the show

Creating Anew: Life and Garden

air date: July 22, 2017

Join author and designer Jenny Peterson on her poignant and spirited healing journey in The Cancer Survivor’s Garden Companion. On tour, The How Do Gardener Rick Bickling and wife Ellen bounced off ideas for an old basketball court and a flooding garden in shade. Daphne explains why fungal disease has run rampant and what to do about it. Find out how to grow tropical, heat-loving bougainvillea. Trisha cools us down with refreshing homemade popsicles, including fruit, coffee and green tea flavors!



Episode Segments

On Tour

Makeover: Kids' Basketball Court and Shady Garden Design | Ellen & Rick Bickling

The How Do Gardener Rick Bickling and wife Ellen bounced off ideas for their sons’ old basketball court and a flooding garden in shade.  See how they created a vegetable “food court,” comfy outdoor living rooms, and unique destinations in a formerly grassy yard. To complement furniture and plant colors, they jazzed up the plain wooden fence with colorful picture frames.


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Question of the Week

What are these brown spots on my salvia? And my Gregg’s mistflower looks wilted.

Thanks to Rita Schiferl for her great questions about her ‘Henry Duelberg’ salvia and Gregg’s mistflower!

This spring, she planted Gregg’s mistflower, and they looked frazzled when we went from cool temps to really hot ones in a few days.

She also has ‘Henry Duelberg ‘salvia showing similar symptoms of stress. Rita says that they’re planted on the northeast side of her home, in well-drained soil, and that they get sun for most of the day.

Well, Rita, take heart, I’ve seen very few perennials this year without these symptoms, including all the mealy blue sage in our demonstration garden.

Warm spring days and cool nights—along with lots of humidity—made conditions just right for fungi.

Also, tender new growth on perennials has very little protection from the environment, and with early warm temperatures, fast growth also inhibits air movement.

Trim plants back, removing as much of the infected leaf tissue as possible. Also, you might try to decrease humidity around the plants by only watering early in the morning, so that the soil and leaves have a bit of time to air before sundown.

Usually, as we move into summer and the air gets drier, fungal invasion should be h less of an issue. However, in humid summers, our plants can still get hit. In high temperatures, it’s best to avoid spraying leaves with fungicides.

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Plant of the Week



Tropical bougainvillea dazzles our containers, hanging baskets and even garden beds in summer. Bougainvillea comes in lots of colors—from the traditional hot pink to red, soft pink, apricot and even white. The colors that attract us are the bracts—modified leaves—like poinsettias. Its tiny white flowers inside the bracts attract butterflies. Bougainvillea does best in containers for anyone cooler than USDA hardiness Zone 9, which is most of us. Some gardeners in Zone 8 have success with landscape bougainvilleas, especially in a protected, warm microclimate. Otherwise, keep them in containers and move to the garage, greenhouse, or even into the house near a sunny window. Do cut back when bringing indoors and water sparingly while its dormant. In spring, remove dead branches and cut back to shape. Regular shearing promotes more flowers. Fertilize with a high nitrogen product. Full sun is best and they’re very drought-tolerant, once established. When you water, give them a serious soaking. So, you don’t need to water containers every day: give them a deep drench and let them dry out. Get John Dromgoole’s tips to keep your bougainvillea blooming.