18 November 2020

The new section of Benton Boulevard is now open to traffic.

Benton Boulevard between Highlands Boulevard, Meinhard Road and State Route 30 is now open to traffic.

Meinhard Road at State Route 30 

is now closed off permanently.  

Access between State Route 30 and Meinhard Road is via Benton Boulevard.   Please be aware that Google Maps and other programs have not been updated to reflect these changes.

Meinhard Road at State Route 30 is now closed off permanently. Access to Meinhard Road will remain from State Route 21 via Hendley and Montieth Road as well as from Benton Boulevard. A cul-de-sac will be constructed at the new end of Meinhard Road near where it now ties into State Route 30. That work as well as various corrective work on Benton Blvd and Highlands Blvd should be complete by the end of 2020


02 October 2020

Do you have your “frost blankets” ready?

We are having the first cool mornings in Savannah forewarning of the soon-to-come autumn. With that snap in the air, it’s time to prepare the winter quarters of the cold sensitive trees............... 

Solidago blooming!

light, moderate, or hard?

Light freeze: 29°F to 32°F—tender plants killed, with little destructive effect on other vegetation.

Moderate freeze: 25°F to 28°F—widely destructive effect on most vegetation, with heavy damage to fruit blossoms and tender and semi-hardy plants.

Severe freeze: 24°F and colder—damage to most plants.

Callicarpa americana-  American Beautyberry

The freezing temperatures here in Savannah are at night- until the sun rises. So we are dealing with hours of freeze, not months.

Our frost-free growing season is around 268 days.

Each winter, on average, our risk of frost is from November 24 through March 1.

Almost certainly, however, we will receive frost from December 14 through February 10.

We are almost guaranteed that we will not get frost from March 20 through November 4.

Chinese Quince-Pseudocydonia sinensis  Fruit ripens in mid to late autumn

The freezing temperatures here in Savannah are at night- until the sun rises. So we are dealing with hours of freeze, not months.

Sasanqua are fall bloomers

The level of available potassium in the soil will increase a tree’s frost resistance.

Bald cypress cones

Keep a few old sheets and blankets around and keep your tender trees out a bit longer and to protect less hardy tree's roots and pots on those coldest nights. Laying a light to medium-weight blanket on top of tender trees gives approximately five degrees of extra warmth. But sheets and blankets become wet with condensation and dew, ice up and stick to leaves and conduct heat away from the plant. Plastic materials that do not breathe are worse. Plastic can damage plants on warm, sunny days.  The heat builds up under the plastic and if it touches the leaves they can be scorched.

Potted plants are particularly susceptible to frosts because the roots are less insulated. If you are unable to put container plants indoors, wrap the pot in fabric or simply bury the pot in the ground or cover with mulch, in addition to protecting the foliage.

time to collect Japanese Maple seed when the wing coverings of the  samaras dry

Frost Protection Blankets,Heavy Floating Row Plant Blanket Fabric Covers,Garden Warm Frost Cloth Outdoor for Winter Frost Cold or Pests. Floating Plant Blanket Covers provide approximately 2-8 degrees of cold protection, depending on the thickness.  A non-woven fabric that breathes, preventing heat build up, Floating row covers can protect your crops from frosts, and even heavy freezes.

Nurserymen and farmers often use 'frost blankets' to  cover  crops, This white, spun polypropylene fabric can be purchased from most nurseries. This lightweight fabric can add 2-5 degrees F to the temperature. This covering is breathable: some air, water, and sunlight pass through. Unlike plastic sheeting you can leave garden blankets on plants throughout the day without harming them.

Japanese Maple in the snow

The floating cover protects trees from the cold, shielding the trees from wind and winter burn. Frost blankets are put directly over the trees creating a layer that traps in the ground heat. All sides of the frost blanket must be sealed to keep the freezing air outside. The fabric is lightweight and can be reused many times. For severe cold use two layers with a layer of polyethylene film on top. For a few more degrees of protection on extra cold nights try Christmas lights under the blanket. 
Japanese Maple in Autumn

The Wall-of-Water® is a cone-shaped ring of connected plastic tubes filled with water that surrounds a single plant; there is a significant amount of heat released as water freezes. A Wall-of-Water can provide overnight frost protection down to upper-teens.

Camellia seed pods beginning to crack open

10 September 2020

Trachelospermum asiaticum: Teika Kazura

A dwarf variety of Trachelospermum asiaticum
has very small leaves with more compact growth
Started 1980

Variegated Asiatic Jasmine 
Teika Kazura
Faux Jasmine - Trachelospermum asiaticum

A dwarf star jasmine with small yellow and green variegated leaves evergreen small-growing vine with glossy leaves that are much smaller than those of the standard Trachelospermum asiaticum.

