Thursday, March 31, 2011


I know, it looks like major damage, but I had to do it now or forget about it for another year.  This is my Rhus Aromatica that can grow three feet tall by eight feet wide, winding its way along a border.  I am not sure I would have planted this if not recommended by a garden designer.  It has had scale and takes a great deal of pruning throughout the season to keep it within bounds.  I should have known it was not a plant for my garden when I saw it at several local shopping centers.

Rhus Aromatica Gro Low

I have rejuvenated it by pruning out all of the sucker branches and bringing it down to about a foot above ground level.  The dormant oil for the scale has already been applied so I am hoping to salvage this border planting before I give up.

Rhus Aromatica Gro Low Pruned
It crawls and winds along the border.

Don't be afraid to rejuvenate or renew shrubbery, looks drastic but soon leafs out to become a better plant.  Rejuvenating is to remove everything down to four to six inches above ground, renewal is to take out the largest stems every two to three years to stimulate new growth.  I think I did something in between going down to about ten inches and removing a lot of the smaller branches.

I did purchase a product this year by Bayer that lists the ability to eradicate scale insects.  I will put this on in May when these insects emerge from their covering.  If I didn't get them with the dormant spray, hopefully this will do the trick.

I have also noticed scale on my Limelight Hydrangea, wondered why there were several eaten leaves last year, so I will dormant spray this also.

The first crocus, the only crocus, I gave up planting them several years ago when they were eaten as fast as I put them in the ground!

Pink Meidiland Rose has buds.

I have already spread my Espoma Organic Fertilizer 5-3-3.  Try to stay away from the high nitrogen fertilizers because of their tendency to produce more leaf growth than flowers.  The acid loving plants have also been fed with Espoma 4-3-4, going to cease using the high nitrogen Miracid and see if this makes a difference with the flowering ability of Endless Summer Hydrangea.

Early Sensation is a great first bloomer of all the daffodils.

Dicentra Spectablis peeking through

First year I have seen this color combo in a pansy, loved them as violas

Daylilies poking through

The hyacinths can't wait!

We have all been a bit down in these colder climates, and I think as gardeners we live for the anticipation of life and growth.  I feel better, it's beginning!

Visit Tootsie for Fertilizer Friday!


joey said...

Had to laugh, Eileen ... after planting hundreds over the years, I too have one 'lone' crocus. (My neighbors, all non-gardeners, are enjoying the fruits of my labor :)

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Eileen girl I can appreciate all of that work especially with the "scale" problem .. I discovered mine last Spring and cut the whole plant out (euonymous) and it is still a problem to watch for with my neighbor's just yards down our midway section between the driveway .. so you have to know it can blow up by me again.
When I did my clean up, I fertilzed too, because rain was forecasted and by golly it is happening for two days so I am happy .. but I have to do the acidic application too for Rhodos and azalea (not many but I had to have a few)
No matter what it looks like now, I know your garden is fantastic girl .. I've seen pictures ! haha
I think the transformation we go through each year makes us the passionate gardeners we are, because the change is so extreme : ) Hey .. I am the "Obelisk Queen" eh ? LOL

cherry said...

it's coming it's coming I promise spring is on it's way and your sprouts are going to be gorgeous.
Happy April fools day and hugs from Savannah, Cherry

Becca's Dirt said...

Girl it's good to see all that new growth. It is such an exciting time for us gardeners. Looks thats gonna be a big hyacinth - can't wait to see it. By next week there will be even more. Have a good weekend.

My garden haven said...

I can understand your excitement. Feeling it too although it is always summer here.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What a pretty little pansy. I have got to plant some crocus this fall. I am so hungry for blooms. Our garden progress looks about the same. That hyacinth is going to be so welcome.

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, I'm going to check into the rhus aromatica, it looks very interesting and I probably do have the space for it somewhere around here (once the snow melts...) I've been thinking about chopping down my 'Tiger Eyes' sumac too, and let it come up fresh again.

Love that pansy, too, what a color combination!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

It's wonderful to be full of expectation and pull up a post on Tootsies "Flaunt Your Flowers Friday" and see FLOWERS! Just beautiful and thank you for sharing them. I am hoping I can find some pansies of that beautiful color combination..,.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Joey, even though this one crocus bloomed this year I am not going to plant them again. They are too yummy to the critters.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Joy,

I have just about had it with these scale plants. The Wintercreeper is covered with it. I sprayed it but the thickness makes it difficult to get down into the stems.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Cherry,

Savannah is a wonderful city, it actually vibrates with life. I loved the Jullette Low house, so interesting that she never had a child but formed the Girl Scouts.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Becca,

If we get a little warmth things will really pop.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Garden Haven,

I think I would just give up the winter and keep the other three seasons.


