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What Shrubs Could Be Planted on the West Side of a home?

The west side of a house presents challenges for homeowners and landscaping plants. Subjected to sun for the hottest day hours, this region is more difficult to cool in summer. Shrubs that shade the region help save energy, but they need to withstand half a day’s total sun, heat and drying conditions. In winter months, it is fantastic for sunshine to strike the west side to help heat the rooms. Deciduous, heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant shrubs work best on the side to aid with energy conservation. Tall Shrubs On west-side walls unbroken by windows or doorways, plant tall shrubs for maximum summer shading. Consider allowing western redbud (Cercis occidentalis), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 9, to grow as a large tree. Keep it to the desired height and conformation by routine pruning. Magenta spring flowers are followed by glossy, rounded leaves. This indigenous plant tolerates…

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Fantastic Design Plant: Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine

In search of a plant that is perfect? Try sweet potato vine, that comes in a deep, dark green or a bright and lively lime. It can complement a cottage garden, brighten up a contemporary planting or put in a little filler to any blank spot in the lawn or container. Read on for just a few tips for using sweet potato vine to the very best advantage. Botanical name: Ipomoea batatasShared name: Ornamental sweet potato vineUSDA zones: 9-11 (find your zone)Water necessity: ModerateLight requirement: Full to partial sunMature size: 18 inches to 6 feetAdvantages and tolerances: Vigorous expansion; handles some shade; ideal for potsSeasonal interest: Adds bulk to plantings from spring through summerWhen to plant: Mid-spring or after the last frost Murphy & Co.. Layout Whether it tumbles off the top of a rock wall or climbs a wooden pergola, sweet potato blossom adds vertical appeal to any backyard….

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Pacific Northwest Gardener: Things to Do in May

May is the first month when the Pacific Northwest really begins to shake off the dreary doldrums of winter. All that sun means it’s a good idea to check irrigation methods in time for summer watering. We also get to appear ahead to the bounty of blooms and vegetables we’d love to enjoy, because now is the time to plant heat-loving flowers and plants. But do not forget to clean up after spring’s plants so they can conserve nutrients and be all set for a repeat performance next year. Read on to learn how to perform these jobs, plus more, to have a beautiful May garden. More regional gardening guides Aiken House & Gardens Pick flowering clematis vines at the nursery school. Clematis vines have some of the biggest, most spectacular blossoms of any plant from the Northwest, and now is the opportunity to buy them at the nursery for…

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Southern California Gardener's October Checklist

Fall is prime planting time in Southern California. The nicely organized one of us are supposed to program all year long so they’re prepared to spring into action the instant the hot weather subsides (typically by mid-October). The shorter days, cooler nights and low-angle sunlight of autumn add up to lower water stress on new plants, while the still-warm soil enables roots to thrive. Prime planting season continues through January or so, when much-welcome rains (fingers crossed) give young plants an extra leg up. Keep an eye out for hot, dry Santa Ana winds early in the summer, however, and be prepared to apply extra irrigation to garden newcomers to prevent them from turning into shoe leather. See a sampling of fall planting selections below. Note: Considering that bare-root season is coming with the new calendar year, you can find a good healthy start for all these varieties and save…

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Fantastic Design Plant: Black Mondo Grass

In the soul of Black Friday, one of the most highly anticipated unofficial American holidays, this week’s plant select features — you guessed it — a black plant. Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’) has gained fame as one of the most uniquely-hued and easy-to-grow plants on the market. Much like many perennial grasses, autumn is a great time to plant black mondo grass. Elect for well-drained, humus-rich soil for a positive planting. Botanical name: Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Arabicus’; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Black Night’Common names: black mondo grass, black lilyturf USDA zones: 5-10Water necessity: Moderate to regular, based on climateSun necessity: Full sun to partial shadeMature dimensions:12″ tall x 12″ disperseTolerances: Drought Distinguishing attributes. Striking matte black foliage resembling a sea anemone immediately catches your attention and draws you to the plant. Droopy leaves reach 15″ in length, leading to an overall plant height of around 10-12″. While the…