NEIGHBORHOOD GARDEN FOR AUGUST 2, 2008
BY GLADYS JEURINK
Yellow brightens the day so we
think of it as sunshine. You
can have it predominate your yard most any time if you like.
The first part of July I was asked to go see a yellow tree that
turned out to be a GOLDEN RAIN
TREE (Koelreuteria paniculata)
also known as the Pride
of India or the VARNISH
TREE. Tiny yellow flowers in large chains with a very tiny red
center covered the tree, which is listed for zones 6-9. I have a 6
footer given to me last fall by Beverly McLaughlin. It was a tall
slender stick with compound leaves.
It is growing great guns this wet spring so survived in zone 5.
There is a gorgeous one at South 47th and Pioneer in
Lincoln. There are also a few yellow CHAIN
TREES (Laburnum species)
scattered around Lincoln that have, of course, long dense chains hanging
down about 20 inches long that look like pea blossoms.
Also listed for zone 6 but doing very well in protected places.
We need to try different trees as their bug enemies and diseases
are not as likely to be so thick here.
Both trees are small-up to 25 feet high so they fit well into a
For a yellow
perennial that blooms for a long time
COREOPSIS SPECIES can
not be beat. They are prairie or woodland plants native to North
America. They are a good
plant to attract bees to your yard and a few of the species are pink.
Some may grow to 30 inches but most are about 18 with a good deal
of variation in the flowers from solid yellow to brown or orange
centers. The dwarfs, such as GOLDFINCH, may be only 10 inches high. The thread leafed have
exactly that. By deadheading one can have bright yellow for over a
month. They also reseed to make thick patches that do not demand a great
deal of water.
Members of the
Centaurea genus are very varied from knapweed,
BASKET FLOWER, DUSTY MILLER, MOUNTAIN BLUETS,
CORNFLOWER, and even BACHELOR
BUTTONS. The big yellow one in my yard is called GIANT
macrocephola) is about 3 feet tall with 3 inch flower heads sitting
in brown bracts. It took me
several tries to get them started but now they are big leafed clumps
ready to bloom in July. They
do not like transplanting so you need to get them as small as possible
before the roots get too well developed.
also called MULLEIN is a 5-6
foot tall large leaf plant with spikes of up to 2-3 feet long of small
stemless flowers clustered all around the main stem. There are other
colors than gold such as white with red centers, purple, or red.
Hybridizers have been developing the colors but only the white
and yellow have survived for me. With
the number flowers comes many seeds.
I have seen MULLEIN
described as invasive as it does produce a lot of seed.
bloom about the first of July and continuing for 6 to 8 weeks are the HELIANTHUS
SPECIES of 70 to 80 different annuals or perennials.
This genus does contain the sunflowers
of many varieties and sizes from 12 inches to 10-12 feet.
TEDDY BEAR, my
favorite little one, is very short with a bright gold, double bloom
about 5 inches across. This genus adjusts well to drought and does not
like wet feet. Helianthus annus is
a SUNFLOWER that may have
blooms 12 inches across with the mammoth one growing 12 feet high. They
like full sun, survive drouth and come in many colors.
They do reseed themselves in areas without squirrels.
As soon as my heads are about to mature the squirrels climb up
and start pulling seeds. This bends the heads over.
A fat squirrel can actually break a head off.
So far I have never been able to bring a whole head in for winter
When I buy
seeds for “animal feed” I prefer to get the oil seed SUNFLOWER
as they seem to be preferred by several species of birds.
However, the shells of SUNFLOWER
seeds contain a compound which keeps other plants from growing so the
last few years I have gotten SUNFLOWER
So if you want
a SUNFLOWER like bloom that
is perennial, and just as bright a yellow, try HELIOPSIS
SPECIES. They are in bloom now and will keep on blooming up to six
weeks. They are also tall, coarse leafed plants that need to be divided
about every 3 years. There are a number of varieties and the squirrels
won’t break their heads off. The
blooms last just as long in bouquets as the true SUNFLOWER.
For a bulb gold
there are DAHLIAS, both large and small. Seeds of the small ones planted in
spring will bloom the same summer.
They also produce bulbs but it is easier to plant seeds. The plate DAHLIAS
need to be dug in the fall and stored in a cool place with an occasional
sprinkle as they tend to dry out.
I have never
seen a yard done just in gold but it could be done!!!
DO NOT SPRAY WEEDS ON A HOT OR WINDY DAY
BY GEORGE EDGAR
killers have Trimec as the active ingredient. This includes Ortho
Weed-Be-Gone and Earl May Lawn Weed Killer. Trimec has three (tri)
chemicals as active ingredients (MCCP, 2,4-D, and Dicamba). The Dicamba
is a systemic and takes chemical down to the root system. The 2,4-D is a
good weed killer but will drift when the wind is above 5 miles per hour
and is able to drift at least two to three blocks on a windy day.
Tomatoes and many other plants are very susceptible to 2,4-D.
chemicals may also burn the tips of your grass if applied when the
temperature is above 85 degrees F. Even if you put the chemical on the
lawn in the early morning or the evening before, and the temperature
goes above 90 degrees F., the chemical will volatilize off the leaf of
the weed and grass and drift to nearby plants, shrubs and trees.
VERY CAREFUL DURING HOT WEATHER. ALWAYS READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, AND
FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURERS RECOMMENDED DIRECTIONS.