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Garden Tips

Archive for June 2010

FLOWERING DOGWOODS DON’T DO WELL HERE?

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) isn’t a tree that should thrive in the Tri-Cities. It’s a tree that’s native to eastern and central U.S. forests. It’s considered an understory tree which means that in it’s native habitat it grows beneath the canopy of bigger forest trees, such as oak, beech, and maple trees.

Flowering dogwood prefers a cool, moist acidic soil that’s fairly high in organic matter. It doesn’t tolerate stress, heat, or drought well. These don’t sound like conditions in Tri-Cities landscapes where soils are slightly to very alkaline. Our local summer sun and heat are very intense and stressful on landscape plants, especially flowering dogwoods.

While the flowering dogwood shouldn’t grow well here, it does. Everywhere I looked around the Tri-Cities this week, I saw gorgeous white, pink, and dark pink dogwoods in full bloom. They were glorious to behold.

The flowering dogwood is relatively small, about 30 feet tall, with an equal or larger spread. It has a somewhat horizontal branching structure, developing a flat-topped form as it matures. If it hasn’t been trained into more of a tree form, it can be shrubby in appearance with its main branches forming fairly close to the ground.

Despite their magnificent show of flowers in the spring, dogwoods do have a tough time growing in our region, especially with the wind, intense summer sun and extreme summer heat. Towards the end of summer, worried owners of dogwood trees often bring me branches of their sick dogwoods. These trees have developed a problem called “dogwood leaf scorch.” The leaves are puckered and partially rolled upwards along the mid vein. Usually, the leaves also have developed dry brown tips and margins along with a reddish color. If the scorch is severe, the brown, dry tissues may extend into the leaf area between the veins.

Dogwood leaf scorch is a sign of stress that develops when water is lost from the leaves faster than the tree can replace it. This can be the result of several factors including high heat, windy weather, drought, intense full sun, compacted soil, excess soil moisture, excess salts from fertilization, or a combination of these factors. This leaf scorch problem is common on young and recently planted dogwoods because their roots have not become well established and aren’t able to absorb enough water for the trees’ needs.

Flowering dogwoods are very prone to leaf scorch because they have shallow roots and are adapted to a more moderate climate and partial shade. To minimize dogwood leaf scorch, there are some things that you can do to help your tree. First plant flowering dogwoods where they will be protected from drying winds and hot afternoon sun.

Keep the tree’s shallow roots cool and moist, by mulching with bark, being sure to keep the mulch about six inches away from the trunk. Water the tree deeply to encourage deep rooting, providing enough water to keep the soil lightly moist, but not excessively wet. With recently planted trees, pay special attention to keeping the root ball and surrounding soil moist.

I’m partial to white flowering dogwoods, but there are many lovely pink and dark pink varieties. Check to see which ones are available from your favorite local nursery. Cater to the needs of these tender trees and you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular display of flowers every spring and attractive red to purple leaves each fall.

Garden Note: In western Washington and other wetter regions, flowering dogwoods are attacked by a fungal disease called dogwood anthracnose. This disease attacks the leaves and flowers and causes twig dieback. Thankfully, it’s seldom a problem in our arid region of eastern Washington.

Published: 5/1/2010 11:15 AM

MORE ABOUT WINDY WEATHER DAMAGE

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

The good news is that summer isn’t far away. The bad news is that we’ll be discovering the repercussions of the recent wild and windy weather for the weeks, and maybe even months, to come.

Home gardeners are already bringing me tree branches that are showing significant damage. They have badly torn and tattered leaves. New tree leaves are very tender when they first emerge. When these leaves get whipped about in gusty winds, the violent action of twisting and turning tears the succulent tissues.

One tree branch brought to me was an English walnut with torn leaves and blackened edges along the tears. A little-leaf linden that was subjected to dusty gales in Connell had limp twig tips where the new stems had been and broken. I also noted the bear twigs of many landscape trees where young twig tips or leaves were torn from the tree.

It’s easy to connect this type of damage with last week’s stormy weather, but less obvious damage may cause concern in the weeks to come. Somewhat older and slightly tougher leaves on trees were also beaten about by the wind, developing small holes or slight tears from the wind. As those leaves grow and expand, so will the holes and tears, making the leaves look like something is eating them.

