Monday, November 13th, 2006...8:54 am

Questions for the Garden Lady about planting at the Jersey shore, mums, coffee grinds, and plants that are good for the skin

The Garden Lady has received some more questions from different people.  Below are the questions and my replies.  

Question #1 from Joe

I have a question about plants at the jersey shore. I was told at a nursery that a Japanese Maple would do well. My wife and I spent a considerable amount of money on the maple, and we found that it does not do well because of the wind. Do you have any suggestions of obscure, feature plants that would do well when we are only a few steps from the beach and get a wind and salt air? We wanted something different from all the others in our neighborhood.

Planting at the shore can be a tricky thing. You are not only dealing with the strong winds and the salt air, but you are working with sandy soil. It is nice to want to have something different from your neighbors, but that is not always realistic. Your neighbors success is what you should strive to copy in difficult growing locations. For a complete guide to what grows in your area, you should contact your local Master Gardener organization. There is an office in Manahawkin, NJ that might be closed for the winter and there is an office in Toms River, NJ. The Master Gardener Help Line in Toms River can be reached at (732) 349-1245, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon.  Ask them if there is an MG office in your county and then, if they are the ones, ask them for a list of trees that grow successfully in your area.

I also recommend that you read Marilyn Schmidt’s books “Gardening on the Eastern Seashore” and “East Coast Seashore Gardening with Native Plants” (Pine Barrens Press, 2005). For an interesting article about gardening on the coast, read info at this site.

Question #2 from Joe

We buy mums in the fall from two different nurseries. One because they are friends of ours, the other because they are close to our home. It always seems that the one’s we purchase from our friends die much sooner than the other location we purchase them. Is this because of when they are planted, or does one variety last longer than the other? 

I have to guess that when you write that the Chrysanthemums “die” much sooner than the ones you purchase from a second nursery, you mean the flowers die.
Different chrysanthemums bloom at different times. A list of the blooming periods of some chrysanthemum varieties are in this web site.


Question #3 from Jamie

I was wondering whether there was any potential gardening use for coffee grinds.

The use of coffee grinds for gardening was covered in the October 24th column “Would you throw out your old gold” with a tip on where to get more, free grinds. Coffee grinds are wonderful for the compost pile.


Question #4 from Jensense

Besides Aloe, do you know of any other plants that are good for your skin? 

Because I am not sure what you want the plants to do for your skin, I can only reply that there are lists of a number of plants that are reputed to be good for the skin: very pure olive oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Borage Oil, Soy Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, avocado, oatmeal for facial scrubs, etc.

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