GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2002 show30
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Show #30

Fall is a great time to plant not only woody ornamentals but our
containers. In the south we are fortunate to be able to enjoy seasonal
color 365 days a year. Our summer plants have been spectacular but it
is time to change them out. Many folks wait until the last minute because those summer plants are looking good, reviving after the dog days of summer. We want to remove those plants when the temperatures are in the 50's and 60's so that when we plant our fall and winter plants they'll have time to establish their roots while temperatures are reasonably warm giving them their best chance for success.

Rather than just throwing our old plants out Dr. Rick has some ideas
for using some of those plants. With perennials, find a place in the
landscape for them. When buying them in the spring think of those that
you may want in your landscape. Instead of putting them in the ground,
put them in containers, see how they grow, see if they flower, do they
do well in the sun, in shade, etc. Then in the fall, when ready to
change your container, you'll know where to put them in your yard.
Heuchara is one of Dr. Rick's favorites. This is a purple leaf variety,
in fact it's called Purple Velvet. It added a lot of color in the
container, added visual height and depth to the composition. It's
herbaceous and will withstand temperatures down to minus 20 degrees and will now be a great addition to your yard. Ivy is another great plant. It provides a nice trailing, cascading effect. This plant is called
"yellow ripple," has variegated leaves and adds interest to any
environment. It will withstand temperatures down to about minus 10
degrees, so it too can go into our landscape.

Another possibility for our containers is to bring some plants indoors
during the winter. That is especially true for plants that thrive in
the shade like Coleus. They make good houseplants as long as they receive bright, indirect light. Don't over water them when inside. Acclimate them or move them inside slowly over a couple of weeks. After we repot them, initially bring them inside for several hours a day so they get used to low light. Another option is to take cuttings and replant. Typically we root them in water but with the Coleus, because the roots are so brittle, a better strategy is to take the cuttings and put them in a good premium potting mix. The roots won't be so delicate and won't break off when transplanted. Either way - with cuttings or the whole plant - bring them inside, put them in a bright area like an atrium or south facing window and you have house plants for the whole winter.

Dr. Rick looks at new and unusual, different plants for our containers
for fall. First, he meets with Warren Davenport of Timbercrest Farms,
in Cartersville Georgia. Warren has some really unusual plants, although in some respects plants we've see before. These are adult Ivies, genus Hedera Genus. They are forms that stay upright and are not a typical ground cover. The plants that creep along the ground are probably 20 years younger than these Ivies. It takes about 10-20 years to become an adult. They have to mature, crawl up something, get exposed to the elements and that triggers something in them to flower and fruit. From that Warren has learned to take cuttings which he can keep in an adult form as a shrub or small tree. Warren has turned these into landscape shrubs. They can be placed in containers. In his research over the past 6 years they will make it through the winter. They add color, form and character to the container and are unusual. They're rich looking, have a coarse texture and become a real focal point plant in the winter. These plants require a low amount of water and are great for containers.

Glacier was the first Warren developed. It started as a juvenile form
and as an adult will grow to 5 to 5 and one half feet tall. He has a
plant that is cascading or prostrate as an adult, it will stay about 2
to 2 and one half feet tall.

Warren has found that by taking terminal cuttings he can get an upright
growth as opposed to side shoot cuttings. Princess Grace has a very
dark leaf, flowers and fruit. It stays about 3 and one half feet tall and
about the same width. Green Spice has a glossy, coarse texture, it's
flowers and fruit will form in January and February and will be black.
It's unique in habit, grows to about 4 feet tall and as much as 6 feet
wide.

We're going to use the Glacier in our container. Since this plant likes
dryer conditions we'll leave it in it's container. A container within a
container. This allows us to water the other plants more, keeping the
Ivy a little drier. Keep the stake for at least the first season
allowing the plant to develop a little more girth.

You really get more seasonal color for your dollar with fall plants
than any other. If you plant in September or October many times the plants will bloom or look good into May or June. Dr. Rick shows us some
interesting plants for this time of year , something different than
Pansies, Flowering Cabbage or Kale. We view a Carex called Toffee or
Taffy Twist. It is upright, kind of bronze, good looking, not formal.
Another Carex is more variegated, more chartreuse, still upright for a
vertical interest in containers. Both like moist soil, don't like it
dry. If you want something dry consider Sage, Iceterina. It's a
tri-colored leaf with a lot of variegation. Use it ornamentally or use
them for cooking. Another variety of Sage is purple leafed,
Purpurescens, it's great for the kitchen as well as the container.
Callebracawa looks like a Petunia, tolerates cool temperatures down to
about 25 degrees. Arissima is variegated, has an upright form, light
coloring around the edge, adds spice and interest to the composition.
Nemesia, this variety is called Bluebird, doesn't tolerate cold
temperatures, is great for the fall but would do well in the spring and
summer. Osteospermos, are plants getting attention lately. Lemon
Symphony, Vanilla Symphony and Orange Symphony will tolerate
temperatures down to 25 degrees. They will add a real bright spot to
containers, but put them in protected areas of the landscape. Tierella,
Heron's Wood Mist, is variegated. Another Tierella, Iron Butterfly, has
cut up leaves, very upright, white to Orange flowers. They tolerate
temperatures down to minus 30, thus are perennials in most parts of the south. Creeping Wire Grass is from New Zealand, it tolerates zone 5 to 9 and again will be a perennial. It's semi evergreen, it's leaves are
leathery, it cascades over the side of a container or is a ground
cover. Berginia, Tubby Andrews has a very coarse textured leaf, an upright form, a variegated leaf and upright flower stalk. Ajuga is also known as Bugle Weed. We look at three varieties. Chocolate Chip, the leaves are very small, more linear, but tight and stalky. Burgundy Glove is a little lighter in color. Mahogany has a deep rich color. These are
outstanding plants for fall containers. Don't forget about the usual
plants but try some new plants as well.

