Avant Gardener – 122313

Since hosts Derek and Carolyn are still in the deep freeze from heavy snowfalls at their Pennylvania property, they look ahead 6 weeks and discuss flowers that will bloom in the snow, starting with witch hazels that will bloom at the first sign of a warming trend, followed by hellebores that are hardy perennials with evergreen leaves. At their home, Cedaridge Farm the Fells have partnered witch hazels with Hellebores so the two can bloom together. Next to bloom are the yellow aconites and white snowdrops that also bloom together as good companions. The Fells also recommend yellow Tete a Tete daffodils for winter bloom, along with blue snow irises and early flowering botanical tulips such as the greigii, fosteriana and greigi species. Their expert interview this session is with Winn Soldani who is a professional grower in Florida of the tender tropical hibiscus. Tropical hibiscus come in a wider range of colors than the hardy kind, but of course the tropicals can be grown in containers and moved into the house before frost to provide continuous color. In the email segment Derek tells a listener what is ailing her peach trees that are seeping a gummy substance, and responds to a gentleman who wants a good recipe for mint sauce. Also, a lady in Virginia wonders how to make her zucchini plants more productive. The Fells also remind listeners to visit avantgardener.info for details of their full color on-line newslleter, the Avant Gardener.