As we begin cleaning up our yards and flower beds, it seems like fall would be a good time to prune the trees, shrubs and plants before they go into winter dormancy, and we would be wrong.
If you are considering adding hydrangeas to your landscape, this is a great time of year to see them in full bloom. From mid-July through the end of August, hydrangea flowers transform from bright white or cream to shades of pink, blue, burgundy and lime green. Almost in every neighborhood, you will see them as showy shrubs or trimmed into tree form in front yards, public gardens and commercial properties.
We know of Bambi, the cute deer in the woods. But when Bambi and her descendants attack our gardens, they are not quite so cute. We would prefer that they eat elsewhere. We can plant deer-resistant plants. Many plants on such lists are eaten when deer are hungry enough. One year, deer ate the leaves of my rhubarb plants. They usually will not eat daffodils, ferns, grasses, sedges or very low plants, such as creeping sedums, creeping phlox or periwinkle.
“What can I spray it with?” That question often pops up when gardeners first see a pest or disease problem. As Master Gardeners we promote the concept of integrated pest management, hoping you will not get to the point of asking that question. The basic concept is that prevention is better than cure, which can be illustrated in terms of your own health.
A flowering crab apple is one of the most beautiful trees in the spring, and comes in many different habits, heights and leaf, bud, and flower colors. The fragrance of apple blossoms is a sure sign of spring. The blossoms also provide necessary food for bees. It can serve as a pollinator for other apple trees. Their smaller size makes them perfect for our landscapes and most fit nicely under power lines.
A rain garden can capture rain that would otherwise flow down your lawn and driveway into streets and storm sewers, and use it to make your property more beautiful. It does this if it is located where rain can be directed into it, built so that it can temporarily hold the water (a rain garden is not a pond), and planted with appropriate plants to add beauty and attract birds, bees and butterflies.
Every Extension Master Gardener has been asked the same questions time after time. What do Master Gardeners do? How can you get to be a Master Gardener? So, it is time to answer those questions.