Moving to NW GA and need a sage

organic_gardenhag(7)January 3, 2010

I am moving to Adairsville next week. I've been gardening as long as I can remember, in Alaska, Nevada and Illinois,the South will be something entirely different. I need a gardening girlfriend. Though there are 1000 other things to do when starting over, getting a garden connection is the hardest and loneliest process. I want to get started on a couple of boxed raised beds for veggies right away. Is there anyone in that area who would be willing to hold my hand for awhile til I get an idea what I'm doing there.

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Ah, you mean a human sage, not a plant sage. I live 40 miles away in Marietta, so it would be hard to be a garden buddy, but I'd be happy to answer what questions I can.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 9:04PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I'm even further, but there are many of us on this forum (those who post regularly, and many lurkers) who will be glad to help you virtually.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 11:23AM
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I'm here, and a bit out of sorts, but I brought of few of my favorit friends. To lilliumskygazer, I do love sage also, do you have some, does it overwinter well? Some of the perennials I didn't get planted in IL came with me, but I have no idea how some of them will do here, or if I'll have to treat them as annuals, because of the extreme summer heat. Some of them are: my cimicifuga(bugbane, black cohosh), hardy (true)geraniums (not pelargoniums) but cranesbill, such as ballerina, a few monarda(bee balm), heuchera (plum pudding, a silver and a lime one)various echinacea, some joe pyeweed, and others. Most are waking up, too early, they were tucked in some boxes buried in the garage where they were warm. I want to get them planted, before too much more growth happens. Any help would be great. Thank you all, so much

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 11:41AM
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Yes, sage does overwinter here. Black cohosh and true geraniums are fine - both are native here and can be seen in wooded areas in North Georgia. Likewise for Monarda, heuchera (although I don't have as much luck with the cultivars as I do with the species; 'Dale's Strain' is pretty good), echinacea and joe pye weed - all native to here.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 12:10PM
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Hey! I'm from Illinois as well. (Near Springfield!) To me, the biggest difference is the dirt. Oh, what I wouldn't give for some good, black soil. My Dad actually brings me a bucket from home when they visit! There is a book I love, called Month by Month Gardening in the South. Very, very helpful.... You will enjoy gardening here! SO many things survive the winters - -and the season is much longer! It will be fun hearing what you think and learn!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 2:17PM
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Yes, I've thought about a trailer or truckload of soil (or better, yet $20 yard of organic compost) from Illinois, but I will check the posts hereabout soil. I went to Border's last night and bought 3 of the books by Walter Reeeves with co-authors like Erica Glasener(I know her from Gardener's diary). The month by month like I had for Illinois, (I knew they would have),GA Gardener's guide, guide to GA vegetable gardening. They will be good resources, but there is nothing like the personal experience of a garden sage, and what they have done outside the box isn't in any of the books. Thanks, I'll be back soon.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 11:51AM
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This garden forum is the closest thing I've found to a garden mentor. Everyone on here is so helpful and so eager to share. It seems like all you have to do is pose a question, and suddenly you have tons of answers from people who know from experience! It is great!

The only time this forum has failed me is in finding out how to conquer squirrels. (hee hee!)

    Bookmark   February 6, 2010 at 1:21PM
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I haven't grown sage in a while because I never cook with it, but my Aunt's keeps coming back every year.

A lot of heuchera struggle in the heat, and a lot of monarda varieties (except Jacob Cline) get mildue in the humity. But the rest of your plants sound good.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2010 at 10:11PM
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susaninnorthga(Zone 7)

I just now found your post. I live very close to you, in Rome. I have never had any luck with Heuchera, and Bee Balm didn't work for me either. But there are so many great things to grow in our area. Like others have said the clay soil is the big problem. You really have to amend the soil. To start you can just dig and amend where you are planting something.
You should have great luck with Echinachea, also Rudbeckias do great. Containers do great here too.
I used to watch Gardeners Diary all the time.
I have great luck in my shade garden with Hellebores, they are great plants and have spread all over the place.
I grow Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, daylilies, Lamb's Ear, Oregano, Sedum, Hydrangeas, Old Garden Roses, various other things, but best of all, you can grow Gardenias here!!!!! The Autumn Beauty variety will bloom well into fall.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 6:18PM
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woody_ga(7a GA)

two words:

soul conditioner

(HD sells it under the brand name, Nature's Helper)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 6:07AM
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would you want to go to the spring trade and lunch in Roswell, next Saturday, the 15th?
Yes, two words, soul conditioner, I need some, but I don't think they sell it at HD.
Just got back from Illinois, locked the front door, oh boy, forgot to sit down and take a rest on the porch.
Too many hours on the road. but I think I'll recover by Sat.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:27PM
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laurelwoodfarms(z7 Ga)

Contact your local County Extension office and they can put you in touch with your county's Master Gardeners' Group. The main purpose of the Master Gardener program is community outreach, and I know for a fact that there are new Master Gardeners all over the state scrambling to find ways to fufill their first-year volunteer hour requirement (because I'm one of them!).