The good news is that this leaf damage will not cause serious harm to trees and shrubs. They will look a little ragged for now, but new growth will come along and they’ll be fine. The bad news is that garden vegetable and flower seedlings and transplants may not have faired as well.

Baby plants are definitely tender and should be cosseted. Many local gardeners who were eager to get their gardens started had transplants and seedlings already up and growing when the winds hit.

Wind can be devastating to young plants by drying out their tissues. Young, undeveloped roots systems aren’t able to absorb water quickly enough to replace what’s lost through the leaves. Irrigation water may be blown off target, further contributing to drought stress and the potential death of vegetable seedlings. Wind may also have broken plant stems and blowing sand can physically damage stems by abrasion.

This spring has not been kind to our gardens. The bad news is that unprotected melons, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers that survived the wind, were finished off by frost that hit late last week in some parts of our region.

The good news is that there is still time to replant all these warm-season crops that were damaged by wind or frost. You can still get a good crop of squash, melons, and cucumbers by sowing seeds directly in the soil. You can also replace tomato and pepper transplants. This set back won’t cause you to lose much time. These plants will start to take off once warm weather arrives sometime soon.

I planted my annual flowers last weekend and will be planting my vegetable transplants this weekend. I hoping the warm sunny weather is here to stay. I’m tired of dark cloudy days, rain, and wind. I’m ready for sunny days. How about you?

Published: 5/15/2010 11:05 AM

WIND HURTS TREES

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

Who would have thought our mild early spring would transition into the wild windy ride of this past week? Not me.

Did you know that it’s not just the force of wind velocity that can damage trees and other plants in our yards? According to a University of Georgia publication, how quickly the wind accelerates and decelerates constantly changes the load on the tree, creating what is called a “dynamic load.” They note, “Rapid changes in wind velocity impacts trees as velocity squared.”

They also point out that in addition to the forces applied by the velocity of the wind and the dynamic load created by gusts, the “throw weight” of the wind adds to potential damage. Wind pushing along water, snow, or debris will have greater throw weight or impact on trees and plants.

This past week, the wind velocity, the dynamic load created by gusts, and the dust-fueled throw weight all came together to uproot both large and small trees. As I drove around the Tri-Cities this week I’ve noticed trees that were leaning, but not blown over. Our tendency is to immediately pull the tree into an upright position, but wait!

First, distinguish between a tree that is simply leaning and one that is wind thrown with roots lifting out of the ground. If a tree is leaning with no signs of heaving caused by the roots, it’s likely broken or cracked at or below ground level. Trees with this situation can not be saved. Wood doesn’t knit back together like the bones in our bodies. If it’s broken, that’s the way it stays. It probably won’t survive, but if it does, it will always be structurally weak at the point where it’s broken, even if staked.

When trees are lifted part way out of the ground with their roots, an attempt can be made to upright the tree. The smaller the tree, the greater the possibility of success. Up-righting trees smaller than 15 feet tall or less than six inches in diameter can be attempted by the owner, but larger trees should be left to tree experts.

Steps to up-righting a tree:

1. Keep the roots moist with irrigation or a covering of mulch. If the roots dry out, they’ll die.

3. Moisten the soil first, then dig underneath the heaved roots to the depth of the mass that’s been lifted out. The hole should accommodate the roots when the tree is pulled back into place. Once upright, the roots should be at the same level as before the storm. If you don’t do this excavation, you will end up ripping the roots on the side of the tree that wasn’t pulled out of the soil. This is doubly damaging to the roots and greatly diminishes your chances of saving the tree.

4. Slowly pull or wench the tree upright into the hole.

5. Once situated, fill soil in around the roots and apply water to settle the soil.

6. Once reset, stake the tree to provide support until new roots develop. Use an approved method of staking. NEVER attach stakes to the tree using wire, even if it’s protected with rubber hose. Purchase webbed or rubberized material designed for use in staking trees.

