- [Announcer] Whether you want a garden focal point, a background screen, or some specimens to carry the landscape through the winter, conifers have a lot to offer. Troy Marden showcases a variety of these evergreens that perform well in Southern landscapes. Phillipe Chadwick has info on bagworms. Plus, Annette Shrader visits with a Clarksville gardener who finds joy, gratitude, and peace when she's in the garden, whether it's planting, weeding, or enjoying the scenery. Come along! Gardening can be nourishment for the body, mind, and soul. - Spring, glorious spring! It is happening, and it moves fast. And as you can see, there's one color after another color, one flower after another flower, and you better watch, 'cause you'll miss it. The garden I'm standing in, it goes way behind me, and we go way up the hill all the way to the street. This gardener, I have to say, has a lot of strength in her legs, and I'm anxious for you to see the beauty that she's created here. Remember I said, spring moves fast, doesn't it, Bonnie? - [Bonnie] Very fast. - Now, this area that we're standing in, what's in this garden? - I leave it mainly to wildflowers, but anything that I can't take care of in the yard any longer, because I'm getting older, I bring it down here and let nature take care of it. Like the daffodils. - [Annette] Yeah. - [Bonnie] I can't take care of 'em as much as I did, but in the springtime, when the sunshine comes in, and note the leaves. - [Annette] Oh, right, yeah! - [Bonnie] This whole hill is covered in daffodils. - [Annette] Well, and you do have some pretty good dappled shade, which means they are getting, and especially overhead. - [Bonnie] Right. - [Annette] I know that you've allowed a few things, like mahonias, to reseed, and that's a good plant, because the bees, when they need pollen, they can come early. And they are very early. And also in here, you've got trout lilies, and you have Jack-in-the-pulpit, okay, and then- - [Bonnie] And trillium. - [Annette] Yes, and in this area, you've sort of had to approach it about, "What am I gonna do to keep this hillside from running away?" haven't you? - [Bonnie] Exactly, erosion is the biggest problem 'cause my entire property is a hill. - [Annette] Yes. - [Bonnie] So we put the brick pathways, we laid the bricks, just all of the bricks down here were given to us. So we laid the brick pathways here so that we could walk through it safely and still hold the hill. And in between, we've planted the plants to hold the bricks in place. - [Annette] Right. - [Bonnie] So it's just mainly to control the erosion. - [Annette] What is the soonest color that you see in here? - [Bonnie] The daffodils. - [Annette] The daffodils come first? - [Bonnie] And then the mahonia. - [Annette] Yes, well, and and you also have some bleeding heart in here. - [Bonnie] Bleeding heart is down here now. - [Annette] Okay, well, let's do some more strolling. Bonnie, I sense a feeling of serenity and calmness back here. What do you call this area? - [Bonnie] This is my happy place. - [Annette] Your happy place? What makes it so happy for you? - [Annette] I can come back here after a long day, and sit in the shade, and talk to my chickens, or pick up a chicken. - [Annette] So you literally go in there and cuddle the chicken. - [Bonnie] Yes, I do. - [Annette] You know, I grew up with chickens, but I never did have one that would let me do that. - Oh, yes. What do you think about that? You're such a sweet girl. You wanna go back to your friends? - [Annette] Bonnie, you do things very economically. Tell me how you do your gardens in the spring. - The annuals, I do try to start myself, and this is the little seed bed. And once they get big enough to transplant, I try to transplant them in the back. We do hand-water those until they take root and I know they're established. And then normally, we don't have to do anything else to those, and they just fill up the backyard, and they're beautiful. - I think that we have a very beautiful kousa dogwood- - [Bonnie] Right. - [Annette] That you sit under. I am so sorry it's not fully bloomed, even though you can see those blooms are coming, because it is actually one of the largest ones I think I've ever seen. And of course, you have that Southern magnolia. - [Bonnie] Right. - [Annette] And you have the Japanese maple. But you know, one of the things that I saw first when I came down your driveway this morning was how your arbor welcomed us into your gardens. and you have the clematis there, the Nelly Moser? - [Bonnie] Right. - Now, this is a beautiful incline of plants right here, Bonnie, and I can't help but notice columbine, and I love columbine. Tell me how you've gotten all of this to be so profuse with these. - [Bonnie] I just threw seeds out, and whatever came up, I had a mixture of seeds, and I just threw it over here and let it start growing. And when it gets seed on it, like the pink one there is starting to put- - [Annette] Oh, I see. This is a seed pod right here. - [Bonnie] And when it dries out, I will take it and shake it right back down into the ground, and just let it reseed itself, and they just keep coming up all over the place. - [Annette] Okay, now, do these germinate this year, or