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Archive for April, 2013

Spring plants and travel

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Spring this year has been lovely so far.  While some things may be flowering a bit later than in previous years, (hard to say what’s normal anymore) blooms  have lasted and we have had some good rain.  Earlier in April I traveled to Florence,  Alabama with Walter Reeves, close to Muscle Shoals, which I’m sorry to say I did not get time to visit.  We were both on the program to speak for the Master Gardeners, a great group.

Variegated Solomon's Seal and Jacob's Ladder in Phillip's garden

Variegated Solomon's Seal and Jacob's Ladder in Phillip Oliver's garden



While I was there I visited Phillip Oliver’s garden.  I am always interested to see what gardeners are growing in different parts of the country and the combinations they come up with.  Phillip obviously belongs to the club of so many plants, so little time; as a fellow member, I recognize the signs.

Phillip Oliver's front yard

front yard with no turf

Highlights in his garden included a yellow lady banks rose Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ trained over a substantial arbor, as well as a beautiful white wisteria.   I also liked his garden paths and the fact that he eliminated turf in his front yard.

Lady Banks rose

Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

garden path

path in Phillip Oliver's garden

Later in April I visited  NW Arkansas to speak at the Flower, Garden and Nature Society of NW Arkansas.  As a speaker, it is rewarding to present to such a receptive and appreciative audience.

Gail Pianalto in Tontitown, AR

entrance to Gail Pianalto's garden in Tontitown, AR

Water garden

Water garden in Gail's garden

On this trip, my hosts Gail Pianalto and Joyce Mendenhall not only fed (If you know me, you know that I live to eat)  me but took me to visit local private gardens including the garden of Lynn Rogers, who graciously gave me some of her Iris ‘Indigo Crown’ after I admired it in her garden.  We also visited the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks, filled with delightful plants and ideas.   A new garden started in 1997, the garden has a limited staff and a wonderful support network of volunteers.

Magnolia at Botanic Garden

Magnolia at Botanic Garden of the Ozarks


Viburnum macrocephalum and Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin'

Back in Atlanta, there is plenty to enjoy in my own garden including my Viburnum macrocephalum, the deliciously scented Rosa ‘Zephirine Drouhin’ and I am happy to report that Clematis ‘Ramona’ is climbing up and blooming atop Hydrangea paniculata ‘Tardiva’ which won’t flower for months.  There are also weeds to pull, plants to plant  and  grass (really a mixture of weeds and grass) to mow.  But for today,  I will take time to smell the roses.

Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight' Amsonia and Clematis 'Ramona'

Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight' Amsonia and Clematis 'Ramona'

Clematis 'Ramona'

April Flowers

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Spring got off to a cold, slow start( but so far no late frosts) this year.  One of the advantages is that blooms have lasted a long time.  In my part of the world, Magnolia x soulangeana and flowering cherries have been spectacular.  Although I don’t grow either of these plants in my own garden, I have enjoyed them in my neighborhood and surrounding community.

Viburnum macrocephalum

Viburnum macrocephalum, Chinese snowball viburnum

Today,  April 14, everything seems to be coming into flower at once.  Here are a few of the beauties in my own garden blooming now.   Lots of green and white, two great colors for gardens.

Smoke tree and Japanese maple

smoke tree and Japanese maple

Clematis on Hydrangea

Clematis 'Ramona' on Hydrangea paniculata 'Tardiva'

Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight'

Baptisia 'Carolina Moonlight'

Heuchera 'Citronelle'

Heuchera 'Citronelle' or 'Pistache'


Green and Gold

Variegated Solomon's Seal

Variegated Solomon's Seal just beginning to emerge

Plant Sales – April and May

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

From native to exotic this is the season for some great plant sales, here are a few in the Atlanta area during April.

Rhododendron canescens

native azalea

April 16-18, 2013- 19th Annual Spring Plant Sale, Gwinnett Technical College, (Greenhouse)  9am-4pm,   5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Best selection the first day, best deals at the end of the second day.

Mertensia virginica

Virginia bluebells in April

Petunias, Calibrachoa, lantana, zinnia, geraniums, begonias, double pink Morning Glory, perennials,  ornamental grasses, hydrangeas, Magnolia stellata ‘Pink Stardust,’ Osmanthus, native azaleas, viburnums, fig trees, loquat trees, strawberries, mints, thyme, basil, hot peppers and more!

April 20, 2013, Saturday, Annual Spring Plant Sale,  10am-2pm, Georgia Native Plant Society, McFarlane Nature Park, 280 Farm Road, SE, Marietta, GA 3006, -perennials, shrubs, trees, ferns and over 600 native azaleas, cash and check only.

Neviusa alabamensis blooming in April

Neviusa alabamensis blooming in April

April and May, 2013, Wednesdays and Saturdays- Native Plant Botanical Garden, ( check for specific dates,) Georgia Perimeter College,

3251 Panthersville Road Decatur, GA Phone: 678-891-2668 Hours: 10:00am – 2:00pm

Garden Tour- June 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Join horticulturist and long time TV host, Erica Glasener and Rosemary Bathurst (Further Afield Tours)  for a tour of select private and public gardens in the Delaware Valley.  Rich with gardens,  highlights on this tour include Chanticleer in Wayne, PA, described by the London Financial Times as “planted to perfection,” Longwood Gardens and the Scott Arboretum on the Swarthmore College Campus.  Among the private gardens highlighted are Hedgeleigh Spring, garden of plantsman Charles O. Cresson and David Culp’s 2-acre garden, the inspiration for his newest book. The Layered Garden, Timber Press, October , 2012.

Fee For Ground Tour $675.00 per person (Airfare and hotel not included) Individuals make their reservations with Radnor Hotel for special group rate

Tour includes….

  • All coach transportation and driver’s tips –tour begins at 11:30am, depart from Hotel Radnor
  • All garden entrance fees
  • Lunch daily, welcome dinner and farewell dinner
  • Visits to Longwood Gardens, Brandywine Cottage, Chanticleer, Scott Arboretum,

and private gardens in Swarthmore, PA

Fully escorted by Erica Glasener and Rosemary Bathurst and managed by Further Afield Tours  –For questions or registration packet  and itinerary email Erica at or  Rosemary Bathurst at 404-895-5888. Deposit will reserve your space, limited to 18 participants.

Download Registration for Delaware Valley Tour June 4

Download  Itinerary for Delaware Valley Garden Tour

Native Perennial Wildflower and Vine Plant Sale

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Trees Atlanta , Saturday, April 6, 2013

8am-1pm, Trees Atlanta

Kendeda Center in Reynoldstown, 225 Chester Ave., Atlanta, GA 30316

cinnamon fern and aster

Cinnamon fern

mayapple, iris and Japanese maple

mayapple, iris and Japanese maple

Spring is here, it’s time to get out and garden. On Saturday, take the opportunity to support the Trees Atlanta youth education programs and add some select native plants (as well as pollinator friendly types)  to your garden.  Featured perennials include varieties that are also planted along the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta Belt Line.

Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'

Wisteria frutescens 'Amethyst Falls'

Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa, climbing aster, Aster carolinianus, and Indian pinks, Spigelia marilandica, these are a few of my favorite natives.   Incorporate natives into your garden.   For a full list of what will be offered visit .

Spigelia marilandica with ferns

Spigelia marilandica with ferns