Valentine Gift Ideas

Valentine’s day is just one short day away, and if you are looking for some last minute gift ideas,  have we got some fabulous options for you. From gorgeous blooming plants, to home decor, to bath and beauty products, our garden center is bursting with Valentine’s, just for you. Here’s a few of my top faves:

Rather than the usual cut flowers, why not consider a beautiful, blooming potted plant, instead? Pots last much longer than cut flowers, and many have the added benefit of being able to be transplanted into the garden once they are done blooming. We have many varieties to choose from right now in the Greenhouse, including daffodils, tulips, cyclamen, hyacinths, tuberous begonias, orchids, and more.

Looking for a way to dress up those potted plants? Add a folk-art metal Valentine pick for an instant cheery gift.

PAPAYA! has a line of accessories that are unique, fun, and very artsy. So perfect for that unique and special woman in your life. PAPAYA! has been pushing the envelope since 2003 with fresh graphics, bold imagery, and a philosophy all their own. Since the beginning they have pursued an unconventional harmony of art & design.  We are excited to offer a large selection of products, including handle bags, large accessory bags, magnets, and canvases and prints. I am just smitten with these, and think you will be, too.

The Tyler Candle Company is an absolute favorite in the home fragrance department. We have a large selection of their candles, as well as Glamour Reeds, lotions, and fragrances.

For more bath and beauty products, check out Tokyomilk, and exciting new company out of Denver, CO. to arrive at Garden Supply Co. You are going to love their bold fragrance combinations available in both bubbling bath and candles. Like Bon Bon, a combination of lily, peony, vanilla bean, and violet petals.

There’s also Lapsang Su Chong, a mixture of winter moss, asuka rose, sandalwood, and black current.

Or try Paper & Cotton, a blend of coriander, white sage, birch wood, and tundra moss.

We also offer a stunning variety of home decor pieces in a wide range of styles. My favorite is this one-of-a-kind reclaimed barn-wood art plaque.

Or how about some smaller pieces like these?

And for one last top-fave Valentine pick, check out these adorable burlap alphabet banners. Pick and choose your own combination to create custom banners for any occassion.

For more great gift ideas, be sure to stop by the garden center. Our friendly staff is always available to help pick that perfect gift. And don’t forget we offer gift certificates and complimentary gift wrap, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Earthbox Garden Workshops Now Open

We are excited to be able to offer new workshops this spring at Garden Supply Co. We’ve had great response from our series of Terrarium and Mini Garden classes, and next up is our Earthbox Garden Workshops. Registration is now open for two dates: Thursday, February 16th from 6-8 pm, and Saturday, February 18th from 9-11 am.

Earthbox Garden Workshop

So what exactly is an Earthbox, you may ask?

EarthBoxes are the easy way to grow your own fresh vegetables, herbs, and more, without a garden.  In this workshop, Stephen and Jay will guide you step-by-step as you plant a garden of lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, or herbs to enjoy all season long.  After your class all you’ll have to do is add water and sunshine when you get home.
This is hands-down one of the most exciting products to come to market and we know it works!
The workshop includes a complete EarthBox kit with caster wheels, weed/mulch cover, fertilizer, Black Kow Soil, and a large variety of cool season vegetables and herbs for you to choose from.  You will also receive a FREE pizza garden for the next growing season.  In April, come by and pick up your tomato and basil plants for a summer of fresh, vine-ripe fruit with virtually little effort.
Workshop Fee
Workshop fee is $75.00. Pre-registration is required and can be done either in-store or by calling at 919-460-7747.
Upcoming Spring Workshops
P.S. Save the date for the following workshops…
February 23rd: Grafting 101 with Japanese Maples.  Meet a leading expert in our field and go home with a maple you grafted yourself!
March 1st and 4th: Sedum-Roofed Birdhouses and Feeders.  Super fun and functional art for your garden.
Details to follow…

Planting for Transplant

Garden Supply Co.- Cary, NC

For those of you interested in getting a jump start on the spring growing season, now is the time to start those seedlings for transplant in the garden next month. With a little careful planning and preparation now, you can have any number of flowering annuals, herbs, and vegetables ready for planting, weeks ahead of a regular direct-sown outdoor planting schedule. And we’ll tell you how.

Planning

Plan to organize your seed packets this month to create a sowing schedule for your seeds. Look up the date of the last expected freeze in your area, and use that as a guideline for planning. You can find information on frost dates for most cities in North Carolina from the National Climatic Data Center website. Then check the instructions on the seed packets to find the number of weeks of growth required before each seedling can be transplanted to the garden outside. Count the weeks back from the last expected freeze to know when to sow your seeds.