Published: 5/28/2010 10:44 AM

DOWNSIZING THE VEGETABLE GARDEN WITH

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

Not only have home gardeners downsized their homes and yards, they’ve also reduced the size of their vegetable gardens. There are an increasing number of bush varieties of crops that have traditionally been space hogs in the garden. These newer compact forms of normally rampant growers are a smart choice for today’s smaller gardens.

Cucumbers were one of the first vining cucurbits (cucumber, squash and melon) available in bush form for home gardens. Regular vining cucumbers can grow as much as nine feet long, but bush cucumbers only grow to a height of two to four feet. The first “bush” cucumber was Spacemaster with two to three foot tall plants and 7-inch cukes. Another AAS winner is Fanfare, a highly productive bush-type with great tasting 8-9 inch fruit. Other bush-type cukes include Salad Bush, Cucumber Bush Champion, Bush Crop, Pot Luck, Patio Pickler, and Bush Pickle Hybrid.

Summer squash varieties don’t produce long vines like most winter squash and pumpkins. However, they can become gigantic leafy green monsters in the garden, some growing to five feet wide. There are compact zucchini varieties that require less space than the regular goliaths. If you’re a zucchini fan and need a compact plant, consider Raven. Not only does Raven take up less space (2 to 4 feet wide) in the garden, but the dark green tasty fruit is mostly spineless and are produced even after other zucchini are done for the season. Spacemiser is another compact zucchini and Balmoral Patio Squash produces 6-8 inch creamy white pattypan summer squash on compact 2 to 4 foot plants.

Winter squash, including pumpkins, are traditionally produced on large vining plants. However, thanks to the efforts of plant breeders, there are now a number of different types of bush winter squash and pumpkins. Some of the bush winter squash are Burpee’s Butterbush (Butternut), Emerald Bush Buttercup (Buttercup ),Table Gold (Acorn),Table King (Acorn), Tivoli (Spaghetti), and Bush Delicata (Delicata). The pumpkin’s gigantic space hogging vines have also been tamed with some bush and semi-bush varieties including, Bushkin, Spirit, Sugar Treat, Trick or Treat, Tricky Jack, Harvest Moon, and Sugar Treat.

The favorite crop of American gardeners is the tomato. There is nothing like the taste of a homegrown tomato, but large tomato vines can take up precious garden space. Burpee’s Big Boy tomato is a classic prized for its big tasty tomatoes. Going with the trend of smaller gardens, Burpee has developed the Bush Big Boy Hybrid. Burpee indicates that the plants are half the size of the regular Big Boy but with the same number of the same great tomatoes produced on the plant. Burpee has also developed a bush variety of their popular Early Girl tomato. Bush Early Girl has 4-inch fruit produced on 18 inch tall, self-supporting plants. If you can’t find these specific tomato varieties as transplants, look for varieties that indicate they are a bush type of tomato.

If you have a downsized vegetable garden or you’re growing in containers, be sure to consider these space-saving varieties. Before long you’ll be harvesting your own tasty tomatoes and refreshing cucumbers from smaller plants.

Some sources seed for bush vegetable varieties include:

W. Atlee Burpee & Co., www.burpee.com 1-800-333-5808

Park Seed Co., www.parkseed.com 1-800-213-0076

Swallowtail Garden Seeds www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com 1-877-489-7333

2bseeds, www.2bseeds.com 1-800-833-5988

Published: 4/10/2010 10:05 AM

LAWNS TURNING BLUE NEED WATER

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

If I stamp my feet and hold my breath until I turn blue will anyone listen to me when I talk about how to water a lawn? I wonder. Every year, for over 20 years, I’ve taken a much more adult and professional approach, calmly pointing out that watering your lawn more deeply but less frequently is best. However, I don’t think many people are listening to this repetitive diatribe.

I’m not the only one who’s compelled to provide lawn irrigation guidance with the same message. In their Lawn Irrigation Guide, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service points out that “Many homeowners irrigate too often and for too short a period to meet lawn and especially landscaping (tree and shrub) needs. Others tend to leave the water running too long, resulting in wasted water. ” They go on to say, “Irrigating less often and applying more water per irrigation results in deeper rooted plants and a healthier turf. Grass roots grow deeper into the soil and the plants become stronger if enough water is applied when you do irrigate.” That’s what I said… water deeply less frequently.

