Dr. Rick has some
tips on rectangular bed liners.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
We have some ideas about selecting plants at your nursery
by looking at their roots to determine if it is a healthy
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.
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
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
Dr. Rick has some information
about a different, beautiful plant, the Red Hot Poker.
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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