Still Blooming

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

I’m back today to share more of the beautiful blooming plants we have waiting for you down at Garden Supply.  If you’re thinking that your patio and container gardens could use a little pick-me-up in this intense July heat, we have plants for you. And lots of them. Even in the full heat of summer, we are receiving fresh shipments of bloomers every week that are just perfect for adding a spark of interest to the tired summer landscape. Just look at the burst of color this tropical pink mandevilla vine adds to a simple container planting. They really are easy to care for, and add color wherever they are growing. This sunny tropical really enjoys sun….and we all know we have plenty of that these days.

Another great choice for the patio garden is the ever-popular Wave petunia, and we have some fabulous choices in stock at the garden center right now. Anyone interested in a little “Double Wave”? of spreading petunias?

Double Wave Petunias

Double Wave petunias offer fabulous, frilly flowers with Wave performance perfect for mixed containers, baskets and gardens.  Look for these lovely flowers in white, purple, and blue velvet varieties at the garden center.

Another petunia that really caught my eye this week is this unusual Black Velvet variety. Black Velvet presents the world’s only black petunia. It is a perfect fit for premium containers and baskets as this petunia partners well with many other sun lovers, and the rare color form is sure to add a ton of visual interest to the garden.

Black Velvet Petunia

These upright, mounded petunias are early to flower, have a tightly branched habit and are filled with color all season. Black Velvet is easy to grow with no special culture needed.

And don’t forget……..if you have considered adding a fountain or pond to your landscape, this is a great time. From now, until the end of the month, ALL fountains and pond-building supplies are 20% OFF. We have a wide array of fountains from “table-top” styles to grand statements. We offer delivery and installation of fountains as well as design and installation of ponds and waterfalls. Come check out our fabulous selection.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  We look forward to seeing you soon down at Garden Supply!

Revive Those Tired Containers

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! With the increase in temperatures and humidity these days, I know a lot of you are not thinking about working in the garden. After all, who wants to be out in this heat? But even though major projects might be on the back burner for now, it is still possible to keep some color and brightness in the summer landscape. If you stop by Garden Supply for a visit, you may be surprised to see so many beautiful plants in full bloom, even now in mid-July. We are continuing to receive weekly shipments of many blooming plants, including a wide range of tropicals, annuals and perennials. A few fresh plants will perk up those tired looking patio and container gardens in a snap.

Vinca

Available in a rainbow of colors, vinca offers a profusion of blooms with a carefree growth habit. Vinca is a prolific heat and drought tolerant annual, perfect for hot, dry areas like ours. It’s easy to grow, and requires little or no attention. Plus it has the added benefit of often reseeding itself and returning year after year. Vinca is commonly used for borders, edging, and ground-cover or bedding plants. Also a lovely choice for the container garden. Plants grow 1-2 feet tall.

Vinca

Varieties of vinca currently available at the garden center include Titan Polka Dot, Titan Burgundy, Titan Lilac, Titan Mix, and Titan Dark Red. Look for loads of color from each.

My favorite bloomer at Garden Supply this week is the stunning Limelight hydrangea.  A perfect choice for brightening up those shadowy patio corners.

Limelight Hydrangea

Limelight is an exciting new hardy hydrangea from Holland. It has unique bright green blooms in mid-summer that holds its color right into autumn when the blooms change to a rich deep pink. The autumn display of green and pink blooms on the same plant is breathtaking!  The color makes a great addition to the garden and it blends wonderfully with all other colors.

Limelight Hydrangea

Limelight flower heads range in size from 6 to 12 inches and are held upright on the shrub. The blooms are well distributed making a very nice plant and display.  This is an easy to grow plant with reliable flowering and flower color regardless of soil pH. Use Limelight, either fresh or dried, in bouquets to make a unique floral design. And perhaps its best feature of all? Limelight is drought tolerant. And although this plant may seem like an unlikely choice for the patio garden, Limelight makes for an ideal “thriller” feature in your container design. Use it in the back or middle of the pot to add height and drama to the container.  Just remember that all container plants need thorough watering in this heat to thrive.

