I always feel like Paul Harvey or Andy Rooney or something when I do this type of column, but I get great letters and e-mails, so I must share my "mailbag" occasionally with the rest of you!
Ann Castaldo was searching for good fertilizers for certain plants. She writes: "We've finally purchased sufficient quantities of the 'Tone' fertilizers we needed. We checked Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's and Green's with the following results: Wal-Mart and Home Depot didn't have any of the products, Lowe's only carries PlantTone and HollyTone, but Green's had everything and the HollyTone price (large size) was cheaper than Lowe's. Thought we'd share."
Trees along the highway
Barbara Crow asks: "Can you identify the blossoming tree now prevalent along West Virginia roadways? It has white blossoms that cascade down similar to wisteria, but not quite as large. It has a pleasant fragrance also, almost smells like gardenia."
I mentioned this to my friend, Julie, because I couldn't think of the name of this tree. Julie asked her mom, and together we have come up with locust! Julie said, "My mother and I both think those are locust trees. They caught my eye and curiosity a few weeks ago as I was walking along Fort Hill Drive on the front of the hill. I thought they were locusts. I just spoke with mom and she agrees. We don't remember ever seeing them bloom so prolifically. The weather conditions this year must have been just right. The purple blooming tree is Royal Paulownia. Its blossoms are more upright, with lilac pendulous bells hanging down. It was blooming about a month ago (www.paulowniasupply.com)."
Crystal Rose of Princeton writes: "Could you remind me about how much sun exposure is on the east, west, north and south side. I just moved to a new house and I am planting a new garden. The north side is the shadiest? What about the rest?"
This is a common question asked by new gardeners. The southern exposure is the most fluctuating, which affects freezing and thawing, while slopes with a northern exposure have more uniform temperatures.