We will now finish planting the container. We've already planted the
mature Ivy in the center, it will provide vertical interest. To go with
the Ivy we've chosen Calibrochia. It is bright purple and will add
intense almost florescent color to the composition. It should cascade
over the container. We'll add Sage, Purpuserescen, to provide more
depth and a little more purple to the composition, variety in texture and a change of shape. Also added is the Mahogany Ajuga, it too will cascade over the side and add deep, rich color. It is a simple color scheme, but attractive and makes good use of different forms and textures.

Our container garden contest has been going on all season long and
we've had a tremendous response. People from throughout the south have sent us numerous pictures of their outstanding containers. Their hard work was evident. We thank everyone that sent us pictures. It was a shame everyone couldn't be a winner. We did, however, choose a winner.

Fannie Goodwin is our winner. She lives in Austel, Georgia and she has
put together an absolutely exquisite combination of annuals and
perennials.

Fannie is surprised, overwhelmed and appreciates the honor. She feels
she will now get her 5 minutes of glory (and she deserves it). Fannie
was having trouble digging lots of holes in the ground, she wanted
matching pots and wanted to compliment the color of the house. She
chose a tall pot, which allows excellent drainage and it will hold a lot of
plant material. She is using one of Dr. Rick's favorite techniques -
putting containers in the garden, not just on a porch or deck. Since it
is raining we are in a protected area, not in her garden where the
container would normally be placed. Because the container is so full it
is hard to tell about the soil. However, Fannie starts with a soil
conditioner, mixes it in a wheel barrow, then she adds a premium
potting mix and some slow release fertilizer. She feels it's better to mix it in rather than throw it on top so even the roots will grow. The color
scheme is relatively simple, not monochromatic, but not too busy. She
has a mix of textures, large leaves, on an Elephant Ear that she paid
$12, has turned green. Next to that she has small leaves, a Japanese
Painted Fern, a perennial. Fannie says at her age perennials are her
favorite because you don't have to dig each year. And she has a lot of
textural difference. Height wise it is in proportion, the plants are
about 2 times the height of the container. Fannie didn't think about
that when designing the container, but we know she knew what looked
good. Also in the container, adding height is an Angle Wing Begonia.
She has had this plant for 40 years, it is her heirloom plant. Since it is
not a perennial, she over winters it by bringing it into the basement,
thanks to a helpful young neighbor. From a catalog she has ordered a
Flowering Maple or Abeutelon. They are perennial, these came back this
year, others didn't. In zone 7 they probably need heavy mulch in the
winter. Included also is Sedum, Purple Emperor a very pretty pink.
Fannie's daughter Rebecca Lee helps her with her gardening. Rebecca
named their place "The gardens of Sumpter Place" because she says sadly today they don't have much competition. There are annuals and
perennials in this container. There are even herbs present, one lasted through the winter, the sage. There is also Greek Oregano and mint. Herbs not only add beauty but can be used in the kitchen. Fannie even has an indoor plant Pepperomia, they're almost forgotten and squashed by the Impatiens. Impatiens aren't Fannie's favorite plant but do provide good color to the container, you can count on them every summer and they fill in, especially around the base. One of her favorites is an ornamental pepper. She can't go to a garden center without buying something, rarely does she think about what she will do with the new addition. This plant couldn't be indoors or on the porch because of the kitten so she stuck it in this container. It is colorful, interesting and could be used in cooking. Her favorite colors are pinks and roses, she's not really into reds and likes Lantana mostly because it grows. Dr. Rick thinks she has a good range of colors. Additionally Fannie has an ornamental iron butterfly. It adds balance and interest. She chose the butterfly because she taught school for thirty five years. Kids would always give her things and she started collecting butterflies and she felt those would go well with her plants.

Fannie says she is surprised. The visit made her day, month and
summer. She is to be congratulated, her container is beautiful. She has done a wonderful job. "The Southern Gardener" especially thanks Fannie and we thank all of our viewers this season.

We've enjoyed producing the show this season and think it is our best
series of shows yet. We look forward to a little time off and look
forward to 2003 and a whole new season of "The Southern Gardener."
Thanks to all of our viewers and thanks to our corporate underwriters,
all of you have made this possible.

Thanks, TSG

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By Stacey Hirvela, for Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners® ColorChoice®

Leaves get all the credit for making autumn beautiful, but berries are no slouch at bringing a range of colors, forms and interest to the landscape. Here is a great article that highlights some stunning fall shrubs. Read more....


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