Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2015 - 64
Then, one day, a visiting friend commented on my
lush lawn and pointed to the black walnut trees lining
the yard. "You know," she said. "Walnut trees love
grass, but they hate most everything else."
"Really?" I said. "Everything, as in flowers and
vegetables and shrubs and trees?"
"Yep," she said. "Everything."
I didn't have a black thumb. I had black walnuts!
I researched my beautiful shade trees and discovered
that my friend was about 90 percent right. Black walnuts exude a poison called juglone from their roots.
Anything within three to four times the width of the
crown is affected. That line coincided with the edge
of my yard and the dead zone in my garden.
Tips for Planting Under Black Walnut Trees
Some plants are more tolerant of the juglone produced by
these trees. Here's a partial list of plants that have worked
Spring bloomers: crocus, pansy, most iris, daffodil, forsythia,
phlox, lilac, tulip, hyacinth
Summer bloomers: astilbe, bee balm, black-eyed Susan,
daisy, zinnia, marigold, daylily, hosta, hollyhock, calendula
Fall bloomers: aster, Rose of Sharon, sedum, Witch Hazel
Vegetables: bean, beet, carrot, corn, melon, onions, parsnip,
looming Dogwood Trees and Azaleas signal
that spring has arrived. In summer, explore
150 area waterfalls, cruise on freshwater lakes,
and challenge the rapids of the Chattooga
National Wild & Scenic River. Fall brings a
display of breathtaking foliage as you meander
the scenic byways. Stay in a cozy mountain cabin
in wintertime and hike trails with unobstructed
views of the Blue Ridge
Mountains. Whenever you
choose to visit, know that
the Upcountry is perfectly
UpcountrySC.com | 800.849.4766
YOU WILL FALL IN
SAVOR THE SEASONS
inUpcountry South Carolina
I already knew that grass thrived in their company,
and it was no surprise to discover that most weeds are
fine with black walnuts, as well. Thankfully, I also discovered that some shrubs, flowers and other trees can
also survive. Most books warned that it depended on
the level of juglone present.
Thirty years later, I am a bit of an expert on growing
things in the areas affected by walnut trees. I am constantly experimenting and have learned to buy one
variety of a flower and see how it does before investing
My yard may not support all of the varieties of
flowers that I crave, but it has taught me to accept what
life dishes out and make it beautiful. When life hands
you black walnuts, plant hostas!
ST O F 2 0 1 5
The National D-Day Memorial
Thomas Jefferson's Retreat Home "Poplar Forest"
The Blue Ridge Parkway & Peaks of Otter
Smith Mountain Lake & State Park
The Bedford Wine Trail & CenterTown Bedford
Located between Roanoke and Lynchburg on Rt. 460.
Bedford is easily accessible via Rt. 29 to 460 and from I-81
exit 150A - follow Alt. Rt. 220 to Rt. 460 East or travel the
Blue Ridge Parkway to Bedford's legendary Peaks of Otter.
Blue Ridge Country
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