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new southern garden!?

Posted by tiarella Zone 6 NJ (My Page) on
Sun, May 14, 06 at 19:55

I will be moving south next year sometime and I'm going to need a lot of advise on what to grow/not grow when I get there. I will be moving into the western part of SC near Clemson University. I have been growing perennials for over 25 years in NJ and I realize there many plants that we have in common like some of the native plants. I have been a member of the NJ native plant Society and Deep Cut Orchid Society. I am not a really big fan of annuals but they do have their place. I grow iris bulbs perennials native plants shade/ spring ephemerals hellebores. I have 3 rock gardens, Sun and Shade gardens, wet garden, butterfly and native plant gardens. I also collect plants that once I get interested I am looking for different forms and colors. I also grow houseplants and orchids. My SIL And BIL live in the area where we are moving. Are there any must see nurseries or gardens in that area? Can I grow tulips, and other bulbs? I also realize there are many plants that will be new to me. Any suggestions on must haves? I can't wait to get started!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: new southern garden!?

I think the answer to all you're questions is "Yes!"

I think Wayside Gardens and Parks Seed are now too far from Clemson, and I think you'll find a lot of great nurserys near you. Here in Georgia we have all kinds of nurserys.

I don't think you'll find a big difference in the plants. One thing that comes to mind is that some plants that would be full sun in NJ may be part sun in SC. Our afternoon sun can be brutal.

I'm sure others will chime in.

RE: new southern garden!?

tirella - as a transplanted NYker, I say welcome! You are going to love it down here - it's a gardners paradise.

Yes, the #1 difference is the sun. It is a lot stronger down here even though the zone is not that different. Not only for gardening, but as far as sunscreen, sunglasses and hats go, I have found that the sun is a lot stronger.

I'm not exactly sure what zone you will be in. I'm in zone 7A and I do grow tulips and daffodils. They do fairly well and I don't have to refrigerate them at all.

One plant that will probably be new to you is crepe myrtle. It is known as the lilac of the south. It blooms from June - August and has the most amazing colors, from white to fuschia pink to purple. I know there were a lot in SC the last time I drove through there.

If you are a rose fan, they can bloom down here from late March through October - depending on the weather. But the downside is that you almost have to spray because of blackspot.

My favorite thing about being down south is that there is so much more of a season for gardening. Spring really starts in late February and there are many things blooming in March. I remember going up to NY in April one year and being amazed at how far behind everything was. But we do get winter and a nice fall as well.

RE: new southern garden!?

You can also grow gardenias and jasmine. One of the biggest differences is bloom time. I was at a June wedding in the Hudson Valley a couple of years ago. The garden there still had some daffodils blooming, plus irises, roses and some summer perennials. Those are not companion blooms this far south. Everything blooms in succession here. Daffodils in Feb or March. Irises and roses in April or May. So you have to rethink companion plants. One other big difference is that plants that need cool nights aren't going to get cool summer nights in Clemson. But so many plants that can't take the low temeratures in NJ do just great here. You'll have so many new plants to grow.

RE: new southern garden!?

We are in Easley near Clemson and as a former Yankee myself, this area is wonderful for gardening.
Park Seed is about an hour away in Greenwood.
Clemson University Botanical Garden just had it's big sale.
I brought quite a few things with me from Ohio, and after a year or 2 of adjustment have all done well.

RE: new southern garden!?

you need the Southern Living Gardening Book. I can't say enough about it, I live by that thing. There are a lot of other good books too but I don't have my list handy. The Clemson web sites, especially the extension site, are also excellent, and there are a LOT of good Southern extension sites out there. I use NCSU's a lot, and I'm in Georgia. Texas A&M is good, so's Auburn and UGA.

Another thing to know down here is growing what we call "cool season annuals." not just pansies and cabbage! anything that likes a cool summer, we plant in the fall when it finally starts to cool off just a little, and then watch it bloom most of the winter, and pull it up or plant over it when it starts to get hot outside again. of course that depends on where in SC you are going to be, so be sure and hunt up your new zone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clemson extension

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