Published on 10/01/01

'Gardening in Georgia'
Twice the Landscape, Half the Water

UGA CAES File Photo

Walter Reeves

On this week's "Gardening in Georgia," host Walter Reeves visits with Karen Tolbert, research assistant at the Savannah Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens. Tolbert takes Reeves through their demonstration Xeriscape landscape.

The program airs on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Television. It will be rebroadcast at noon on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The beautiful Coastal Gardens landscape area demonstrates all seven xeriscaping principles:

  • Planning and design.
  • Soil analysis.
  • Appropriate plant selection.
  • Practical turf areas.
  • Efficient irrigation.
  • Use of mulches.
  • Appropriate maintenance.
Pacific Northwest in Georgia?

In another segment, co-host Tara Dillard wonders why Janet Ivarie's pine islands look like Pacific Northwest beds. She finds that Ivarie moved here from Oregon five years ago and recreated the Pacific Northwest look.

Ivarie created her islands by first amending the soil, which raised it a few inches and made it look more like a bed. Curves around her pine islands are generous and smooth, without wiggles.

She began her installation, too, by planting trees and evergreens. She put in the perennials and groundcovers later. Shades of green contrast with jolts of chartreuse foliage as highlights.

Cinder-block Planters

Finally, Helen Phillips of Callaway Gardens shows Reeves how to make attractive planters out of cinder blocks. Phillips uses a mixture of mortar mix, peat moss and sand, which she thoroughly mixes together before adding water. (Be sure to wear rubber gloves and perhaps a dust mask when working with this mixture.)

She trowels the thick goop onto stacked cinderblocks to make their normal corners more rounded. Finally, she uses plants such as sedum, geranium, purslane and ice plant, which can stand a bit of dryness between waterings. Once they're planted, you can't identify the humble origins of the container.

Wednesdays, Saturdays on GPTV

"Gardening in Georgia" airs each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. It's rebroadcast every Saturday at noon. The show's "Web site provides further information.

The show is produced especially for Georgia gardeners by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.

Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.