Monday, June 19, 2006

Great Peony Mystery

Last week on Vox Pop a caller told of a "wild" peony plant that came up on its own near the peony plants she planted a few years ago. I was stumped because I've only experienced peony propagation by crown division. I searched the Web and found a great site for peony propagation by seed.
I am pretty convinced that this is what happened to the caller since her wild sprout has produced flowers of a completely different color, which makes sense since peonies by seed usually are not the same color as their host plant. Here's the site:

Plants to Grow Near Black Walnut Trees

Black walnut trees (Juglans nigra L.) are beautiful and useful trees of the forest and often suburban neighborhoods. But the tree does give off juglone, a toxic substance that can make it difficult to grow many plants within a 50 to 60 foot radius of the trunk. Ohio State University Extension has compiled a list of plants that will grow near black walnut trees.

Plants Observed Growing Under or Near Black Walnut Trees

Japanese Maples, Acer palmatum and its cultivars
Southern Catalpa, Catalpa bignonioides
Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis
Canadian Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis

Vines and Shrubs
Clematis 'Red Cardinal'
February Daphne, Daphne mezereum
Euonymus species
Weeping Forsythia, Forsythia suspensa
Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus
Tartarian Honeysuckle, Lonicera tatarica, and most other Lonicera species
Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
** Pinxterbloom, Rhododendron periclymenoides
**'Gibraltar' and 'Balzac', Rhododendron Exbury hybrids
Multiflora Rose, Rosa multiflora
Black Raspberry, Rubus occidentalis
Arborvitaes, Thuja species
** Koreanspice Viburnum, Viburnum carlesii, and most other Viburnum species

Pot-marigold, Calendula officinalis 'Nonstop'
Begonia, fibrous cultivars
Morning Glory, Ipomoea 'Heavenly Blue'
Pansy Viola
Zinnia species

Squashes, Melons, Beans, Carrots, Corn

Fruit Trees
Peach, Nectarine, Cherry, Plum
Prunus species Pear-Pyrus species

Herbaceous Perennials
Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans
Hollyhock, Alcea rosea
American Wood Anemone, Anemone quinquefolia
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum
European Wild Ginger, Asarum europaeum
Astilbe species
Bellflower, Campanula latifolia
**Chrysanthemum species (some)
Glory-of-the-Snow, Chionodoxa luciliae
Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica
Crocus species
Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria
Leopard's-Bane, Doronicum species
Crested Wood Fern, Dryopteris cristata
Spanish Bluebell, Endymion hispanicus
Winter Aconite, Eranthis hyemalis
Snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis
Sweet Woodruff, Galium odoratum
Herb Robert, Geranium robertianum
Cranesbill, Geranium sanguineum
Grasses (most) Gramineae family
Jerusalem Artichoke, Helianthus tuberosus
Common Daylily, Hemerocallis 'Pluie de Feu'
Coral Bells, Heuchera x brizoides
Orange Hawkweed, Hieracium aurantiacum
Plantain-lily, Hosta fortunei 'Glauca'
Hosta lancifolia
Hosta marginata
Hosta undulata 'Variegata'
Common Hyacinth, Hyacinthus Orientalis 'City of Haarlem'
Virginia Waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum
Siberian Iris, Iris sibirica
Balm, Monarda didyma
Wild Bergamot, M. fistulosa
Grape Hyacinth, Muscari botryoides
Sweet Cicely, Myrrhis odorata 'Yellow Cheerfulness,' 'Geranium,' 'Tete a Tete,' 'Sundial,' and 'February Gold'
Sundrops, Oenothera fruticosa
Senstitive Fern, Onoclea sensibilis
Cinnamon Fern, Osmunda cinnamomea
Peony, **Paeonia species (some)
Summer Phlox, Phlox paniculata
Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum
Jacob's-Ladder, Polemonium reptans
Great Solomon's-Seal, Polygonatum commutatum
Polyanthus Primrose, Primula x polyantha
Lungwort, Pulmonaria species
Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis
Siberian Squill, Scilla sibirica
Goldmoss Stonecrop, Sedum acre
Showy Sedum, Sedum spectabile
Lamb's-Ear, Stachys byzantina
Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana
Nodding Trillium, Trillium cernuum
White Wake-Robin, Trillium grandiflorum
Tulipa Darwin 'White Valcano' and 'Cum Laude,' Parrot 'Blue Parrot,' Greigii 'Toronto'
Big Merrybells, Uvularia grandiflora
Canada Violet, Viola canadensis
Horned Violet, Viola cornuta
Woolly Blue Violet, Viola sororia

Friday, June 02, 2006

Great Northeast Fruit Trees

Recently on Vox Pop on Northeast Public Radio/WAMC, a caller from New Hampshire was getting ready to plant his first fruit tree orchard and wanted some advice. Here is some information that was good for him and will be good for any of you who are thinking of doing the same thing.

Choose the cultivars that are proven to be disease resistant, cold hardy and produce an abundance of good fruit. Cornell Cooperative Extension's list of best apple trees includes Williams Pride, Sansa, Gala, Jonamac, Freedom, Priscilla, Liberty, Empire, Golden Delicious, Keepsake and Gold Rush. Most of these are resistant to the dreaded apple scab disease which produces black spots on the leaves and the fruit.

You can also grow apricots, sweet and tart cherries, nectarine, peaches, pears, and plums here in the Northeast. Remember that only peaches and sour cherries do not need a pollinator, meaning you can have one tree of each of these and still get fruit. All the others need two trees of different cultivars to get the best fruit production.

Plant the trees in spring in an area not prone to late spring frost, mulch around the trees to keep weeds at bay and keep your orchard clear of brush and leaves that can be a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

For a more complete package of information on growing all kinds of fruit, here is a link to Cornells' guide to growing fruit;

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Larry Speaking Summer 2006

I will be speaking to a variety of groups this spring and summer. I would be happy if you came by to say hello.

Saturday, June 17th, 7 p.m. at the Landis Arboretum Summer Solstice Soiree Garden Party. Music, garden strolls through the Van Loveland Perennial Gardens fundraiser for the Arboretum. call 518-875-6935 for details. Esperance, NY.

Wednesday, July 12, 7:30 a.m. New Paltz Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast at the Terrace Restaurant on the SUNY New Paltz campus. call 845-255-0243 or go to

Tuesday, July 18 12:00p.m. Germantown Garden Club. call 518-537-4868 for details.

See you there!