Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

JUNE POTPOURRI

 

Plumbago

June is the month for graduations, weddings, family vacations, trips to the lake or to the beach or to the mountains. In other words, June may be the most fun month of the year. Maybe June is my favorite month because of my birthday. It seems that the older I get, the more time I allot to celebrate my birthday and it is truly getting to where I may be celebrating the whole month.

We have had such glorious weather, that the weeding, planting and trimming tasks have been a pleasure. We all know that it is certainly the heat that saps our strength when toiling in our flower beds and yards. So while the weather stirs up cool breezes, finish those gardening tasks.

Caladiums, daylilies,and cannas should be planted now because the soil temperature will be heating up to 65 degrees. If you water them daily in soil that has good drainage, you will see the tips appearing from the bulbs. After the leaves have broken the surface, then they do not need water daily unless dry. To conserve water, mulch with pine straw.

Not long ago, someone asked the difference between an annual and a perennial. And I will also add to this mix, a definition of a biennial. Perennials are the world's longest lived plants such as trees, shrubs, ferns and most bulbs such as iris, and daylilies. The definition states that a perennial is a plant that lives for at least 3 years or more. An annual is a plant that lives for one year, and dies. The biennials come up the first year, bloom the second and then dies. I will add that there are two types of perennials, herbaceous, which dies to the ground during winter and woody stemmed. The woody stemmed plants can lose their leaves in the winter(deciduous) such as hydrangea or keep their leaves, such as aspidistra (iron plant).

And speaking of the iron plant, which is almost synonymous with the deep south, we can definitely name this a work horse. Not only will it grow almost anywhere, including at the feet of magnolias, but in sunny locations, or deep shade. If it looks a little raggedy after a hard winter, just cut the stalks back to the ground before the end of June, and it will put up a whole new flush of leaves. If you wait until after July 1st, you will see nothing until the next spring. For those out in the audience who say they have brown thumbs, this is your success story. These plants are almost indestructible. Use the leaves In a cut flower arrangement as a filler and they will add drama . I was at a nursery in Loganville, Georgia where they were selling for $5.00 for a gallon pot. When I looked out in my back and front yards, I have so many stands that I think I will add them to my financial sheet. Maybe I can call myself Aspidistra poor.

GOOD GARDENING !

LIST OF FAVORITE PLANTS FOR PART SHADE/PART SUN

(about 4 hours per day)

(1). Foxglove (2). Begonias-all varieties (3). Coleus (4). Dusty Miller (5). Lamb's Ears or Stachys

(6). Plumbago (7). Sedums (8). Astilbe (9). Hydrangeas (10). Cannas (11). Clematis--Autumn Blooming

(12). Elephant Ears (13). Tradescansia (14). Salvias (15). Hybiscus (16). Myosotis

 

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