will they wait till next spring? - They will show up a little plant, but the little plant won't bloom this year, it'll bloom next year. - Okay, but they are- - It will germinate, but it won't bloom till next year. - Yeah, and they're kind of in the biennial group, I think. Well, now, you got a purple, and you got a magenta, and you have a pink. - Oh, and- - There's another. All of these came from one seed packet? - [Bonnie] Yes. There's a blue at the top as well. - [Annette] Very economical! - [Bonnie] Yes. Get the mix going. - I see something else over there that's got a bloom on it. - [Bonnie] The lupine. - [Annette] Oh, and I just can't help but, I've never been able to do that. And oh, I see more! - [Bonnie] Right. - [Annette] So these have reseeded. - [Annette] Right. - [Bonnie] Okay, well, let's go up another level. I see, there's a tree peony up there. That is beautiful. What is the name of that one? - [Bonnie] High Noon. - [Annette] High Noon. Well, it's a little past high noon and it's still pretty. - Oh, it's beautiful. - [Annette] It's beautiful. Well, let's go smell some iris, Bonnie. - [Bonnie] Sounds great. - You are an expert, I'd say, with your iris, and I'm not gonna question you about the names. - Please. - But people want to know what to do with an iris. This is absolutely beautiful. - Thank you. - Now, how long has this been an established clump? - Two years. - Okay, so the process of keeping it divided, about every three years? - [Bonnie] I divide every three years. - [Annette] Okay, and then you, oddly enough, if you were to follow this stem to the ground, you would find what I call a lobster. - [Bonnie] It looks much- - [Annette] That main, it's a rhizome. That will never bloom again. - [Bonnie] No. - It grows a little shoot out on each side of that, and that will be next year's, perhaps. - That would be next year's plant. - And I've had a clump of iris sometimes, even though it was a nice full one, that every year, it didn't put up a bloom shoot. - [Bonnie] Right. - [Annette] So the people shouldn't get discouraged. - [Bonnie] No. The next year or after that. Even if it's this year's shoot, it may not bloom next year, but the following year, it will. - [Annette] Okay, Bonnie, I think you've had some experience with things growing larger than what tags say, though, haven't you? - Yes, ma'am. This is a Snowflake viburnum, and it was supposed to be five to six feet tall, according to the label on the package. - Yes. - It's not quite that way. - Well, I think that can happen to plants sometimes, and even the width, but aren't you glad that it's bigger than what it said? - Oh, I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled. I love it. - [Annette] And you know, it'll bloom a little bit sporadically during the summer, and I like that. - [Bonnie] It does, it stays blooming all summer. - [Annette] I have one coming up my driveway, but I have to say, yours has got mine beat. Mine's not this big, and I know you have other plants. Bonnie, while we're here in this shade, I wanna thank you for allowing us to come here and visit in your very private gardens. And you have given your personality to these gardens, because you are a giver of plants to those around you that love them. - [Bonnie] Annette, for me, this is my personal time. When I've had a stressful day, I can come out in my yard, and this is a stress reliever. And I relax and just let go. And this is my personal time. - [Annette] And you know what? We can almost say that could become addictive, can't it? - [Bonnie] It's very addictive. - Bagworms are a common pest you see on lots of evergreen trees, and this is an example of what can happen to a tree after they get severely infested with them. So the bagworm overwinters in the bag that was put there by last year's females. They usually hatch out in May or in early June and crawl out of their bags, eating the plants until around August or so. These young bagworm caterpillars feed on the needles and the leaves of the trees. A large infestation can lead to almost a complete defoliation of the tree. While any tree can be infested with bagworms, since the wind can blow them from plant to plant, the most common are your evergreens, like arborvitaes, hemlocks, junipers, pines, spruce, bald cypress, or also locust, sweetgum, and sycamore trees can get them as well. What are some treatments that you could do to prevent this? - Sure, so there are a lot of treatments that can be done to help this, both professionally and at the homeowner level as well. Some of the more popular ones that homeowners choose are the Sevin brand products that you can screw onto the end of your water hose. You're gonna want a liquid treatment for this, rather than a powder or a granular, or even a systemic, for that matter. Systemics won't help to treat bagworms. So make sure you get something that is a contact product. More times than not, the easier thing to do is get an attachment that you can screw onto the end of your water hose, and then just drench the entire plant. - Yeah, so, and as far as some smaller trees that you've got, I know a lot of people will go in and just kind of pluck them off. - You can. If you don't have that many trees, or if your trees aren't