Welcome to the Dave's Garden Newsletter for September 21, 2009

One day I will burst my bud of calm and blossom into hysteria. -- Unknown
  Plant of the Week  
Allegheny Spurge
Pachysandra procumbens

Allegheny spurge may be related to its Japanese cousin, Pachysandra terminalis, but the two are quite different in looks and temperament. Unlike the common Pachysandra, Allegheny spurge is a very well-mannered, slow growing ground cover that provides subtle, silvery mottled foliage each fall, and it's worth a second look when it does. In spring, it offers up white to pink, fragrant flowers. The plant is native to the southeastern U.S. and will remain evergreen in mild climates.

Allegheny spurge forms clumps about 10 inches tall and spreads slowly. Like the Japanese pachysandra, it is fairly deer-resistant, a definite plus. Enjoy this delicate beauty in a shade garden and give it adequate moisture to keep it growing its best.

» Read more about this plant

Type of plant: Perennials

Bloom color: Pink, White/Near White

Bloom time of year: Mid Spring

Sun requirements: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade, Partial to Full Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 4a to Zone 9b

Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing: 15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

  Latin Word of the Week  
uliginosa
(ew-li-gi-NO-suh)

With a quick glance, it would be easy to transpose a few letters and mistake this word for a Latinized form of "ugly", but that would be doing a grave disservice to many of plants that bear this epithet, including lovely species of sage, bellflower, and goldenrod among others.

The term is from uliginos, and refers to wet places, such as bogs or marshes, so when you see uliginosa, or uliginosus in a plant's name, a good guess is that it needs to keep its feet wet. As with every rule, there are exceptions: in this case Valeriana uliginosa (known by the common name Mountain Valerian) is the exception.

Visit Botanary for more botanical words, their meanings and pronunciation help.

This Week's Articles

Monday, September 21, 2009
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Autumn Asters
By Gwen Bruno (gwen21)

Many gardeners expend all their energy on their spring- and summer-blooming garden, then feel as exhausted as their plants by September. You can overcome these autumn blahs by adding one of the many fall-blooming asters. Not only will you energize this season's flower garden, you'll enjoy the asterís sparkling blossoms for years to come with a small amount of care.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009
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Vines of Reunion Island Part2
By Jean-Jacques Segalen (jjacques)

A previous article introduced you to a few vines growing on my tiny secluded island and as stated then just meant brushing this vast subject so here we are on a second round, grab your cameras and tighten your shoe laces.

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Jumping Headfirst into the Art of Bonsai
By Chad Bartlett (GardenSox)

My New Yearís resolution this year was to learn something new every month. It didnít really matter to me what that new thing would be; it just needed to be something I had been interested in doing but never got around to before. After learning to juggle and eat with chopsticks I decided to take on the mysterious art of bonsai.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

"You Supply The Caption" photo is a fun opportunity for Readers. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you, the Readers, will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's Garden is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just a way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Quamash or Camass Lily - the Genus Camassia
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Camassia is one of the few garden-worthy bulbs to hail from North America. They are ideal for filling the gap between the spring-flowering bulbs and the beginning of the summer bulbs. To learn more about this small group of showy blue-flowered bulbs, continue reading!

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Friday, September 18, 2009
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Autumn Comes
By Kathleen M. Tenpas (Kathleen)

A quiet morning in early September, crickets chirping, sparrows discussing the weather, the crows back in the woods having their morning kaffeeklatch. The traffic is light and, for the time being, the tractors are all silent while the neighboring farmers finish morning chores and go in to breakfast. There is a general slowing, like a breath drawn in deeply and expelled slowly with a bit of a sigh at the end. Fall is here, starting with just a hint of a chill in the breeze wandering under sunny skies, and a touch of rusty red in the green of the distant wood.

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Snowberry ~ the name says it best
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

Native shrubs can greatly benefit your home landscape. One that you may not know is snowberry. It provides nice dark green foliage spring through fall and white flowers tinged with pink in the spring. The real show is the waxy-white berries that give this bush its name and provide food for many species of game birds from fall into winter.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009
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Woody Perennials Bring the Fall Border to Life
By Marie Harrison (can2grow)

Gardeners are ready to get back out in the garden during the fall of the year. The weather has moderated, and many plants are at their best during this season. With just a bit of thought and preparation, the fall garden will rival the newness and beauty of the spring garden.

