As the tropical-like heat and humidity of August settles over Central New York (maybe, or maybe not), the massive tropical-like blooms of hardy hibiscus, at right, appear in many gardens throughout the region, too!
While the blooms of this perennial are exotic, the plant itself isn't. In fact, the plants used to create dozens of dazzling hardy hibiscus hybrids are all native from here in the northeast, west to Illinois and Missouri. In fact, much of the breeding work that resulted in these hybrids has been performed in the truly unexotic locations of central Iowa and Lincoln, Nebraska!
To learn more about these surprisingly sturdy (winter hardy to at least -22°F), wet soil-tolerant perennials, click here!
Question of the Week
As the snow recedes during midwinter thaws, it's common to see snake-like trails, like the one in this picture, running across lawns throughout Central New York. Often attributed to moles, they're actually runways through the dormant grass created by meadow voles as they scurry from burrow to burrow under the snow.
To learn more about this mouse-like critter, click here! I'll also show you what star-nose and eastern moles look like, and show you the kind of damage they can cause in Central New York lawns,
The Weather and Your Lawn, Landscape and Garden
It seems like it's taking FOREVER for spring to really arrive across upstate New York this year - despite the fact that we average almost five inches of snow each April here in Syracuse!
In fact, the coum cyclamen along our driveway, at right, were blooming through a dusting of snow in April 10th of last year. How soon we forget!
(By the way, coum cyclamen will be my next featured plant, so make sure to check back in the next week, or two!)
So, what can we do do satisfy the desire to start our gardening engines? Click here for some suggestions.
While this website has technically been online for over five years, I really just got serious about it right at a year ago. In fact, I launched the new and improved (hopefully) version just after last year's inaugural "CNY Blooms" flower and garden show.
As part of the webmaster learning curve, I started tracking the site's statistics last October using, for better or for worse, Google Analytics, above right.
It's been interesting to see how traffic to the site has been closely correlated to the weather - i.e., traffic decreased through December and January, but has picked up significantly through March into the first couple of days of April as the days gradually get warmer, sunnier, and longer!
Even more interesting, however, has been tracking the pages most frequently visited. If you're curious, click here to see how similar your lawn, landscape and garden interests and concerns match those of others visiting this website.