Hiya, I'm moving to H'ville, AL in a few months & wanted to say Hi! I've been an active member in the Mid-Atlantic forum & attended & arranged several plant swaps! Are there any active Huntsvillian gardeners?? :-) Can't wait to get back to gardening in new state & seeing what I can & cannot plant :-)
Not from Alabama, but I wanted to say WELCOME to the mid south forum! Elaine is from Alabama - but she will have to enlighten you as to what part of the state.
Please feel free to join us on any of the threads... you will find that we almost always have a general chat thread going on so that we can keep up with what each other is doing and has going on in their lives! Also, here on the mid south you will find a thread about a Roundup that is being held at kathy_ann's house on June 1. Maybe if it is possible, you could attend that RU and get a chance to meet a lot of people here on the mid south.
The mid south is a great place to hang out with garden friends!
Hope you enjoy your move and new adventure with plants and friends!
Nah, we don't garden in Alabama!! Are you kidding? We garden up a storm! I just planted seeds yesterday - got a little late start due to knee surgery, but will be working in the ground soon. At least weeding and getting the ground ready! We have a very nice Botanical Garden that hosts loads of activities and is cheap to join. Stick around this forum and you'll meet lots of us. We can also advise on the best nurseries/garden centers in addition to the big box stores.
Are you by chance transferring with the defense industry? There are loads of folks who did as a result of BRAC. I'm from this area originally, retired from MDA, but still work in the business as a contractor as support.
Good luck with your move and stay in touch!
Thanks for the welcome, Elaine - hubby is starting a new job there in a weeks time, so yes, defense industry (we're retired military) - we do have several friends "on the ground" already - I'll be following in a few weeks (hopefully) after we sell here - it'll be new house afterwards and a yard, OMG, I can't wait for a yard!! Live in townhouse at the moment,, and I have been container gardening and lots of vines :)
Well, you and DH will be in great company around here as there are thousands of retired military as you probably know by now. DH is also one and he's a triple-dipper now, lol!
If you don't mind me asking, in which part of town are you building (or looking to build)? Not surprised you're going with new construction as it's plentiful around here. I'm sure you're ready to get out of your townhouse! Let me know when you get ready for some divisions in that new yard. I divided up a bunch of stuff last year when we had our mid-south get-together. Folks are very generous with things as you well know. Let me know what your favorite might be. We're in the country on our little 'farmette' as I call it, so I have more than just a back-yard to play in. With new construction, you'll just have to amend and enrich your soil like crazy as we have red clay and construction won't help.
Great!! I'm looking over by Wheeler (Madison/H'ville) landing, it'll be close to his new job :) I'm looking forward to starting all over again with a yard, I did read the clay isn't "user friendly" - but, battled that here for years as well - first thing will be a proper composter!! :)
Yay for composter! And you can get free leaf mulch at the botanical garden. Good stuff and already on its way to being composted. They load it for you on Saturdays (every other Sat beginning in May I think) thru around Sept. But you can go get it & load it yourself any time.
Great info, thanx!! I'm looking fw to the BG's...I'll have to go get compost in small increments, no truck, only car, but I'm happy I'll get to do a small container from our own 'left-overs' in my own yard :-) I'm sure there won't be much gardening this year, except maybe shrubs/bushes this fall & spring bulbs if I'm back to normal health by then :-)
Welcome to Alabama! I'm further south than you, but you'll love gardening here. There's some things I'd love to grow, but have had poor luck with are peonies. I bet you got to have those in north Virginia! I'm pretty new to DG but not to Alabama so we can be newbies together (at one thing or another). :)
Cymbelina, not good news to hear. I just purchased 7 of them and planted them, lol. Like you, I've been wanting peonies forever (originally from PA and my mother had some in the backyard) and finally said, "that's it!" and I'm giving it a whirl. So far, 5 of the 7 have started to pop out of the ground. When do yours usually fail?
I'm thinking that it'll be trial and error with what can and cannot grow - I know Lilacs are out, had issues with them in VA due to the very hot summers we've had...I'd love to grow Peonies, I love the fragrant ones and I tend to gravitate towards anything fragrant, like Jasmines and Gardenias
I love lilacs. I saw a lovely one that I wanted called a sensation lilac, but it only went to zone 7 so I wasn't going to risk it. However, I have seen that Josee Reblooming Lilacs go up to zone 9, I'm thinking about giving them a try. I have both of those, gardenias don't like me so much, I'm trying to change that and I've only had my confederate jasmine for one season, no blooms yet!
Sorry I'm late chiming in, but I'm in the area. I don't know what Wheeler Landing is but I suspect it's in the area west of the Arsenal and near the river in the Zierdt Road area? That's a nice new, up and coming area. If so, I'm just a bit north of you by a couple of miles.
Some of my neighbors grow peonies. We are an old neighborhood and so have lots of shade, so that might help.
As O.P. said, we have a great Botanical Garden and lots of places to go outside and see flowers and such in the wild. The Botanical Garden will help you get an idea of what kinds of plants do well down here.
