ShadyGardens Blog

December 30, 2008

Native Plants for the Winter Garden

Filed under: bloom, evergreen, garden, gardening, Georgia, native, native shrub., plant, winter — shadygardens @ 2:11 pm


Since a Georgia winter has frequent warm days, we enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors even in January and February. Finding native plants that are showy in winter can be challenging.

We do have many non-native evergreens in our garden, but we find it important to plant native plants whenever possible. After much searching, I have come up with a few suggestions of American native plants you should add to your winter garden:

  • American Holly, of course for the berries!
  • Pachysandra Procumbens, often referred to as Allegheny Spurge, is a non-invasive groundcover that develops a silvery mottling to its leaves in fall and winter.
  • Lonicera fragrantissima begins blooming in January with sweetly fragrant and delicately beautiful blooms as shown in the above photo. This large growing shrub is commonly referred to as Winter Honeysuckle.
  • Evergreens are an important addition to any garden. One I like in particular that looks just as good in winter as any other time of year is Arizona Cypress.
  • Yucca provides spikey interest year round and provides contrast in the garden. I like ‘Golden Sword’ for its bright yellow stripes appearing like sunshine in the garden.

In addition to being beautiful year round, these plants offer the added benefit of being drought tolerant, which is an important asset to consider after the drought we’ve had!

December 26, 2008

Drought Tolerant Plants for Georgia

Recently here in Georgia, we have received plenty of rain. For that, we are very thankful. But it is wise to make provisions for drought to return, and plant wisely when planning our gardens. Below you will find a list which includes plants we are successfully growing in our garden with no supplemental water. Some are native, some are not.
Aspidistra (Cast Iron Plant)
Callicarpa americana (Purple Beauty Berry)
Carolina Jessamine
Daphne odora (Fragrant Winter Daphne)
Hellebore (Lenten Rose)
Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea)
Oxalis (Wood Sorrell)
Pachysandra Procumbens
Pomegranate
Rhododendron austrinum (Florida Flame Azalea)
Rhododendron alabamense (Alabama Native Azalea)
Rohdea Japonica (Nippon Lily/Japanese Sacred Lily)
Sedums
Spirea
Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria-Not invasive!)
For more information on
any of these recommended plants, please visit Shady Gardens Nursery.

December 19, 2008

Humane Mouse Trap: The Mice Cube

Filed under: humane, Mice Cube, mouse, trap — shadygardens @ 9:16 pm

Our concern for animal welfare is apparent upon visiting our garden. Most of our pets were just dropped off here and we let them stay. Even critters often thought of as a nuisance are welcomed here to a degree. My husband, normally thought of as a tough guy policeman type, has been teased for being too tenderhearted toward mice and spiders, and has many times caught them indoors, carried them out to the briars, and let them go safely on their way.

Several months ago, mice became a problem in the greenhouse. Small little field mice can do much damage quickly, munching on simply everything! One would think mice would not be a problem here with Crisco the Cat, but it’s hard for him to catch mice during his sleep. (He sleeps about 23 of the 24 hours in his day, and the other hour is spent eating.)

That’s when I discovered the Mice Cube. I couldn’t believe how well it worked! The Mice Cube is a small clear plastic rectangular container with a trap door on one end. The mouse can enter to eat the bait, but cannot exit, since the door opens inward only. Our bait is a cheezit with peanut butter spread on one side. Within just a few hours we had caught a little guy who we safely deposited at the fence. The next morning we found 2 little mice inside.

The only problem we’ve seen with the Mice Cube is Crisco the Cat–If he gets to it before we do, he lets the mouse out, and then we have to catch it again!

December 7, 2008

Master Gardener Class Offered in Troup County, Georgia

Filed under: Uncategorized — shadygardens @ 8:22 pm

Master Gardener Class for 2009

Do you want to learn more about how to make your garden grow, identify plants, and meet other people who are also interested in gardening? If so, applications are now being taken for the 2009 Master Gardener Class in Troup County. The class is open to residents of Troup, Harris, Heard, Meriwether, Muscogee and Coweta Counties in Georgia and also Lee, Chambers and Randolph Counties in Alabama.

Gardeners receive training in a variety of areas such as landscape design, soil and plant nutrition, plant physiology, turf grass maintenance and other related topics. Those participating will then volunteer to assist the local County Agents and local gardeners to answer their gardening questions and participate in special gardening projects with other Master Gardeners.

The classes are taught by professionals in their field, University professors and other well qualified individuals.

Classes will be held at the Troup County Agriculture Center, 21 Vulcan Materials Road, LaGrange and will meet from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from January 27 through April 2, 2009. Cost for the program is $125.00 and includes the textbook, all classroom materials, a name badge and certificate. A minimum of $75.00 is required with the application.

In the first year following completion of the course, class members are required to contribute 50 hours of volunteer time in the Community and to the Extension Service to receive their certification as a Master Gardener. To retain certification, 25 hours of volunteer service are required each year. For an application or more information, call the Troup County Extension Service at 706-883-1675 or stop in at the Extension Office, Suite 2200 in the County Government Center at 200 Ridley Avenue, LaGrange. Applications must be received in the office by December 15, 2008.

Master Gardener Class Offered in Troup County, Georgia

Master Gardener Class for 2009

Do you want to learn more about how to make your garden grow, identify plants, and meet other people who are also interested in gardening? If so, applications are now being taken for the 2009 Master Gardener Class in Troup County. The class is open to residents of Troup, Harris, Heard, Meriwether, Muscogee and Coweta Counties in Georgia and also Lee, Chambers and Randolph Counties in Alabama.

Gardeners receive training in a variety of areas such as landscape design, soil and plant nutrition, plant physiology, turf grass maintenance and other related topics. Those participating will then volunteer to assist the local County Agents and local gardeners to answer their gardening questions and participate in special gardening projects with other Master Gardeners.

The classes are taught by professionals in their field, University professors and other well qualified individuals.

Classes will be held at the Troup County Agriculture Center, 21 Vulcan Materials Road, LaGrange and will meet from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday from January 27 through April 2, 2009. Cost for the program is $125.00 and includes the textbook, all classroom materials, a name badge and certificate. A minimum of $75.00 is required with the application.

In the first year following completion of the course, class members are required to contribute 50 hours of volunteer time in the Community and to the Extension Service to receive their certification as a Master Gardener. To retain certification, 25 hours of volunteer service are required each year. For an application or more information, call the Troup County Extension Service at 706-883-1675 or stop in at the Extension Office, Suite 2200 in the County Government Center at 200 Ridley Avenue, LaGrange. Applications must be received in the office by December 15, 2008.

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