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Old 04-21-2011, 09:28 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
12,273 posts, read 11,532,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherAmy View Post
Okay, here are a few "dumb newbie" questions:

1) When one says to "prune after blossoming"... I'm embarrassed to ask this... does that mean after the flowers come out or after the flowers die away?

2) Is there a good site/book where I can finally learn which snakes to be afraid of and what exactly poison ivy/oak/sumac looks like? These are things I'm thinking I need to know; we live on the entrance to a nature trail and most of our property in the back is wooded.
In most cases it's best to pinch off or clip off spent blooms. You could cut some to take into the house, though.

I just googled each of the poisons but switched to "image" to get only pictures. If you think that you touched a poison vine, go to the outdoor spigot & rinse off immediately, then go in & wash your hands. The problem is an oil, so I then use a big dollop of hand sanitizer. The main ingredient is alcohol which will cut any remaining oil.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC dreaming of other places
828 posts, read 1,019,336 times
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TeacherAmy, thank you for asking these questions, I am learning just like you and glad I am not the only one on this thread that is not a gardener. You might want to check out the "Garden Forum" it's really helpful for general gardening tips, but I love this one since it relates to our local soil.

How did you plant your wisteria, in a pot or in the ground?
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
189 posts, read 192,955 times
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For now, it's in a 16" container. I have it flanking the front door, but after I get things arranged the way I want them along the front entrance area, I want to put them down at the bottom of the porch steps. Eventually I will probably transplant them into the ground, but I'm not positive where they should go yet and I have a lot of creating to do before I get there. The nice thing about containers, I'm finding, is that I can move them around if the sun isn't quite what I expected it would be.

You should see the stacks of books I have from the library... it could crush my toddler.

I'm circling endless plants from the gardening catalogs I'm starting to get, and it's exciting that I'm starting to recognize some of them for the first time in my life. I read southbound295's recommendation of astilbe for someone in the 2009 thread, and I knew what that was!! LOL There are so many things I eventually want to incorporate into our property, but I realize this is a long-term type of dream. The front area needs some desperate help, as the bare-bones landscaping from the builders was eaten overnight by deer a few weeks ago. The folks at the nursery were bemused, as deer don't generally eat Indian Hawthorne... but they sheared those suckers down to 6" above the ground. Looks horrible!

A couple of things I wondered:

1) Numerous plants make mention of being attractive to birds and/or butterflies. If that's the case, is it safe to assume they are also attractive to bees? I have a severe life-threatening reaction to bee stings, so I have to be cautious about doing anything to lure additional bees to the house.

2) Where does one find a bat house? Hopefully my husband's ex won't take up residence in it , but I like the idea of cutting down the mosquito population.

I keep reading about how azaleas are, as one article called them, "overdone to the point of cliche", but I want to plant them as foundation shrubs anyway. I grew up in Philadelphia (ay yo, Southbound!), and our house had vibrant azaleas lining the driveway to the sidewalk. I remember them so fondly and would love to have some around our house, too.


I'm also so excited for my mother-in-law to visit again. She was going to get a cutting (is that the proper term?) from one of her late mother's rose bushes in Pennsylvania and bring it here to transplant. Her mother's house was surrounded by beloved rose bushes, and her last hours were spent among them. DH has such tender memories of his grandmother and that house, so having a rose bush from there would be such a precious legacy to me. How exciting it will be to teach my little girls that this was from the place their daddy grew up, a gift from a great-grandmother they never met. That alone is enough to make a person interested in gardening.

Last edited by TeacherAmy; 04-22-2011 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:30 AM
 
3,117 posts, read 3,464,050 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherAmy View Post
Okay, here are a few "dumb newbie" questions:

1) When one says to "prune after blossoming"... I'm embarrassed to ask this... does that mean after the flowers come out or after the flowers die away?

2) Is there a good site/book where I can finally learn which snakes to be afraid of and what exactly poison ivy/oak/sumac looks like? These are things I'm thinking I need to know; we live on the entrance to a nature trail and most of our property in the back is wooded.
Each plant has its own needs for pruning. If you are thinking of pruning something, just google it first to find out the best way. Pruning after flowering is for shrubs that flower on last year's growth, like azaleas, Indian hawthorne and rhododendron. I can't think of many things in my own garden that need pruning after flowering. Most of our pruning is done in the winter, when there is no new growth happening. (I just realized I didn't really answer your question. You should definitely wait until the flowers are dead before pruning.)

