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Southern Gardening - Potpourri for July

Where does the time go? I am barely over Christmas and now we are past the mid mark of the year. The Fourth of July should be a time to demonstrate patriotism, honoring our founding fathers and all who have made America great. Red, white and blue bunting adorn porches, smaller flags peek out of flower pots and gardens, and I saw at one store red, white and blue solar string lights. Using white vinca, red begonias, and blue ageratum in the flower beds complete the theme. I chose to plant a patriotic pot garden with similar plants. Because my pot garden area is not quite as sunny, I substituted white impatiens. Also white caladiums, red begonias, and bluish purple petunias make a good combination. So let's shout, Happy Fourth of July!

I have been reading about the growing concern of bee populations dying in droves. One thing we can do locally, is to ensure their continued existence by providing flowers and other plants to attract them to our area. When we state this, we most likely think of flowers in our gardens. But many herbs attract bees and other pollinators if we allow these herbs to flower and eventually go to seed. These herbs are listed as follows:

1. Garlic 2.Bee Balm or Monarda 3. Sweet Clover 4. Anise Hyssop 5. Lemon Balm 6. Catnip 7. Sage 8. Rosemary 9. Echinacea 10. Lavender 11. Mint 12. Oregano 13. Borage 14. Basil 15. Chives 16. Thyme. Other bee death facts that many are unaware of show that if it were not for bees and other pollinators, not only would the food supply be impacted, but production could be cut by 75%. Fruit and nut trees, vegetables, wheat, and other food products included.


Also known as Hardy cyclamen, will thrive in full sun to partial shade. Even when not in full bloom, the variegated heart-shaped leaves are quite attractive. They usually bloom with butterfly-like flowers in all shades of the rainbow and on top of it all, mildly fragrant. We usually see these plants in nurseries in pots, but do well outdoors. Their bloom time is winter, spring or fall. If buying the tubers, be sure to soak these in warm water for 24 hours before planting. They require well drained soil, planted just below the surface and do well at the base of trees and those with greedy roots, which ensure summer dryness. Also do not mulch or cover the leaves in winter against the cold as they will soak up sunlight for next year's bloom, Companion plants for cyclamen would be snow drops,crocus, early daffodils and hellebores. And I like to have pots of cyclamen around Christmas on my mantel or throughout the house for subtle color.



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