I'm not sure if you are in town yet, but if so... this is not a normal spring. It usually much warmer and sunnier.
Thanks Nicole - I won't be there until the 5th of May - closing on house here and then driving down - moving to new house on the 6th and hopefully will be settled by the end of that week :) Not sure how much gardening I'll actually get done this year, but hoping to at least get spring bulbs in the ground in the fall
My peonies were planted in summer 2007 and have been on either side of my entryway until this last winter when I moved them. They were in afternoon sun. When they bloomed their 2-3 blooms per year, the blooms didn't last more than a day or two because the sun fried the blooms and they'd fall apart in day or so. By July, all the leaves were brown and burnt and that would be it.
This last winter, I moved them. They're growing much taller than they were at any point in their old location, but no blooms. I don't know if it's just too shady there, if they'll bloom later, or the move stopped them from blooming this year. I'll still hope for more blooms and settle for foliage that doesn't scorch and fry. I've got about 5 peonies in that bed now and am going to be optimistic. I've read they grow here and bloom and I'm going to keep after it til I get some! Hopefully, you found a place they'll be happy.
Well it's been a little over a month since I've planted them. I had purchased and planted seven bareroot rhizomes. Up until just this week, six had started to grow. I was worried about the last one, but it broke ground just yesterday!
All are doing well, but of course it hasn't even hit our summer yet (eek!). They are planted on the east side of the house so they get morning and some afternoon. I already had one bloom (it just fell off) and I just loved it. I so hope they make it.
Picture 1: Before
Picture 2: Last week's flower!
Picture 3: After Planting
Picture 4: Today (5/3/2013)
I've had this one about 5 years and this year has been the best yet. Maybe it kinda likes this crazy extended winter we've been having! It's 'Festiva Maxima' and gets mostly morning and mid-day sun. It has bloomed in previous years, just not this much.
Welcome to Alabama, Bec_No_Va,,, We have family living in Huntsville. You are about 80 miles north east of me. We live next to Alexander City, home of Lake Martin. Very popular camping and fishing lake. We moved here a year or so ago and really loce the area. You will love the south.
I'm officially a Huntsvillian!!! Arrived in the torrential downpour yesterday and today has been non-stop since we got up at 7:30 AM - closed on house, moved in and finally stopped running around at 9 PM tonite, needed everything from food to a couple of folding lawn chairs to sit on...I've already got ideas for future gardening, but I'm afraid it won't happen for a few months at least - I do want to find a landscaping company that will help me "install" quite a few trees in the backyard...:)
Yeay,, Welcome to our little spot of heaven. Let us know when you are ready to jump in and trade some plants. I will be close to you today, I have to go to Birmingham to pick up some things for my building projects here. Have a great day...
Welcome! When you are ready can set you up with starts for your herb garden if you put one in.
Trees do best planted in the fall here, so if you want to put something on the back burner that will do nicely. I can recommend Dale Webster for Landscaping (I have no affiliation) for a crew with attention to detail and fair prices.
I need to set mine up too. Two moves in less than two years take a toll on the plants. I need to figure out what I have, and what I can share.. Let me know if you are looking for anything, I might can find it for you.
I used Dan Kistemaker at Tennessee Valley Landscaping (associated with Tennessee Valley Fencing). He and his crew moved a big Japanese maple for me last fall and it has survived! It was a planned re-landscping project for the front and grew a bit. He has great vision. He was wonderful and his crew was finished in just over a week, including moving some irrigation and lights and installing some stone work edging.
I'm still in awe over H'Ville and my backyard! It's HUGE (well, comparatively speaking, I came from a 18'x25' backyard) - I'll follow the advice and wait until fall for trees and bushes - and at the moment I am waiting to find out what my new treatment schedule will be like - I have to undergo chemo and radiation for recurring cancer and just met my new doctors yesterday - so my energy level will be zero for a few months, but the minute I feel better I'll be ordering fall bulbs and trees!! :) Northern Alabama is SO green and lush - I had only been to the Alabama shores and had no idea what it looked like up here - I really, really like it already :) I'll fix my plant needs for now with hanging ferns and planters :)
Oh, I hope you continue to do well with your cancer treatment! I have a friend who is about to start chemo. She just met with Dr. Schreeder at CCI the other day and is going for another consult in Birmingham just to make sure of the treatment. CCI is great according to what I've heard from everyone. So glad you love it here already. Just get you some good catalogs and you'll have some things to drool over when it gets hot and steamy in July and August! And don't forget to stroll in the Botanical Garden when you feel like it. I have some tickets I can give you. Just let me know if you want to meet up some day and I'll hand off a few to you. You'll probably get a lot of ideas on what is blooming at different times here by strolling around, and they have a wonderful butterfly house and pond there too, plus a great little place to grab lunch.
