A Profusion of Pink | An Early Spring Walk in the Woods
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
1y ago
I'm obsessed with Eastern redbud trees (Cercis canadensis). Their lavender-pink flowers are unmistakeable, emerging in early March in our Piedmont region. The blooms pop before the leaves emerge, allowing the bold pink to light up the bare branches. Driving around town, it warms my heart to see how many redbud trees are growing along the roadside where land remains [yet] undisturbed.  Our spring mornings typically start cool but warm up as the day unfolds. Afternoon walks in the woods are a must to clear the winter cobwebs and inspire the heart. The skies tend to be an electric blue on c ..read more
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Magic of Early Spring
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
2y ago
It has been a turbulent start to spring with late frosts, cold winds, heavy rains and fluctuating temperatures. But when the garden decides to awaken, I am ready to rejoice in all its glory. I adore this time of year when the quiet muted hues of the winter landscape come alive with color. It is such a magical time watching the flowers unfurl and seeing the insects emerge from winter slumber.  Today, I am sharing our garden beds surrounding our back patio that look onto the woodland gardens. It is a combination of full sun and part shade, where the mature oaks provide filtered light to the ..read more
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The Last of the Fall Foliage
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
2y ago
This week I am enjoying the last of our fall garden. The foliage this year has been breathtaking. The right amount of rain, sunshine and temperatures came together to create a magnificent display of color. Nightime lows are expected to dip into the thirties, so I expect this will be the end of the fall garden. Still blooming are two late flowering asters, Symphyotrichum concolor and Ampelaster carolinianus.  Eastern Silver Aster (Symphyotrichm concolor) This winsome wildflower is a good nectar source for many butterflies. I am seeing mostly smaller butterflies, such as skippers ..read more
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Wildflower Wednesday: Lobelia cardinalis
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
2y ago
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is still blooming as we move through September so it is this month's Wildflower Wednesday featured native plant. It has been raining for days here so it has been a challenge to get photos for this post but running out between showers allowed me to snap a few. In addition to the many plants that support hummers we also put up feeders during this busy time so that the hummingbirds can fuel up and not spend all their energy fighting over food sources Ruby throated hummingbirds are at their peak numbers in September. The RTH that spent their summer no ..read more
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Appreciating Dancing Aphids
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
3y ago
One of the main principles of ecological gardening is to work with nature not against her. So to successfully create a garden that is an oasis for all forms of life, we must somemtimes change our way of thinking toward inhabitants we may consider less desirable.  Aphids are often bemoaned because they feed on the sap of their host, penetrating the phloem layer, which could result in the decline of plant vigor. Last week, we came across a few beech trees infested with aphids. Knowing that aphids usually specialize on one kind of plant, it was easy to determine that we were seeing&nbs ..read more
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Joro Spider Update: controlling this invasive species
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
3y ago
Joro spiders are EVERYWHERE! If you live in North Georgia you are bound to run into one of their webs as soon as you step outside. Removing their webs from our patio area, walking paths and amongst the shrubs is a daily chore. Their webs are strong and multi paneled and can be found from the shrub layer to high up in the tree canopy. The three layered web has one central orb with two asymmetrical layers on either side. The sticky silk captures all manner of insects and are strong enough to catch hummingbirds, small bats, tree frogs or lizards.  We found the first Joro spiders in our garde ..read more
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Clethra alnifolia
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
3y ago
My pick for June's Wildflower Wednesday is one of the most industrious shrubs in our summer garden, Clethra alnifolia, commonly referred to as summersweet. This stunning shrub is thriving in our rain garden as well as a few other garden beds. We grow the straight species, which adorns white blooms and 'Ruby Spice' with pink flowers. Preferring moist soil, this shrub is found naturally along stream banks, marshes and swampy woodland areas.   Clethra alnifolia 'ruby spice' in rain garden with rudbeckia and Southern Shield fern Blooming in July, it provides high quality nectar ..read more
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The Bold Colors of our Summer Garden
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
3y ago
Just a few years ago, this area was unwalkable. Overgrown with brambles and many invasive plants, my husband cleared this area and we created a new garden bed that sits between the main road that runs through our neighborhood and our wooded acerage.  This south facing transition space lends itself well to pollinator plants. Many hardwood trees are host plants for lepidoptera [butterflies and moths] and these insects will need nectar plants once they make it to their adult stage (with the exception of some moths that don't eat as adults).  In just a few years, the perennials have res ..read more
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Rhododendrons Gallore at Hamilton Gardens
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
3y ago
There is a spectacular, more than 30 acre woodland garden, in north Georgia that is worth a visit in spring when the native rhododendrons are blooming. Accoring to their website it is home to the largest selection of rhododendrons in the Southeast and Tripadvisor says "this botanical paradise has over 400 varieties and 3,000 plants overall".  This is a garden that has been on my list to visit for some time and finally a friend and I took the 90 minute scenic drive through mountain gaps and valley floors along rushing rivers-GORGEOUS-to arrive at Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee.  The ga ..read more
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Wildflower Wednesday: Camassia
Southern Meadows
by Karin / Southern Meadows
3y ago
Daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops and tulips are classic bulbs that are found in many spring gardens. A few years ago, I looked for a native alternative to these classics and found Camassia. Camassia is sometimes call a wild hyacinth or quamash. Here in the Southeast they are found on prairies and rich grasslands from Georgia to central Texas. You can see their range on this USDA Map. The Camassia genus is native to North America and there are six recognized species but only one is native to the eastern part of the country, Camassia scilloides. These hardy bulbs have racemes with bold blue flowe ..read more
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