There are several kinds but all are small versions of the big, tall holly with the red berries which we all admire but which are overwhelming for the average yard. These little beauties grow to 10 feet to 15 feet and are pyramidal-shaped and grow to no more than 8 feet wide. There are several varieties of this holly but all have basically the same general properties. Many of you, like me, would love to have that beautiful Foster holly which grows to 25 feet or more but just don’t have the space. Now you can have one or more of the new holly. This holly would be great planted alone or in groups of three or just among your foundation planting.
It is hardy to zone 9 which includes Kentucky where it has done well. It likes sun best but will grow in partial shade. What more could you ask of a holly?
Stake your perennials! Stake your perennials! Get it done while they are young little plants and they will grow to be what you want them to be. Once they have reached maturity, it’s little that staking will do for them. Nothing is more disappointing than finding a beautiful plant all fallen over after a rain or wind storm.
Remember each year when you wished that you had staked your peonies when you looked out one morning to see all the blooms dragging on the ground from an overnight storm? Get your stakes ready for staking them while they are just a few inches high.
Those of you who grow iris need to get every dried leaf from around the iris since the old leaves harbor the iris borer, one of the very few problems of iris. Do not put those old leaves on your compost pile since they can contaminate your compost.
So often during the month of February and even early March we get a cold spell which may last only a day or two but which seems to do so much damage. The little leaf buds on your roses, the bulbs which are budding or even peonies which are beginning to show tiny leaf buds all seem to be ruined. Never fear, it won’t do any permanent damage. In fact, the roses, though the leaves turn black, will just shed the black leaf buds and shortly grow more and all will be well with your roses. The peonies which seem to be damaged may, in fact, not bloom much come spring weather and sunshine. But it’s only a temporary setback. All will be well next year. The bulbs are another thing. The bloom will be an ugly sight this year and you might as well cut the bloom stalk down. Next year the bulb will come back as usual. Mother Nature always seems to have things well in hand.
The time to apply pre-emergence crabgrass killer to your lawn is in late February or early March. The old gardeners say the best time to apply the crabgrass killer is when the forsythia bush blooms. If you wait until the crabgrass comes up, it’s too late and you are wasting your time and money. Once you have applied it the first time, you need to apply it again in May. Or, you might just prefer to live with crabgrass.
Since I have been watching to see if and when my friendly garter snakes crawl out on the rocks in my backyard to sun themselves for the first time, I have been thinking of a trip in Northern Minnesota to Little Boy Lake, which my husband and I, and two other couples, took one spring. We stayed in a lovely cabin on the lake and the others decided to go out on the lake but I opted to stay at the cabin. My friend, who had a real snake phobia, said, “Don’t you dare leave this cabin while we are gone”. ‘Yes”, I agreed. I assumed he was warning me about the little snakes. As soon as they left, I got my shovel and plastic bags out of the car and off I went looking for wildflowers. They were gone for a few hours and on returning, found me gone. Such screaming and hollering you never heard. I couldn’t believe they were so afraid of those little green snakes. Turns out, it was the time of year for the bears to have little cubs and the two other couples, local folks, had noticed bear spoor behind the cabin.
Now, nothing is as frightening as the thought of running across a sow and cubs when I was all alone. I grabbed the shovel and that’s all I got out of my foray into the North woods. I never knew if the wildflowers which I had dug would have flourished or died.
Please feel free to call me at 270-522-3632 with your questions or comments.