July and August 2012 Cuttings

July-August 2012 Cuttings

"Cuttings" is your source for garden updates and horticultural tips from the Reeves-Reed Arboretum's horticulture staff. Check back monthly to find out what's blooming at the Arboretum, get the inside scoop on upcoming events, and learn some timely tips you can put to use in your own garden.

In the Gardens: Daylilies

Summer is the perfect time to come out to Reeves-Reed Arboretum and experience our daylilies in full bloom. Daylilies, or in botanical Latin, Hemerocallis, are among the easiest and most rewarding of garden perennials to grow. They're low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and adaptable to a wide variety of soil types and light conditions. While each individual blossom lasts for only a day, blooming plants can continue to produce new flowers for over a month. Some newer daylily varieties even flower repeatedly over the course of the summer and early autumn, sending forth as many as three successive flushes of blossoms. Our daylily border will be in bloom throughout July and August, so please stop by for a visit!

A daylily blossom glistens with water droplets after a summer rain at Reeves-Reed Arboretum (Photo: Julieanne Frascinella)


July-August Garden Tips: Water Conservation

Summer's hot and dry conditions pose challenges for anyone looking to keep their plants in good health and their garden looking fresh. As you watch your plants wilt in the unrelenting heat, the temptation can be great to whip out the sprinklers and water everything in sight. However, water conservation becomes increasingly important in times of drought, as increased water demands are made on municipal reservoirs and groundwater reserves alike. Here are some easy things you can do to conserve water in your garden this summer:

  • Irrigate your garden in the early morning so water has an opportunity to percolate into the ground rather than evaporating in the strong midday sun.
  • In general, it's better to water deeply once a week than to give your garden a short sprinkle every day. A long period of watering moistens the soil to a greater depth, encouraging plant root systems to extend deep into the ground. Shallow watering, on the other hand, encourages plants to produce roots just below the soil's surface, where they're more prone to future drought damage.
  • Consider installing a rain barrel to capture the rain water that runs off your roof via your house's gutter and downspout system. Most rain barrels hold about 50 gallons of water, and can be filled to capacity by a typical summer thunderstorm! Using a rain barrel also reduces problems such as erosion and flash flooding that are associated with stormwater runoff.
  • Drip irrigation systems are more water-efficient than sprinkler systems that shoot droplets of water into the air. If you're planning an upgrade of your garden irrigation system, consider switching from spray heads to drip fixtures.


A typical rain barrel can capture about 50 gallons of water, enabling you to irrigate your garden for free while minimizing stormwater runoff! (Image: Chesapeake Bay Trust)


Volunteer in our Gardens!

Are you looking to lend a hand at Reeves-Reed Arboretum this summer? We're hosting volunteer work sessions the second Saturday of every month! Join us on the following upcoming dates for a morning of outdoor garden work:

  • Saturday, July 14 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, August 11 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, September 8 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 13 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

To sign up, or to learn about other volunteer opportunities at the Arboretum, please contact Lisa Martin@ l.martin@reeves-reedarboretum.org