If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat, perhaps a fountain or water feature with the sound of running water will keep things cool.  We have a grand selection of fountains from smaller desk-top versions to large monuments for the landscape, and ALL are currently on sale 20% off down at Garden Supply now through the end of July.

We offer delivery and installation as well as pond design and installation, too.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  I’ll be back soon for more snippets from the garden.

More Perennial Gardening

Good morning, everyone!  In honor of June being Perennial Gardening Month, I thought I would share a few tips and tricks for successful perennial gardening as well as more of my favorite perennial plants down at Garden Supply.  We have so many beautiful plants to choose from, as always, and the display of color coming from the perennial tables is truly a site to behold right now. Guaranteed we have a ton of great choices to inspire some summer gardening at your house, just in time to catch the peek of warm-weather blooming.

Mona Lisa lilium

Dramatic Oriental lilies add interest to the summer garden. Their large flowers bloom atop tall stems with a powerful fragrance that intensifies as the sun goes down. These stunning Mona Lisa lilies offer soft pink flowers with darker pink veins and a deep blush in the center, and dark, showy speckles. The shorter size and prolific blooms of this lily make it an excellent choice for containers. They perform best in full sun in rich well drained soil either in the gardens or in patio containers. They make great companions with other bulbs, perennials and are great butterfly plants.

Lilies can be successfully planted March-September in Zones 3-9.

Sights of Summer dahlia

Isn’t this Sights of Summer dahlia a real eye-catcher?  This yellow and red bloomer boasts 4″ blossoms that will light your garden with color. Sights of Summer grows only 20-24″ tall, making it an excellent border plant.

With a blast of different colors, shapes and sizes, Dahlias bring life and beauty to your landscape in summer and into the fall months. The diversity of Dahlias allow you to use them in many different aspects of your landscape design, from low growing border plants to stately background plantings which may reach six feet in height.  Dahlias make excellent cut flowers, which typically last about a week in the house.

These tender tubers bloom best in full sun and will tolerate most soil types, but prefer a sandy, well draining soil.  If you have a heavy, clay soil try adding sand or peat moss to lighten it. Dahlias are summer blooming tubers which are generally only hardy in Zones 7-11. In the majority of the country, they must be planted each spring and then cut back and dug each fall after the first killing frost.

Blue Stocking monarda didyma

Blue Stocking monarda didyma was chosen perennial of the month in July 1998.  Hummingbirds and butterflies can’t resist this plant! It is easy to grow and is mildew-resistant.  It can be somewhat invasive in the South, so don’t be afraid to trim it back.  The leaves give off a pleasant aroma and can be steeped in boiling water for tea. Monarda is best used in the border in combination with other plants of similar height.

When planted in rich, moist soil monarda are easy to grow and relatively trouble free. They will spread quickly, so individual plantings are encouraged. To control the spread, trim small shoots around the edges of the plant. Deadheading is helpful on young, vigorously growing plants to prolong blooming, but may not be as effective on older plants.

And now here are a few tips for successful perennial gardening for the month of June. Herbaceous perennials are highly prized for their ornamental features and their ease of culture.That, however, does not mean that they require NO maintenance. Adherence to a summer schedule of maintenance duties will enhance the beauty of the garden and allow perennials to flourish.

June is the month to shear the tops of spring bloomers to ensure uniform and ornamental foliage for the remainder of the season. Grass shears can be used for this task.  At this time you should also cut back the foliage of spring-flowering daffodils and tulips that bloomed at least six weeks previously.

Early to mid-June is also a good time to cut back by half tall late season bloomers to control height and eliminate the need for staking. Perennials treated in this manner will mature at a shorter height and may flower slightly later than unpruned perennials. Plants that respond to this treatment include aster selections, artemisia, boltonia, Joe-pye weed, rudbeckia and Autumn Joy sedum. During June and throughout the summer season, plan to deadhead spent flowers as the need arises. This practice has the effect of improving the overall appearance of the plant, eliminating an abundance of unwanted seedlings, and promoting a continued bloom period or later re-bloom. Plants that require deadheading include coreopsis, daylilies, garden phlox, and others.

