Online – Fall Lawn Care in Atlanta

Please register in advance at http://bit.ly/Fall2021NFMG-GardeningLectureSeries to assure your place.

To have a beautiful lawn next year, you need to start now. Depending on your grass type, there are certain things you need to do and others you should not do. Early fall is the only effective time to reseed or plant cool-season grasses (fescue). If you have a warm-season grass (Bermuda, Zoysia), you need to prevent winter weeds from taking over. North Fulton Master Gardener John Kligora will teach this class, which will cover warm vs cool-season grasses; soil testing; fertilizing, watering and weed prevention.

The class will also be available for later viewing at www.youtube.com/NorthFultonMasterGardeners.

Coreopsis – and bringing new plants into my garden

Leading Lady Coreopsis, conniecottingham.comThese beauties are both from the Leading Lady™ Series of Coreopsis. ‘Iron Lady’ opens up almost completely burgundy, with more white showing on the petals as the flower ages. ‘Sophia’ is a bright, happy yellow.

The Coreopsis genus includes 100 species and a bazillion varieties, many of which have at least two species in the parentage. I cannot claim these are fantastic plants for your garden, because this is the first time they have bloomed for me. The many plants in Mt. Cuba’s Coreopsis trials range from a 4.7 to a 1.2 out of 5 and do not include any of the Leading Ladies. The Leading Lady™ Series does claim to bloom June through September and be heat and humidity resistant plants that are about two feet high. I have seen them listed online (and the Internet never lies, you know) as Coreopsis grandiflora on one site and Coreopsis auriculata on another site (both native to the Southeastern U.S.), although most sources do not attribute this series to one species.

So what is so great about these two leading ladies: ‘Iron Lady’ and ‘Sophia’?

They are beautiful here and now. For the price of a Starbucks coffee, I added these showoffs in my garden last spring because I haven’t grown Coreopsis in years. Now they are inspiring me to pull out art supplies, filling a little vase (I’m about to find out how they do as a cut flower), and feeding insects. They quietly grew for a year before this show-stopping bloom. Will they do this again next year? Coreopsis are known to be short-lived perennials so maybe for another year or so. A colony of native species of Coreopsis often reseed.

But if I only have now that is fine. Every year I gamble on a few new plants and when they pay off they are a thrilling surprise. When they truly prove themselves, they are invited back into the garden or related species and hybrids are brought in to try too (hence the many Salvias, Hostas, Hydrangeas, Ajugas and Viburnums in my garden).

Other plants that have proven their worth:

Cleome Señorita Rosalita® and Señorita Blanca® – During the worst summer drought, when the hoses only went to the most cherished plants, these two annuals never stopped blooming while all the other plants in that bed died. I now become a salesperson when I see them in a nursery, convincing anyone who will listen they MUST have these plants.

Epimediums – Deer, drought, deep shade… bring it on. The easiest to find in this area is ‘Pink Champagne’, a sturdy perennial with delicate early, early spring blooms.

Fanflower – All the annual hanging baskets look good in May. This one also looks good in August and September, in baskets and at the edge of the sidewalk.

Poppies – Last fall I dumped all my outdated Poppy seed packets into a 4’x8’ raised bed. They looked amazing for months and are still blooming, although a bit ragged. I am keeping them there to harvest the seed and am sure to plant again each fall (without having to buy more seed). Plant them where you can enjoy them from the windows because they do not last in a vase.

Fennel, dill, parsley, and butterfly weed – Because they do increase the butterfly population if you let the caterpillars eat the foliage.

Hydrangea paniculata – Hydrangeas in summer that glow in full sun. These are so treasured that they are the first to get deer spray.

Asters – My newest obsession, offering fall blooms and deer resistance. Many are native. These are among the few plants that thrive in the hot, neglected, compacted-clay, brutal full-sun, west-facing bed. Cut the plants back by half in June for compact plants with more branching and more flowers, instead of having them flop everywhere.

I could go on and on. These favorite plants came into my garden as inheritances, gifts, recommendations, samples, whims and gambles. I have killed a lot of plants. I have cut down a few shrubs and am cursing and fighting some invasive plants. But I am always trying a few new plants and hope you are doing the same in your garden. Maybe these Coreopsis plants will join the list, maybe not. In the meantime, I’m pulling out my art supplies.

Note: This was originally written as a weekly Love Notes From the Garden.  Subscribe to these weekly emails on this website.

Seasonal cut flower gardening

Chatsworth house flower gardener Becky Crowley will introduce us to the wonders of the cut flower garden.
About this Event
Becky will be speaking about growing flowers for cutting at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, and sharing insights on how to produce an abundance of flowers, even in a north of England climate. She’ll also talk about her recent work developing the farm and gardens at the Floret flower farm in Washington, America.

