Ask Ciscoe: Oh, la, la ! Your Gardening Questions Answered by Ciscoe Morris

By Ciscoe Morris

Ciscoe Morris solutions four hundred the main fascinating, oft-asked, such a lot pressing, and perplexing gardening questions. no matter if Ciscoe’s signature exclamation "Ooh-la-la!" (delivered with a thick Wisconsin accessory) is totally disarming, don't underestimate his gardening chops: grasp Gardener, qualified arborist, instructor on the college of Washington’s heart for city Horticulture. In his first booklet, he addresses the complete diversity of matters from decorative gardening and bushes to greens, fruit timber, shrubs, lawns, packing containers, weeds, and extra.

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Zantedeschia aethiopica, known as the common calla lily, is a South African native with 4-foot-tall leaves and exotic 8-inch white spathe flowers that add a tropical flair to the garden. A great plant for wet spots, these evergreen callas love moisture and will thrive in a bog all season long. Normally, common calla lilies die back to the ground only in very cold winters; however, in early winter they often begin to look ratty. The leaves get tattered, and some fall over. Rather than cutting the whole clump to the ground, it’s better to cut out individual stalks and let the others remain to produce energy.

Neaten up your hedge, but don’t overdo it. Shear lavender to keep it from becoming woody. Don’t be fooled by brown spots on lilac leaves. Patience has its limits. Replace the old with the new. Prune your Choisya hard if need be. Prune your mock orange correctly and it will return the favor. Be daring: Plant orange roses this year. Eat up if you plan to divide ornamental grasses. Be nice to the roots when you plant a palm tree. Prune the Pfitzer juniper before it eats your house. Phormium is a great seaside plant.

Preferring moist shade, common bleeding heart grows to about 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The soft green leaves and arching stems resemble ferns and contrast beautifully with large-leaved hostas and Ligularia dentata. The spectacular variety that you found, with glowing golden-yellow leaves and rose-pink, heart-shaped flowers, is called ‘Gold Heart’. Despite its appearance, it’s not dead; with regular watering, most Dicentra foliage lasts into late summer, but without irrigation it begins to deteriorate soon after the flowers fade.

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