Hope these tips will get you on your way to a successful perennial garden in no time.  As always, our friendly experts are on hand 7 days a week to assist you in all your gardening needs. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Be sure to mark your calendars for this Saturday, June 19th for our Annual Auction. Join us for a full day of fun at our best sale of the year by participating in our absolute auction. Plants, trees, flowers, pots, urns, iron pieces, fountains and lots of other gift items will be auctioned off. It’s easy, just register and get a number, bid and be competitive, finish up your landscaping and get it all at a great price.

We will be grilling hot dogs and firing up the pizza oven again. Also look for some other great deals throughout the nursery and gift area.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! I’ll see you back here soon for more snippets from the garden.

Perennial Gardening Month

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Is everybody ready to start the weekend?  I know we sure are down at Garden Supply.  We always love to see so many of you filled with the excitement of working in your yard, and starting tomorrow, we have a little extra incentive for you. We are offering 20% off trees, shrubs, and home and garden decor. (That’s 20% off your entire purchase, not just one item, so if you’ve had your eye on something big, this is the sale for you). Just mention this blog post and you can start shopping tomorrow for the best selection.

This month is very special to us at the garden center, as June is Perennial Gardening Month. June is a perfect month to plant new perennials that will flower in June and beyond into summer and fall. At one time gardeners did most or even all of their perennial planting in the early spring season. Summer environmental conditions were considered too harsh for new plantings. This is not true any more! The use of plastic containers presently sold in the garden center allows plants to be easily acclimated to their new surroundings, as opposed to the past practices of marketing perennials either bare-root or field-dug.

We are celebrating Perennial Gardening Month with a huge selection of plants with a diversity of bright and colorful blooms and interesting foliar texture and variety that are perfectly suited for our tough Piedmont growing conditions. Here is just a small sampling of some of the beauties that caught my eye this week.

David Garden Phlox

This showy, clump forming perennial is prized for the profusion of enchanting white flower clusters that rise above the foliage.  This plant is great in borders, rock gardens, formal beds, and meadows.  The flowers are fabulous for cutting.

Chapel Hill Yellow Lantana

Chapel Hill lantana will brighten up any sunny area of your garden. Plant atop walls or in containers and allow it to cascade over the edge. Great for a mixed tropical border of vivid colored plants. Can be used as a ground-cover or as an accent plant in hanging baskets. This is a beautiful butterfly and hummingbird attracting plant. Chapel Hill lantana is exceptionally cold hardy and best of all, is deer resistant.

Omega Skyrocket and Color Wheel Stokes Asters

The Stokes’ aster is a tall long-lived perennial with slender, upright stems and blue flowers.  These are very striking with silver or yellow plantings. Use Stokes’ aster at the front of perennial borders; the deep green basal leaves are evergreen and, when not covered by snow, provide some color and texture all winter. This is an adaptable and easy to grow perennial, considered by many as one of the most attractive late-flowering perennials. Cut flowers remain attractive for a week or more.

Homestead Pink Verbena

Homestead Pink displays blazing rich pink blooms amplified by deep green lacy foliage.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and blooms May through October.  Also available in purple.

Homestead Purple Verbena

The Homestead’s low, spreading habit makes it a natural as a ground-cover or perfect as use for edging.

We have lots more gorgeous perennials to choose from down at the garden center.  Stop by and have our friendly experts help you make the perfect selections for your home landscape.

Daylillies and Deals From the Greenhouse

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! Hope you’ve all been having wonderful weeks and are gearing up with big plans for your weekend.  For many of you with children on the traditional calendar, this week marks the end of this school year and the official beginning of summer! Hope you’ll take a moment to stop in Garden Supply and capture a real burst of the summer brightness and color that is blooming throughout the nursery grounds.

Don’t forget that the 2010 NC Triangle Race for the Cure is this Saturday, June 12th at Meredith College.  We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who joined our Gardener’s for the Cure team to help raise money for breast cancer research.  We are so excited to announce that we have met our goal of raising $10,000, and we owe it all to you!  We couldn’t have done it without you!  For those of you who would like to register still, today is the last day for online registration.  Everyone who registers by midnight tonight will receive a special 12% discount card for all your Garden Supply purchases for the rest of this year, and will be entered in our drawing to win a $500 gift certificate from us.  It’s our little way of saying thanks. Go here to register for our team.