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen,
I always think of pruning as tough love. Your garden is starting to come along nicely and so (hopefully,fingers crossed) mine won't be too far behind. Today is a bit warmer and most of our recent snowfall has melted.
I have to trim one of my hydrangeas. (I have always given it free reign) Is spring the best time to do it?

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lona,

That pansy is an unusual color combo. I just had to buy it for the hayracks on the shed.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen,

That Rhus Aromatica really does spread but I know you have enough space for it. I think mine got the scale from the wintercreeper right next to it.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Cottages,

Thanks for stopping by. I want everything to hurry up and then want it to stay, but the seasons move on.


Sissy said...

Everyone tells me that nothing eats crocus bulbs, but I agree with you! I have planted hundreds and have only dozens to show for it!

Mel Cole said...

Oh wow, I love your crisp photos especially that white crocus! :) My Fertilizer Friday

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer,

We are getting lots of rain today, all my fertilizer needs it.

When pruning hydrangeas you have to know what variety it is. Some grow on old and new wood like Limelight, Unique and Endless Summer. Annabelle can be cut to about six inches. Some hydrangeas only grow on old wood so they need to be pruned right after flowering.

I would look up the variety online and see what it's blooming patterns are.


Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Don't you love it when the plants start peeking out!

Stopping by from Tootsie's place for Fertilizer Friday. I shared my azaleas on my other non-food blog "My New 30."

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Glad to see you have signs of life in your garden. It's pretty exciting as you find each plant starting to poke through. My Bleeding Heart seems to be taking forever to grow. It's one of my very favorite spring bloomers.

Clipped Wings said...

Feels nice when a garden starts waking up after winter. Lots of work, but when greened up it all pays off with such beauty. I finally got tired of spraying and fertilizing, and just went with wildlife native gardening and love it. My area greens up a bit sooner than yours, although this year spring has happened extremely early. Enjoyed reading your post. Happy gardening!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Calling by from Tootsie Time as participating in Fertiliser Friday and really enjoying meeting everyone else. Glorious photos,especially the crocus and pansy thanks for sharing.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Mary,

I put in some new azaleas last fall so I am anxious to see them bloom.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Catherine,

My bbleeding hearts got clipped by frost a couple of years ago, not a pretty sight.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Clipped Wings,

I have very little grass, just enough for the dog, the property is mostly plantings.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Sissy,

The squirrels take the crocus, not sure if they eat them or just carry them away.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Mel,

Thanks for visiting. My one lonely crocus!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Lindy Lou,

Thanks for visiting, stop by again.


Casa Mariposa said...

Uh-oh! I have a Gro-Low on order for one of my beds!! Is it worth it? It seems like a good choice to fill a tough spot. I don't mind pruning to keep it well behaved.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see that spring is arriving in your garden. It can't come soon enough, can it? It seems like it's been a long, hard winter for so many of us. ... Love the red tips on your hyacinth foliage.

Zoey said...

Hi Eileen,
It looks like spring has sprung in your garden. How exciting!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Casa Mariposa,

I think Gro Low is fine for slopes and open situations. Mine is just way too close to my neighbor's property.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Grace,

Yes, it seems like it has been a much longer winter this year. I was out working in the garden today and there is a lot coming up.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Zoey,

I was out working in the garden all day, warm around 70 degrees but very windy. We are supposed to get a big storm tonight. I got some mulch put down today.


Rose said...

Isn't it exciting to see all these promises of spring? I think we Midwesterners appreciate spring all the more because of the long winter wait we have to endure. Sweet pansies!

The Sage Butterfly said...

Lovely pics. The hyacinth coming up through the foliage was very nice.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Rose,

I think you are right about appreciating spring. It is such a welcome sight after a long cold winter.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

HI Sage Butterfly,

The hyacinth surprised me with the purple tips, never noticed this before.


Cottage Garden said...

Ha! - my neighbour had more of MY crocuses in his garden than I did in mine this year. Hey ho!!

I'm always a little timid when pruning. I shall take heed from your encouragement Eileen.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jeanne,

I really do like crocus but as I said, I can't keep them in my garden.