in the south we'll sod an area we don't how to handle. Consider
ground covers, like Ajuga Reptans known as Bugle Weed. It
has beautiful, thick leaves, is reasonably coarse and adds
pizzazz to the landscape. It flowers in late spring, a little
blue spike, and covers the ground well. It has a bronze
leaf, some varieties like Catlin's Giant, are variegated
and have a large leaf. It keeps weeds out, is invasive so
establish a border between it and other areas. It's low
maintenance, tolerates full sun and likes a moist soil.
If in a dry area it can stay fairly dry. Ajuca Reptans is
a great ground cover for the south.
Ivy is a member of the Sumac family. All members of the
Sumac family are in some way poisonous. The oil on the leaf
is what makes Poison Ivy poisonous. The leaves are trifoliate,
there are three leaves on the stem. The Petiole or leaf
stem is reddish. If you do brush against Poison Ivy, immediately
wash with soap and water. If you blister, stay out of the
sunlight, sunlight exasperates the problem. Virginia Creeper
looks like Poison Ivy but has five leaves. The rhyme: "If
it has leaves of three let it be. If leaves of five, let
it thrive." Virginia Creeper is a great plant to grow
on a trellis or even brick or stucco. It adheres with tiny
feet, known as Holdfasts, like a suction cup. They don't
penetrate brick, etc., they're fast growing, will reach
40-60 feet tall. They have a coarse texture, turn red in
the fall and after the leaves fall off the vine itself is
Richard and Robert Stoney talk about great trees of the
south. American Beech, Fagus Grandifolia, needs a lot of
space because it can grow to 90 feet tall. It produces dense
shade, making it difficult for anything to grow underneath,
with the possible exception of spring bulbs like Hyacinths
or Cyclamens. It has gray bark, large coarse textured foliage
and will do well in the shade. Young trees hold on to their
leaves in winter, in fact until new leaves come out. The
tree we're viewing was planted by Barnsley in the 1840's.
This is a great tree in the landscape but also good for
wildlife. It has nuts that are edible, ok for man, ideal
for squirrels and Chipmunks. If you have plenty of room
consider a the American Beech, a very majestic tree.
long-needled Pine, Pinus Palustris, is native to the south.
This tree species is in decline. As a young plant it stays
small for 3 to 5 years, even suitable for a container. It
then for some reason jumps to the next stage, then jumps
to a large tree. It then will produce shade.
China Fir or Cunninghamia Lonceocata is a native of southeast
China. Barnsley planted this tree in 1859, at that time
it was 4-6 years old, so it's approaching 150 years of age.
The climate in southeast China is similar to that in the
southeast US, so it does well in this climate. It grows
rapidly at first, then grows in girth rather than height.
If you cut the base, it would sprout from the base and grow
more quickly than if started from seed since it has a large
developed root system. This tree since it is so old and
valuable has a lightning rod that goes all the way to the
top. It is made of braided wire and must slightly exceed
the tree height. It then comes down the length of the tree
and is earthed in the ground.
Another unusual tree at Barnsley Gardens is the large Boxwood,
Buxus Sempevirens, Florica Arborescence. It is over 6 feet
tall, has longer, pointed leaves. This tree is approximately
160 years old and is 28-29 inches around. They are slow
growing and prized for their cabinetmakers wood, hence their
Dr. Rick talks with Spence Oliver, director of turf management
at Barnsley Gardens. He has used Turfway 419, overseeded
with Perennial Rye grass. It is cut below one half inch.
He and staff use a riding reel mower, the blades circle
versus rotate, which gives a more precise cut, more of a
pinching, scissors effect. they cut the grass 4 or 5 times
per week. This is not ideal for the homeowner, Bermuda would
be a better choice for areas with drought conditions, better
than Zoysia or Bahia or Buffalo Grass. To get a great looking
lawn it is important to have a sharp blade on your mower.
Don't scalp the grass, this is where you are cutting into
the stem of the plant, below where the leaf blades are growing.
If you do this you will start to get browning or yellowing
of the turf. Follow the one third rule. Don't remove more
than one third of the grass and leaf blade. Keep your fertilizer
levels correct and maintain nutrient levels.
This lawn has stripes, like you might see at a ballpark,
etc. This is accomplished with the reel mower, it has both
front and rear rollers. The light reflects off the leaf
blade. When it is bent one way light reflects off one side
of the leaf, cut the other way it reflects of the other
side of the leaf. They mow different directions on different
Specimen plants serve as focal points in our landscape.
We view several at Barnsley Gardens. Cardoon creates a very
bold dramatic effect. Its' architectural design is wonderful
and graceful. The graceful quality of the stems, the big,
bold arching shape create an effect when underneath looking
up, like that of a cathedral. Originally it was grown as
a vegetable, it is grown as an ornamental now, is an annual
and produces thistle-like flowers, like an artichoke. It
is in fact a member of the Thistle family, very gnarly and
has a leathery feel. It likes full sun and deep well-worked
loomy soil. Robert shows us some plants that are stunning
in containers. Salvia Argentia or Silver Salvia produces
big soft, downy leaves. More dramatic than Lambs Ear and
it contrasts nicely with Petunias, in this case Lavendar
Petunias. Coleus, this form is Kiwi, contrasts nicely with
Caladium, a lovely black or dark purple, the hot colors
of the Kiwi contrast nicely with the dark colors in the
Caladium. These colors compliment the colors in the Impatiens.
The way to create the bold effect is to vary leaf size,
a large leaf with the Caladium, the Salvia Argentia and
Silver Salvia, next to the frilly, fine textured Coleus.
It is a variation of size and texture. Canna would rate
a 10 in terms of visual energy. It has 3 characteristics
that make it bold. It's upright and upright forms are fascinating
to our eyes. It has extremely coarse texture, the leaves
are large and far apart. And third, it's got a stripe of
orange color, which is very hot or fascinating to our eyes.
It is difficult to put this plant with others, so it is
typically grown by itself or with some accent plants, like
a Coleus or fern, something that serves as a foil against
all the really bright color. It loves full sun, doesn't
like shade and needs plenty of moisture. It's a heavy feeder
and a great choice if you're looking for something that
really catches the eye.
Back to Top