Clent Coker is the historian and museum
director at Barnsley Gardens and shares with us some of
the Barnsley history. Godfrey Barnsley landed in Savannah
in 1824 at the age of 18. He made a fortune in cotton and
shipping. Barnsley carved from the wilderness a showcase
estate and gardens. He brought in trees, shrubs and plants
from all over the world. Some of these plants have been
in this setting for more than a century and a half. The
house and gardens represent mystery, adventure and romance
and are a living legacy of the south, and they're absolutely
Robert Stoney and Dr. Rick spend some
time in the rock garden, one of the first in the country. All the rock is local, a hard
type of Quartz.
Andrew Jackson Downing, the father of landscape design,
rock garden. He believed in combining the beautiful with
the picturesque. He took elements of the natural environment
and incorporated that with garden design. This garden is
some rocks are completely hidden, some half hidden, some
on top. It
looks like a natural strata. Robert calls this micro gardening.
create the environment you want for particular plant needs.
There is a
boggy area with peat that is acidic. Pitcher plants and
in this environment. A lettucy plant, Saxifrage, is elegant
and ornamental in spring, later on it will have a yellow
carpet of flowers.
There is also an Ice Plant, as well as Cactuses and Succulents.
can put anything in the pockets or nothing. You can incorporate
any type soil or pea gravel or scree, which is a little
larger rock. There are
Evergreens in the rock so there is interest almost year
round. In the
winter there are lovely Mosses and Lykens, in the spring
Wallflowers and a few Narcissus. In the summer the garden
different, it has Geraniums and Alpine Saxifrages. Hen and
Chickens, House Leek, because of its' rosette form and strong
purple color gives a coarse textured look and softens the
look. Moss and Ferns, add to the
diversity of plants.
You can encourage the weathered, mustard
look of the stone by smearing on yogurt or soured milk.
These act as a colonizing food for the algae which later
changes to Lykens, then Moss. At first the rock will look
black and sooty but that will change to the green of Moss
and Lykens. This same process can be applied to containers
as well to make them weather more rapidly.
When putting plants together in a container,
consider value. Value
refers to lightness or darkness of a color. Coleus has a
deep or dark
value. Artemesia has a high value. When there are differences
plants, that is dramatic and causes a lot of fascination.
It's interesting to our eyes. So instead of a lot of color
change consider lots of
different hues, go with value changes. You get a lot of
harmony, but a lot of energy as well.
Robert shows us some native Azaleas. A
native Azalea hasn't been
affected or improved by breeders. They are as natural as
designed them. Piedmont Azalea or Rhododendron Canescens
has a beautiful shape, it has 12-15 little florets with
a lovely rosette and long curving stamens. It is a delicate,
dainty looking plant and slightly fragrant. It will eventually
grow into a substantial small tree or tall bush. It will
grow up to 15-20 feet tall after 20 years or so. The Piedmont
Azalea has color variations, from white to pink. They will
survive in deep shade but will be more free flowering if
they have half sun or full sun.
Florida Azalea, Rhododendron Austrinum,
ranges from yellow to orange.
It has a great fragrance, will produce a nice spreading
bush, has a
great shape and grows to about 12 feet tall.
Rhododendron Flammeum, Oconee Azalea,
is another native. It has orange flowers that eventually
produce a ball of orange, but it has no
Korean Azalea, Rhododendron Yedoensis
Poukhanese, blooms are almost blue. As the sun rises is
looks almost magenta. It has a typical
Azalea shape of flower, slightly asymmetrical with 5 stamens
instead of 10, which is the norm for Rhododendrons. It has
a more open flower, a low habit and looses its leaves in
winter. Its leaves remain glossy
throughout the summer and produces rusty colors in fall.
About the only color Azaleas or Rhododendrons
don't exhibit is pure
The Dogwood is particularly beautiful
in the spring although it is beautiful all year long. In
the winter the bark is beautiful, in spring
the "flowers" are just a showy bract, the true
flowers are in the center. The cluster of green nondescript
objects are actually the flowers, the white is the bracts.
Cherokee Princess is resistant to Anthracnose,
mildew and canker.
Anthracnose is a fungus and a dreaded disease for Dogwoods.
flowers are an inch or so larger than a normal Dogwood.
Dogwoods do well in full shade or full sun. They probably
flower more heavily in full sun.
