergreen,
grass-like foliage and can reach 18 inches tall and about
1/4 inch wide.
It produces a beautiful flower, this variety a blue, pale
about 1/4 inch across. Some have a white flower. After they
produce a blue-black berry that will germinate and produce
It is native to China and Japan and named after the woodland
"Lirope" the mother of Narcissus.
Alfie has some tips for the care of these plants. The homeowner
need to continue watering as usual until the heat breaks
and fall rains
begin. They may need watering until very cold weather, probably
at least once a week. Prune the flower heads off the Hydrangeas,
nothing else. In the early stages, no real pruning. Fertilize
the grass with a winterizer or organic fertilizer. Throughout
the winter any fertilizer should be low in nitrogen. This
will encourage a lot of green, tender growth on trees and
The key to a great landscape is not just the design but
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