that big, manual removal is probably the most effective way to control bagworms. However, for most people, that's probably not going to be an effective measure, so you're gonna wanna do that chemical spray treatment. - Right. Cool. Well, thanks so much. - No problem. Thanks a lot. - As autumn turns to winter, my thoughts often turn to plants that will give me interest for the autumn, winter, and very early spring months in my garden. Today, I'm at Bates Nursery with Austin Lohin, and we're gonna talk a little bit about conifers. So let's start over here with this Chamaecyparis. - [Austin] Sure. This is called Golden Mop cypress, We sell a lot of 'em, and they generally come in rounds. They do not stay like that. And as this plant grows, it takes a leader, and it goes up to a point. So what you end up getting is this about eight-foot-wide base working up to a point to about eight feet tall. It makes a very small specimen tree for the conifer garden that keeps this golden color as long as you have plenty of sunlight. - Right, and I can attest to that, because I have one of these, and this is one of those cases where I say sometimes plants don't read the labels. And I noticed that they've changed the label on this, because it used to say three by three, and it gets a lot bigger than that. I have one limbed up in my garden that you can walk under. - Really? - And I've kinda turned it into a little topiary thing. - It's a good one. - It is a great plant for this region. - Full sun. - Full sun helps it really keep this really good color. All right, another Chamaecyparis, and I'll pick this one up because it's little. This is Chamaecyparis obtusa, one called Fernspray Gold, and I pick this up in my hand just to point out the fact that you can buy them really small, like this, you can grow them in containers, but again, keep in mind that this has a mature size, and that it's not always going to be this small unless you purposely keep it that way. - Sure, they kinda call it the bonsai starter pack, if you will. So it lets you start with a small one, and then either keep it small or let it grow. - Right. - So this plant can be planted in the garden. It's got a very Japanese effect, actually, in your Japanese gardens, and in rock gardens, it makes a good planting as well. - Right. All right, let's go down here to this little blue one in the front. This is a type of juniper. - [Austin] It is, it's called Blue Star juniper, and it's a good seller for us. It's really got excellent color. I mean, from bluish to silvery, all in the same plant. And it stays small, which is kinda nice. Most juniper we end up getting pretty wide. This one, that stays kinda tight, And it just kinda sticks to that true kinda two to three by two to three tall and wide. - Yeah, so if you have a smaller area, but you really need something evergreen or something lower-growing, this is one that will give you an interesting form, too, because as it grows, it kind of mounds and pieces kind of open up, but then they fill back in, and it becomes this sort of lumpy little silvery-blue mound in the garden. It's a really pretty thing. All right, this is a fascinating one that's right here in the front of the table. - Uh-huh, yeah, that's a Whipcord arborvitae. The name is fitting for this plant. Very hairy, if you will. - Yes. - [Austin] It's got these long strands that come down. I love it as a mixed container plant. I think it's really good for an evergreen in the back of a mixed container where you can keep it through the wintertime and it keeps that color. But it's kinda shaggy. It's almost got that spilling effect in the front of the container or in the back of the container. - Sure, this is actually a variety of the Western arborvitae, and the one that people would know more commonly is Green Giant, which grows 40 feet tall. - Exactly. - And this one will not do that. And you would not set these two plants side by side and think that this was even closely related to Green Giant. - Not at all. - So the variations that can occur in conifers are really fascinating. Another arborvitae that we can talk about is this one that's right here in front of me, and this one is Morgan. - Mm-hm, yep, another gold one. Stays true gold with the full sun, that is crucial with this one. But it's fairly small, too. It takes a more erect habit, so it's an upright. it's a good spot for a tight little spot, maybe, that you need to keep thin. It will chunk out a little bit on you, but it stays, for the most part, thin, and it reaches up to a point maybe eight to 10 feet tall, and that's kinda where it maxes at. So it's a good one for the gold. - I had this in my garden at one point. I've since taken it out, because it was taking up a lot of valuable real estate, and a big snow one winter actually kind of split it open, and it didn't recover very well. But, all that to say, I still really like this plant. I think it's a great choice for small to medium-sized gardens where you don't have a lot of room for an arborvitae that gets huge, but you need that color or that form. Morgan is still a very, very good choice. Now, we've got a conifer that grows really large, but over a period of time. So talk to me a little bit about this deodar