Planting

Here’s a few tips for sowing seeds for transplant.

1. Moisten a sterile, seed-starting mixture and fill your pots or trays to within 1/4 inch of the top.

2. Sow very fine seeds with vermiculite or sand. Mix the seeds with the vermiculite or sand and pour the mix into the center of a folded piece of paper. Tap the paper gently over the medium to sow the seeds.

When sowing medium to large seeds, use the end of a pencil to create a hole in the mix. Plant seeds no deeper than recommended. Drop one or two seeds in each hole.

3. Press extremely fine seeds lightly into the medium, or water them in with a fine mist spray. Cover the seed if light is not required for germination. A thin layer of vermiculite is enough. Otherwise, leave the seed uncovered, exposed to light.

For medium to large seeds, cover seeds to a depth equal to twice their diameter.

4. Label the pot or flat with the name of the plant and the date it was planted. Read the packet and make note of the date the seed is expected to germinate so you will know when to expect sprouts to appear.

5. Spray mist the seeds to water them in. If watering from the top may disturb the seeds, place the entire container into a tub containing a few inches of water. Allow the mixture to become saturated, then set  the pots or flats aside to drain.

6. Cover the pots or trays with plastic wrap, or put them in a plastic bag secured at the top to retain moisture.

7. Unless the seeds require cool temperatures, move them to a location between 65 and 75 degrees F. in bright but indirect light. When the seeds have sprouted, expose them to bright light. Remove the plastic covering and put them under fluorescent lights. Two 40-watt fluorescent lights are a good choice and provide the quality of light required by the plants. Set the trays on your light stand and lower the lights so they’re barely touching the topmost leaves. Keep the lights on for sixteen hours each day. An automatic timer can help here. As the seedlings grow, raise the lights.

Watering

Determine the need for watering by squeezing the top 1/2 inch of medium between your fingers. If water squeezes out easily, there’s plenty of water. If the medium feels moist but water is difficult to squeeze out, add water. Just remember to water the seed flats no more than necessary.

Fertilizing

Seedlings growing in soil-less mixtures need to be fertilized when the first true leaves appear. Feed at every other watering with a water-soluble fertilizer to promote faster growth until the plants are ready to be transplanted outdoors.

For more information and all the supplies you need to start your own garden indoors this month, be sure to stop by the garden center. Our friendly experts are on hand 7 days a week to help with all your gardening needs. Hope to see you soon!

January Gardening

January is usually a fairly quiet month in the garden. Peek planting time is still a few months away, and colder winters temperatures have most of us preferring to stay inside with a good book or movie instead of working outside in the yard. Now is a great time to curl up with the many plant catalogs that may be arriving in your mailbox this time of year. Make some plans. Start a gardening journal, if you haven’t already, and fill it with designs for new planting beds and plants you’d like to try out this spring. Make note of what has worked for you in the past, and what hasn’t. Then, when the time is ready, you will be that much ahead of the game.

Even though January is not a prime planting time, we have been blessed so far this year with an extremely mild winter. So much so, that if you haven’t yet put in all the trees and shrubs you were wishing to this past fall, it’s not too late to do so now. As long as the ground isn’t frozen, go ahead and plant now. Be sure to regularly water your new transplants to help them get established and build strong root systems before the heat of next summer kicks in. Give them a 3-4″ layer of mulch around their roots to help protect them from the elements, too.

Here’s a few other gardening tips for the month of January.

Care for Your Bulbs

If you’re going to be preparing a new border for bulbs, now is a good time to mix compost, lime, or other soil amendments into the bed. Don’t dig if the soil is too wet and clings to your shovel. If that’s the case, wait a few days for the soil to dry out some first.

If a few warmer days of winter have produced new shoots from your bulbs to appear, don’t worry. The leaves are quite cold tolerant and don’t require any special protection. If they are damaged, expect new leaves to emerge later.

Do maintain a blanket of mulch at the feet of your bulbs. Without it, repeated freezing and thawing of the ground can lift the bulbs out of the ground, leaving them to dry out or be harmed by the cold.

Lawn Care

Lawns usually require little care at this time of year. Keep your eye out for winter annuals popping up, such as common chickweed and henbit, and hand-pull as necessary. To reduce winter damage, avoid walking on a frozen lawn. And although this is not peek planting time, sod can be installed anytime the soil isn’t frozen. Newly sodded areas should be moist for the roots to “take”. Water immediately after sodding to wet the soil to a depth of 3 or 4 inches. Don’t let the soil dry out until the sod has “knitted” into the soil.

