Jason Reeves, 2/21/2022
2/22/2022 9:10 am
Jason Reeves, Curator of the University of Tennessee Gardens located at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center in Jackson, Tennessee spoke to us about creating his own garden from scratch in Western Tennessee.
Highly recommended plants:
Aesculus pavia (Bottlebrush buckeye - native)
Aralia 'Sun King' - short lived, but worth it
Clematis integrifolia 'Roguchi' - recommends cutting to ground if mildews or after 1st blooms tatter to get second flush
Cornus sericea and hybrids red twig Dogwoods - short lived. Cut branches in early winter and stick in ground to perpetuate - root easily. Important as plants subject to dying from canker.
Cuphea 'Batface' - great to interest kids and pollinators
Gomphrena globosa 'Fireworks' - annual
Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey' - Yellow oak leaf Hydrangea
Lilium Conca d'Or -4-5 foot tall yellow fragrant lily
Magnolia 'Little Gem' - great for wreaths
Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells)
Miscanthus sinesis 'Morning Light' - not been invasive for him like others in the species
Pennisetum purpureum Graceful Grasses 'Vertigo'
Phlox x 'Wanda" (purple) combined with Phlox x 'Minnie Pearl' (white)
Pulmonaria 'Diana Claire' (a longifolia hybrid) and newer hybrids like 'Shrimps on the Barbie', 'Trevi Fountain' and 'Twinkle Toes'
Sanguinaria canadensis (our native Bloodroot)
Zinnia - Zahara series
For containers, he recommends adding 5-10 % native soil to mix to Promix or other potting soil. Avoid hydration crystals; they don't work.
UT holds destination plant sales in Jackson, TN three times a year, all home grown plants.
He runs travel programs too, this year to Ireland and Fiji. Check his Facebook page, Jason Reeves - In the Garden
Cupheas, like Batface and Vermillionaire, have often been sold at the UGA Trial Garden Sales. Batface has acted as a tender perennial in metro Atlanta and Vermillionaire may act similarly. Other cupheas like C. cyanea, C. 'Kristen's Delight' and C. micropetala ('Giant Cigar Plant) have been reliable perennials in metro Atlanta.
Phlox Minnie Pearl was highly rated for performance in Mt. Cuba's sun Phlox trial; Wanda was not included in the trial.