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Monkeying with Monkey Grass on 'Gardening'


UGA CAES File Photo

Walter Reeves

On this week's "Gardening in Georgia, host Walter Reeves visits with Wally Pressey at Classic Groundcovers in Athens, Ga. The show airs on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. on 001B Georgia Public Television 2BF7 . It will be rebroadcast at noon on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Pressey shows several varieties of liriope and mondo grass: "John Burch," "Christmas Tree," "Silver Dragon," "Royal Purple," "Evergreen Giant," "Big Blue," "Variegata," Aztec grass and more. Why is it called "monkey grass"? Pressey doesn't know, but he offers a plausible theory.

Co-host Tara Dillard visits with Janet Ivarie and her European-style front-door garden. From her circular drive, what could have been a sidewalk to the front steps is instead a flagstone path, set in dirt, with dwarf mondo grass planted in the cracks and shrubs, small trees, ground covers, perennials on either side.

Saddleback Caterpillar

Reeves points out a short, green caterpillar with white spines at each end. A large brown dot in the center of the green body gives rise to its "saddleback" name. If your skin touches the spines, they release venom which causes the skin to burn. Reeves advises care when you pull weeds in early fall lest you feel the pain of this caterpillar's defense system.

"Gardening in Georgia" airs each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. It's rebroadcast every Saturday at noon. The show's Web site provides further information.

The show is produced especially for Georgia gardeners by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.

(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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