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Garden guide to perfect Christmas gifts
Ask a master gardener
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When I first moved to this area nine years ago, a new friend recommended The Garden Guide to the Lower South which I reference when I do my “To Do” list each month.
With Christmas coming, I thought I’d tell you a little more about it because it would be a perfect gift for the gardener on your list. And no, I don’t get a kickback from the sales.
I can’t imagine what this book doesn’t cover. Compiled by the Trustees’ Garden Club of Savannah, this guide is the third edition since 1986, with 30,000 copies published to date.
The book literally covers everything from abelia to zoysia grass. My favorite part when I was landscaping my yard was the list of shrubs by size that indicates height/width spreads, sun exposure needs and other considerations.
One column tells you if the shrub is native, deer resistant, evergreen or deciduous.
This guide addresses garden care, with topics such as composting and mulching, watering, pruning, pests and diseases, soil improvement and even plant propagating. Individual sections on azaleas, camellias and roses actually list favorite varieties for this area.
Other sections detail annuals and perennials, bulbs, herbs and vegetables. Vines and ground covers are listed, as are native plants and ornamental grasses.
If all this isn’t enough to make you drop that Christmas list and head for the nursery, how about sections on seashore and container gardening, citrus, gingers, succulants and orchids? The guide discusses lawn care, invasive plants, xeriscaping (drought resistant planting) and even designing a landscape for your home and garden.
And finally (take a big breath with me here), there is the month-by-month gardening guide.
In the credits of the book, many experts are referenced. And the most important thing about this book is it is for this coastal area of Georgia exclusively, so you know a listed plant will work here if your soil and exposure conditions are right.
Visit Anderson Feed and Garden Supply (368-7354) in Walthourville or Twin Oaks Nursery (884-2968) in Midway for a copy of the book. Get one for yourself and one for Aunt Vera.
Now other stuff. Coming in January will be the first of a noon “brown bag” lecture series. The first topic will be on pruning, which for many trees and shrubs is done in January and February. Mark the 16th, 12:10-12:50 p.m. on your calendar. We are firming up the location and Robert Bell will give that information in his column later this month.
Also, sign up now for the 2008 Master Gardeners Course at the Bamboo Gardens in Chatham County. Call Robert for information and with your gardening questions at 876-2133.
The alba plena camellias are beginning to bloom at LeConte-Woodmanston. If we had volunteers, we could be open to the public more hours. But if you don’t mind the walk, park at the fence and walk down to the gardens. And of course the black swamp nature trail is always special, even in these drought conditions.
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