The Mailbag


ozarksgardens-80-pixels-high-png.pngozarksgardens-80-pixels-high-png.pngozarksgardens-80-x-45-gif.gifpink-rose-icon-jpg.jpgClematis & Hollyhock

[My wife] and I are getting into gardening our backyard. We've planted some clematis and hollyhock like the ones you've pictured. You're exactly right about the soil here--it is rock heaven! I'll be checking back at the site for some gardening tips.

 -- Eric, Springfield, MO 


Moving to Springfield

My wife and I are buying a home in Springfield next Wednesday morning and I wanted to thank you for your site. Our new home...just south of the Chesterfield Family Center doesn't have anything growing except some grass. So we look forward to getting some plants in the ground and your site has been a great source of information.

 -- Lee & Pam Ferber, Lesterville, MO area

We love hearing when folks find the website useful, so thanks for writing. And welcome to Springfield, where you're going to love the gardening, and more.

A Book in the Works

I have to say, I really like your Web site. I am a garden writer--recently retired as garden editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch--who visited Springfield recently and talked to Gaylord Moore, went to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Festival and toured around garden centers and master-gardener gardens for a book I'm doing, "Missouri Gardeners Companion"" (Globe Pequot Press, spring 2008) May I talk to you occasionally--either by email or phone--on such subjects as diverse as annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, for Missouri gardens? Also, may I reference your Web site? I love how you tour and take pictures of plants and plantings that you like.

 -- Becky Homan, St. Louis

We were really pleased to get this letter and have since traded some information with Mrs. Homan.  Many of her garden articles can be found online with a simple search for "Becky Homan." We like her work and certainly look forward to her book.

A Pet Pixie Lily

Hi. I found my first orange pixie lily plant, "Pixie" as I call her. I cannot find any information about how to take care of her. I don't want her to die, so it you could please send some helpful hints along my way I would be grateful to you. Thank you.

 -- Danielle M., Fort Valley, VA

Pixie and other lilies must have good drainage. They prefer rich soil, especially soil amended generously with well-rotted manure and other organic matter, which growers recommend also applying as a top dressing in the fall. In our experience at home, we've found Pixie and other lilies very easy to grow. We even have some that thrive and bloom beautifully in a western exposure with just 4 hours of direct sun per day. Say "hi" to Pixie for us. 

Wonderful Website

Wonderful web-site: interesting and beautiful. Glad you have it up and running. Enjoyed reading and just "looking". Have a wonderful day.

-- Dorothy G., Springfield, MO

'Showbiz' Rose in Canada

I just wanted to let you all know that I enjoyed your website, I bought myself a rose bush and didn't know anything about it. I used my search engine and discoved your website. It answered most of my questions. I bought myself a floribunda "Showbiz" and wanted to make sure it could survive here in Alberta, Canada. I just make sure I cover it up this winter being it gets pretty cold here.

-- "Tork", Alberta, Canada

Caterpillars in Canada

I have two kinds of Lilliums, one a Snow Crystal Pixie and another id card I lost. They are both infested with small dark orange "caterpillars" that stick to the underside of the leaves and eat them. I also noticed a dark orange flying insect on the top of the Lilliums. I've been removing the "caterpillars" daily by hand but I am clearly losing the battle since most of the leaves are eaten. Can you help me?

-- Patrick, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Your pest is likely the Red Lily Beetle, whose larvae and adults can devastate lilies. Spraying the larvae with Bacillus thuringiensis, or BT, a bacterium that kills caterpillars and larvae, is highly effective and harmless to humans, animals, and adult insects. The best and most economical way to combat the adult beetles is hand removal.

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