Garden Talk Blog
Perennial flowers (those that come back year after year) are popular with nearly all gardeners. Not only do you not have to replant them each year, but they increase in size and beauty each year as well, which means you can divide them every few years and add them to other spots in your yard, or share them with neighbors and friends.
The only difficult thing with perennials is choosing which ones to use. If you are new to perennial gardening, start with these five for guaranteed success. (more…)
Is there anything as interesting to a child as a butterfly fluttering by? I doubt it. Even as an adult I have to pause to observe their grace and beauty. Some butterflies, like Monarchs are also important pollinators. There are things you can do to invite butterflies into your yard, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you can provide them with a large, open, sun-filled area, nectar flowers for adult butterflies, food sources for caterpillars, shelter from extreme weather, a shallow butterfly ‘pool’, and a few good sunning rocks, you will find you will easily attract some very happy butterflies. Establishing a butterfly garden is as simple as that.
Listed below are some of the more popular flowers we typically carry at Town & Country Gardens that are excellent for attracting butterflies. (more…)
Almost too small to see with the naked eye, spider mites can become a very big problem in many ornamental plants. Twospotted spider mites are the most common in our area and are frequently seen in roses, marigolds, spruce, and many other ornamental plants. Spider mites attack by using needle-shaped mouth parts to suck the sap out of growing plants. Spider mites live in colonies, usually on the underside of leaves, and often go unnoticed until the infestation is severe. Watch for leaves or needles that appear to be covered with dust. The tiny webbing will often collect dust before the actual webbing is visible. Leaves may also have a mottled yellowish or dirty appearance. (more…)
Many of us don’t really want to look at the scales when we step on them in the morning as we don’t like the numbers we see. But there are some other scales we also don’t like to see, and they are in our trees.
Scale insects appear as little bumps on the twigs, branches, or needles of trees and shrubs in our yards. They don’t move, and so you might not even be aware that they are alive. Scale insects are sap-feeding insects with a shell-like waxy covering that conceals their bodies. Nearly all trees are susceptible and although a few insects don’t pose a problem, in high numbers they can weaken and, in rare cases, even kill trees. (more…)
I notice the new growth on spruce trees in Idaho Falls is just starting to emerge from the brown caps at the tips of the branches. That reminds me that now is the best time to spray to prevent damage from the Spruce Gall Adelgid (Aphid). So I thought I would share this Q & A with you from the Forum page of Idaho Community Forestry Partners.
Q. The branches of my spruce tree are tipped with brown prickly things that look like pinecones. But the cones higher up in the tree don’t look like these. What are they and will they damage our tree? ~Sarah H., Pocatello
A. The growths on the tips of your spruce are galls, sometimes referred to as spruce pineapple galls because they resemble pineapples. Although they are odd looking, they rarely cause serious damage to the tree. The Cooley spruce gall aphid is responsible for these galls. This insect has multiple forms. Its life cycle requires two hosts over two years: one year on spruce and one year on Douglas-fir or another spruce. And it is misnamed – although it is closely related to aphids, it is not an aphid. (more…)
Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel to France with my daughter. It was a wonderful trip with many highlights including our visit to the beaches of Normandy on the anniversary of D-Day. As we arrived at the beach at sunset the crowds had disappeared and we were completely alone. Walking in silent reverence along the beach we saw that someone had written in large letters in the sand “Thank you, Yanks!”.
I wish I had taken a picture, but the image is as clear in my mind today as it was then. The words still catch in my throat as I remember the sun setting below the horizon and darkness beginning to envelope us. That day, nearly seventy years earlier, marked the beginning of the end of the darkness that was enveloping Europe and the world. (more…)
A number of years ago I had the opportunity to travel to France with my daughter. One of the things that struck me about gardening in France (besides the huge number of window flower boxes) were the many espalier (is-‘pal-yər) pear and apple trees we saw, both at private residences and in public parks. Some of them appeared to be very old. The branches of these trees are directed in specific patterns to create designs such as a diamond or candelabra. You can create your own espalier trees by training them while they are young, or they are now available ‘pre-trained’ at Town & Country Gardens. (more…)
When is it safe to plant my tender flowers and vegetables? That is a question we hear often at the garden center this time of year. It depends on where you live, of course, as higher elevations and more northern locales have a shorter growing season than lower elevations and more southern locales. And, of course, the weather can vary dramatically from year to year, so really what they are asking is, “What are the odds of getting a frost this time of year”. (more…)
If you love roses, but don’t necessarily love to pamper them, a garden of David Austin roses is hard to beat. Known for their sheer exuberance of flower and wonderful fragrance, they also have a reputation for hardiness and dependability. David Austin roses are designed to blend harmoniously with other shrubs and herbaceous perennials and are perfectly at home in mixed flower and shrub borders. (more…)