Friday, July 31, 2009

Lowcountry Nursery

I love this grass, Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose'. The fuzzy pink inflorescence-like flowers appear in early July and bloom until August.

This soft-textured plant should be planted in large drifts to really make an impact. I think it would look great with gold colored flowers like Black-Eyed Susan, Beach Sunflower or Goldenrod. It gets about 3-feet tall and likes full sun and moist, well-draining soil.

I saw this crop today at Lowcountry Nursery in Awendaw. Every plant (in 3-gallon containers) is perfect and at its peak.


I wrote about one of the insects that can get on Sky Pencil Hollies the other day, so I thought I'd redeem this cultivar with this listing. This crop, also at Lowcountry Nursery, is tall and uniform- great for a landscape or planter that needs an instant impact.


This time of year, Podocarpus tends to look a little tired and dull. When Mindy and I walked into this shaded house, I was totally impressed. They plants are lush, full and dark green.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's long overdue-

The SHC website will be up and running by the end of August.

It details all of the services that SHC has to offer for nurseries & greenhouses, architects & designers, landscape contractors & homeowners.

Links to "Offshoots", articles, garden images and the lecture schedule will provide reliable and timely information to the green industry.

I hope that it becomes a resource that is really utilized.


Mite Damage on Camellias

Southern Red Mites love the southern garden evergreen staples: Japanese Camellia, Japanese Holly, Magnolia and Azlaea. It seems to be attracted to the Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica) more than the others, causing the leaves to become dull and silvery.

When I get called into a garden that is infested with the Southern Red Mites, it is most commonly confused with Sunscald.

This tiny pest (you need a hand lens to see them) is dormant right now, but once the temperatures cool down a bit, it will be back. All of the damage you see now actually occurred last winter and spring- it's frustrating.

If you had this pest in your garden or nursery last year, they will be back. The best product to use is Horticultural-Grade Oil (sometimes sold as "Ultrafine Oil"). Spray the leaves and stems with oil a few times in the fall and winter to essentially smother them.

*Southern Red Mites do not affect Sasanqua Camellias, only the Japanese Camellias

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stem Dieback on 'Sky Pencil' Holly

When a plant in the garden starts to lose leaves and look bad, the first instinct is to water it more or fertilize it- and that may be all it needs to thrive.

But before you make a change, get closer and check out your plant for insects, disease or other problems.

When I first saw this plant, I thought that it probably was not getting enough water. It's the middle of summer, and there is not a lot of room for the roots to find water between the bricks and the wall.

But when I looked at the dead stems, I saw that they were bumpy instead of smooth like they should have been. The holly was infested with a type of scale insect. I call them "false bark scales" because they are the same color as the bark and blend in very well.

If you scrape your nail over the bark, these immobile insects will come off.

Insecticides are not useful for treating bark scales- they just won't work. The best thing to do is prune off all of dead and dying stems (removing the insects). If there are a few more on the healthy parts of the plant, just scrape them off. When the weather is cool, coat the leaves with a horticultural-grade oil to smother any that you missed.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


"Summer afternoon, summer afternoon;
to me those have always been the two most beautiful words
in the English language.
-Henry James

Friday, July 24, 2009

Common Rush at Green Meadow Nursery

A plant that is on my "hot now" list is Common Rush, Juncus effusus.

The vertical growth adds a strong architectural element to the garden. Common Rush can grow in almost any soil condition and is drought tolerant. It thrives along brackish marshes or freshwater ponds as well.

This will work any where that Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) grows - but it will get a little taller, so make sure your site can accommodate it.

Green Meadow Nursery in Yonges Island, South Carolina has a beautiful crop of Common Rush. These pictures were taken last week while I was scouting their nursery.


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