May in the Neighborhood
Note the picture showing plantings around two mailboxes observed in May. These are my best guesses as to the vegetation species and varieties shown there. At left front are dark violet-blue salvia flower spikes, which may be the hybrid "May Night" Salvia X sylvestris, 1997 Perennial Plant of the Year. The four- to five-inch diameter double lavender clematis blooms with slightly ruffled edges (mid-photo) are a more recent introduction, Clematis vancouver "Sea Breeze." The vine works in a spot like this because of plentiful flowers from late spring into autumn, a compact form and disease resistance. Golden foliage on the creeping Jenny groundcover, Lysimachia nummularia "Aurea" (at center and in front of the long thin daylily leaves on the right) provides a striking contrast to the purple blossoms.
Reader Donna M’s email gave me the idea of printing occasional photos featuring plants seen while walking our dog, Cocoa. The gist of her message: "We recently settled in this area and are not familiar with many of the beautiful flowering shrubs, perennials and trees. I want to learn the names of plants growing on our property. When we telephoned the Cumberland County University of Tennessee Extension office in Crossville, a visit with a Master Gardener Monday through Friday was suggested."
I replied explaining that Master Gardeners, who man the homeowner question and answer desk at the Crossville UT Extension office weekday mornings, might be of assistance, but their primary focus is diagnosing plant problems rather than identifying flowering shrubs and other ornamentals.
Rhododendron Borer Follow-up
Another reader sent an email after seeing the last article to ask what should be done to avoid borer damage to the huge, beautiful rhododendron in her yard. Good question.
The old riddle is true. What is the one thing always seen in a healthy landscape? Answer: the gardener’s shadow. Check your treasured plants in late winter and springtime. A problem that started early in the season may be beyond help if not discovered until late summer or during autumn. Noticing in February the damaged stem on the rhododendron by my driveway alerted me to the possible presence of rhododendron borers. That was confirmed by our county agent after he saw a photo showing the shrub in question.
As a general rule, don’t use insecticides unless the pest or identifiable pest damage has been observed. If a control is to be employed, make it one proven effective against the particular infection or infestation. Apply when the probability of a successful outcome is highest. Permethrin (sold under Astro and other brand names) or bifenthrin (Onyx) are preventive controls for rhododendron and other clearwing borers. Treat rhododendron trunks and branches in May and late June, when adult rhododendron borers are active and larvae which hatch from eggs deposited on the bark are still out in the open.
Not sure what is making your plant look sick or bad? Your local UT Extension office is the place to go. Physical examples of plant pest or disease problems can be analyzed there and recommendations made for remedies. Cut off a sample displaying symptoms. Put it in a clean plastic bag. Another option is available online. Experts at the UT Extension Soil, Plant and Pest Center post information and photos on the lab’s Facebook page each day about pest and/or disease issues they see. View that page by entering https://www.facebook.com/SoilPlantPestCenter in your web browser.
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Plateau Gardening is written by Master Gardeners for gardeners in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Region. Contact UT Extension Cumberland County at P.O. Box 483, Crossville, TN 38557 (484-6743) for answers to horticulture questions, free publications and how to become a Master Gardener. Send email comments or yard and garden inquiries to Master Gardener Rae, MGardenerRae@frontiernet.net.
May in the Neighborhood
Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication
Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.
Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park
The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.
Match August garden tasks to plant biology
During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.
Landis reunites with Japanese teacher
There is a special lady living in Pleasant Hill who spent 42 years of her life in Sendai, Japan, teaching English at a Japanese Christian school and as a missionary with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries.
Lions Club recognizes Lion of the Year
Charles Loveday, charter member of the Crossville Lions Club, was recognized as the Lion of the Year at the annual installation of officers picnic July 8. Loveday earned this award for his service as first vice president, membership chairman, eye glass chairman and his help with fundraisers and other matters where needed. From left are Loveday and President Gary Laura.
Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years
Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website, www.cccotp.org, and give it to the server.
A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty
Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.
Parkinson’s therapies help patients live big and loud
Parkinson’s disease has famously affected the lives of celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Muhammad Ali. But whether a person with Parkinson’s is world famous or a next-door neighbor, new therapies are offering hope for a better quality of life.
Local art event planned at CATS
Plans are being made for an event sponsored by the CATS Gallery at the Palace Theatre, 72 South Main St., Crossville, Tuesday, Aug. 5, beginning at 6 p.m. There will be refreshments, music and an opportunity to view a performance painting by artist Chuck Jensen. A live auction of donated art pieces will begin at 7:30 p.m. with the opportunity to "Be a Cool Cat — Buy Local Art." There is free admission, but it is advisable to get a free ticket at the CATS Gallery in the middle section of the Crossville Mall, at the Palace Theatre or from any participating member of CATS. During the event, original art items including paintings, photographs, and jewelry will be offered for auction, such as this expressive waterfall painting by Carole Cullen.
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