Amaryllis: A gift that keeps on giving

amaryllisSo you don’t want to cook but you feel compelled to bring something to the Thanksgiving dinner you were invited to by the neighbors. Why bring something that will be gobbled up in one day anyway, when you could instead give a gift that keeps on giving?

The amaryllis. They’re cheap, fast and easy to grow. And now is the perfect time to plant them. You’ve seen them boxed and wrapped in 500 different ways at more stores than you thought carried green goods. The reason so many retailers carry them? Because they provide an impeccable bang for your buck and because on a care-giving scale they’re easy as pie.

They’re not so pretty when you buy them–just a bulb, soil and a pot that usually come together as a kit. But once that first glimpse of green appears, the receiver of this gift will find themselves tranced by the pace of this bulb’s growth and then stunned by the enormous, bold blooms this holiday plants carries.

To care for the amaryllis, place the potted bulb in a warm, sunny place in the home. The warmer the temperature, the faster the bulb will sprout and grow! Here’s a helpful hint: try placing the pot on top of the refrigerator where it is extra warm. This may stimulate growth.

Water the amaryllis only after the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. If your kit comes with Spanish moss, just be sure to lift the moss when you water. We don’t want to cause our sweet potted pet to rot at the roots!

There are many varieties of amaryllis. We carry several kit varieties as well as single bulbs. Each variety has a slightly different growth period but in general, you’ll begin to see the bulb transform between two to eight weeks after it’s potted.

Once the amaryllis sprouts, be sure it’s receiving ample sunlight. South-facing windows and sunrooms are perfect! These plants grow quite fast and very tall. If you (or your neighbor) notice the stalk is beginning to lean in one direction, simply rotate it often so that it will begin to grow towards the direction of the light and straighten itself back out. If the amaryllis grows extra tall, it may need a small stake for added support.

So how does this bulb keep giving? With proper care and minimal effort, this beauty will bloom again! After the blossoms die, cut the dried flowers leaving the stalk until it also dies back. Keep watering and fertilizing the plant which may still provide long, elegant green foliage through the winter until the last frost. When spring temperatures are about 50 degrees, begin to transition the plant to the outdoors by bringing the pot out to a shady area. Plants can get sunburn too! So this step is imperative. Slowly, expose the plant to more light until finally planting it in the ground in a sunny area of the yard. Water and fertilize for about six weeks and come summer, you’ll have yet another bloom.

By mid-August, after this bloom fades, leave it alone. No need for water or plant food. Come September, dig up the bulb from outdoors and find that pot from the last Thanksgiving to plant it in. Store it in a cool, dark place and leave it alone for at least two months.

Remember how long it took for the amaryllis to bloom last time? Do a little math and decide when you want your bulb to bloom. When you’re ready, remove it from your closet, pantry or wherever you stored it, and begin to water it just as you did the first time.

Repeat each and every year. Now, that’s a gift worth giving.

For additional tips on amaryllis bulbs or other plant care questions, feel free to drop by Garden Supply Company any time. We’ll be happy to help you.

How to make your own holiday accent bows

DSC_0127Accent bows. They are the focal point of the wreaths on our front doors. They’re at the tops of our Christmas trees and grace all of our windows with perfect symmetry. They seem so elegant in their simplicity. And they are simple. Holiday accent bows can be just as easy to create as they are easy on the eye. Can you tie them in a knot? Then you can tie them in a bow.

So gather your ribbons from the attic or drop by to see us. (We have an entire wall filled with holiday ribbon!) Pick a traditional red felt or go all out with hues of blue or glitter galore. The choice is up to you! While you’re out, pick up a spool of floral wire and wire cutters (if you don’t already own a pair).

Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1. Furrow the brow. Put a smirk in the lip and get your Martha Stewart face on. Confidence is key. Get ready to rock these ribbons!

Step 2. Pump up the holiday jams. Let’s get inspired. Now, decide just how large you want your bow. Take the end piece of your ribbon and create a loop. Pinch and twist. Wrap the cinched center with your floral wire.

