Member Trip Members-only Class - Birmingham Botanical Gardens
G ARDENING 6 Good Things Growing… In The Gardens Fred Spicer, Executive Director Sweetbay magnolia, Magnolia virginiana, (below left) is a beautiful small tree with many subtle qualities. It’s a shame that this well-adapted and pest-free native is often overlooked when small trees are needed. It has an upright and multi-trunked habit, on which the leaves are borne towards the ends of the branches like loose, soft clouds. The leaves are matte-smooth, oblong like rhododendron, medium green on top and silvery beneath (below, top right). The latter quality is much-discussed in the literature, deservedly so, as breezes create a nice, understated shimmering effect. The flowers (right) are creamy-white, and lemony-sweet, occurring in moderation throughout May and June, and sporadically into September on mature plants. Primarily a Coastal Plain species occurring from MA and NY (Long Island) south through Florida, and west to eastern TX, sweetbay is also found in the Piedmont from NJ south through the Carolinas and GA and west, sporadically into MS and AR. It rarely occurs in low elevation southern mountain bogs. Some taxonomists treat the smaller, more deciduous, northern populations as var. virginiana, northern sweetbay, and the larger, evergreen southern populations as var. australis, southern sweetbay. Between native stands in NJ and AL, the variation is quite pronounced; in NJ 15-20’ in height is the norm. In AL, I’ve seen plants in the wild over 60’ tall, although 30-40’ is more likely in cultivation, after many years. Sweetbay prefers moist, acid habitats in the wild, like swamps, stream edges, and other drainage ways. In Alabama, it is relatively common in such habitats in the southeastern twothirds of the state. Here, it competes favorably under and alongside its close relative southern magnolia, M. grandiflora, and other large wetland trees. In cultivation, however, sweetbay shows excellent drought tolerance and also thrives in open, sunny locations. It makes an ideal lawn, edge-ofthe-woods, courtyard or patio specimen and is beautiful in formal and informal groupings alike. See sweetbay at The Gardens near Sonat Lake and in the Kaul Wildflower Garden. For more information on Magnolia virginiana, please go to www.bbgardens.org. Gardening Tips for March/April Courtesy of www.aces.edu MAY FRUITS AND NUTS – Continue spray program. Keep grass from around trees and strawberries. Peaches and apples can still be budded. SHRUBS – Newly planted shrubs need extra care now and in coming weeks. Don’t spray with oil emulsions when temperature is above 85 °F. LAWNS – Now is the best time to start lawns from seed. Water new lawns as needed to prevent drying. Keep established lawns actively growing by watering, fertilizing and mowing. Spray weeds in lawns with proper herbicide. ROSES – Spray or dust for insects and diseases. Fertilize monthly with complete fertilizer or rose special. Container-grown plants in flower may be planted. Prune climbing roses after the first big flush offlowering. ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS – Late plantings of bedding plants still have time to produce. Watch for insects on day lilies. BULBS – Summer bulbs started in containers may still be planted. Do not remove foliage from spring flowering bulbs. Do not let seedheads form on tulips and other spring flowering bulbs. MISCELLANEOUS – Mulch new shrub plantings if not already done. Avoid drying out new shrub, tree and lawn plantings. VEGETABLE SEED – Plant heatloving and tender vegetables. Start cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and celery in coldframe for fall garden. VEGETABLE PLANTS – Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potatoes.
Leaf & Petal At The Gardens JUNE FRUITS AND NUTS – Layer grapes and continue spray programs. Thin apples and peaches if too thick. SHRUBS – Lace bugs may be a problem on azaleas, pyracanthas, dogwoods, cherry laurels, and other shrubs. Water as needed. Fertilize now. Keep long shoots from developing by pinching out tips. Good time to take cuttings from semi-mature wood for rooting. LAWNS – Follow a schedule of fertilization and watering. Lawns should be mowed weekly Planting may continue if soil is moist. Continue weed spraying if necessary. ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS – Keep old flower heads removed to promote continued flowering. Plant garden mums if not already in. For compact mums, keep tips pinched out. Watch for insects and diseases. BULBS – Foliage may be removed from spring bulbs if it has yellowed and is becoming dry. Watch for aphids and thrips on summer bulbs. MISCELLANEOUS – If scale insects continue on shrubs, use materials other than oils. Set houseplants on porch or outdoors in shade and pay close attention to the need for water. If desired, air layer houseplants. VEGETABLE SEED – Plant beans, field peas, pumpkins, squash, corn, cantaloupes and watermelons. VEGETABLE PLANTS – Plant tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and sweet potato vine cuttings. The gift shop for all your holiday giving.... home decor . furniture . books . stationery . jewelry . lighting . children’s gifts containers . garden items . floral designs Located at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Road, Mt. Brook 205.877.3030 . leafnpetal.com The Art of Kathy G Catering Event Planning Design Birmingham Botanical Gardens Members receive 10% discount on lunch at the cafe *please show member Wonderful Lunches Extraordinary Events card when ordering The Beauty of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens Box Lunches Event Menus Patio Seating Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday, 11-2 Host your next social or corporate event at The Gardens Café 2612 Lane Park Road Birmingham 205.871.1000 firstname.lastname@example.org The GardensCafe by Kathy G