Garden of the Month: June 2018

128 S. Laurel Street:
Luna Bitzer has been gardening at 128 S. Laurel Street for 22 years and it shows. She lives in the historic home there with her husband Joe. He built the charming garden shed and occasionally helps with heavy lifting, but mostly Luna does all the work herself, including some extraordinary tasks such as installing the paver walkway to the front door—using just a shovel—and forming stairs between levels in the terraced yard.

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While she has had some help over the years with specific improvements, such as the all-female group of friends who helped build an arbor, or the Bitzers’ children who helped maintain a pond, she devotes a very large amount of time to keeping the property healthy and beautiful. In summer and fall, she averages 20 hours per week working in the garden. In the winter she takes some time off and in the hottest months of summer she works fewer hours outside. This is the Ashland Garden Club’s Garden of the Month for June.

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Among the biggest trees that dot the third-of-an-acre city lot at the corner of Almond Street are an ancient black oak (Ashland’s 11995 tree of the year), Douglas fir, silver maple, and blue spruce. When this garden was on the AAUW tour ten years ago, Luna created a list of plants with nearly 150 names. Luna’s current favorites include Howard McMinn manzanita, microbiota decussata (a low-growing evergreen cypress), agastache, hesperaloe and several varieties of viburnum, ornamental grasses, and hardy geraniums. Cotoneaster franchetii forms a hedge along the alleyway.

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Luna says that the installation of a deer fence in 2013 changed her life as she no longer has to worry about what she plants or where. The garden is constantly evolving. What was once a pond that she created is now a shady raised bed, and most of the lawn has been converted to a berm that is rarely watered. The hot tub was removed and the deck rebuilt with a roof for outdoor dining. In all, it is a totally enchanting garden.

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Article by: Ruth Sloan

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Horticulture Report:Rock Rose

Plant Name: Helianthemum   heliamthemum
Common name: Rock Rose
Plant type: Evergreen, or Semi-evergreen, Shrubby Perennial
Height:   6-12 inches
Spread: 1-3 feet

Bloom Time: May – June
Flower Color: Various – White, Yellow, Red, Pink, Scarlet, Orange.
Exposure: Full Sun
Soil Requirements: Well Drained Rocky to Sandy Soil.

Water Needs: Low
Attributes:  Good in Alpine & Rock Gardens, Deer Resistant, Drought Tolerant, Evergreen Good accent plant with texture & form, Gray Foliage & Dark Green Foliage.
Uses: Attracts Butterflies,  Rock gardens, Container, Ground Cover, Xeriscape Gardens.
USDA Zone: 5-8  (check cultivar)

Horticulture Report: Firepower Nandina

Plant Name: Nandina domesticanadina-firepower
Common Name:  Dwarf Heavenly bamboo
Cultivar: Firepower
Plant type: Evergreen Shrub
Height:   24 inches
Spread:  24  inches
Bloom Time: NonePrized for lime green leaves &  brilliant red fall color.
Exposure:  Full sun
Soil Requirements: rich, humus, well drained, acid soil.
Water Needs: 1st growing season water weekly until established, more in extreme heat.  Once established water deeply, but less frequent.
Attributes: Vibrant Fall Color,  Firewise Plant, Waterwise Plant, disease resistant,  hardy.
Uses: Urban Garden, Woodland Garden, Asian/Zen Garden, Borders, Containers, Mass plantings, Groundcover.
Note:  Firepower Nandina does not produce berries.
USDA Zone: 6-11

Water-Wise Gardening

Russian sageThe City of Ashland has created an informational  website to help reduce water usage in yards & gardens.

Click here to visit the site:
Water Wise Landscaping in Ashland

Once you’re at the website click the tabs located at the top of the page to view the following features.

Start with Garden Resources which is the gateway to the site. There you will find the table of contents: Getting Started, Irrigation, Design and Maintenance.

Garden Tours & Garden Gallery showcase local properties and supplies the viewer with visual examples of water-wise plantings.  Within each photo there is a white box; click the box to obtain detailed information regarding the plant.

The Plants is organized by Firewise,  Lawn Alternatives, Drought Tolerant Plants, Ornamental Grass, Deer Resistant Plants, Screens & Hedges. Each category presentsa list of plant suggestions. You can also search for plants based on: plant type, size, color, sun requirements, soil type and blooming season.

The Watering Guide provides watering guidelines, watering tips and common irrigation challenges.

This well designed site contains vast amounts of plant information, check it out and be inspired!

by:Carlotta Lucas