£3 Tickets

Description:For details, go here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seasonal-cut-flower-gardening-tickets-128998687547

 

Keep the Animals Out – Brie Arthur

Saturday, February 27, 2021 – 10:00 am–12:00 pm
Mammal browse is one of the biggest challenges that gardeners face. And we all have critters that we are sharing our gardens with, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, even cats and dogs! The reality is, our gardens are delicious- they are fertilized, irrigated and full of tasty exotic plants, so of course the local wildlife will take delight in eating our hard work. In this fun webinar, author, and horticulturist Brie Arthur, will explain her approach to dealing with unwanted animals. She will cover it all, including a few things that you should NOT do! From the best repellents and inexpensive fencing solutions to using a few favorite veggies to help deter problem animals, attendees will learn easy-to-apply strategies. Brie aims to make you laugh and answer all your questions in this interactive virtual session.

Dormant Season Fruit Tree Pruning

Event by UGA Extension Rockdale County and UGA Extension
Online Event, Free

Please join us for this free lecture by Bob Westerfield, a horticulture specialist at the University of Georgia Griffin Campus. This lecture is free, but registration is REQUIRED.
Please use this link to register before the event: https://zoom.us/…/tJMpfuGqqT4qGNT66aArSUAaQ5bPjsqYKUs2

Virtual 32nd Annual Ecological Landscape Symposium

Note:  You can register for individual days of this four-day conference.

Guiding Theory into Reality:
It Don’t Mean a Thing if the Landscape Don’t Sing

The 2021 Ecological Landscape Design Symposium, going virtual this year, will explore how ecology, culture, and design can be incorporated into real-world contemporary practice. This program is geared toward landscape practitioners in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US.

January 21 & 22, 2021 | 1 – 4:30 PM EST*
January 28 & 29, 2021 | 9 AM – 12:30 PM EST*
*All four dates are distinct programs with different speakers – register for full bundle or individual days.

Incorporating science into landscape design is of little use if the resulting plantings are not harmonious to the people who engage with them, and are not in tune with the animals that depend on them. In this virtual symposium we will explore how scientific research can lead to tangible approaches for a new landscape tradition, one where ecological, anthropological, and sociological considerations expand the scope of landscape design.

Annual Symposium Brochure

REGISTER NOW

CEUs are available (ASLA-LACES, APLD, ISA, NOFA)

Cosponsored by:
New Directions in the American Landscape
Morris Arboretum of the University of PA
Connecticut College Arboretum

The Best of the Best: Dan’s 20 Favorite Plants at Windcliff and How to Best Succeed with Them

Note: This is a webinar based at the Bellevue Botanical Garden in Washington state, so I assumed Pacific time. Please confirm that when you purchase. Even though these are plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest, I expect to learn a lot sitting on my sofa in Georgia.  – Connie

From Agapanthus campanulatus to Woodwardia unigemmata, Dan will try to limit his favorite plants at Windcliff to only 20 (or so). He will not only describe the characteristics of each, but he will tell also us how we can grow them in our own gardens. Proceeds from this event will benefit BBGS and Heronswood.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 20
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM (Pacific?)

 

Every door prize at this virtual garden conference is a winner – and many are worth more than the registration fee.

This week I wrote the descriptions for over a dozen door prizes offered as part of the virtual 2020 Georgia Master Gardener Association Conference. This conference includes home garden tours led by Allan Armitage, Mike Dirr and Coach Vince Dooley, plus six live garden talks. Click here for registration and more information about the conference  Anyone can attend. Please share with your gardening friends. This conference would be especially interesting to Southeastern U.S. gardeners.

Back to the door prizes… It seemed rather dry to just add promo copy to the descriptions, so I decided to share why I wanted to win each prize (except the books – they are great, but already in our library!), and link to more information and purchase opportunities (because we can each win only one at best.)

 

Herbaceous Perennial Plants, 4th Edition, by Allan Armitage (signed!)

Value:                 $80

More info/buy: http://www.allanarmitage.net/shop

One thousand plus pages of information about perennials, hot off the press with current and tried-and-true varieties and cultivars, at your fingertips. Beware though – you will find yourself looking up a particular plant then lost in the engaging text for a while. Here is a recent review I wrote about this book.

 

Gardening with Grains, by Brie Arthur (signed!), plus two seed packets

Value:                 $36

More info/buy: https://www.briegrows.com/shop

Perfect timing! Grains are cool-season… hmmm…  crops? ornamentals? BOTH! Learn more with her new book and two packets of wheat seeds – Soft White and Bronze Chief.

 

The Foodscape Revolution, by Brie Arthur (signed!), plus two seed packets

Value:                 $34

More info/buy: https://www.briegrows.com/shop

Brie is such an energetic and inspiring speaker that you want to know more about Foodscaping – and you will with her first book. Two packets of Brie’s Soft White wheat seeds will get you out into the garden to plant.

Donated by Brie Arthur.

 

Seven Steps to an Organic Garden, by Mike Cunningham

Value:                 $15

More info/buy: https://tinyurl.com/yyqj54yg (book),  https://countrygardensfarm.com/

Mike and Judy Cunningham, “The Teaching Farmers”, and their family run a 150-acre farm and CSA with vegetables that are Certified Naturally Grown. Taking a class at their Newnan Farm to learn about cooking, gardening or food preservation is on my bucket list, so I watch their Facebook page to find out when the classes will start again post-COVID.

