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Sassafras

Sassafras is back in the house!! The last time I had these in stock y’all bought all of them within three days, so if you want one or two or three, now’s the time to go to the Sassafras page and make your order. They are in 1-gallon containers and the plant, not counting the container, is 1 to 1-1/2′ tall, and they cost only $9 each plus tax.

Ziva and I picked up more cool plants today, I’ll have them posted in the Boutique soon.

Happy diggin’ in the dirt.

Jeanni and Ziva
Beautiful Gardens Begin Here

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More Plants!

Ok, y’all, I put in another order in with my awesome native supplier, which means new plants are being added to the Boutique this week!! Ziva and I will go get all these awesome plants on Thursday:

Shizachyrium scoparium, Little Bluestem, ornamental grass

Aesculus pavia, Red Buckeye, shrub

Callicarpa americana, Beautyberry, shrub

Carpinus caroliniana, Hornbeam, tree

Cornus drummondii, Roughleaf Dogwood, shrub or tree

Crataegus marshalii, Parsley Hawthorn, tree

Crataegus opaca, Mayhaw, tree

Cyrilla racemiflora, Leatherwood, tree

Prunus mexicana, Mexican Plum, tree

Ptelea trifoliata, Wafer Ash, shrub or tree

Sassafras albidum, Sassafras, tree. Y’all bought every single Sassafras I had in stock within three days of the Boutique opening, so I’m absolutely getting more of this!

Helianthus, Swamp Sunflower, perennial

Heliopsis, perennial

Rudbeckia hirtia, Black Eyed Susan, perennial

I’ll have pics and descriptions added to the Boutique soon.

Happy diggin’ in the dirt.

Jeanni and Ziva
Beautiful Gardens Begin Here

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Ziva’s Flora Favs: Swamp Jasmine

“Swamp Jasmine? What’s that?” Yeah, I get that statement a lot when talking about this cool plant. Most of us have heard about the beautiful Carolina Jasmine vine, well, Swamp Jasmine is a relative of it. As a matter of fact, the two look almost exactly alike with their beautiful yellow funnel-shaped flowers. The differences in them are Swamp Jasmine has no fragrance and it has a much longer bloom time than Carolina does.

With a name like Swamp Jasmine, I’m thinking you can pretty much guess where it likes to grow: yep, it does great in swampy areas. Got a wet area in your garden, perhaps by the downspout or in a low spot, well, this could be the perfect vine for you. But it also adapts well to regular garden watering, which is good.

The botanical name is Gelsemium rankinii, with common names being: Swamp Jessamine, Swamp Yellow Jessamine, Rankin’s Trumpetflower, and Yellow Jessamine. It’s native to the Southeast from Louisiana over and up to North Carolina, and is hardy in zones 7a to 9b. It’s pretty versatile in that it can take full sun down to part shade. The twining vine growth can reach about 20′, but it’s nowhere near as aggressive as some other twining vines are. It’ll quickly scramble over fences, arbors, pergolas, walls, and up trees, or it can be used as a ground cover. If you want to grow it as a ground cover, use landscape fabric pins to hold the stems down as it gets established. The 1″ to 1-1/2″ golden-yellow blooms start showing up fall into spring, and since they’re full of nectar they give the birds, butterflies, bees, and all other pollinators good food when not a lot is available. It prefers acidic soil, so it grows fine in East Texas but would have issues trying to grow in the alkaline soil of West Texas. The leaves are usually evergreen except during unusually cold winters in which they go dormant for a short time. Berries are produced on it around late summer/early fall. If all of the above isn’t enough to make you want one of these beauties in your garden, then this tidbit might do the trick: neither deer nor rabbits munch on it.

One issue that needs to be talked about is all parts of this plant are toxic to humans and livestock if eaten. So don’t plant it around your horse or cow pastures. I’ve had this in my gardens before and have had no skin problems with it, but I’ve made sure to wash my hands after pruning or transplanting it. The sap can irritate the skin of some folks, so be sure to wear gloves when handling it.

So if you’re looking for a well-behaved, semi-evergreen to evergreen, yellow flowering vine that attracts pollinators, and can survive very moist areas, then Swamp Jasmine should be on your wish list! Just look how beautiful those flowers are!

Happy digging in the dirt!

