Make plans now to join Melinda on her famous Garden Walks at Boerner Botanical Gardens in 2014!
Nationally renowned garden expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moments radio segments. Melinda shares “must have” tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Listeners from across the country find her gardener friendly, practical approach to gardening both refreshing and informative! On this page, Melinda shares some more extensive garden tips, which expand on the information provided in her one-minute radio segments.
New tips are added throughout each month, providing timely step-by-step tips on what you need to do next in your garden! Visit Melinda’s website www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and answers to your questions.
by Melinda Myers,posted Aug 29 2012 10:38AM
Liven up your landscape by including a few of the lesser used perennials.
The blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) produces beautiful flowers in summer followed by seedpods that split open to reveal blackberry-like seeds for additional interest in the garden or dried arrangements.
Stokes aster (Stokesia laevis) was a popular plant in the past, but not as common now. Grow this beauty in full sun and well-drained soil for best results. And include a few in your cut flower arrangements.
Heleniums, also known as Helen’s flower or sneezeweed, are adaptable to a variety of growing conditions. Many newer varieties with stronger or shorter stems are being introduced.
The fine airy flowers of Jupiter’s beard (Centranthus ruber) makes this a great filler in the garden. Allow this plant to grow and reseed throughout the garden.
And for hot dry areas consider one of the orange flowered penstemons (Penstemon pinifolius). They make a colorful focal point and attract beneficial insects to the garden.
A bit more information: Visit botanical gardens and attend local garden tours for more ideas on new and lesser used perennials for your garden. You’ll also be supporting a good cause. Most registration fees support the operation of the gardens, local beautification projects, garden education programs and charities.
Eco-friendly Control of Thrips
Poorly developed flowers, stunted plants and silvery streaks on leaves are indications thrips may be feeding on your plants.
These tiny insects have file-like mouthparts they use to puncture the outer surface of leaves, stems and flowers and suck out plant sap. They are very small and difficult to detect. Hold a white piece of paper under the plant and shake. Or remove the petals of damaged flowers, place in a sealed jar with 70% alcohol and shake the jar to dislodge and detect the pests.
Control is difficult and often not needed as the damage is discovered after the thrips have finished feeding.
Provide the proper growing conditions and care for your plants. Avoid excess nitrogen that promotes lush succulent growth these pests prefer. And remove spent flowers that tend to harbor the insects. Manage weeds in the garden and keep thrip-susceptible plants away from weedy areas where the pest populations tend to be high.
A bit more information: Beneficial insects like predatory thrips, green lacewings, minute pirate bugs and some parasitic wasps feed upon plant damaging thrips. Invite these good bugs into the garden by planting a diversity of plants and avoiding persistent pesticides. Visit the University of California IPM online for more details on this pest.
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
If you ever get a chance to see Milwaukee from the water...do it! I don't know what it is about the water but everything looks beautiful when you're on the water. I took these over the weekend and just looking at them calms me. We have a beautiful city enjoy it and enjoy what's left of summer:)