After today, you can still register for the race at one of the Komen pick up sites.  You can see all the important race day information here.

And now I have a burst of summer color to share with you, fresh from the perennial tables down at Garden Supply.

Just look at this lovely selection of daylilies that are just waiting to add a touch of brightness to your summer gardens. Daylilies are rugged, adaptable, vigorous perennials that endure in a garden for many years with little or no care. Daylilies adapt to a wide range of soil and light conditions. They establish quickly, grow vigorously, and survive winters with little or no injury. Each daylily plant produces an abundance of flower buds that open over a long period of time. There are many varieties, a wide range of flower colors, and the flowers continue during the heat of the summer.

Suncrest daylily

The Suncrest daylily grows 3-4 feet tall and produces large butter-yellow blooms that are splashed and speckled with maroon.

Daylilies belong to the genus Hemerocallis and are not true lilies. This Greek word is made up of two parts: hemera meaning day and kallos meaning beauty. The name is appropriate, since each flower lasts only one day.

Rosy Returns daylily

This beautiful Rosy Returns daylily produces masses of rose colored flowers from summer to fall.

Daylilies grow best in full sun. They will tolerate light shade, but flower best with a minimum of six hours of direct sun. Light shade during the hottest part of the day keeps the flowers fresh. Daylilies should not be planted near trees and shrubs that are likely to compete for moisture and nutrients.

KoKomo Sunset daylily

KoKomo Sunset offers clusters of large 4″ wide deep gold flowers with a burgundy-red eye, light ruffle, and a green throat.

Although daylilies are adaptable to most soils, they do best in a slightly acidic, moist soil that is high in organic matter and well drained. Daylilies can be planted almost any time the soil can be worked. Till the soil deeply before planting. Work in well-rooted manure or compost to increase organic matter. Apply fertilizer based on a soil test. Dig a hole large enough for the roots without bending or crowding them.

Landscaper’s Best Purple (left) and Little Wine Cup (right)

Dominic daylily

Dominic has deep maroon-red, almost-black blooms with just a bit of ruffling.

Chicago Apache daylily

Daylilies typically grow one to four feet in height and produce numerous flower buds that are showy over a long period. They are useful in the perennial flower border, planted in large masses, or as a ground cover on slopes, where they form a dense mat in just a few years. And as you can see, we have a fabulous assortment of daylilies to chose from in every color range.  Other varieties we have available include Conca d’Or, Stella d’Oro, Ann Warner, My Reggae Tiger, Sunday Gloves, Hyperion, Happy Returns, and Pardon Me. Come talk to our friendly experts on making the perfect selection for your garden.

And now, as promised, a little deal for you from the Greenhouse.

fabulous Tyler candles are now on sale, buy one, get one free! The Tyler Candle Company offers you many great ideas for gift giving regardless of the occasion. The perfect gift for you or someone special, Tyler offers a wide variety of scents to suite every personality. The diverse fragrances and products offered by Tyler Candle Co. will help you to enhance your homes ambiance and aesthetic.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  Hope to see you soon down at Garden Supply.

Butterfly Bush

Hello everyone, and happy Monday to you all!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Things are certainly heating up, and we are still in full swing down at Garden Supply.  We have a couple of events coming up that you will want to mark your calendars for. First, the 2010 NC Triangle Race for the Cure event is being held next Saturday, the 12th, at Meredith College.  Our Garden Supply team, Gardeners for the Cure, will be there, and we’d love to have you join us. Every 73 seconds we lose another Mom, daughter, wife, sister, friend, or co-worker to breast cancer. We ARE making strides, more than 200 of you are making an IMPACT right now, but we still have a way to go!  So here’s the link to our team page.  http://nctriangle.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/DUR_NCTriangleAffiliate?team_id=133021&pg=team&fr_id=1702 You’ll be amazed at what comes back to you.