Gnome---your peony looks gorgeous. What cultivar is it, Bowl of Beauty? I hope so since I planted one as a bulb/tuber this spring. The peonies I moved in February are in full growth now at the edge of my shade garden. One bloomed last week with two gorgeous magenta blooms that lasted about 2 days. I should have taken a photo, but missed my window. :( But hopefully they'll keep growing and not just fry and die like they did in the part sun they were in that got afternoon sun. I also moved a bunch of hemerocallis that the previous owner had lined up like little soldiers around the edge of my front entry beds (where the peonies were originally) and moved them to the shade garden at the same time. I sort of like to plant things in drifts. Those grew HUGE and bloomed like crazy after I moved them and have had blooms for weeks. They are just finishing up now. This year, I've planted several hundred new flowers and I just can't wait for each one to make it's debut with their happy flower faces. :)
I doubt I'll be able to do much planting and setting up flower beds this year, BUT, I can change out all the boring shrubs! So, I have 15 rose bushes on order, 2 fig trees for containers & 2 butterfly bushes from a friend of mine in TX - just ordered a Hansa Rugosa (had one growing up in Norway, extremely fragrant and hardy) - a Mock Orange and a Hydrangea - I've attached a few pix to show you how boring the front is - need color!!! We hired a lawn & handyman - he'll dig and plant the roses for me and also help with the landscaping come fall - I'm thinking birches, bradford pears or something fast growing and shady!! The front is perfect for the sunloving roses - it's sunny and hot all day until late afternoon :) sprinklers will take care of watering :)
I also found really big, bright blue pots at Homegoods and will plant annuals and place them on both side of entry to give it some color
Outside playing, I'm sending you a D-mail with my contact info :) hoping to see the Botanical Garden either tomorrow or Monday!!
Cym, It sure does look like it doesn't it? When ordered it was supposed to be a sorbet peony...I'm not so sure it's that though. I may have to call and complain, although, it still is pretty. Several hundred new flowers? Sheesh, you really have to invite me over now. Lol!
Bec, love the new house. I can't wait to see what you do with it. I take it you love roses :). I see them and they are so pretty, I just hate their thorns.
Outside Playing, LOVE your white peony. Peonies are by far one of my favorite flowers. It's between them, birds of paradise and magnolias.
I do love roses and the reason I'm barging ahead with them is I now have space with SUN!! Txt'd my handy lawn dude and we agreed he'll come dig on a Saturday after everything has arrived - scored some Gardenias at a little nursery close to us and I have 2 big'uns by my front door and 3 smaller ones spreading heavenly fragrance on the patio - which has become THE most used 'room' in the house...the cats moved out there already, by their own choosing ;) I'm fully determined to replace every single builder shrub, my MIL is horrified :)
I don't know if BOP would survive outside (from my reading in this area, you're really chancing it). I have a three season room that I put them into during winter and run a little heater for all my tropicals. My white bird is on it's second season of growing and I think is starting to reach the 9 foot height. I'm hoping I won't have to chop off any of this years growth in order to put it back in the room, but I'm pretty sure I will. I recently bought an orange bird (very small, maybe 1 foot) since I really wanted one of those as well. But all mine are container plants. I saw a big leaf magnolia when we went to the botanical gardens. Absolutely loved it, it's going on my maybe list. :)
Bec. You really seem like you're on a mission. Hehe. My gardenias are on a half life session currently. I really wish they'd just accept me and grow like the good little plants I know they are. THe builder shrubs don't look horrible, it's just that they are kind of boring. There's no color there... at all. It's just all green.
I'm S L O W L Y getting somewhere - one bed is free of shrubs, the other I've left the shrubs for now - will be bringing in topsoil & slowly adding plants - decided to go "hot & humid northern AL, English cottage" - I just received 15 tiny propagated roses I'm growing to planting size - they will all go in the bigger bed - lots of lavender, some peonies...I'm researching plants that will handle the heat & give me the "look" I'm after
Doing really good actually, docs at CCI are thrilled with progress & so am I! Starting radiation in a few weeks to kill any lingering cells, otherwise we're pretty certain I'm currently cancer free! 😝 Had surgery a month ago & finally able to drive...it's been a rather slow recovery this time around, but I'm feeling very optimistic!
Done!! All we have left are the edging plants & a thick layer of mulch - hubby did an incredible job planting! And I didn't kill the gardenias, they are reblooming! Holly-tone & miracle grow potting soil! 😝
Unless those are dwarf gardenias and a very small mock orange variety, you may eventually have some size problems there. I like your selection of plants; very cottage garden and pretty much durable selections for this area. Plus lots of nectar for the bees and butterflies.
Nope, I'll be pruning them...a lot!! Same with the Hansa Rose, it's a big'un if left to grow freely! This fall I'm ordering a ton of spring blooming bulbs & plopping them in 😝 there IS a method to my madness...I think!
Sorry, haven't posted any pix at all! Will remedy that :)
It's been a super-busy summer with work, surgeries and life in general - but, I'm slowly getting back to "normal" and hoping to get some serious gardening done soon, it's been watering and maintenance all summer