The beginning of a new irrigation season is a good time to establish some different lawn watering practices, especially since some parts of our region may experience restricted watering this summer. With the start of the season, check your system. Fix any leaks or heads that don’t function properly.

Test your system to determine that it’s working right and applying water evenly. You can do this by placing four to six identical, straight sided cans at different distances from the sprinklers in one zone. Turn that zone on for 20 minutes. Then measure the depth of water in each of the cans and determine the average depth of water being applied in that zone. If the cans vary widely in depth, you need to check those sprinkler heads and adjust them so water is applied evenly throughout the zone. Repeat in each of your zones. This also tells you how much water you are applying in a set amount of time… 20, 40, or 60 minutes.

Runoff is wasteful and it indicates a problem. Either your system is putting out water faster than your soil can absorb it or you’re are trying to water a slope. Whether your runoff is caused by applying water too fast or from watering on a slope, consider watering in cycles. Set your system so the water is on for five minutes and then off for five minutes. Repeat this pattern until the water soaks into the desired depth. You can also save water by not watering sidewalks and driveways, another cause of runoff.

Once your irrigation system is tuned up, you’ll want to apply enough water to moisten the soil to a depth of about eight inches, that’s the effective rooting depth of most turf grasses. Several hours after watering, use a trowel to check the depth of the moisture in the soil beneath the grass.

I could tell you complex formulas that might help you scientifically determine when and how much you should irrigate your lawn, but it’s much simpler to let the grass tell you. A Kentucky bluegrass lawn is telling you it needs water when it turns blue-green and your foot steps don’t spring back when you walk across the grass. In essence, the grass is stamping its feet and turning blue telling you it needs water.

Published: 4/3/2010 9:57 AM

GRASSHOPPER INVASION?

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

The news about a prospective onslaught of crop devouring grasshoppers this summer had home gardeners in a tizzy last week. What would happen to lovingly tended gardens and landscapes? What could be done to stop the anticipated invasion of hungry insects? I decided to go right to the source, WSU Entomologist, Dr. Richard Zack, who had been quoted in the WSU News Service story. Dr. Zack says that the expected large population of grasshoppers shouldn’t be a problem for the general public with small gardens.

Areas of concern are open range and pasture lands. One of the worst major grasshopper outbreaks in the western US during the last century occurred in 1985 and resulted in the federal government treating over 13 million acres of land. In Washington, the most recent bad grasshopper outbreak was in 1978 and 1979.

Last year in Oregon, where grasshopper populations are monitored in rangeland, the areas closest to us with economic levels of grasshopper adults were Umatilla, Union, Morrow, and Wallowa counties. Because of the success of treatments applied in 2008 and in 2009 to grasshopper “hot spots” in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Agriculture anticipates a declining threat there this year.

So why the dire warnings about the worst grasshopper outbreak in 30 years? Dr. Zack and other entomologists have put the warning out regarding the grasshoppers because it brings attention to the potential problem. This is important so that funds can be allocated to manage the pest before it has a serious economic impact on agriculture in western states, like Washington and Oregon.

Grasshopper outbreaks are cyclical, building and declining over time. Because the grasshopper population has been significantly large over the past several years and because our warm fall and mild winter weather is favorable to the grasshopper population, state and federal agencies responsible for keeping grasshopper populations in check are letting the public know about this potential threat.

Most area home gardeners within city areas won’t have a significant problem with grasshoppers. However, homeowners and farmers next to open sage brush or rangeland may be bothered by the predicted grasshopper attack. Unfortunately, there’s not much that one gardener or farmer can do to effectively control these ravenous “hoppers.”

On federally and privately owned rangelands, baits toxic to grasshoppers are spread in affected areas or “hot spots” when the grasshoppers are young and immature. There’s not much we can do in our gardens if swarms of mature adults arrive to dine. If it gets bad, Dr. Mike Bush, WSU Extension Educator and entomologist in Yakima County, says home garden insecticides won’t really do the job. He recommends using insect nets to trap the hoppers, using a shop-vac to suck them up, or even starting a grasshopper collecting competition between the children in your family. He also notes that chickens and seagulls like eating grasshoppers.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that early May has been colder and wetter than normal. Warm, dry early May weather favors the maximum survival rate of young grasshopper nymphs, but cold, wet weather increases mortality. So while our gardens have had a slow start, the weather may also have meant that the worst grasshopper outbreak in 30 years won’t happen this year. We’ll see.