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Go Bananas! Growing Tropical Banana Trees in Maryland
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

As the weather turns chilly, tropical gardeners keep posting photos of beautiful blooms and arching greenery. Zone envy rears its head. If only I could grow gingers, and plumerias, and citrus trees, andÖ and bananas! Living in temperate zone 6, I saw no way for that to happen without a major move. Then I read a Midwestern DGerís account of growing dozens of banana plants in his yard, digging them each fall and storing them beneath his house [1]. Visions of tropical splendor started dancing in my head!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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Tortoises in the Garden
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

The following article will introduce you to some of the more commonly kept garden tortoises, along with care suggestions.

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Happy Wildlife Habitat (Small birds in a small garden)
By Deb Magnes (debnes_dfw_tx)

Other than pictures, words will have to do. The main thing was this; In creating a place in the garden for them, even in this small place, a peaceful and safe habitat has grown into existence. Once you are marked on their migration map, they do not forget you.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009
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Sticks and Stones: Nature Craft for Kids
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Do you remember the phrase: Best laid plans? Well, I can truly tell you, they don't happen. I spent hours last week planning a nature craft project for kids. My 5 year old grandson came, and in about 5 minutes, my plans were in the trash. It sure was a lot of fun and I thought you might enjoy the story.

Continue reading »
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Garden Art: How Can I Protect and Preserve My Garden Art?
By Janet Colvin (UniQueTreasures)

Garden art comes in a variety of forms, from elaborate fountains to little magical gnomes. Garden art treasures are collected from all over the world and it definitely beautifies our space in the vast world in which we live. One thing I think we can all agree on is that garden art enhances our yards and offers a wonderful glimpse of our personalities. From hand-crafted heirlooms to bargain variety, thrift store garden art, our treasures deserve all we can do to keep them beautiful. Learn more about what you can do to help right here.

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Blooms of the Day

  Bloom of the day for September 15, 2009  
ImageCrucifix Orchid
(Epidendrum radicans)

Type of plant: Perennials, Tropicals and Tender Perennials, Vines and Climbers

Bloom color: Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom time of year: Mid Spring, Late Spring/Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer/Early Fall

Sun requirements: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 8b to Zone 10b

Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm), 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm), 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Submitted by GlennMagor on November 24, 2005

  Bloom of the day for September 16, 2009  
ImageCalifornia Barrel Cactus
(Ferocactus cylindraceus)

Type of plant: Cactus and Succulents

Bloom color: Orange, Red-Orange, Pale Yellow, Bright Yellow

Bloom time of year: Late Summer/Early Fall

Sun requirements: Full Sun

Cold hardiness: Zone 9a to Zone 11

Height: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm), 4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m), 6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm), 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Submitted by Xenomorf on August 14, 2005

  Bloom of the day for September 17, 2009  
ImageDaylily 'Francis Of Assisi'
(Hemerocallis)

Bloom color: Red

Sun requirements: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 4a to Zone 10b

Height: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

Submitted by Melissa_Ohio on April 27, 2005

  Bloom of the day for September 18, 2009  
ImageRose Verbena 'Homestead Purple'
(Glandularia canadensis)

Type of plant: Perennials

Bloom color: Pink, Violet/Lavender

Bloom time of year: Late Spring/Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer/Early Fall

Sun requirements: Full Sun

Cold hardiness: Zone 6a to Zone 9b

Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

Spacing: 6-9 in. (15-22 cm), 18-24 in. (45-60 cm), 24-36 in. (60-90 cm), 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Submitted by scutler on February 28, 2005

  Bloom of the day for September 19, 2009  
ImageJapanese Blueberry Tree
(Elaeocarpus decipiens)

Type of plant: Shrubs, Trees

Bloom color: Pale Pink, White/Near White

Bloom time of year: Late Spring/Early Summer

Sun requirements: Full Sun, Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 8b to Zone 11

Height: 30-40 ft. (9-12 m), over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing: 30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Submitted by arcadon on November 11, 2004

  Bloom of the day for September 20, 2009  
ImageMexican Sage 'Port de Zorro'
(Salvia mexicana)

Type of plant: Perennials

Bloom color: Blue-Violet

Bloom time of year: Late Summer/Early Fall, Mid Fall

Sun requirements: Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 8a to Zone 11

Height: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Spacing: 24-36 in. (60-90 cm), 36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Submitted by htop on October 21, 2004

  Bloom of the day for September 21, 2009  
ImageCeropegia
(Ceropegia stapeliiformis)

Type of plant: Tropicals and Tender Perennials, Vines and Climbers, Cactus and Succulents

Bloom color: Chartreuse (Yellow-Green), Dark Purple/Black, Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom time of year: Late Spring/Early Summer

Sun requirements: Sun to Partial Shade

Cold hardiness: Zone 10b to Zone 11

Submitted by RUK on October 02, 2004

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