IMO, you shouldn't be afraid of any snakes. Snakes are vitally important to our ecosystem and our health. The only snakes I've seen around my neighborhood are the copperhead (poisonous), gray and black rat snakes (non-poisonous) and corn snakes (non-poisonous). All were shy and non-aggressive, as are 99.9% of snakes. Obviously it's best to leave any snake alone, but I don't think you need to worry about seeing them all over the place. I am one who absolutely loves to see snakes, and I rarely see them.

As for the poison ivy, etc, I always remember "leaves of three, let them be". All of the big three poison plants have three leaves, so just pay attention to them. Once you learn to spot them, you'll notice them wherever you are and be able to avoid them. I found this on google: Is this Poison Ivy (or Poison Oak or Poison Sumac)? - (www.poisonivy.us)

We have a fabulous gardening book called Southeast Home Landscaping. It profiles over 200 plants suited for our area, gives pruning and care techniques, planting and grouping ideas, etc. I've also had the Southern Living Garden Book recommended to me several times.
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:36 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
12,273 posts, read 11,532,416 times
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2 excellent sources for gardening information are the Time-Life gardening series (probably at a library) & Organic Gardening magazine. Organic Gardening | Living lightly from the ground up It doesn't matter if you want to do organic gardening, think it's a bunch of hooey, or come down in the middle. Organic Gardening is a wonderful source.
Also, in last year's thread, there is a link that lumbollo posted. I think it's for Clemson.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
189 posts, read 192,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalgirl View Post
(I just realized I didn't really answer your question. You should definitely wait until the flowers are dead before pruning.) .
Thank you!! That was what I wanted to clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalgirl View Post
IMO, you shouldn't be afraid of any snakes. Snakes are vitally important to our ecosystem and our health. The only snakes I've seen around my neighborhood are the copperhead (poisonous), gray and black rat snakes (non-poisonous) and corn snakes (non-poisonous). All were shy and non-aggressive, as are 99.9% of snakes. Obviously it's best to leave any snake alone, but I don't think you need to worry about seeing them all over the place. I am one who absolutely loves to see snakes, and I rarely see them..
No worries--I've given the same speech to my five-year-old, and explained their importance in the ecosystem. I want to know exactly how to identify copperheads in particular, though, so I can teach her that THIS particular one is one to avoid, but otherwise snakes are no cause for concern. I don't want her being concerned about snakes in general due to a lack of knowledge about the few that could be problematic, IYKWIM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalgirl View Post
As for the poison ivy, etc, I always remember "leaves of three, let them be". All of the big three poison plants have three leaves, so just pay attention to them. Once you learn to spot them, you'll notice them wherever you are and be able to avoid them. I found this on google: Is this Poison Ivy (or Poison Oak or Poison Sumac)? - (www.poisonivy.us)
THanks for that link! I always knew the "leaves of three", but I swear, when I go looking to figure out which is which, everything out there seemed to have three leaves. The pics on the link are very helpful in showing the variations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coastalgirl View Post
We have a fabulous gardening book called Southeast Home Landscaping. It profiles over 200 plants suited for our area, gives pruning and care techniques, planting and grouping ideas, etc. I've also had the Southern Living Garden Book recommended to me several times.
I have them both!! My MIL brought the landscaping book with her that first weekend in March, and I ordered it from Amazon within the day. It's invaluable. I then purchased the Southern Living garden book and refer to it almost continually; it's great for learning more about something that seems interesting and weighing its benefits and drawbacks for our particular property.

Thank you SO much for this input.

My herbs are exploding out there, which is delighting me. I have to force myself to keep harvesting them, which somehow seems like something I shouldn't be doing. The radishes are darn near instant gratification--they germinated within 2 days and change visibly each day. The tomatoes are looking healthy as well, along with the mystery plants I put in two containers... seedlings I'd planted but whose labels were eaten by my toddler. They're either lettuce, beans, or basil. Time will tell! LOL

I'm definitely eager to get the following trees to plant somewhere around the house:

1) Japanese maple (another memory from childhood)
2) River Birch
3) Yoshino cherry

Last edited by TeacherAmy; 04-22-2011 at 02:11 PM..
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:33 PM
 
1,664 posts, read 1,399,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherAmy View Post
I'm definitely eager to get the following trees to plant somewhere around the house:
2) River Birch
I'd take care of where you plant this tree. They are often mistakenly planted as an ornamental when purchased but most people don't realize how large these trees get over time and they will end up dominating any area they are located in. In fact they become overwhelming. The other problem with these trees is they don't do well with the periodic droughts we have here. The tree deals with it by dropping a lot of its leaves to conserve water. It becomes a messy maintenance problem.