cedar, but even just deodar cedars in general. - Yeah, well, this one's the golden variety, which is one of my favorites. Deodar cedar in general is one of my favorite conifers that we sell. Like you mentioned, they do get very large. As they grow, too, they have a funky shape a little bit. You can see how these arms kinda go, and as they age, they do that even more. So as they get up taller, you see some stems going way out this way. It's a very arm-y plant, if you will. As it ages though, it gets more graceful, and those stems tend to stop going so gnarly, and they tend to kinda droop just a little bit. So it almost creates this pendulous habit that goes up to, like you said, about 40 foot tall, 12 feet at the base. Even bigger sometimes with old ones. But just very, very interesting. And once again, like I've talked about with all the golden stuff, it really needs full sun to keep that good golden color, and it'll perform well for you. It likes to be on the dry side when you first plant it. You don't need to just keep it overly soaked. They do not like that. So let 'em get established. After they do get established here, you generally will never have to water 'em again. - Right, and this is, just as a little aside, I'll mention, this is a really long-term investment in your landscape, longer than we tend to kinda think about things here in America sometimes. And I say that because I've been lucky enough to travel to a lot of different places. And when we're in England, we see a lot of these that were planted 200, 250 years ago. They're still going strong. And man, when they're old, they get these big, broad heads on them, they've kinda limbed themselves up, and they're really, really magnificent. So this is a great tree for, really, any age, at any age, it's beautiful, but you do need to place this one correctly in the landscape. - Exactly. It deserves space. - Yeah, yeah. So as I'm looking across the nursery here, I see some other plants over here, kind of in my view, and I notice blue spruce. Do you have a favorite that you think is better suited to the heat and humidity of the South, or is- - They're kinda very similar to me, in my thought process, anyway. So I've seen nice blue spruce here, but not that many. So we do sell it because we all love the blue. It's a beautiful tree. They're slow to grow. And sometimes, if they find their right home, they can be beautiful. Now, finding that right site can be a little tricky in Middle Tennessee. You know, we don't have native spruce here in Middle Tennessee specifically. So planning a non-native isn't always a bad idea, but with this plant specifically, it's a little tricky because, like you had mentioned, in the heat of the summer- - [Troy] It's from the mountains of Colorado. - [Austin] Exactly. It's the state tree of Colorado, let's be honest. But I have seen a few that can get big here and look nice and keep the blue color. That's the biggest thing. 'Cause a lot of times, they live here, don't get me wrong, but they tend to struggle and stress a little bit, so they lose some needles on the interior and they tend to lose that really rich blue color. But if you find the right home, it can be done here. - Right, I'm also looking over here and I see some Norway spruce, and to my way of thinking, that's actually a little bit better choice for our area. We see some big ones around the Nashville area. There are some huge ones that were planted 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 years ago. - [Austin] Oh, probably, yeah. It's a marvel. - [Troy] I just feel like that even though it's not blue, that dark green beautiful color is a good choice for large conifer specimens. If you have the room and can handle something that will grow that size, the Norway spruce is a good one. - [Austin] Norway spruce is fantastic. I mean, it's not a true native here, but it's naturalized just fine in Middle Tennessee. What I like about Norway spruce is that no two are alike. You may see one that grows really tight and full and stays that way. You see big old ones that get these long arms and the big, pendulous branches in there. They're all kind of different. So that's one of my favorite things about Norway. It's a good plant for us. - So one other plant that's really caught my eye are the Arizona cypress. Tell me a little bit about those and growing them here. - It's a good plant for our zone that grow much faster. And if you wanted an option that was better than blue spruce, you go with the Blue Pyramid Arizona cypress that we have over here. The speed is tremendous. You'd be amazed how fast they get big. And they have this beautiful blue color, especially in the spring. It's almost silvery in appearance. There's another one we sell called Chaparral Arizona cypress that's actually right here behind me. It's got almost a seafoam color. It's one of the weirdest greens I've ever seen in the plant world, and we sell them because of that. It's just something you don't see very often. It's very interesting, and they live here well. - [Troy] Right, it's adapted to our heat, humidity. They'll withstand our humidity, being native to Arizona. Once they're established and you have a good root system on them, they're incredibly