Acadiana Gardening Q & A - Book Info
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SOME GUIDELINES FOR PRUNING KNOCK OUT ROSES
QUESTION: I read your article this past week about pruning roses. Do knock out roses follow the same guidelines for pruning?
ANSWER: Those fabulous Knockout (or Knock Out) roses are so self-sufficient that they need little special care. As far as pruning, they fall into the category of shrub roses instead of the more demanding hybrid teas and grandifloras. Because shrub roses generally have a pleasing shape without severe pruning, the only reason to cut them back would be to control size.
However, it is still a good idea to rejuvenate the Knockouts, as well as the rest of our roses, in mid-February by removing dead leaves and broken twigs, and by pruning out any crossing, weak, spindly or diseased canes at the base.
There are now several varieties of the Knockout rose: the original Red, the Pink, a double variety of the Red, and the new Rainbow Knockout, which like the original Red, is an All American Rose Selection that has undergone rigorous testing in Louisiana as well the rest of the country.
The Knockouts have received many awards and special designations because they are heavy bloomers as well as resistant to blackspot, powdery mildew, rust and aphids. Of particular interest to us are the Earthkind and Texas Superstar designations awarded by our neighboring state.
Finding Salvia vanhoutei
QUESTION: Recently had my backyard landscaped and now I am looking for some VanHotte salvia. Have I heard of it and do you know if any local nurseries carry it routinely. I have heard that it must be special ordered.
A reader, Lafayette
ANSWER: I havent seen this salvia/sage in local nurseries, but I think that it is readily available through mail order catalogs. Salvia vanhoutei produces dark red flowers on wide, spreading plants, and is similar to S. greggii, which is carried by many of the local nurseries.
Book NotesVery serious gardeners of ornamental plants will enjoy delving into The Essential Garden Maintenance Workbook by Rosemary Alexander, Timber Press, 2006, ISBN-13:078-0-88192-783-2, $34.95. This is the second in a series which began with The Essential Garden Design Workbook, taking over where the first left off., serving as a practical guide to establishing, improving and managing a garden.
The author draws on her hands-on experience in the renovation of her own property to describe the steps required to get a garden in shape. Techniques cover a huge range including such necessities as removing old tree stumps, renovating hedges, reshaping shrubs and rescuing old lawns. Informative drawings, photographs and plans are included in the authors workbook/textbook approach.