Double Flowering Dogwood, Cornus Florida
variety Plena, has multiple
bracts or petals instead of four simple bracts. It is very
and beautiful. All native dogwoods and most other cultivars
fruit, a little red berry in the fall. This is a good source
for birds in the winter.
Silver Bell, Halesia Diptera, comes out
about the same time as the
Dogwood. It's not a large tree and has a delicate, snowball
flower. It prefers full sun or half shade, can exist as
an understory tree as long as the soil is on the acidic
side and it likes well drained soil.
Snowball Viburnum, Viburnum Macrocephalum,
looks like a Hydrangea. It is larger, will grow into a monster,
15-20 feet tall. The flowers can be
10 inches across and last for a week to 10 days. The bud
is lime green
with a cream snowball. They're easy to grow but require
a sheltered site. It must be protected from the wind otherwise
the heads won't last. It likes well drained fertile soil.
Some people give them a hard prune after 4-5 years, they
won't bloom the next year, but the following year they will
produce a much larger, spectacular show. They flower a little
in the fall.
A fog nozzle is ideal for spraying house
plants that like a lot of humidity. The brass nozzle fits
on the end of the hose and produces a
very fine mist to syringe or completely humidify your plants.
It's a great way to solve spider mite problems and keeps
For many of us our lawn is the most important
part of our yard. Spring
is the time to fertilize warm season grasses like Bermuda
When should you fertilize in the spring? Look for green
up. Warm season grasses turn brown or cream colored in winter.
It doesn't mean they're dead, just dormant. In many parts
of the country they retreat, they hide in the soil, they
are still alive. When you see green blades starting to emerge,
that is the time for fertilization because the green part
of the grass needs the most amount of Nitrogen. Look at
the fertilizer bag. The first number is Nitrogen if the
number is 28 that means 28% of the bag is Nitrogen. The
second number refers to Phosphorus and the third number
is Potassium. Most lawns don't like a balanced fertilizer,
8-8-8, for example. Grass likes more Nitrogen than Phosphorus
or Potassium. Thus we need to look for a high first number,
or Nitrogen. That amount should be 6,7 or 8 times more than
the Phosphorus or Potassium number. If you look at the back
of the bag you'll notice the numbers don't add up to 100%.
The remaining elements are inert products, carriers that
hold the fertilizer and allow it to spread evenly and accurately.
When applying fertilizer consider - do you want to grow
grass or simply maintain your grass? If you want a real
green grass or if you've got kids playing on it causing
a lot of wear and tear you might want to over fertilize.
The default amount is 1 pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 square
feet per application. So bump that up a little, it will
allow your grass to recover quicker, however you will probably
need to mow and water more frequently. If you just want
to maintain a good look drop down to just under a pound
per 1,000 square feet. You'll get a good look but won't
need to mow or water as frequently. One thing we strive
for in a lawn is a monoculture, meaning the same type of
grass. That is a challenge in the parts of the country where
there are warm and cool season weeds. A pre-emergent is
a product put on the soil surface that produces a gas barrier.
When the weed seeds germinate, it kills them. When determining
when to put out a pre-emergent look for other weeds that
are germinating. For example
Dandelions are easy to spot, put out your pre-emergent when
Dandelions are in the puffball stage. There are many pre-emergents,
look for one with Pendimethalin, it provides long lasting
protection. When applying a pre-emergent make sure the ground
is completely dry. You don't want it to stick to the grass
blades, they need to get to the soil surface. Before a hard
rain or before you turn on your sprinkler is a good time
to apply a pre-emergent.
The easiest way to determine what setting
you should use on your
spreader is to purchase products from the same company that
makes the spreader. That way the product bag will tell you
exactly what settings to use and it will coincide with the
If you wake up one morning and it appears
that a lot of weeds jumped
up overnight, that is not unusual. Those weeds have been
winter long, especially in warmer parts of the country.
In this case a
pre-emergent won't work, you need a post emergent. We don't
hurt the lawn so use a selective herbicide that kills weeds
not turf. 2-4-D is a product that kills broadleaf plants,
things like Chick-Weed, Dandelions, Clover. When using a
post-emergent make sure the grass is
wet when applied. That way the granules stick to the weed
are absorbed into the weed. Use a product that has small
they stick to the weed and control is better. There is some
research that says weed and feeds aren't as effective as
feeding and controlling
weeds separately. That may be the case but it certainly
takes more time to do it separately, so if time is important
to you a weed and feed will work just fine.
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