drought-tolerant. - [Troy] Oh, yes. - [Austin] So like you said, once they get established, you'll never have to water them. - [Troy] Good screening tree. - Most definitely. It's an underused screening tree, if you ask me. They're a little expensive, I think is why people maybe- - Shy away from them. - Green Giant or Leyland cypress are much cheaper. But if you want a blue color along a row to hide something off, man, it's a really good plant for that. - Austin, thank you so much for lending us your knowledge and your time today, and I hope that everyone at home will consider some conifers for their gardens. - Teas made from various weeds can have an exhilarating effect on plants in our garden that need a little perking up. Especially in the small backyard garden, a homemade brew could be just what's needed to supply the missing nutrients, microbes, and minerals. One of the most common homemade teas for your garden is made from stinging nettle, a plant which stands alone in the world of plants. Stinging nettle is easy to grow, it transplants easily, and is oftentimes grown in old-fashioned gardens, and it has hairs on it that will sting like fire if you brush up against it. But don't be afraid of stinging nettle. It's a very valuable herb. Stinging nettle is used for nursing mothers and pregnant women. It's used as a pot herb and cooked like spinach. It contains iron, calcium, silica, and many beneficial nutrients. The stinging nettle plant is from Europe. It is related to the common wood nettle in our woods, but is much stronger. This is the plant, Urtica dioica, that's used as an herbal remedy in many of the old-time herbals. I use loppers to cut the stinging nettle down. I oftentimes like to do it earlier in the spring, when the growth is faster, but we're gonna use this nettle here today. It'll work just fine. I'm gingerly picking it up and putting it in the tub of water. Nettle tea by itself makes a good brew, but we can make it even better by adding some other weeds. Any of the plants that have strong growth habits, like poke sallet or pigweed, have hormones and oxines in 'em that are very beneficial for plant growth, as you would expect. We're gonna dig up the poke sallet plant and put it in here. Poke sallet is a very pretty plant. Right now, it's right after blooms and starting to make the seeds. These will become real dark purple berries. Poke is eaten in the springtime, and was made famous by Tony Joe White's song "Polk Salad Annie." This time of year, poke is considered to be not edible. It does have some poisons in it. The berries of poke are used medicinally for arthritis, but only the juice. The seeds are poisonous. You can make a wine with it, strain out the seeds, and have an arthritis remedy. We're gonna try to dig up some of the poke root, which is also used medicinally. Any plant with a big root like this and this much growth in one year is bound to have a lot of forces in it to help growth, and we're gonna chop this up and rot it, ferment it, and get those forces on some of our garden plants. This is a stinging nettle preparation that I made simply by burying the nettle in a clay tile. This is a biodynamic preparation we put into our compost piles, but I'm gonna add a little bit of it to our brew here because it will help this fermentation process. Kelp comes from the sea and is full of minerals and nutrients that we don't have here in Middle Tennessee, so I like to add some of the kelp to my brew, too. We're gonna use the root of the poke sallet, and we're also gonna use the top. The reason I'm chopping it up is I wanna expose more of the plant to the water. Another tea I like to use is made from horsetail, Equisetum arvense. This is a very silica-rich plant, and we make a tea out of it and then let it ferment for several weeks before sprinkling it on our plants. But rather than using horsetail for promoting growth, we're actually using it as a preventative for fungal diseases. Horsetails' silica content helps to dry the plants off and helps keep plants healthy. So here we have some nettle tea that I made several weeks ago. It's ready to use. It's a dark green, sort of, kind of an ugly color, but it has in it the stuff that my plants are wanting. These purple climbing beans haven't had a rain on them since they were planted. We'll give 'em a little pick-me-up with some of our tea here. I don't use the tea every year or all the time, just when conditions warrant a little bit of extra pick-me-up. But anything like this that you do for your garden can't hurt. It's always good to use things that are alive and keep within the realm of the living, and it's taking good care of our plants. - [Announcer] For inspiring garden tours, growing tips, and garden projects, visit our website at VolunteerGardener.org, or on YouTube at the "Volunteer Gardener" channel. And like us on Facebook.
July 08, 2021
Season 30 | Episode 02
Whether you want a garden focal point, a background screen, or winter interest, conifers have a lot to offer. Troy Marden has a selection of good performers. Annette Shrader visits with a Clarksville grower who finds joy in the garden, no matter if she's weeding or enjoying the scenery. Philippe Chadwick has some advice about bagworms.