A couple of items to note…you do not actually have to run or even walk on the 12th in order to participate.  Simply check the “sleep-in” option on the registration page.  For all of you who join us in this fight, you will receive a team Tee shirt, an after- party, and a special 12% discount card for ALL your Garden Supply purchases for the rest of the year.  And best of all, your name will be entered in our drawing to receive a $500 gift certificate to Garden Supply. Hurry, online registration ends June 10th.

Also, mark your calendars for out Annual Auction on June 19th. Join us for a full day of fun at our best sale of the year by participating in our absolute auction. Plants, trees, flowers, pots, urns, iron pieces, fountains and lots of other gift items will be sold. It’s easy, just register and get a number, bid and be competitive, finish up your landscaping and get it all at a great price. Please check back for more details on this event including live music and other promotions.

And now I have a few more blooming plants to share with you that will add stunning color to your garden all summer while attracting a myriad of wildlife at the same time. With a collection of butterfly bushes in your garden you will be able to behold the beauty and fragrant delight of these plants while also attracting butterflies and hummingbirds who will love to feed off the flowers. There are plenty of butterfly bush varieties from which to choose, they are not picky about where you plant them and they grow hardily no matter what area of the country you are in.  You can find blue, ruby, pink, purple and red plants of the buddleia species down at Garden Supply to make your landscape a rainbow of color.

Miss Ruby butterfly bush

Developed by Dr. Dennis Werner of the JC Raulston Arboretum in NC, Miss Ruby is noted for its compact habit and remarkable vivid, rich pink flowers. The flower color is unlike any other buddleia. This new butterfly bush has silver leaves with a well branched growth habit which results in lots of beautiful flowers.

Miss Ruby photo courtesy of colorchoiceplants.com

Black Knight butterfly bush

Every bush of a Black Knight buddleia is covered with long, star-like almost-black blossoms from summer through fall. An easy-to-grow shrub that should be an essential feature in all yards. Butterflies and hummingbirds can’t resist the honey- scented blooms. Place near a patio or pathway and you’ll also appreciate their fragrance. Removal of spent flower spikes during the growing season will encourage additional bloom, but consider leaving final blooms in place to facilitate reseeding.

Royal Red butterfly bush

One of the most commonly requested butterfly bushes is the royal red. The royal red butterfly bush, instead of red as one would expect, has brilliant violet flowers that bloom from mid-summer. Royal red butterfly bushes can reach a height of up to seven feet. The blooms of a royal red butterfly bush are very fragrant, and attractive to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. This vigorous, dense shrub will add structure and grace to a perennial border. The gray-green foliage of the royal red butterfly bush contrasts perfectly with the bright blooms.

Other butterfly bush varieties available at Garden Supply include:

Pink Delight- fragrant pink flower spikes from summer through fall.  Grows 4-6 feet tall and wide in an upright, spreading form. The fragrance has been described as similar to honey. The flower sprays are made of many tiny densely packed flowers.

Bicolor-the first Butterfly Bush to feature multiple colors on each bloom. Pannicles grow up to 10″ and feature raspberry and butterscotch yellow florets beginning in summer. It is an excellent attractant for butterflies and hummingbirds. Grows 6-8′ tall. Drought and deer resistant. Great cut flower.

Harlequin- Spectacular summer color from reddish-purple flower spikes. Terrific fragrance attracts butterflies. Good background or accent plant with the added bonus of variegated leaves.

Ellen Blue- Beautiful blue flowers with an orange eye and medium to high fragrance. Gray/silver foliage, grows to 6′. A seedling of ‘Lochinch’, selected by Ellen Hornig and named for her.

Lochinch- extremely fragrant lilac-blue flowers with orange eyes. Its arching, mounded habit typically reaches 3 to 5 feet in one season, but can grow much taller in the deep South. The 8-  to 12-inch-long flower spikes begin in late summer and bloom until frost.

Creating a butterfly garden is a fun hobby with an amazing pay-off.  You get to enjoy the beauty of many different species of colorful butterflies that visit your garden once your butterfly bushes begin to bloom and grow.  It is a popular hobby because it is not difficult, it is great for the environment and it is something that pretty much anyone can do. Stop by the garden center and let our helpful experts get you started on your own butterfly garden today.