 

Hydrangeas for American Gardens, by Michael A. Dirr (signed!)

Value:                 $45

More info/buy:  https://tinyurl.com/y3k3797v

Hydrangeas are signature Southern plants. A Hydrangea collection can include sun and shade plants, native and exotic plants, blooms from spring to fall, plus amazing fall color and winter bark. With this book you can learn more about the hydrangeas in your garden and make plans to expand your collection.

Donated by Mike Dirr.

 

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr (signed!)

Value:                 $82

More info/buy: https://tinyurl.com/y3k3797v

Who knows more about woody plants than Mike Dirr? A virtual tour of his garden and his signed iconic reference on your shelf – Score!

Donated by Mike Dirr.

 

Dooley’s Playbook: The 34 Most Memorable Plays in Georgia Football History, by Vince Dooley (signed!)

Value:                 $35

More info/buy: https://tinyurl.com/y23pfpdl

Southerners love football and Georgia fans love Vince Dooley. Vince will be touring us through his home garden as part of this virtual conference. Did you know he is quite the gardener, with a hydrangea named for him? You want this SIGNED book because, although it is his most recent of many books, it is already sold out.

Donated by Vince Dooley.

 

Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Georgia, by Linda Chafin

Value:                 $33

More info/buy: https://tinyurl.com/y4cjkytr

Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Georgia and Surrounding States is the first field guide devoted exclusively to Georgia’s wildflowers, while also including many plants found in neighboring states. This is a great reference to identify plants or learn more about native plants to add to your landscape.

 

Clematis Abilene

Value:                 $29

More info/buy: https://www.brushwoodnursery.com/

Clematis Abilene has rich, pink two-tone blooms. The flowers are up to 6 inches across and very full at maturity, but the plant remains compact and suited to smaller spaces and container culture.

Brushwood Nursery is known nationwide for their Clematis and consistently in the Top 5 in their category at The Garden Watchdog.

Donated by Dan Long, Brushwood Nursery.

 

Antique Glass Garden Art

Value:                 $50

These hand-crafted flowers are created from antique glassware, each one a unique design. The winner will have a glass flower shipped to them with instructions on purchasing a metal support locally to install it at just the right height for their garden.

Donated by Carol Martinese.

 

45-Minute Online Landscape Consultation

Value:                 $80

More info/buy: https://clifrbroc.wixsite.com/mysite

 

Cliff Brock was the curator of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s flower garden before spending a year in Oregon and then returning to Newnan, GA. Cliff knows plants so very well and, like many gardeners, has many talents. He is also a composer and pianist, as well as a writer and photographer (check out his blog here.) A 45-minute virtual consultation, offering design ideas and giving plant maintenance advice – well, that would be amazing.

Donated by Cliff Brock.

 

Encore Azaleas Gift Certificate

Value:                 $40

More info:          https://www.encoreazalea.com/gardening/article/encore-azalea-brochure, www.facebook.com/EncoreAzalea

Encore® Azaleas are the bestselling multi-season blooming azalea in the world with over 30 varieties. Won’t it be fun to add a few to your garden?

Donated by Flowerwood Nursery.

 

Southern Living Plant Collection Gift Certificate

Value:                 $40

More info:          https://southernlivingplants.com/about-us/brochure/, www.facebook.com/SouthernLivingPlantCollection

The Southern Living Plant Collection by Flowerwood Nursery includes over 60 varieties of trees, shrubs, bulbs, annuals, perennials, and ornamental grasses. You will have fun with this gift certificate!

Donated by Flowerwood Nursery.

The Earth in Her Hands

July is hot, isn’t it? On hot summer days, it is best to garden in the early mornings, when the air is cooler and there are more shadows. In the afternoon, we often choose to stay indoors.
May I recommend pouring yourself a cup or glass of tea (Did you grow that mint?) and spend some time with inspiring women. Imagine sitting in a conservatory full of orchids and talking about gardening with a few lovely women. Well, here is an invitation to spend about 40 minutes in a conversation between Jennifer Jewell, author of The Earth in Her Hands, and writer Jamaica Kincaid. Their environment is beautiful, their voices soothing, their conversation inspiring.
The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants includes a profile of Jamaica Kincaid. This book is easy to pick up and read for a few minutes at a time.

Jennifer Jewell is also the host of Cultivating Place, an NPR podcast that blends society, history and gardening. Her calming voice can keep you company and keep you informed as you are weeding, crafting, running errands or organizing a closet.

I have started reading books with my morning coffee instead of looking at a computer screen right off. I often start my reading learning about one or two women, then switching to a chapter or two of another book. I love books that profile inspiring women. If you do too, look also at She and In the Company of Women (which includes women from my town of Athens, GA). These books are too heavy for a hammock, but great for a rocker on the screened-in porch.

In case the links do not work for you:
Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFttRtK__wc
Enjoy!