In the gar­den

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JANET CAR­SON

Q I bet many peo­ple are won­der­ing this … how much longer be­fore these pests are gone for the sea­son? And an­other point of in­ter­est is the low num­ber of hum­mers, bees, but­ter­flies this year even with all their fa­vorites planted.

A Ja­panese bee­tles are a huge pest prob­lem in North­west Arkansas, and they are def­i­nitely here to stay. For adults, their normal feed­ing time is June through mid-Au­gust. I just want them to stay out of cen­tral Arkansas. I as­sume you are in North­west Arkansas, but I have talked with agents up there, and they are see­ing no de­cline in but­ter­flies, bees or hum­ming­birds. In Lit­tle Rock, I have had more but­ter­flies and hum­ming­birds than last year by far. There may be fewer at your feed­ers since many ar­eas have had a mild grow­ing sea­son and al­most am­ple rain­fall, so our na­tive flow­ers are bloom­ing quite nicely, giv­ing wild things more choices to feed on.

Q This plant was bought at the Bella Vista plant sale three years ago; no one could tell me about it then as the per­son who con­trib­uted the plant was not there. It has taken

over both sides of our deck ramp even though it was only planted on one side; it’s 3 to 4 feet tall and did not bloom un­til last year. Any clues as to what we have here? A

The plant is com­monly called Mex­i­can hy­drangea or Cash­mere bou­quet — Clero­den­drum bungei. The flow­ers are showy and fra­grant, but watch out, this plant spreads like gang­busters. Q I have an out of con­trol “shrub” that is made from run­ners off a tall crape myr­tle. Cutting it back only seems to ex­ac­er­bate the prob­lem. How can I get it un­der con­trol? A

It sounds as if you have root suck­ers com­ing up. If pos­si­ble cut the sprouts right be­low the ground line. Some va­ri­eties sucker more than oth­ers, but typ­i­cally it is just at the base of the tree. Her­bi­cides would dam­age the mother tree as well as the sprouts, so avoid those. Q There is a lovely tulip po­plar tree on the north side of my prop­erty, but all of the grass un­der it has died. I’ve tried Ber­muda and St. Au­gus­tine, but with no luck. What can sur­vive un­der the shade of the tree? I’d pre­fer grass, even if it doesn’t match the rest of the grass in the yard, but I’ll set­tle for some type of ground cover if nec­es­sary. Do you have any good sug­ges­tions? A

Grass and shade do not mix. To add in­sult to in­jury, your tulip po­plar tree is go­ing to grow taller and taller and pro­vide even more shade. If you want it to look like grass, plant the ground­cover Mondo grass (Ophio­pogon) or a lit­tle bit taller mon­key grass (Liri­ope). There are other ground­cov­ers as well, but these would be the most grass-like. Q My wife and I live in Chenal and very much en­joy eat­ing the wild blue­ber­ries that grow so abun­dantly on the rocky hill­sides where we live. If we wanted to give a small sprig of this bush to a friend to trans­plant in an­other part of the state, how would we do that? Should we try to grow a sprig from the berries or cut out one of the many roots that grow just be­low the sur­face of the ground? A

Trans­plant a small plant this fall when the weather cools off and it should do well. Trans­plant­ing now would be tough on you and the plant.

Arkansas Demo­crat-Gazette/ RON WOLFE

Spe­cial to the Demo­crat-Gazette/JANET B. CAR­SON

Mex­i­can hy­drangea,

aka Cash­mere bou­quet, will ex­pand to what­ever space it isn’t yanked out of. fill

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