BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesdays with Annie – 04 20 10

The black flies are out and about but that shouldn’t stop you from getting outside and enjoying the beautiful spring days. There is so much in bloom and so much still waiting to pop. Everyday is a garden miracle. With that said, let’s clear the slate and get the answers from yesterday’s brain teasers. It’s always good to learn something new every day, especially about plants and gardening!

1) English Ivy can be an invasive plant. (True). English Ivy, although at first glance may be attractive on a fence or a chimney can become extremely invasive, especially in the wrong location. This fast-growing vine can serve its purpose in the landscape when planted in the proper spot; one where it can be harnessed for its vigor. One other word of caution with this plant - it also serves as a host of bacterial leaf scorch. Unfortunately many vines, when left to its own accord require eradication with chemicals such as Round-up. For overgrown and deep-rooted vines, you may need more than one treatment. You can try to dig them out with lots of grunt labor but if you miss a root, you are right back where you started. Good luck, Bonnie and thanks for asking about English Ivy. P.S. You may be able to pot some plants and bring it to a local garden club sale.
2) The image shown here is the leaf-form of a Japanese Maple.

(True) This is the leaf-form of an Acer palmatum with its unique 7-lobed green or red colored leaf. Identifying trees by bark and leaf form is very helpful when shopping at your local nurseries or during your garden travels. Many trees have unique features that aid in identification. There are many Japanese Maple varieties to choose from for your garden. Look for good structure and find a location that offers some protection from winter conditions.
3) Sour cherries, Prunus cerasus are mainly used for eating. (False) Due to the high level of acidity of sour cherries, these cherries are more commonly used for cooking. For those bakers in the crowd, this is the hard-to-find, highly sought after cherry used in quality baked goods. Some commercial growers are attempting to establish this crop for market. It is a challenging tree to grow in the New England region as it is prone to disease and its fruit is tempting to birds and often splits just prior to harvest. If successful, they bear a handsome price per pound.
4) European pear trees, Pyrus sp. have a shallow root system. (False) When planting your fruit trees, the pears typically require the deepest hole. The root system tends to have coarse anchoring roots, similar to some apple tree root stock. Most growers use a wide-bit post hole digger to dig the planting pit.
5) Pluots are a cross between peaches and apricots. (False). This tasty fruit is a cross between a plum and an apricot. It was developed in California by a gentleman of the name of Zeiger. It is a fairly new introduction in the orchard industry. Some local growers are attempting to produce them commercially. The jury is still out for New England’s cold winters and hot, humid summers. A more intensive spray program may be required to keep the fruit healthy, more so than other types of fruit. We just planted two for our test orchard so we will see if we give up on these in a couple of years.

The inspirational quote of the day is an excerpt from the book, ‘Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’ by Robert Fulghum. “Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.” So get outside and enjoy the wonder. I’ll be posting some spring photos later on the Facebook fan page. Don’t forget to join and participate!
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)