This is a tree for a large lots only and don't place it near the house.
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Old 04-22-2011, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
189 posts, read 192,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yantosh22 View Post
I'd take care of where you plant this tree. They are often mistakenly planted as an ornamental when purchased but most people don't realize how large these trees get over time and they will end up dominating any area they are located in. In fact they become overwhelming. The other problem with these trees is they don't do well with the periodic droughts we have here. The tree deals with it by dropping a lot of its leaves to conserve water. It becomes a messy maintenance problem.

This is a tree for a large lots only and don't place it near the house.
That's great info, yantosh. Thank you! I learned that they're supposed to get quite huge, and we were considering it for the corner edge of our lot where we're in need of a very large tree (over time). It's along the edge of the nature trail head and near a creek drainage area, so it wouldn't grow into anything and would have plenty of room to spread. We'd have to keep an eye out for its water level, though, during a drought.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:15 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
12,273 posts, read 11,532,416 times
Reputation: 3905
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherAmy View Post
That's great info, yantosh. Thank you! I learned that they're supposed to get quite huge, and we were considering it for the corner edge of our lot where we're in need of a very large tree (over time). It's along the edge of the nature trail head and near a creek drainage area, so it wouldn't grow into anything and would have plenty of room to spread. We'd have to keep an eye out for its water level, though, during a drought.
Amy, I tend to agreed that you should think long & hard about that choice. I'd suggest looking at a lot of different trees & getting acquainted with the clay before you get your heart set on that birch. This has some interesting information that bears out what yantosh said. How to Grow and Maintain a Healthy Birch Tree

I have second thoughts about flowers & shrubs that want a lot of water, much less a very large tree. Here's a nice general website on trees. Trees - All about Palm Trees, Oak Tree, Pine Tree, Fruit Tree, Maple Tree and More!

In mid-July, armed only with a shovel & trowel, go out & try to dig in the clay. That's when you really understand it. The 1st summer that I lived with the clay, my mother wanted me to dig up some weeds. I went out & tried to dig & then went back in & told her that unless she gave me a jackhammer, that was not going to happen.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Fort Mill, SC
189 posts, read 192,955 times
Reputation: 151
Last weekend, my MIL and FIL came up to help us do a massive relandscaping project. Thankfully my MIL is an avid gardener and was able to help out quite a lot!

We did go ahead with the river birch, as the landscape designer I'd chatted with about our property located one area that he said would be a great spot given that it receives the downward sloping drainage from our street as it heads toward a ravine/culvert area. I'll stick a tree gator around it just to be sure, but it seems fairly happy so far.

My only heartache is that I found out that the nursery I love so much is INSANELY OVERPRICED. I found a guy in York who has his own farm and now sells directly to gardeners instead of companies, and sky pencil hollies that he carries for $8--same height, same high quality--were ones I just spent $50 on at my nursery up the road. Looking at the long list of plants, stone, and mulch we bought from them and comparing to other vendors I've discovered in the last week and a half, I could have saved several hundred dollars. OUCH. Lesson learned, though a painful one.

At any rate, this is what we accomplished over a long weekend:

raked up all pine straw mulch
pulled up all shrubs from front of house
reshaped landscape beds
created small new mailbox bed
added compost & manure to beds
tilled the beds
laid out newspaper as weed fabric
spread 10 cubic yards of hardwood mulch
replanted a crepe myrtle
replanted a flowering almond
replanted ~12 shrubs into new locations (screening the a/c units, etc.)
planted 4 loropetalum
planted 8 kaleidoscope abelia
planted 2 wintergreen boxwood
planted 2 sky pencil hollies
planted 2 emerald green arborvitae
planted 3 knockout rose bushes
planted 1 variegated gardenia
planted 1 new river birch tree
planted 2 butterfly bushes
planted 3 variegated wiegelas
planted 3 Nikko Blue hydrangeas
planted a bunch of daylilies around utility box on east corner of house
planted many hostas around the maple trees out front
planted two flats of coleum throughout the new shrubs
planted morning glory seeds around mailbox
planted morning glory seeds behind rose bushes to climb up flat wall
laid out flagstone as upright landscape edging on front borders
laid out flagstone as regular edging on six trees (still have more to go) and mailbox
laid out flagstones as pavers to create walkway along side of house
replanted a Japanese maple into a container
planted irises in the front border
planted salvia in the front border
planted umpteen flats of annuals--petunias, vinca, etc. throughout the front borders and around the street maples
relocated multiple herbs, etc.


Just wondering when I'll be able to walk upright again.
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