My county is much further south, but we have a Master Gardener in the County Extension office whenever it is open to answer questions and assist homeowners, and will even arrange home visits if needed, and Master Gardener help is always free :)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:47PM
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susaninnorthga(Zone 7)

That was very nice of you to invite me, but I have previous plans that day. I hope you will enjoy getting your Georgia garden started and adventuring into the varieties of plants that can be grown there. I forgot to mention Hostas in my previous post. They are one of the best things to grow here.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:02PM
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Welcome to the area. I am near you in the Armuchee area and while I am FAR from being a garden sage, I do have quite a bit that I can share with you that grows very well in this area. Even more importantly, I long for a plant-buddy that is not part of a formal garden club. You just might be an answer to prayer :) LOL

If you will email me at my screen name at, perhaps we can set something up?
I don't know much about Bartow County's Extension service but I have had some limited experience with Floyd County's and I know several of the Master Gardener's here.
I'm not a member of a garden club but I am the past president of our African Violet Group.

When we moved into our home 5 years ago, we inherited more than an acre of neglected but massive beds and boxwoods that must be more than 50 years old. No exageration since the home is 50+ years old.

The lady of the house was a master gardener and the beds hadn't been touched in over 6 years. We are STILL discovering things and trying to make something of our property. There's a huge contrast from our property and that of those around us who are all new construction and picture perfect. Initially, I said that we were on the 5 year plan but it's looking more like a 10 year.

The biggest challenge that I have experienced is the amount of shale in the ground. A smart person would build the planting bed up about 10-12 inches and bring in soil with amendments.

I'd love to meet you in person and share some of my plant stuff.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 6:57AM
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susaninnorthga(Zone 7)

I would also be willing to share some things. I fixed my profile page so you can email me, just click on my name and it should take you to that. I also live in a 50 year old house that has lots of things, but it sounds like Dora has a real treasure trove.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 1:58PM
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I am new in the area too. Live in Lindale area which is just South of Rome. I grew up in the NE but spent the last 20 odd years in Southern Florida where very little grows that grows here. I am very interested in fruit trees for the area. In Florida all I could grow, by the bushel, is mangoes (10 years for the tree to bear fruit, Mamey (chocolate pudding fruit), guava (came with the house) and passion fruit with the odd pineapple (fabulous).
Does anyone know if there is a Facebook page? Somewhere we could post pictures and ask questions as well as on here?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 9:57AM
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Well, if I can give you a newcomers welcome. "Welocme to Georgia". I say that most sincerely, wholeheartedly, and jokingly. I have lived and gardened in Alaska, NE Nevada, and NE Illinois, so this is a totally different world for me. As gardeners we will either adapt to the growing conditions, or die trying. My husband and I went to the Spring trade yesterday in Roswell, there is another one in the Fall. I brought a few plants from my yard in Illinois, and ended up bringing home more than I took to trade. It was great to put faces to names, and get a real feel for what to do here. LucyAtlanta hosted it, Pam, esh Farmerpickle, Botanicat, Natalie, and Woody all came. All were a great encouragement to this tired gardener's spirit. Esh is a conservationist, and overflowing with helpful insights and resources. Now I feel like several people are holding my hands, I'm sure you will get the same feeling. Would you like to try to meet with a few people next week? I'm out of my mind with allergies today, and have a truckload of plants to take care of, so I'll check back later.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 12:58PM
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susaninnorthga(Zone 7)

Lynne, its nice to meet you on this forum. I live very close to you (in Rome). I have a very good friend that lives in Lindale, so I go there often. I have a photobucket site for my gardening pictures, the link is below. It should take you to the Spring and Summer Album, you can also click on the Fall and Winter Album to see those pictures.
If you click on my name above this message it will take you to a link where you can email me privately.
It seems we are getting a little Floyd Co. group going via this forum!

Here is a link that might be useful: Photobucket

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 4:00PM
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woody_ga(7a GA)

Soil conditioner is sold at HD under the name "Nature's Helper."

