Few understand gardening better than Luxist Awards Panelist Mar Jennings
. Mar is the in-house lifestyle expert and correspondent for Better TV
and is the home expert for the Fine Living Network. Mar also appears on the Today Show, ABC, Fox, CNN, and many other national and local networks across the country. He is also the author of Life on Mar's: A Four Season Garden (S&J Publishing, $39.95)
In an exclusive interview with Luxist, Mar shares some of his best gardening tips. According to Mar, it is not too late to roll up your sleeves and get to work in your garden.
Luxist: It is already late June. What can someone plant now?
You might be surprised---and I meet many gardeners who think they're too late.
I recommend focusing on accent pieces where the garden seems bare. Ground cover plants and plants that come in small containers are the best options for getting you in and out of the garden quickly when it's so hot out. Any plant that blooms early in the Spring and has spent flowers is perfect for planting in summer because they will be focusing their energy on growing and not on flowering-plus most will be on sale. Another great bet is succulents.
What can be planted now for full sun and what do you recommend for partial sun? How about no sun?
Your local garden center can further advise you of things that are particularly good for your area, but here are some sure-fie items that I make use of:
Full sun: Decorative vines such as wisteria or trumpet vines, anchors for your garden such as dwarf boxwoods, and ornamental grasses.
Partial sun: Hydrangeas, hydrangeas and more hydrangeas are ideal. (Not that I'm biased or anything.)
No sun: When God gives you lemons, make lemonade. A full-shade garden can be as wonderful as a full-sun garden. Discover the endless varieties of ferns and hostas, intertwined in any shady area. These create height, texture and interest in an otherwise overlooked place. Introduce moss onto garden structures and stone walkways as an added feature that will increase in charm over the years.
Is it too late to plant vegetable plants?
For some things, yes. But don't give up! Lettuces, tomatoes, peppers and herbs can be started now---but not from seeds, but by planting the small plants already started. Another reason I love to encourage people to plant vegetables in the summer is because children are out of school and can be involved in the process---a learning experience for them and a family activity for you.