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
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.
- Marriage licenses (Published July 23, 2014)
Heritage demonstrators welcome
Most of Americans today never stop to think how different our lives would have been several hundred years ago. How many times a day do we wash our hands, and do we ever realize when we take those hot showers and lather up, the long all-day process our ancestors had to go through just to make a bar of soap? Not to mention packing water to the house and heating it up over a wood fire just to have a bath and wash clothes. Times are changing faster than ever.
Mathes restores a bit of Pleasant Hill's history
Miss Alice Adshead, RN, created a “wilderness trail” through the woods just down the hill from Uplands Sanatorium, the first hospital in Cumberland County once located on Main St. in Pleasant Hill.
Prune flowering shrubs: now or wait until February?
Experts say, “Don’t prune woody-stemmed plants (shrubs, trees and some types of vines) after mid-August.” Do pay close attention to that advice. The purpose of this late-season pruning prohibition is to keep plants healthy.
Burgess Falls offers a big payoff for a short hike
At Burgess Falls, you can be out of your car and taking in the breathtaking view of the Falling Water River as it falls 136 feet in the third and final drop of the river with just a short walk through the woods.
But even though the state park is close to civilization, this natural wonder retains its wild and scenic reputation.
Colonial Dames honors members with luncheon
The John McKnitt Chapter Colonial Dames 17th Century held its May meeting at the home of Joyce Ernst. Those present were Sherry Sneed, Jessie Watts, Dot Brodhag, Kandy B. Smith, Lynn Constan, Donna Hamilton, Margaret Markum, Lana Davis, Sara Tripiciano, Jane Tavernier, Joyce Ernst, Kathy Wilson, Charlotte Reynolds, and Cheryl Chrobot. President Lana Davis welcomed the ladies and followed with the opening ritual.
Art Guild announces winners from Judged and Juried Show
On June 6, the Art Guild at Fairfield Glade held a reception to announce the winners of the Judged and Juried Fine Arts Show. The pieces were judged by Marcia Goldenstein of Knoxville. Stonehaus Winery provided refreshments for the occasion.
Celtic Circle donates to ACPL
Celtic Circle, a local group of Americans celebrating their Celtic heritage, recently donated a subscription for Scotland Magazine to the Art Circle Public Library and to the Homestead Elementary School library. Pictured, left to right, are Barbara Nugent, originally from Yorkshire, England; Susie Randleman, ACPL director; and Catherine Stewart Munkelwitz from Inverness, Scotland. Celtic Circle will host a program titled "Celtic Sampler" at ACPL on Friday, Aug. 1 beginning at noon. Entertainment includes great Highland bagpipe, bodhran, harp, Irish step dancing, both Scottish and Irish songs, Gaelic spoken and sung, tartan weaving and Celtic Children's Corner with crafts.
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