AJC had an article in 2004 that listed 30 plants that do well in clay. I haven't tried them all myself - I doubt anyone could. But it's a place to start:
1. Aster tartaricus
2. Astilbe
3. Bee balm, Monarda
4. Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia
5. Bugleweed, Ajuga reptans
6. Butterfly bush, Buddleia davidii
7. Canna
8. Coreopsis
9. Creeping phlox, Phlox subulata

  1. Crinum
  2. Daffodil, Narcissus
  3. Daylily, Hemerocallis
  4. Deutzia, Deutzia gracilis
  5. False indigo, Baptisia
  6. Flowering quince, Chaenomeles japonica
  7. Gaura
  8. Goatsbeard, Aruncus aethusifolius
  9. Joe-pye weed, Eupatorium
  10. Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa
  11. Miscanthus, Miscanthus sinensis
  12. Miss Huff lantana, Lantana 'Miss Huff'
  13. Obedient plant, Physostegia virginiana
  14. Oxeye daisy, Heliopsis
  15. Purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
  16. Salvia
  17. Spirea, Spiraea
  18. Sunflower, Helianthus
  19. Swamp hibiscus, Hibiscus coccineus
  20. Winterberry, Ilex verticillata
  21. Witch hazel, Hamamelis vernalis
    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 9:59AM
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Thanks for the kind words. I would love to meet up with people. I am currently rearing two Irish Wolfhound puppies and have three other dogs as well. Apparently I am getting to save a Jack Russell old man this week since I have sucker all over my head which will put a small crimp in my free time until I get the old guy settled in. He is a casualty of divorce. I look forward to meeting Floyd people since I know very few people here other than my neighbors who all live on large properties like mine so it's not that easy to run next door without crossing woods and meadows. Wouldn't trade it for the world though. I am awaiting delivery of two cherry trees which I now feel was a mistake. I also planted apples and peaches both of which seem pretty happy so far. Anyone have any experience with berries or cherries?
Thanks again for the warm welcome. Thanks Susan for the pics. Love the walled garden. I miss NY mountains. I miss nothing about Florida.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 4:31PM
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I am just below you folks in Polk County. If the numbers from this area keep growing we can have our own plant swap.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 6:51PM
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susaninnorthga(Zone 7)

Lynne, email me privately when you are freed up. Glad you saw the pictures. I grew up in Fla. and also don't miss it.

I am glad this thread got started because we are meeting some great people.
Woody, thanks for that great list. I have a few of them, and I have copied it to print out.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:22PM
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I see where you are on the map, are you closer to Rome or Cartersville, and how big is Rockmart, where do yo go to shop? It seems like you sre still far from me, my hubby enjoyed connecting w/you, thanks for the organic (sustainable?) farm info. o_gh

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I'm about 20 miles south of both. For major shopping I go to Rome, Cartersville, or Hiram unless I need to go to a mall. Rockmart is small, just getting a Wal Mart a couple of years ago. Its a very nice small town though. The Silver Comet Trail goes through here. The farmers I was telling you about are going to be at he local park downtown here on Thursday 4-7 in the evening as the beginning of a local farmers market this week. They go to more distant places on Saturday.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:14AM
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botanicat-I think you said they are not certified organic, does sustainable fit?
It looks like I'm still up here all alone, but would be willing to meet you all in Rome, maybe for lunch at Panera, and a jaunt to anyone's favorite garden center, or Barnsley Gardens anyone? Does anyone stay abreast of the local garden tours, do the local Master Gardeners, extension sevice or garden clubs have any? That would be a lot of fun, they would be in June or July right?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 8:30AM
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June or July - you are still thinking like IL! People are hiding in their house in July, it's too hot. I think most tours are in April/May.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:03AM
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Then are they all past, and who has them? There can't be that much to see in April and May?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:10AM
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Hello Organic_gardenhag,
I have now lived just north of Atl for 30 years and believe me it has taken time to get used to gardening in the south. Around here the daffs and wisterias and all the beautiful azaleas are over with now and all the flowering trees have leaved out and gone into summer mode. The only things blooming at the moment are petunias, marigolds and my sweet william. Oh and my vegies are starting to put on fruits. I have peppers, eggplant, and squash, lettuce is over with, it's gotten to hot.
The one thing I realized very quickly is that the plant pests are worse here, maybe because it doesn't get cold enough in the winter to kill them all off.
Good luck gardening in Ga, let us know how you get along!

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 9:06AM
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My gardenias, day lillies, roses are currently flowering as well.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:36AM
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