Published: 5/29/2010 1:55 PM

YELLOW LEAVES ADD PIZZAZZ

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

I’ve found that over time personal likes and dislikes can change. I used to dislike any plants with “abnormally” colored foliage. In my opinion landscape plants were supposed to have dark green leaves during the growing season, not chartreuse, yellow, purple, brown, red, or orange leaves. Now I’m starting to change my mind.

Except for repeat bloomers, flowering shrubs provide color interest in the landscape over a relatively short period of time. The rest of the season they don’t provide much pizzazz unless they have a contrasting leaf color, interesting texture, or bright fall color.

Last year, I planted a Sutherland Gold elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) with bright golden yellow, finely dissected leaves. It’s on the northeast side of the house and it seems to glow in the shade with it’s cheery foliage. An elderberry with dark purple leaves or a Japanese maple with red leaves would not light up the bed like that cut-leaved golden elderberry does. This plant was developed in Canada and will probably perform best in our area if protected from afternoon sun and heat. I can’t wait for it to get a little larger and start producing bright red berries.

In another bed with full sun and a southwestern exposure, I have a number of plants with plain green leaves. To liven it up a bit, I planted one Emerald

n Gold wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) with green and gold variegated leaves. For more contrast in the bed, I’m replacing a plant that died over the winter with a new spirea, Double Play Big Bang (Spirarea japonica). When it first leafs out in the spring the leaves are tinted orange, turning to bright yellow in the summer and then to gold in the fall. It also produces large pink flower clusters in summer.

Hopefully, Double Play Big Bang (2-3

) will be able to endure the heat and sun in that location. There’s also the smaller Double Play Gold (16-24″) with yellow leaves and pink flowers that I could consider. These are two of the newest additions to a number of other yellow to gold leaved spiraea already available, such as Golden Elf, Golden Globe, Goldmound, Goldflame, and Golden Sunrise.

I considered planting a yellow leaved Caryopteris (Caryopteris incana), also known as bluebeard or blue mist, but I have two other Caryopteris in the same landscape bed. They have green leaves and their bright blue flowers add a note of color to the landscape late in the season. They’re very easy care plants with pruning them back almost to the ground every spring. Sunshine Blue (3-4

) and Lil’ Miss Sunshine (3

) with bright yellow leaves and deep blue-purple flowers are the newest of the yellow leaved Caryopteris, improvements over the older Worcester Gold.

There are other shrubs and perennials which can liven up landscape and garden beds with yellow, golden or chartreuse foliage. Check to see which ones at your favorite local nursery appeal to you. Before you buy, I have two cautions for you. First, some of these plants may not bear the intensity of exposure to full sun in our area. Check with the nursery to see if the plants you’re considering fit well with your situation. Second, a little splash of yellow can go a long way. Too many yellow, chartreuse, or differently colored plants will create a busy landscape that looks a little sick.

Published: 5/22/2010 1:43 PM

LEARNING TO GROW ORCHIDS

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

A long time ago some friends brought me a little orchid plant from Hawaii. It was a pansy-faced Miltoniopsis. It lived about two years, bloomed and later inexplicably died. To be truthful, it may have died from a lack of watering, but I can’t be sure. After that experience, I didn’t consider myself a very good nurturer of orchids. I was often tempted to try again when I saw orchids for sale in the big box stores, but I felt they were ill-advised purchases considering my past failure. Keeping this in mind, I attended the South Central Washington Orchid Society’s (SCWOS) Annual Orchid Show & Sale for the first time last spring.

The great thing about their Orchid Show is that there are enthusiastic local orchid experts available to give you advice on growing orchids. Not only did I get the chance to see some exquisite orchids on display for the show, but I also was able to get advice from the local experts. I wanted to know the best orchids to grow as a novice and ones that I could grow easily on the windowsills in my house. I like orchids, but needy plants requiring a greenhouse or special window were out of the question.

