What's Up summary of a week's news
Issue #191, December 10, 2012
Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow
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the night... without ruining the garden
long nights spur bloom
that tell important tales as we review the year
Essential shade garden: Why what seemed a bust is really the
best kind of start
Making more light under trees
Wringing water from trees
Choosing shady plants that thrive, not merely survive
Read on for our week's overview and a summary of each of these
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We started reviewing the year, strolled over to shade garden
questions posed by our 93 year old poet gardener, Frank Harney, and
dug up a whole issue worth of shady secrets to share: plant lists,
garden lay-out, watering, mulching and what amounts to a pair of
x-ray glasses so you can "see" the tree roots that compete with
Looking into holiday lighting and its effects on trees turned
into a similar romp, ranging from the differences between
rhododendrons in the Great Smoky Mountains and those in our
gardens, to mums with patchy bloom and all the way over to a
mysterious pink-flowered perennial for December.
Coming soon, a report on completing..... drumroll please:our
first year on line.
Also in the next issue -- next weekend! -- gardeners' holiday
gift giving, perennials that aren't, grapeholly, grass skirts and
Summaries of this week's news
Two new items in Main features:
Light the night
Answering the question: Will
holiday lights hurt my garden? Short answer: They can, but
won't if you keep a gardener's eye focused on the plants that
support them. Practical how-to included, as always! Then: Who could
know that lights would also plug us into Christmas at fabulous
Longwood Gardens, changing the ways of rhodies that won't bloom,
when and how to deadhead rhodies and even out to the Pacific
Northwest to admire theirRhododendron pruning?
When long nights spur bloom
Bringing long night plants into flower can be mystifying, but
here's the scoop on managing poinsettia, mum, jade tree, kalanchoe
and others that can't put on their blooming best without long,
unbroken nights. Along the way we revise our garden site assessment
checklist to include outdoor security lights and come away coveting
the pink blooming Nerine that graces the December garden
Five newbies in the department, This week in our
What we ourselves have been up to in our own and others'
Failures that tell important tales: A little pain, lots of
Why it's good to look back now, even or especially at the garden
projects that went bust. There's no statue of limitations on old
gardening disappointments -- those failures
keep tellin' tales. You may even dig them up and find they've
gone gold. The example we use in this feature is one almost every
gardener faces -- dealing with a tree that thwarts our best
attempts to garden around it. Here we lay it out, in brief and in
depth as you choose to read it: What the biggest obstacles are and
how to overcome each one.
Essential shade garden: Three keys to success
Make it your year for a truly
great shade garden. This can be your under-tree mantra, helping
you grow by these objectives in this order: Light up the light,
wring out more water, and choose plants by letting them
self-select. As a bonus, we bring you this design tip: Let there be
Shade gardening: Making more light under trees
make light of the shade! How to prune, open "windows" in
fencing, and even recycle light that's already finding its way in
to your dark, troubling corners.
Shade gardening: Wringing water out of trees
Watering a shade garden is frustrating. It's a ruthless
environment and the deck is stacked so that the plant with the most
leaves, grabs the water you pour on. No need to count, youknow that
tree's going to beat your new perennial. Yet watering more slowly,
more often, earlier in the year and day, and weeding later in fall
can give your garden a leg up. The garden's share of the water
allowance can increase, too, if you change your planting and
digging habits to get around the way tree roots grow. It's truly an
in-depth look, and we've already done all the hard digging into
root-filled ground to reveal it to you.
Choosing shady plants
We start with the notion that tolerance is not a virtue, and
spell out how to
find plants for a shade garden so what you grow actuallyloves
the light/water/soil situation your yard offers. With three
illustrated case studies and a sterling list of the best perennials
for the worst shade.
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