Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Garden Talk: May 25, 2006

From NGA Editors

New Dwarf, Variegated Weigela


Weigela is a widely grown, adaptable, spring-flowering shrub. Its beautiful tube-shaped flowers come in a range of colors from white to red. However, after blooming, the shrub?s green foliage is nondescript for the rest of the summer.

Now a new variety with variegated leaves offers pizzazz all summer. The new spring foliage of 'My Monet' is bright pink and blends well with the rosy pink flowers. The leaves mature to green edged in white. ?My Monet? grows only 12 to 18 inches tall, so it makes a great container plant, as well as a colorful addition to the perennial border. It's hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8.

For more information on ?My Monet? weigela, go to: Wayside Gardens.

A Safer Hedge Trimmer


For many gardeners, trimming the hedge is a time-consuming, physically strenuous, and potentially dangerous task. Now from England comes a new electric trimmer with a concealed blade and a collection unit, to help make pruning your hedges easier, cleaner, and safer.

The Garden Groom cuts, shreds, and deposits the hedge trimmings into a collection unit on the trimmer. For big jobs, you can use the large collection bag attachment to hold the larger volume of trimmings. The Garden Groom leaves no dead hedge trimming pieces on the hedge to rot, spread disease, and look unkempt. Also, the 9-inch-diameter circular cutting head on the Midi-sized trimmer and the 12-inch-diameter circular cutting head on the Max-sized trimmer have totally concealed blades with guards that prevent the accidental cutting of the power cord or your fingers.

Both sizes of the Garden Groom weigh less than 10 pounds and have a two-handle design for better control. The only downside is the price tag: $150 for the Midi Garden Groom and $200 for the Maxi.

For more information about the Garden Groom, go to: Garden Groom.

Variegated Queen of the Meadow


Another common plant that has taken on a new look is queen of the meadow or Filipendula. This hardy perennial grows 4 feet tall, producing plumes of creamy white or pink flowers in midsummer. It?s one of the few perennials that can thrive in shade and wet conditions.

A new variegated form of Filipendula adds color and character to this hardy perennial's list of desirable traits. Filipendula ulmaria ?variegata? features dark green foliage with splashes of bright gold. Occasionally a branch will revert to all-green foliage. Simply prune it out to keep the plant uniformly variegated.

For more information on this variegated Filipendula, go to: Missouri Botanic Garden.

Enter a Photo Contest


Are you an amateur photographer who loves taking photos of gardens, parks, and green spaces? Why not enter your photos in a contest that could result in your photo being featured in a 2007 calendar!

The Because Green Matters calendar photo contest is sponsored by ProjectEvergreen, a national nonprofit organization promoting the environmental, economic, and lifestyle benefits of green spaces such as lawns and landscapes, sports turf, golf courses, and parks. The organization works with industry professionals, organizations, and individuals to preserve and enhance these green spaces.

ProjectEvergreen will select winning photos that showcase the benefits of green spaces to individuals and the community. Not only will the photos be featured on the 2007 Because Green Matters calendar, they also will be turned into screensavers on their Web site.

The deadline for submitting photos is August 31, 2006. For contest criteria and to submit photos, go to: Project Evergreen.



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