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Archive for April, 2010

April in my Garden

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I have been enjoying my garden this spring, and every day brings new foliage, flowers  and the promise of more to follow.  The main attraction right now is  Viburnum macrocephalum.  This Chinese snowball viburnum is an example of how resilient plants are.  A friend who is also a garden designer gave me this large shrub a few years ago as a housewarming gift. 

Viburnum macrocephalum, Chinese snowball

 He had his crew deliver and plant it with a tree spade.  However, due  to the drought it  struggled along until this spring when it exploded into bloom.  I guess it was just waiting for the rain we had last fall and winter.  Other  key players in April  include Heuchera ‘Caramel’ which  looks good with its companions Acer palmatum ‘Sangu Kaku,’ the coral bark maple, a smoke tree and a clump of fennel. (sounds like a menu selection at a restaurant)  Heuchera ‘Citronelle’ and Euphorbia wulfenii  add welcome brightness with their chartreuse foliage and flowers.  Another combination that pleases is Amsonia hubrichtii; also known as Arkansas bluestar, a plant that  always makes the cut if I am forced to name 10 perennials I can’t live without,  and Heuchera ‘Mocha.’ The large dark foliage of this coralbells provides the perfect contrast for the willowy leaves of Amsonia and its blue flowers which are just beginning to show color.  I only grow a few clematis, although I am always trying new selections, and the first to bloom this year  is Clematis ‘Miss Bateman,’ with rounded white flowers.  It is described as a large flowered early blooming type.  I purchased it at a big box store (I shop everywhere for plants)  while it was in bloom last year so I am especially happy to see that it overwintered and is thriving. 

Amsonia hubrichtii and Heuchera 'Mocha'

 I have ‘Miss Bateman’ planted at the base of Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ which I have trained to grow up a trellis.  This rose which is virtually thornless continues to be a favorite of mine with its cerise blooms and delicious scent.  It too is just beginning to show color.  Planted in front of it are two big clumps of Baptisia ‘Carolina Moonlight.’ A strong grower,  the asparagus looking buds will open soon to soft yellow spikes of flowers.   

Clematis 'Miss Bateman'

This is just a sampling of some of my favorites and is subject to change.  I am also trying a new fertilizer for my garden called GEO 4-2-3 Organic Fertilizer (visit their website to find out more ) which is derived from processed poultry litter.  I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts and observations regarding its benefits.

   Now is the perfect time to visit gardens with your pen, paper and camera.  Then head to your local garden center and bring home some color.  Below is a list of garden centers and nurseries with great offerings.

Ashe-Simpson Garden Center, 4961 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30341-770-458-3224

GardenHood,353 Boulevard SE, Atlanta, GA 30312-404-880-9848

Habersham Gardens, 2067 Manchester St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324-404-873-2484

McMahan’s Nursery, 5727 Cleveland Hwy., Clermont, GA 30527-770-983-3666

Scottsdale Farms, 15639 Birminham Hwy, (Hwy 372), Appharetta, GA 30004-770-777-5875

call for hours of operation or visit their websites

Getting the Most Out of Your Garden

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Join me at the Atlanta History Center on, April 20, 2010 Tuesday evening at 7:30pm for an illustrated lecture about How to Get the Most out of Your Garden- get ideas for how to have a garden that offers interesting plants, color and texture year around.  I will share ideas from my own garden and from  some of the many I have visited as the  host for “A Gardener’s Diary” on HGTV.      This free lecture is sponsored by the Georgia Perennial Plant Association. 

Viburnum macrocephalum in mid April