I got questions. You got answers? The garden is rife with puzzles. It has been my experience that throwing a question into the blogosphere never fails to produce answers. So how about this? Let’s use the first week of each month to pose one (or two, or more) of those questions that have been nagging us and see what comes back to us. No chain letter type threats: “if you don’t do this Flora will cast a withering spell on your precious plants”, just a friendly Garden Bloggers’ Q&A. I’ll kick things off:


You may recall my non-traditional Christmas tree. If not, you will find it HERE. After a little over a week adorned with angels and such, it was beginning to leaf out and even form buds. A freeze was coming. I feared that it would turn up its toes if I moved it outside into those conditions, so I just moved it into a corner of the living room. We keep the temperature at about 65 degrees. I now have a fully leafed out, blooming Cornus sericea  ‘Cardinal’. I’m wondering if I did the right thing and when would be the best time to put it in the ground. Help me if you can.

You know how these things work. If you have a question of your own, write about it and leave a link to your post here. A link back to this post on yours will keep the ball rolling. I’m thinking we could aim for any time during the first week of the month, but loose rules are the best rules, so bend them to your own best use.

29 thoughts on “GBQ&A

  1. Great idea, Ricki, I like it. We can learn a lot from each other.

    As for your happy Cornus, if it were me, I’d keep it inside until the first part of March. At that point I’d watch the extended forecast to make sure there aren’t any Polar Vortex events coming our way. If not, then I’d “harden” it off like we do with seedlings to acclimate them to outdoor temps. For several days, I’d take it outside and put it in a shady spot during the warmest part of the day. Then bring it inside at night, eventually letting it stay out all night. But if frost is predicted, I’d bring it in or cover it with a blanket. Then when danger of frost has passed, I’d plant it in the ground. But this is just me. Someone else might have a better idea. Good luck and keep us posted.

    • Grace~Thanks for chiming in. You are describing, in more detail, what seems to be the consensus opinion here. I will issue regular updates on the life of my Cornus.

  2. Oh – I like this one, Ricki! I do have some questions, but most are so ridiculous that I’d almost be embarrassed to write about them publicly. But, give me a little time – I WILL think of something…

    I have no advice re: your dogwood other than my totally unproven thought that it is a very hardy plant. So, in order not to shock it into oblivion, maybe you could gradually expose it to the warm weather we are experiencing for increasing lengths of time over the next few days, and eventually – after it has weathered the increased exposure – you could plant it out. Granted it’s not 65 degrees, but not too much below that. My guess is it would be able to handle it pretty well!

    • Anna~It is so balmy out there that I fear being tricked into something rash. This Cornus wasn’t very expensive, but I do hate to kill plants when it can be avoided.
      In my book, there is no such thing as an embarrassing question (at least where gardening is concerned) so fire away.

      • Okay, I got one! I have a really dense clump of Fargesia murilae. I didn’t water it very well last summer, and many of its leaves are half green, and half dried out. I know bamboo is a grass and probably would recuperate relatively quickly, but what would happen if I cut it all down? How long do you think it would it take before I have fresh green culms sprouting back up?

        • Anna~I don’t know if people are still reading this post to give you answers, but I will include it in next month’s GBQ&A post. Quite a few bloggers have expressed interest in this meme, so I’m guessing someone will know just what to do. Thanks for picking up on this idea.

  3. If I were you I’d plant that Cornus sericea some time this month. I’ve dug up and transplanted similar shrubs in both January and February and they’ve thrived.

  4. Ricki, I sure can’t wait to hear a definitive answer to your question. I don’t think it’s too far out of season for Cornus sericea to bud out anyway. And they are very tough. I’m thinking it will be fine planted in the garden any time you want to do it… so long as the soil isn’t saturated.

    But I am not positive. I hope you get some more possible answers. And even if you don’t, please let us all know what you do and how the plant responds.

    I like this new question answer idea.

    • Beth~I’m glad you like the Q & A idea. I’m guessing there will be questions I didn’t even know to ask, leading to a delightfully sharp learning curve. Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation.

    • Loree~I just sent you an email. Let’s see if you get it and we can sleuth this thing out from there. I did ‘reply to all’, letting you know that either date is fine with me and assuring you that my offer to host was a ‘last resort’ thing and the more central location is a much better idea. Thanks, by the way, for your sensitivity to my feelings (they are not bruised).

  5. Because I’m 3,000 miles away in a different climate, I have no advice to offer. Here’s my question: Why do the squirrels insist on chewing the plastic off my bird feeders instead of just eating the seed? Revenge will be bitter and spicy….

    • TS~Squirrels are crafty sorts who will always come up with new ways to annoy you. They used to swing from hanging plants and pelt me with plant parts in a studio of yore.

  6. I got your email and replied, but again got the below error message almost instantaneously. I also didn’t get your email saying either date is fine.

    Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

    Technical details of permanent failure:
    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the server for the recipient domain by [].

    The error that the other server returned was:
    554 5.7.1 [P4] Message blocked due to spam content in the message.

  7. Like some of the others who live in cold climates, I can’t offer advice on when to plant your Cornus outside. Here in Wisconsin, we would have to wait until probably April, with a hardening off time in between. But your climate is so mild, you can probably do it soon. Great idea for a meme. I will have to give it some thought. 😉

  8. I like Alison’s response to this question. We may have just lucked out with a super mild winter. Give it a few weeks to see how Feb shakes out, but I think you can plant this guy early and then it will have a lot of time to root all spring.

  9. Great idea and I already have a question ready! I think the others are right, since you already have leaves emerging, hardening it off a bit before planting it after hard frost danger is gone is a good idea.

  10. Pingback: gbq&a | sprig to twig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *