Sunday, May 3, 2009

Winners for a Southern Garden

My informal poll, which should have been here instead of on Dotty Pants, has ended. The top favorite Southern plant is the Gardenia, followed with a tie for second between Dogwood and Crape Myrtle.

Gardenias are hardy in zone 8. I had Gardenias when I lived just south of Atlanta, but a 5 degree freeze would split the stems all the way to the ground and the poor plant would have to be cut down and start all over again from the roots.

My fav Crape Myrtle is Lilacina, an old plant I found in the pasture and identified, taking suckers to grow into more trees. I look forward to all the crapes blooming soon. I like the graceful fountain shape of the whites. My whites were seedlings from underneath white trees of the Colonel's Lady, Mrs. Gladys.

Little dogwood seedlings have come up all along the path under the dogwoods in the azalea walk. They'll need new homes next year, maybe under the drip line of some oak trees. MIL would be pleased to see so many dogwoods here now, she worked so hard to get the two old trees transplanted from the woods and coaxed to grow, 50 years ago.


  1. I'm growing gardenias from cuttings. They lost their leaves this winter. I'm surprised any survived. I did take the cuttings from a well established plant just up the street from me. I can't wait to see it bloom in a few years. Dogwoods and crepe myrtles are already at home in my garden. Thanks for the poll.

    I guess what we see everyday is what most people think of as southern. Still expected azaleas to be higher on the list.

  2. Azaleas are high on the list in the southeastern states. In parts of Texas, where the soil is alkaline, azaleas do not fare well. That may be why my small poll was skewed. Davy left some suggestions that I had not included: 3 of which were Magnolias, Hydrangea and Crinums. Crinums are not widely used outside zone 8 and higher. It's hard to narrow 'the South' to certain locations.

    Flower Lady and I would include Night Blooming Cereus as an important southern plant. She grows it outside and I trundle it inside for the winter.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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