ShadyGardens Blog

October 5, 2009

Fall Garden Plants

Filed under: American, Beauty Berry, fall, garden, muhly grass, pink, Shady Gardens — shadygardens @ 4:43 pm
Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I just love the cool, crisp air which makes walking in the garden so much more enjoyable. I enjoy Fall gardening for the same reason—it’s cooler. I am a sucker for a fall-blooming plant.  I’m always on the lookout for something new, and I thought I’d share with you some of my findings. 
Pink Muhly Grass is hard to find, but when you see it, you’ll love the pink fluffy plumes that arise from the foliage in September. This plant is beautiful when planted in mass, but also makes a great specimen. Muhlenbergia capillaris is it’s botanical name, and this plant looks great with fall blooming asters. 
Perennial Ageratum is another eye-catcher with its bright lavender blooms that return each year in September. 
Berries tickle me as well, because I know they’ll bring birds into the garden. One of my favorites is American Beautyberry with its deep magenta berries that are in clusters wrapped around the stem. The berries hang onto the stems even after the leaves have dropped, providing interest on into the winter. If purple isn’t your thing, a rare white form and a pink form can be found in specialty nurseries. 

Fall is upon us, and fall is the best time to plant these beauties, so make your plans now for the best gardening season of all—Fall!

September 4, 2009

Rhododendron My Mary: Fragrant Yellow Azalea

Filed under: azalea, deciduous, garden, George Beasley, My Mary, nursery, online, rhododendron, sale, Shady Gardens, ship, shrub — shadygardens @ 8:59 pm

Rhododendron ‘My Mary’ is a new plant for me. Aside from the large and very fragrant yellow blooms appearing in April, the romantic story behind the name compelled me to plant this one.‘My Mary’ is a deciduous hybrid azalea–a cross between Rhododendron Nacoochee and Rhododendron Austrinum (the native Florida Flame Azalea.) As written above, the blooms are large and very fragrant–a beautiful yellow funnel-shaped flower with an orange tube. The flowers are borne in clusters, or bouquets, as I like to call them. As you might imagine, pollinators of every sort just love them!

Rhododendron ‘My Mary’ was developed by the well-respected Mr. George Beasley of Lavonia, Georgia, who named this plant after his wife, Mary. She must indeed be lovely, to have such a plant named in her honor. I’m proud to have this shrub in my humble garden.

Hardy in USDA Zones 5-8, this deciduous rhododendron can be grown almost anywhere in the United States.

 
Culture is the same as for just about any other rhododendron or azalea: well-drained soil with a nice addition of humus, regular water (weekly is great), partial shade, and a thick layer of mulch to protect the roots.

 
For more information on this plant, you may contact us at
Shady Gardens Nursery or consult the Missouri Botanical Garden Plantfinder, who so graciously permitted us to use their lovely photos.

July 18, 2009

Four Oclock: Fragrant Blooms for the Evening Garden

If you like fragrant plants, the old-fashioned Four Oclock will be one of your favorites. Small pink blooms scent the garden with their sweet perfume every evening during summer. Mirabilis jalapa is a shrub-like multibranched perennial plant that emerges each spring from a large carrot-shaped tuber. The common name Four Oclock comes from its fascinating habit of opening its blooms around 4 oclock in the afternoon. That alone is enough to intrigue me, since I have a natural interest in plants with unusual traits. Although it’s called Four Oclock, in our garden Mirabilis actually opens her blooms around 5:30 pm, perfuming the air right about the time it begins to cool off enough to sit in the shade on the patio.

Four Oclock is very easy to grow. Easy to please, four oclock can be grown in sun or shade. Our plants get morning sun and afternoon shade, but four oclock grows equally well in full shade with a reasonable amount of water. She’s not a water hog, but good soil with regular water will keep the plant looking healthy and green with plenty of those fragrant blooms. Just so you’ll know, plants in our shade garden get very little water, yet still bloom and multiply with profusion. Plants in the sun that receive occasional water perform just about as well as those in dry shade. The few Four Oclocks we have in dry sun are just surviving.

I can’t really describe the fragrance–it’s just a sweet, pleasant scent that invites me to relax outdoors. You might not notice the scent until your plant gets large with many blooms. And if you’re never outdoors in the evening, well…you’ll just miss out entirely.

Another important feature of the fragrant Four Oclock is that hummingbirds just adore it! The hot pink blooms are tubular and full of nectar for both butterflies and hummingbirds. You’ll further enjoy sitting on the patio observing the tiny creatures flitting about around the plants.

Four Oclock dies to the ground with the onset of winter in colder zones, but re-emerges again in late spring. Hardy in USDA Zones 7-11, mirabilis can be grown anywhere in the southern half of the United States.

I must tell you also that Four Oclock is definitely a reseeder. Toward the end of summer you’ll notice small black cannonballs on the plants and the ground beneath. Those are very viable seeds. If you’ve had no luck growing Four Oclock from seed, that’s because these very hard seeds need a cold treatment to break them. It’s best to plant them in fall, but most gardeners don’t think about it then and seeds often are not available in the big box stores at that time of year. You’ll have nearly instant gratification if you go ahead and purchase a tuber instead. Heavy black carrot-shaped tubers will send up a stem very quickly after planting in warm summer soil. Four Oclock tubers are available for summer shipping from Shady Gardens Nursery.

May 23, 2009

Marydel Azalea

Filed under: atlanticum, azalea, buy, marydel, nursery, online, plant, rhododendron, sale, Shady Gardens, ship, shrub — shadygardens @ 3:01 pm

Marydel Azalea is definitely one of my new favorites! Large bouquets of pink flowers fragrance my garden in April and May. We Georgians can’t take the credit for this one–it was found growing naturally on private property which covered an area between Maryland and Delaware–thus the name ‘Marydel.’

It is not certain whether Marydel is a naturally occurring cross between Rhododendron Atlanticum and Periclymenoides or just a pink-flowering form of R. Atlanticum, but Marydel is definitely a spectacular plant in any garden.
One might think that it would need cooler temperatures, since it grows naturally in the northeast, but Marydel has proven herself to be quite tolerant of our Georgia climate.
In addition to huge, beautiful, fragrant blooms in spring, Marydel’s foliage seems to stand up well to our heat and humidity. Foliage attains a burgundy hue with the onset of our cold temperatures in late fall.
Try Marydel in your garden and you will not be disappointed!

January 7, 2009

Shadygardener: Ebay Seller Opens Shady Gardens Nursery

Filed under: ebay, mail order, native, nursery, online, plant, plants, Shady Gardens, shadygardener, store — shadygardens @ 4:27 pm

One of the favorite sellers of plants on ebay is now selling on her own site outside of ebay!

“AWESOME ITEM – VERY PLEASED WITH TOTAL TRANS. & HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS EBAYER!!!!” “The important thing is that the selections are unique & quality excellent!” “Shipment was fast and plant was better than expected, thanks!” “One of my favorite sellers. Beautiful healthy plants.” “Will buy from this seller again and again …”

Those are just a few of the feedback comments left for shadygardener on ebay. You can read more about shadygardener’s feedback on ebay.

If you’ve been searching for native plants or other hard to find plants for your garden, there is a good selection of unusual plants on ebay. But if you’d rather not purchase on ebay, you can go directly to shadygardener’s online nursery site: Shady Gardens Nursery.

Plants will be promptly shipped directly to you at a great price, and if you’re looking for something not listed in the current inventory, they’ll try to find it for you!

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