All posts by Jonathan Smith

Plants with great winter interest and how to incorporate them into your design

By February I am done with winter. I’m ready for spring, and all the exciting changes that it brings to the garden. I’m ready for bulbs, and dogwoods in bloom, and flowering cherries. But, typically the winter has several more weeks before it lets up, and I have to be patient. Read on to learn about a few of the plants that add interest to the late winter garden. Continue reading Plants with great winter interest and how to incorporate them into your design

Resources that we use – NC State University Deer Resistant List and Plant Database

If you’ve ever tried googling a plant name, or a gardening question, you’ve probably come across a lot of information, much of it contradictory. One important consideration when gathering information related to plants or gardening is where geographically that information comes from.

For example, I subscribe to several gardening magazines, which are headquartered and written throughout the country, from New England, the South East, and Pacific Northwest. I’ve seen photos of roses and hosta growing next to each other in full sun – something that would never work here in North Carolina, but is a possibility up north or out west. Fortunately for North Carolina gardeners, we have several resources based on research right here at NC State University. Read on to learn about two that we use regularly.

Continue reading Resources that we use – NC State University Deer Resistant List and Plant Database

This winter it’s all about the berries, plants with winter fruit!

I’m always looking for plants with attractive fruit at this time of year – they can be a design inspiration as well as great plants to use in my winter decorations. This year I’m trying to branch out from hollies – deciduous and evergreen – and I came up with two other attractive plant options with berries. Read on to learn about Winter Hawthorns and David Viburnum. Continue reading This winter it’s all about the berries, plants with winter fruit!

Incorporating Hibiscus into Your Yard – Three Types

I love hibiscus!  Growing up in Virginia my Grandmother had a potted tropical hibiscus outside her door every summer.  I loved the bright blooms and the tropical look of the plant, and to me it meant that summer had arrived.  When I started working at the nursery years later I learned that ‘hibiscus’ can actually refer to a variety of plants – the tropical one that I was accustomed to, as well as a large shrub variety, and a native perennial.  Read on to learn about each and how to best use them in the landscape. Continue reading Incorporating Hibiscus into Your Yard – Three Types

Planting Blueberries in Your Yard

With blueberry season right around the corner it is a great time to consider adding these versatile shrubs to your garden. In addition to their fruiting, blueberries add to the landscape with their fantastic bright red fall color. Best sited in full sun, these plants like an acidic soil with good moisture and drainage to perform their best. Read on to learn more about how to incorporate these plants in your garden. Continue reading Planting Blueberries in Your Yard

Selecting a Crapemyrtle

Crapemyrtles are part of the summer landscape of North Carolina. You’ll find them on highways, in commercial plantings and neighborhoods, and throughout many residential properties. While Crapemyrtles or Lagerstromia sp. are a popular plant, they are often sized inappropriately for their planted location – leading to another feature of the North Carolina landscape – the aggressive pruning of these trees, known as ‘Crape Murder’. To help avoid this we’re sharing some advice on how to select a Crapemyrtle – if you consider all the factors listed below you are certain to choose the right plant for the right place. Continue reading Selecting a Crapemyrtle