Published on 09/20/07

Nature disturbed, blooms await on 'Gardening'

University of Georgia

It's been a tough year for Georgia gardeners. On "Gardening in Georgia" Oct. 4 and 6, find out how to give nature a hand.

"Gardening in Georgia" airs on Georgia Public Broadcasting television stations across Georgia each Thursday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Native honeybee colonies are declining this year. It's a mystery, with many theories of the cause. The immediate problem for gardeners is that many plants need bees for pollination. Host Walter Reeves will show viewers how to use a pencil or an electric toothbrush to help pollinate plants when bees aren't around.

If missing bees weren't bad enough, the drought in Georgia seems unending. Every drop of water is precious. Reeves demonstrates a product that absorbs water when it's available and releases it when times are dry. It's not appropriate for every planting situation. But he shows how to use the water-absorbing granules when planting annual flowers.

As sure as Southern nights turn cool just in time for football, autumn color leads Southern gardens into winter sleep. Whether they're annual or perennial and whether you call them sage or salvia, the colorful flowers surely brighten a landscape.

Annual salvias are mainstays of Georgia summer gardens. But many perennial salvias deliver spectacular fall flowers. Amanda Campbell at the Atlanta Botanical Garden takes Reeves on a tour of their salvia collection.

Fall is also the time to get started on planting for bright summer blooms. If you like to plant tulip bulbs, Reeves will tell you how chickens can help you keep squirrels from ruining your bulb bed.

"Gardening in Georgia" is coproduced by GPB and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Each show is geared to Georgia soils, climate and growing conditions.

The 2007 season is made possible through an underwriting gift from McCorkle Nurseries and support from the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association. For more on "Gardening in Georgia," visit

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.