Local expert and SCWOS member, Betty Wise recommended a few smaller miniature orchids that would work well for my situation. She recommended a little Cattleya, a little Phalaenopsis, and a little Paphiopedilum. The show also includes orchid vendors selling orchid plants and supplies. Betty was able to show me some of each that she had recommended that were for sale. I came home with three orchids, one of each that she had recommended.

Before I settled my three little darlings in their new home, I purchased a narrow plastic tray that fit my windowsill perfectly. I filled the tray with polished pebbles, added a little water, and then placed the plants on top of the pebbles. I did this because orchids like a humid environment of at least 50 per cent or more, depending on the orchid. Most homes in our region are drier than that and placing the plants on tray of moist pebbles raises the humidity around the plants.

I’m proud to say that I remembered to water them at least once a week for the past year. I also periodically fertilized them with food that I purchased at the show. My diligence was rewarded when the Cattlyea re-bloomed in February and the Phalaenopsis re-bloomed last month. I’m hoping my “Pap” will bloom before long, but at least it’s still alive and growing. I’m so proud of myself, but since they’ve grown some, I fear they may be too big for their tiny pots.

Orchids are not planted in regular potting soil like other houseplants. Their roots need lots of air so potted terrestrial forms of orchids like mine are typically planted in orchid potting media containing fir bark chunks. The size of chunks or the grade depends on the type and size of the orchid . Orchids are repotted when they get too big for their pots or when the bark starts to break down and doesn’t provide the needed aeration. It will be my first time ever for repotting an orchid, so I’m thinking of stopping by the show on Saturday or Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. when Orchid Society members will repot orchids for a fee of $5.00 each. It’ll also give me the chance to get a few more orchids. Maybe I’ll try a little Miltoniopsis. It would give me a chance at redemption for my long ago orchid failure, although Betty advises me it’s a little trickier to grow.

Published: 4/27/2010 1:37 PM

A WALK AROUND THE GARDEN

written by

Marianne C. Ophardt

WSU Extension Faculty

for the Tri-City Herald, Kennewick, WA

Nice weather last weekend beckoned me out into the yard and garden to take another look around to see what plants are doing well, which ones aren’t, and what garden chores need to be put on my to-do list.

Several weeks ago it looked like most of my landscape plants had made it through the winter unscathed by the drastic cold snap we experienced in early winter. However, this time my scouting revealed that my Fairy rose that was planted in a wine barrel has succumbed to the cold despite appearing to sprout buds earlier.

It saddens me because it was a favorite of mine and had made it through several winters in past years without any trouble. The Fairy rose is fully hardy for our zone, but since the cold temperatures came so early in the season, it may not have reached its full hardiness at that time. Plus, when you put a woody plant in an aboveground container, it’s roots, are exposed to much colder temperatures than when they’re planted in the ground and insulated by the soil.

I’m not sure whether to replace my prized Fairy with another of the same or look for a hardy carpet or groundcover rose. The groundcover rose that I planted in another wine barrel, came through the winter without any damage. But before I yank the seemingly dead Fairy out, I’m going to give it just a little more time to see if any new sprouts develop from the base.

There are some blank spaces amongst the perennials and I suspect that my Agastache (hyssop) and Echinacea (coneflower) may have been lost. I’ll wait a couple more weeks and check again. I definitely lost a trailing rosemary that suffered a little damage last year, but managed to pull through. This year it’s deader than the proverbial doornail. Luckily, I had planted the hardy ‘Arp’ rosemary last year and it made it through the winter with flying colors along with my various sage plants.

My bright yellow and green Emerald

n Gold Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei) lost most of its leaves over the winter. This wasn’t unexpected since it’s described as a “semi-evergreen,” keeping most of its leaves during mild winters and losing them during our colder ones. Earlier it looked pretty pathetic, but now bright golden new growth is sprouting and the plant just needs a few snips here and there to get it back in shape. “Wait and see” is always a good practice when assessing winter injury.

While gardeners like me may mourn the loss of a prized plant after a cold winter, they also look at these losses as opportunities to try something new. That’s one of the fun parts of gardening. Have you found any new opportunities in your garden this spring?

Published: 4/17/2010 1:30 PM

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