Step 3. Repeat step two, creating another loop approximately the same size. Place it opposite of the first loop. Once you’ve pinched and twisted, repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…until you are satisfied with the fullness of your accent bow.

Step 4. Fasten the center of the bow with floral wire by wrapping several times. Once you feel it’s secure, twist at the back leaving enough wire to later use to fasten your bow to a wreath, window or tree.

Step 5. Fluff it up and hang your unique, hand-made accent bow in your place of choice.

Think you’ll be needing a little extra hands-on help in the accent bow department? Join us Thursday, November 19 from 6:00-7:30pm for our Holiday Wine and Design Workshop and get ready to knock your neighbor’s socks off. For details, click here.

DIY: How to make your own terrarium in seven easy steps

Terrariums are so in right now! But they can cost a pretty penny if you decide to purchase a pre-made terrarium off of the shelf. So why not save a few bucks and create something that’s truly your own?

TerrariumWhat you’ll need:
-Glass container
-Potting soil
-Stones or glass
-Decorative pieces*
-Small plants

* = Optional

Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1. Select your glass container. You can use anything so let your imagination grow wild! Search your attic. Find an old mason jar. Or come see us at Garden Supply Company. We have a wide assortment of glass containers to choose from.

Step 2. Once you’ve selected your container, create your first drainage layer by pouring the stones or glass pieces you purchased into the bottom of it. Pour so that the depth of this layer is about 1” to 2” from the bottom. This will provide a place for any water not absorbed by the plants to settle.

Step 3. Adding activated charcoal is the secret step in keeping bacteria, odors and fungus out of your terrarium. It can be a bit messy so this is where your gloves may come in handy. Scoop a handful into your glass container. Just enough to cover the rocks is perfect.

Step 4. Keep your gloves on! Now it’s time to add your soil. Select a soil that’s appropriate for the type of plants you’ve picked. Succulents require a different composition than your other smaller house plants. Try not to mix the two in your container. Add 1” to 3” of soil just on top of the charcoal, depending on your container size. Just be sure there’s enough room for the roots of your plants.

Step 5. Remove plants from the plastic containers they came in and break up the root ball with your fingers. If the roots are especially long, you can trim them back with the scissors slightly to fit the container. Use your fingers to create room for your plants. Place them accordingly.

Step 6. Now it’s time to rock your little world! Add miniature accessories like moss, figurines or marbles. Want to make it festive? This is where it gets fun! It’s getting close to the holidays, so why not add mini holiday knick-knacks to your terrarium that you can replace after the holidays?

Step 7. Chances are, your terrarium is still a little bit of a mess. So dust it off and wipe any dirt from the sides of your container. Water your cute little indoor garden with just a little bit of water. Your new terrarium doesn’t need as much water as most house plants so water sparingly!

Still think you need a little help? No worries! We have the perfect DIY event for you. Join us Sunday, November 15 for our Holiday Terrariums workshop. Want to find out more? Click here.

Bulb Lasagne: A Recipe for Fall

All we can think of are pansies and mums. It’s that time of year, right? Well, yes. But don’t forget to think ahead!

AlthoughBulbs we just entered fall, now is the time to think spring. The best time to plant bulbs to bloom for the spring is between October and November–right now! So while you’re repotting your container gardens with those pansies, mums and evergreens, be sure to grab a handful of your favorite bulbs while you’re at it. This way, by the time spring rolls around you’ll be in for a hands-free continuous and colorful blooming treat.

One of Garden Supply Company’s favorite ways to plant bulbs for container gardens can be found in a recipe we like to call Bulb Lasagne–otherwise known as bulb layering. Using this technique, you’ll maximize the space in your planters using the depth of the pots to carefully place bulbs at different heights according to which bulbs will bloom first to last. By layering your bulbs, you’ll also maximize the color and number of blooms you’ll see come spring. Give it a whirl!


Bulb Lasagne

Potting soil
Food for bulbs
Bulbs––Choose one of your favorites from each layer below!

