Category Archives: Articles from our Gardeners

The Importance of Fall Clean-up

By Mona Kneuss

Fall maintenance is one ways to keep your plants healthy so lets get started.
By now most of your plants are looking tired and ready to be put to bed for the winter. All of the annuals in your pots will need to be emptied and the pots emptied of their soil so they don’t freeze and brake. The soil can be stored in a plastic container with a lid of some kind to be used next year.

Continue reading

Putting Tender Herbs to Bed in the Fall

By Glenna Sheaffer

One way to keep herbs for years – especially tender perennials and shrubs – is to dig them and pot them up and bring them into the house over the winter. Of course, this works best for smaller plants that do not take up too much room. Clean off all the old discolored and dead leaves and flowers so they look tidy. This is now a houseplant in your home so it should look nice. You can cut off some far-ranging stems so the plants are more compact and will fit well on your windowsill. Try to leave about 2” of foliage left on the stems. The plant can be further cut back as it puts out new growth lower down the stem. Finish with a plant that has good foliage and maybe flowers to carry it through the winter. Herbs need direct sunlight in the winter so setting them in a South, East or West window would be ideal. Sunlight is weak in the winter so the longer you can have them in the sun the better.

herb

Continue reading

Herbs & Cuttings

By Glenna Shaeffer

When you need to take tender herb plants indoors to keep over the winter, you can dig the whole plant in Mid-September and bring it in.  If you do not have enough room indoors for larger plants, you can take cuttings to bring in.  Late August is the best time to take cuttings of herbs that are Mediterranean in origin.  The plant is still in active growth during this month which helps in rooting.  Later when the weather cools the plants prepare chemically for going through winter and do not root out easily again until spring.

herb

Continue reading

Hedge Trimming

By Shawn McClain

The grounds crew trims many hedges on Kingwood grounds. One particular hedge, is the hornbeam just outside of the greenhouse. Botanically known as Carpinus betulus, the hornbeam is a fast growing deciduous tree that can grow up to several feet per year. We like to maintain it using a traditional European style of pruning, so it has a nice, sculpted appearance. This means, it’s crucial that the hedge be trimmed regularly, so it doesn’t look overgrown and unruly.

It is quite a chore, but the end result is awesome.

Hedge at Kingwood

Hedge at Kingwood

Continue reading

Care of Summer Perennials

By Glenna Sheaffer

You would think there should be little to do with perennials in the summer, but they have certain needs to either help them to re-bloom or to be tidy. After a plant like a daylily or hosta is done blooming, the flower stalks should be cut down below the foliage. Daylilies can go to seed and the individual flowers can be deadheaded to keep the plant looking fresh. When you deadhead make sure you pinch out the hard seedhead at the base of the bloom. A daylily’s flower only lasts one day. The next day, if you touch the blossom, it will feel slippery and be dissolving. Those are the ones to remove [remember to include the ovary at the base]. They are very different from a fresh bud coming on which has a firm feeling when touched.

KWwalkJuly

Continue reading

How to Show Your Daylily

By Mona Kneuss

Showing your daylily is a great way to learn a thing or two about your plants. It is also a good way to network with others who have similar interests, they may also know a thing or two about showing plants. I would like to reassure you that showing your daylily ( or any plant for that matter ) is not hard at all. You may be surprised at how well you do, who knows even walk away with a blue ribbon or two.

daylilyblog (1)
Continue reading

The Mysteries of Wisteria

By Karen Fraizer

For too many people, me included, the thought of growing Wisteria can cause nightmares. Kingwood recently planted a variety called Amethyst Falls Wisteria in the new Carriage House Garden. This is an American Wisteria, which is supposed to be smaller and slower growing than its oriental cousins. Now that spring is upon us I have been thinking that it’s time to start training these four Wisteria plants, which also got me thinking about how little I actually know about this plant. So in order to care for and prune them properly I’m going to have to do some research.

Wisteria

Continue reading