Rudbeckia and Relatives

Everyone knows that your plants will want some water and attention this summer. However, I'd like to introduce you to some rudbeckia varieties that are more tolerant of our summer conditions.

Most folks are familiar with the black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm,') a popular and sturdy plant that willingly tolerates poor conditions once established.

Another family member, R. lacinata, has a similar flower with a green central cone on a much taller stalk. I have had these cutleaf flowers in my yard for several years.

SeaWorld & Busch Gardens' Breeding Program Dedicated to Preserving Wildlife

In cooperation with the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), SeaWorld and Busch Gardens have successfully bred many endangered species. AZAs Species Survival Plan® (SSP) program is dedicated to the survival of selected species like the endangered black rhino.

 

Sesame Place is "peppered" with plants

Everyone who visits the park can see that Sesame Place is colorfully peppered with different and interesting types of plants and vegetation, but many people don’t know that the park is also peppered with…well, peppers! But there are tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, squash, watermelons, and peaches here, too.

The Eco-Friendly Job

Most gardeners have had the opportunity to garden organically by hand-picking potato bugs and pesky beetles from their rose garden. (This is the 21st century spin on what my parents called “chores.”) Today I got another opportunity with my personal favorite, the bagworm.

Bagworms are nothing like the tent caterpillars or fall webworms, which form condo-nests high up in trees. These nests can be removed with the aid of a pole pruner from a distance.

The Ever Changing Circle Bed

My fellow landscapers at Busch Gardens call it “the circle bed” but guests know it as the large bed of flowers in front of Das Festhaus.With each new season come new plants and a new design to the area. Through the years there have been numerous incarnations, from Maypoles to baskets elevated over the bed. This summer season, you’ll find the bed has become part of the “Clocktoberfest” experience of IllumiNights.

Those Amazing Cyclamen!

Cyclamen are a welcome sight in our area in January. You tromp into a nursery, or even the floral department of the grocery store, happy to find any glimpse of spring. After enjoying them indoors, cyclamen can be transplanted into the garden. However, they usually crash with the summer heat.Cyclamen are a welcome sight in our area in January. You tromp into a nursery, or even the floral department of the grocery store, happy to find any glimpse of spring. After enjoying them indoors, cyclamen can be transplanted into the garden. However, they usually crash with the summer heat.

Three Ideas for a Colorful Summer Garden

Many gardeners shy away from using perennials in the summer, choosing instead to supply color in the garden through the use of annual plant material.  I, on the other hand, have a rule for my home garden – no annuals.  I like the fact that perennials, while initially somewhat more expensive to purchase, will return for multiple seasons and will also multiply to give me additional plant material to expand my own garden or to trade with gardening friends.  So, how does one maintain a colorful garden throughout the summer months?  Here are some suggestions.

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