Top Layer
Grape Hyacinth

Middle Layer


Be sure your pot has a hole for drainage. Fill the bottom of your container with potting soil and bulb food. Leave about six inches of space from the top. Plant the bottom layer (largest bulbs) about one inch apart. Add about two more inches of soil and food. Then place your medium-sized bulbs in the potting mix about one inch apart. Add another layer of soil and food. Plant your final layer of smaller bulbs. Add more soil and bulb food.
Now it’s time to plant for those pansies and mums! Plant your fall foliage on top of your bulb lasagne so you’ll have something for now and something for later.

In need of bulbs, pots, potting soil or further assistance? Join our special guest Suzanne Edney on Fri, October 16, 9:30am – 10:30am for Coffee and Gardening. This week we’ll be talking about bulbs!

Pumped for Pumpkins: DIY Decor Ideas for Fall

We’re getting pumped for fall! Are you? Check out our top five unique pumpkin DIY decorating ideas! 
Fall is here. Halloween is just around the corner. And the orange, yellow, green and white hues of pumpkins glows from every corner. Although decorating with pumpkins stems from a seasoned ritual, Garden Supply Company has a few ideas that put a spin on the fall decorating tradition. Let’s get creative!

Our Top Five Unique Pumpkin Decorating Ideas:

1. Pumpkin Container Garden – Ceramic pots come in all shapes, sizes and colors these days. But if you’re really in the fall fest spirit, why not make your own pot? No need for clay and kiln here! We’re talking about using your pumpkin as a pot. For this pumpkin project, all you’ll need is a kitchen knife and serving spoon. Cut the top off of the pumpkin just like you would if you were carving a jack-o-lantern, scoop the seeds out from the inside, add potting soil and your choice of fall plants.

2. Seasonal Succulent Garden – No need for a knife here! Creating a succulent container garden actually requires gluing, not cutting. For this project you’ll need spray adhesive, a hot glue gun, moss and succulent cuttings. Rather than cutting the top from the pumpkin, simply spray the bottom of your moss and adhere to the area near the stem in small sections. Once the top is covered, gather your succulent cuttings and begin to hot glue them to the moss beginning with the center first.

What we love about this pumpkin piece is that the succulents will begin to grow into the moss if they are cared for properly. Just mist once a week with a small spray bottle. Once your pumpkin begins to age, simply cut the top off and plant the succulents elsewhere!

3. Glitzy Table Arrangements – There are many ways to make your miniature to medium-sized pumpkins and gourds fit for a feast. The easiest way to do this is to douse them in gold! Simply purchase a can of gold (white and silver work too!) spray paint and paint an assortment of our traditionally orange pumpkins. Wait for them to dry and then spread them across your dinner table runner or pile them in a large white or wooden serving dish for display. These center-pieces are sure to dazzle your guests!

4. Festive Table Toppers – Tiny pumpkins and gourds are oh, so cute! Why not buy a few or enough to adorn your dinner table or another place in the house that could use a little light? Take the tops off of each pumpkin and carve them so that there’s room for a votive candle in each one. Just before your guests arrive or the kids sit down for dinner, light the votives for your special occasion.

5. Halloween-Themed Terrarium – With the cooler air coming our way, terrariums are a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in. Dress up your terrarium with miniature pumpkins and gourds or small spooky gravestones and skulls from our gift shop.

Interested in creating your own? Learn more about how to build and spruce your terrarium up for halloween on Sunday, October 25, from 3:00-4:30pm. All building materials such as gravel, activated charcoal, moss and dirt will be supplied. Find out more here. Cost: $25 *Does not include plants and spooky accessories. 

A Perennial Favorite, the Rose


Roses have captured the hearts of gardeners for centuries. Throughout recorded history, people have been growing roses. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war, and politics. During the Roman period, roses were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century that royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and they were often used as barter and for payments. No other plant has such a rich and extensive history. In fact, according to fossil records, the rose is 35 million years old.


The popularity of roses continues on today, with more than 2,000 different varieties to choose from. New varieties with increased disease resistance and winter hardiness make roses an excellent choice for shrub borders and perennial gardens, alike. From old classics like tea roses, shrub roses and old garden roses to climbers, miniatures, and the ever-popular Knock-Out series of roses, we have all your favorites at Garden Supply Co.