Gardening in the South (SMEGA) Zone 8

This year (2016) has been a challenge! We had a very early spring and a blistering hot summer that lasted into early October. The fall was warmer than usual and looks like the winter will be too. At the end of the year we’re over 4 inches behind our annual rainfall. So next year changes will be made!!!! 

ROSES: As the summers get warmer…………ah NO, Hotter….the roses just can’t take the over 95 degree temperatures! For March, April and May they do well………..but until mid or late October they don’t! Changes!

  1. We’ve already moved a lot of the roses out of the full sun areas into more shaded ones. This year those roses did better so that will continue into 2017. No more tea roses or grandiflora or florabunders………….just a few more drift roses in full sun.

Knockout roses!!!!!! We all thought we had a perfect rose………….well, some kind of               virus got 4 of our roses this year!!!! Had to pull them up and get rid of them.

So what is the plan to adjust to the hot hot summers and deer and squirrels?

2. Use plants that are drought resistant and are not bothered by deer and squirrels!

YES, there are such plants!!  Lantana, Nandina, Forsythia, Spanish bayonets, Cactus     varieties, 4 o’clocks, Cleoms, and there are many more.

There are two places (areas) to plant, Inside and Outside the electrified “deer fence”!

3. Above are some of the Outside of the fence plants……….so here are some of the                      good ones that are IN the fence!

Viburnum, Japanese Magnolias, Daylillies, Crinum Lilies, Amaryllis Bulbs,                              Begonias, Salvias of many colors, Gerber Daisies , Iris, Small shrubs, Hydrangea,                      and  many more. Be creative and some good advice I’ve gotten: if a plant doesn’t do              well in one location, dig it up and move it to another. Some I’ve had to move 3 times              to find the right spot! But when you do you’ll feel really good about it and yourself!

4. There are a lot of cactus plants that do well during our hot summers! Find somebody              that is growing them and ask for some “bulblets” or “pups”! Try using seed                              planting! Growing perennials means you get plants that come back every year! And                  you can trade with other gardeners to save money and make friendships!

5. Since all of the nurseries sell plants in small containers you need to be very young                  indeed to get some plants old enough to bloom!  And with such small root systems              it is hard to get the plants to survive the first year much less grow into larger                            plants. So either buy 1 gallon or larger plants OR buy the smaller ones and don’t                      plant them in your yard until the 2nd year after they have a good root system                            developed. This works with trees such as dogwoods and cedars and most others. Let              them grow into 3 gallon container pots and then put them out where you want to                    leave them in the yard.

6.   Camellias, Camellia Sasanqua, all types of Azaleas, Weigela, and Hollies of all                       types make great specimens for your yard.

Remember, true gardens never give up on a plant…………they just may have to move it around a bit and keep on loving it! Patience is a virtue! Yeah, right!

About Life's Lessons- Last Times

A gentleman having traveled down many roads. I've made my life easier by reading books by other people who have had trips down different roads than I have. I want to help others by sharing my efforts to understand change in ways they might understand and benefit from. Life is good...............just not always easy! Author, 4 short plays Actor, 2 movies, Board Chair of Local Theater , Gardener, Barbershop Quartet member
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2 Responses to Gardening in the South (SMEGA) Zone 8

  1. Gail Riegelmayer says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thoroughly enjoyed your gardening tips. Your yard must be totally amazing with all of your beautiful plants. Sure hope to see it some day.

    It will be interesting to see what comes back for us next year after Hurricane Hermine’s damage. May have to pull up & replace some, so I’ll be checking out some of the plants you suggested that I’m not familiar with.

    Enjoy your Holidays. Sending ((hugs)) to you & Don.


    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse typos & brevity of message. Thank you.


    • Glad you enjoyed the post to my blog! I’m always willing to suggest plants that I’ve worked with and had success and also those that haven’t done so well! There is one fast growing “blue spruce” that I think would work for you down there…………will look it up and let you know the details……….hope it is one you could use because they grow very fast!

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