Middle South

October, 2013
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

'Limelight' Sage
Salvia mexicana 'Limelight' is a shrub-sized tender perennial for the back of the border. In the Middle South, the 6-foot tall and wide plant begins to bloom in August or September, energizing the autumn landscape with a bold color combination of vivid blue flowers held in chartreuse calyxes. The brightly colored calyxes persist even after flowers fall, adding to the plant's interest and beauty. Hummingbirds and butterflies love this plant too, as it provides vital sustenance for those embarking on a seasonal migration.

Clever Gardening Technique

Dressing Winter Containers
Don't neglect the opportunity to dress garden urns, pots, planters, hanging baskets and hayracks for winter. Choose cold-tolerant plants such as small evergreens, ornamentals, and herbs to provide form, color and texture. A tall boxwood, spruce, or arborvitae surrounded by pansies, violas and ivy is an attractive choice. Herbs such as parsley and sage, and ornamental vegetables such as kale and chard, can add variety to the mix. Cut branches of magnolia, red twig dogwood, or Harry Lauder's walkingstick will last a month or more in cold weather and may be added and changed throughout the season for different decorative effects. Finally, add a three-inch thick layer of moss or pine straw over the soil for root protection.

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