Jeanni and Ziva
Beautiful Gardens Begin Here

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Frozen

Hello there, my fellow frozen flower freaks from Texas! I hope everyone’s power is still going strong and water pipes are not frozen. All’s fine here, so far, in Carthage. It was 22 this morning at 8:30, but the sun is shining and the temps are rising quickly to about 50. Yesterday was cloudy with a high a 30, so I’m happy for today’s weather.

I planted three dormant, bareroot rose bushes in my garden about two weeks ago. The varieties are Double Delight, Love, and Just Joey. I’ll write more about them in a separate post. Anyway. Because of the warmer weather since I planted them, they have already started showing new leaf buds popping out. Yay!! Well, yay until this way too cold cold front decided to roll through. lol I very rarely cold protect my roses since most of what I grow are Old Garden Roses or older varieties that have proven themselves to be hardy through almost any weather. But. I knew those new little leaf buds would be very susceptible to cold damage, so I scrounged around for something to cover them with, and decided on 5-gallon buckets and an empty barrel container. The barrel container doesn’t have holes drilled in it yet, so I didn’t have to worry about taping over them.

Toasty warm covered roses.
Happy new roses soaking up all that sunshine and warmth.

Excuse the messy beds. I don’t want to get rid of the grass until I have pine straw on hand for mulch. Finally found a garden center that has some in stock, so that chore gets added to my to-do list soon.

Tonight is back down to 23, so I’ll put the covers back on them about 5:00 this afternoon. That’ll give them time to trap the heat in before the cold evening begins.

Almost anything can be used to cover our plants during cold weather: frost cloth, burlap, sheets, blankets, buckets, etc. Plastic should be used as an absolute last resort because of two things: 1. It can conduct cold to the areas where it is actually touching the plant, and 2. If left on when the sun is up, it heats up way too much for the plant it’s covering. Think of those times you’ve walked into a covered greenhouse in the summer; that’s what it feels like to your plant it’s covering. If you do have to use plastic, try to drape it over something to keep it from touching the plant, and remove it asap once the sun comes out. Also remember if it’s just a light frost, then laying a covering over top of the plant should be sufficient warmth. If a hard freeze is expected, like last night and tonight, then be sure the covering goes to the ground and is weighted down to trap heat in. Tying the bottom of the covering to the trunk of the plant does no good.

I know I’m ready for winter to be over. I’m not a cold weather person at all. Spring will be here next month, and that makes me very happy!

Happy digging in the dirt.

Jeanni and Ziva
Beautiful Gardens Begin Here

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Hardiness Maps

Great interactive plant maps by the USDA showing heat/hardiness zones, first/last frost dates, drought index, high/low temps. Be sure to look at the difference between the 1990 map and the updated 2012 map. Link is below.

The Carthage area is in hardiness zone 8b, last frost is April 1 – April 10.

All of this info is needed to know which plants will grow well in our gardens. Yes, we need this info even when growing native plants.

Interactive 2012 USDA Plantmaps

Happy digging in the dirt!

Jeanni and Ziva

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Temps Dropping Again

Ugh. It’s dropping down to 28 again tonight. Make sure your plants are well watered asap today. Time to take back inside any tender plants that are outside. Cover the tender plants that stay outside with frostcloth, burlap, sheets, anything you have, as soon as you can today to help trap heat in. Be sure to anchor the covering to the ground. You can use plastic as covering if you have to, but be sure to take it off asap tomorrow because it transfers a lot of heat once the temps start rising.

The pic is of a container of pansies in my garden during last year’s snow event. Thankfully it’s not supposed to snow tonight.

Cold Pansies

Happy digging in the dirt.

Jeanni and Ziva

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Lichen

I’ve always thought lichen is beautiful. I get lots of questions about why it grows where it does and if it harms what it’s growing on. Here’s a great article that discusses those questions and more.

“Lichens do not harm their substrates, or take nutrients from the trees or shrubs they attach to. Look, but do not disturb them; take a photo, not a sample. Live and let live.”

rhttps://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/03/realestate/gardening-lichen-fall.html?fbclid=IwAR1LMAfPxnvl-sJzgUWugTcH060kL19XZYjsTvgzOjSR-X3vt2k1s2xuVC4

Happy digging in the dirt! 💚🥀

Jeanni and Ziva
Beautiful Gardens Begin Here