Do not fertilize at this time.

If mowing is necessary, remove no more than one-third of the grass height. Now is a great time to get the blades on your mower sharpened and ready for spring.

Pruning

Except for the removal of dead, damaged, or diseased branches, avoid any major pruning until after the coldest part of winter has passed. Pruning now will stimulate new growth which can yet be damaged by harsh winter weather. Before you prune out a limb that looks dead, scrape the bark and look at the underlying tissue. A green layer indicates live tissue.

If you haven’t already pruned your ornamental grasses back, wait a bit longer. As long as they haven’t been damaged by weather, wind, ice, or snow, just enjoy their glorious winter foliage.

These few winter gardening tips should help keep your yard in good shape for now. Next time I’ll be back with tips on starting your perennial, vegetable, and herb seeds indoors for transplant later. Until then, for all your planting and care tips, remember that our friendly experts are on hand seven days a week with answers for all your gardening questions.

Breakfast With Mrs. Claus

The holidays are here! Our favorite time of year at Garden Supply Co! And once again we are excited to bring you one of our most treasured annual events at the garden center, Breakfast with Mrs. Claus.

Mrs. Claus will be joining us on three dates in December, so mark your calendars now for December 3rd, December 10th, and December 17th.  Festivities start promptly at 9 am with a continental-style breakfast, followed immediately by story time and photos. Be sure to bring your cameras and all those letters for Santa, too.

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus

Saturday, December 3rd at 9 am
Saturday, December 10th at 9 am
Saturday, December 17th at 9 am

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus is a FREE event, however registration is required. Please call the garden center at 919-460-7747 for reservations.

Face Painting and Pony Rides

We hope you’ll bring the kiddos in and join us for continuing activities throughout the afternoon. Our fabulous face painter, Shannon Carver, will be here from 11am to 3pm, along with our favorite ponies, Ginger and Snap for pony rides through the nursery. These events are FREE as well.

This year we would like to start a new tradition. We would love for each child attending breakfast, face-painting, or pony rides to bring a donation for the Western Wake Crisis Ministry.  This cohesive group of churches, businesses, and volunteers from our community serve people in need in our area with an open pantry of food and monetary donations to help bridge the gap for families requiring assistance.

Here is a list of their most-needed items:

  • Canned Meals: Stews, Soups, Tuna, Ravioli, Lasagna, etc. 
  • Peanut Butter, Canned Vegetables
  • Grains: Cereal, Rice, Pasta and Dried Beans
  • Fruits: Fruit cups, Dried Fruit, Applesauce, 100% Juice and Juice Boxes
  • Rice, Pasta and Dried Beans
  • Kid-Friendly Items: Granola Bars, Popcorn, Graham or Animal Crackers, Fat-free/Sugar-free Pudding Cups
  • Baby Products: Diapers, Wipes, Formula, Infant Cereal
  • Hygiene Items: Toothpaste, Feminine Products, Shaving Items, Hand Sanitizer, Soap, etc.
  • Paper Products: Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, etc.
  • (Please – No loose glass and plastic jars of baby food as they will have to be discarded due to health regulations)

For more information, please visit the Western Wake Crisis Ministry website.

With so much to be thankful for,  we hope you will join us in providing not only “JOY” for those whose needs are great,  but sharing with our children the ”JOY” of giving.

And always know that we are thankful for YOU! Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Small Business Saturday

Mark your calendars for a very special event this Saturday, November 26th.  It’s the second annual Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. And we could not be more excited! Not only are we a small independent business our self, but Garden Supply Company is also proud to support many small businesses with the beautiful products we provide to you. From the freshest plant materials we bring in from small local growers, to the hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind gifts and home decor from craftsmen and artisans across the country that fill our Greenhouse, we strongly believe in building a strong community by keeping things Small.

Shop Small and Get $25 Back

American Express wants to help you make a difference. Get a one-time $25 statement credit when you register an eligible American Express Card and use that card for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th. Visit the Small Business Saturday Facebook page to find out more and get your card registered to take advantage of this special offer.

Why Shop Small?

So what’s the advantage to shopping Small? Besides supporting your friends and neighbors, keeping your money circulating within your own community has multiple benefits that affect us all. According to statistics on the 3/50 Project website, for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a nation chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

So if you head out shopping this Saturday, we hope you will think of us, along with all the other fabulous small businesses in our community. Pledge to shop Small on November 26. If millions of Americans shop Small, it will be huge.