Quite similar to the false jasmine Trachelospermum jasminoides, T. asiaticum produces flowers with a slightly smaller yellow heart (or cream). It has faster growth in the early years and is a bit more rustic

New growth is pinkish-bronze.

Despite its common name, Asiatic Jasmine

is not related to the true jasmines

The plant has a tight, compact growth with ovate to elliptic leaves ranging from quite tiny to around 1/4 inch in length.

at 34 years from a cutting

If unpruned it will climb or crawl on the ground, but it can be pruned to make a miniature shrub. When treated this way it makes a nice bonsai. A popular bonsai subject in Japan but not seen very often in the US.

Usage: Container, Ground-cover, Hanging Basket, Rock Garden, Wall, Topiary, Bonsai , Espalier

Drought Tolerant
USDA Zone 7-10.

strongly scented cream-colored flowers

This vine, Teika kazura, was named after the poet Fujiwara no Teika. “Teika” is a Noh Play written by Konparu Zenchiku about the rumored love affair between the poets Fujiwara no Teika and Shikishi NaishinnĊ, daughter of Goshirakawa, Emperor of Japan. To symbolize Teika’s clinging obsession for Princess Shikishi—even after their death—the grave of the princess placed in the middle of the stage and blanketed by a Asiatic jasmine.

Kazura means creeping plant, climbing plant

Trachelospermum asiaticum  Teika Kazura

Trachelospermum asiaticum trained to grow on a trellis

06 August 2020

Time to Defoliate

In summer the dwarf Schefflera 
can handle radical pruning
 and come back strongly

Dwarf Umbrella Tree  
Hawaiian Schefflera
Schefflera arboricola

A month after hard pruning

Schefflera arboricola
tolerance of neglect

A robust tree that does well both indoors and out and can adjust to a wide range of indoor conditions; it's not winter hardy outdoors in cold climates. 

Umbrella Tree

The Schefflera develops a rough wood-like trunk and branches that make it ideal for bonsai cultivation. The roots on a mature Dwarf Umbrella Bonsai give the effect of a banyan tree – and the style is called – Banyan.

2011 schefflera arboricola

1992 schefflera arboricola
Shefflera like slightly moist soil, but do not allow the soil to dry out can handle some under watering. But over-water it and rot the roots and kill the plant. Provide even, consistent watering. When one does water, water thoroughly. Rinse off any dust from the leaves. In winter water the plant sparingly as the plant requires less water because the tree is resting. Yellow, falling leaves is often the result of too much water. When kept indoors or under cool conditions, Schefflera arboricola does not like "wet feet"! Let it dry out and water less in the future. Empty that saucer! Out in the good old summertime the tree will quickly use any water in a tray, but too much direct sun may cause the leaves to yellow.

Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree

Can tolerate low light, but grows more strongly with high light but, the more light, the more compact the stronger the growth. If Shefflera gets thin, long and leggy- It is not getting enough light. Move it to a brighter spot.

Shefflera are tropical trees and prefer to be above 55F but must be kept above freezing. Shefflera appreciate being outdoors in summer. They prefer to be where it is warmer. When the AC comes on it is time for their summer vacation- fresh air, sunlight, strong healthy growth. Fertilize during this period of active growth.

schefflera arboricola 
 in suiban

Under very high humidity conditions Schefflera will produce aerial roots that, when they reach the ground, will convert to fully functional roots. Hawaiian Umbrella Bonsai Tree has interesting aerial banyan roots. The roots on a mature Dwarf Umbrella Bonsai give the effect of a banyan tree. Aerial roots on some of the tree species of Ficus and Schefflera continue to grow until they touch the ground and get entrenched. Initially, they draw moisture and nutrients from the air, but once they get embedded in the ground they derive their nutrition from the soil. Amid the numerous aerial roots that spring, only a few succeed in reaching the ground and getting through the soil. While the aerial roots embed to the ground and grow, they thicken considerably and form secondary trunks.


This small-leafed Schefflera develops a rough wood-like trunk and branches that make it ideal for bonsai cultivation. Robust tree that does well both indoors and out and can adjust to a wide range of indoor conditions; it's not winter hardy outdoors in cold climates.

Most growers prefer to use the “clip and grow” technique. Above the attachment point of each leaf is a bud on the tree from which a new branch will grow. By pruning about an inch above a leaf where the bud is pointing is the direction in which the new branch will grow.



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