Home & Garden

Do you know some masterful gardeners like Albert Campbell of Lexington?

Campbell feeds his knockouts a general fertilizer. They're one of the longest blooming, most disease-resistant roses.
Campbell feeds his knockouts a general fertilizer. They're one of the longest blooming, most disease-resistant roses.

Today starts an occasional series about gardeners and their beautiful gardens around Central Kentucky.

Know of a gardener with a beautiful garden? We'd love to hear about it. Send us the name, address and daytime phone number of the gardener, specifics details about the garden and five gardening tips from the gardener. We're also glad to accept a high resolution JPEG of at least 300 dpi as an attachment. Send them to: yourgarden@herald-leader.com. Place yourgarden in the subject line. Or mail the information to: Your Garden, Herald-Leader Newsroom, 100 Midland Ave., Lexington, Ky. 40508

Albert Campbell, 84, Lexington

Campbell is a lifelong gardener. This year he had flower beds of yellow iris and knockout roses.

Campbell offers these gardening tips:

1. Start out with good compost. Campbell's flower beds feature landscape timbers, good topsoil and compost.

2. Share with other gardeners. The rhizomes that are now Campbell's beautiful irises were found in a box at the curb beside his daughter's home on Park Avenue. Campbell didn't know what color the iris would be, but he didn't care.

"I built a flower bed at our home in the Rookwood subdivision and planted them there. Two years later I had the most beautiful iris."

3.Transplanting and dividing iris is good for them. Campbell recommends separating them every three years. When he moved to Masterson Station, he took some of the iris with him.

"The parent rhizome dries out. Just break the babies off and, before you plant them, cut off the green leaves of the plant and bury half the rhizome under soil," he said. He sprinkles, by hand, a general fertilizer on his iris every two years.

Iris need sun and should not be overwatered.

Campbell plans to separate his rhizomes again in early October and share his plants with friends.

4. At the same time Campbell is tending to his iris rhizomes, he'll mound dirt at the base of his knockout roses. At the end of February, when the canes (or stems) are dry, he'll trim six inches off each. New greenery will grow after the dead stem has been cut. He uses a general fertilizer on his roses.

5. Campbell credits his beautiful iris to his friend Bob Cosby, who was one of four certified iris judges in Kentucky. "He gave me all my instruction," Campbell said.