Category: Ginny Rosenkranz

Cold weather won’t scare off all blooming

February is always a cold month and the ground can be covered with snow or frost, but with the occasional warm days there are landscape plants that will bloom despite the chilly weather. The Oregon Grape Holly is a native shrub that often blooms very early in the spring and sometimes as early as February. The plant grows to 3-6 feet tall with evergreen leaves that have sharp spines at the edges, very similar to the American Holly. The main difference between the American Holly and the Oregon Grape Holly is that the leaves of the Oregon Grape Holly has 13 leaflets that create a compound pinnate leaf while the American Holly has a single leaf. The flowers of the Oregon Grape Holly are small but bright yellow, slightly fragrant, and are arranged in clusters on stems that look like fireworks on the top of the plants. The stems are about 2-3 inches long and the yellow flowers shine brightly on the top of the dark glossy evergreen leaves. The plants love to grow in part sun or full shade in acidic, moist but well-drained soils, perfect for most of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Neither rabbits nor deer like to nibble on these plants but the native birds love the rounded blue grape like fruit. Another native shrub that blooms in the very early spring are the Witch...

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Admire how morning frost can dazzle

January may be a winter wonderland or just really cold and the plants we have in the garden can take a new look that might just dazzle the eyes. A light dusting of snow can change the look of a garden from brown ground with brown sticks to white sparkly groundcover and each branch of every plant outlined in white. Living so close to water, from the coastal bays to the Chesapeake Bay, the humidity, even in winter, can add to the landscape. A very cold morning may find all of the garden plants rimmed with clusters of diamond bright frost that melts away with the bright sunshine. There are not very many gardening chores in the winter, but a few of them may make the difference between beautiful plants in the spring or just dead sticks. Snow is lovely on the plants and it can be left on the deciduous plants — the ones that lose their leaves in the late fall — and some of the evergreen plants. Snow on many of the southern evergreen plants can be dangerous to those plants even if it looks beautiful on them. Evergreen plants have leaves or needles which will hold more snow on those plants and if the snow is heavy it can bend the branches too far and break the internal working of those plants. When uncovering Southern...

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Evergreens a must for winter gardens

Winter gardens look their best with evergreen plants to brighten up the landscape with the glossy green, steely blues and dark green to purple foliage. One plant that would fit a small to medium winter Eastern Shore landscape is the Variegated English Holly, Ilex aquifolium “Aurea Marginata.” The leaves are a dark, glossy evergreen with an irregular border of creamy white or pale yellow around the outside edges. Each of the leaves has a strong mid rib down the center of the leaf in a lighter green — and the wavy outside edges of each leaf has sharp spines on both sides and the tip of the leaf. The new foliage has hints of pink before expanding. Short branches of the holly can be trimmed off the plant and used to create or add to many winter holiday decorations, or they can be tucked into winter flower arrangements to give both color and texture to the designs. Mature holly plants can grow 15-40 feet tall and 10-20 feet wide if they are grown in well drained moist soils with afternoon shade and protection from the cold winter winds. Like all hollies, the Variegated English Holly has male and female plants, the male flowers will have white flowers with yellow anthers that hold the pollen and the female plants will have waxy fragrant white flowers that, if pollinated, will mature into bright...

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Turn those fallen leaves into compost

November is an excellent time to start composting especially if your yard is full of trees. Many homeowners will rake all their leaves down to the roadway so the county can take them to the landfill — but by composting the leaves the homeowner can create a wonderful soil amendment at almost no cost to them. Composted leaves can be used as a slow release fertilizer for trees, shrubs and vegetable gardens. It improves the soil aeration and water holding capacity and it can suppress many of the soil borne diseases that attacks the roots of plants. How does compost work? The microbes on the leaves are already there waiting to help nature compost the leaves into soil, the homeowner just needs to help it along. Leaves when they fall off the tree are a great source of carbon while fresh grass clippings, green weeds and kitchen waste are a great source of nitrogen, two of the ingredients needed to create a compost pile. To start a compost pile, pick a level spot in the yard a bit out of the way but near a water source. Compost doesn’t need to be created in full sun since it is the microbes that do all the heavy work and not the sun. Water is necessary since all living things including the microbes need water and the compost pile should never...

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Tulips a candidate for containers

October has bright blue skies and cool but comfortable weather, perfect for planting many trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and spring flowering bulbs. Some spring bulbs like daffodils and hyacinth thrive on the Eastern Shore, but tulips often succumb to soft rot diseases in the heat of summer and die. Also, tulips are very tasty treats to many animals including voles, squirrels, chipmunks and mice. Despite those problems, it is hard not to purchase tulips each fall for their spectacular colors, shapes and sizes that are available! When purchasing tulips, choose large, firm bulbs with little to no blemishes. Choose colors that complement or contrast with each other, or just choose one lovely color. Early spring tulips include Kaufmanniana or Water Lilly tulips, which are short with wide open flowers and Fosteriana, or Emperor tulips with tradition tulip shapes. Mid-season tulips include Darwin tulips with large strong flowers, Greigii with green and variegated foliage and two to four flowers on each stem. Mid-season also has Triumph tulips, many with two-tone colors and Viridiflora which comes in many colors and all have green streaks on each petal. Late-season tulips include Parrot tulips, full flowers with ruffles and many colors, and Lily flower tulips that have a vase shaped flower. Fringed tulips have thin fringes on the top edges giving color and texture to the flowers. The double late variety looks like...

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Upcoming Events

  1. 74th
 Annual 
National
 Outdoor
 Show

    February 22 - February 23
  2. Designer
 Purse 
Bingo

    February 24 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  3. Crawfish
 Boil
 & 
Muskrat
 Stew
 Fest

    February 24 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  4. Botanical
 Artist 
Charlotte
 Heath

    February 26 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm