by Debbie Clark

The gardening season is now in full swing on the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. The gardens are teaming with beautiful colorful flowers. If you have not visited the bridge, stop by and enjoy the blooms and see some of the new additions to the bridge. 

Have you ever wander what it takes to keep the bridge blooming? It takes lots of dedicated hardworking volunteers to keep those blooms coming. Many of our volunteers have taken training to become Master Gardeners. New volunteers are always welcome and we can help teach you about gardening if you are just starting out. Stop by the bridge to inquire on volunteering on Tuesday or Thursday. 

One of the questions that many volunteers are asked by visitors is what they should be doing in their own home gardens. Each month we will provide you the answers.

What to do in the home garden for May and June:

Fertilize summer plants like rose-of-Sharon and crape myrtles. Fertilize or side dress your vegetables 6 to 8 weeks after germination.

Plant your gladioli corms and summer annuals like begonia, geraniums, petunia and zinnia.

Plant vegetables plants like eggplant, pepper, tomato, sweet potato, beans, lima beans, corn, cucumbers, okra, southern peas, pumpkins, squash and watermelon. 

Prune hedges that have outgrown their shape.

Cut back spring bulb foliage when it has turned yellow and brown.

Watch for insect pest in the garden, identify and spray as needed. Think organic and always read the instructions for proper usage.

Start warm season lawns like zoysia and fertilize existing zoysia lawns when it greens up. Do not fertilize tall fescue or bluegrass now. Make sure you use the correct mowing heights of 3 inches for bluegrass and fescue and 1 inch for zoysia.

Remove faded flowers from phlox, shasta daisies and daylilies to encourage additional blooming. Prune away dieback on azalea, blueberry, mountain laurel and hybrid rhododendrons.

Plant of the Month – Daylilies (see photo)

Daylilies are easy to grow, come in many colors, heights and types. Being perennials, they prefer full sun but will grow in partial shade with fewer flowers. They grow in zones 4 to 9.  Bareroot daylilies should be planted in the spring and potted daylilies any time during the growing season. They are a great solution for steep slopes for erosion control and companion planting with daffodils. The daylilies are beautiful on the bridge right now.

What’s new on the bridge?

From May 5th to July 6th the bridge will have a seasonal feature called “Darlings in Denim”. This will be an artistic look at planting flowers in denim jeans and it should be lots of fun. 

The bridge offers free educational classes on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 10 till 11 in the morning. Classes are taught in the LLFB Secret Garden or Lake Lure Town Hall depending on the weather.

Have you noticed some new construction in the Shade Country Garden? That will be our new living wall of plants. Stop by and visit!

Debbie Clark is a Master Gardener, LLFB board member and garden volunteer. 

June is a good time to deadhead your Shasta daisies to encourage additional blooms. What is deadheading? Removing the blooms that are faded or dead.

June is a good time to deadhead your Shasta daisies to encourage additional blooms. What is deadheading? Removing the blooms that are faded or dead.

If you love daylilies, this is a good time to visit the bridge to see our large collection. Did you know that a daylily bloom only last one day? It’s true! This is a great plant for the beginner gardener or hybridizer. Daylilies are our “Plant of the Month”.

If you love daylilies, this is a good time to visit the bridge to see our large collection. Did you know that a daylily bloom only last one day? It’s true! This is a great plant for the beginner gardener or hybridizer. Daylilies are our “Plant of the Month”.

The gardens are a riot of color in May and June. Watch for the new signs in the gardens that help identify plants for our visitors.

The gardens are a riot of color in May and June. Watch for the new signs in the gardens that help identify plants for our visitors.