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.

Bloomers for Early June

Hi everyone and happy Friday to you all!  Another weekend has rolled around again and the grounds at Garden Supply are looking as beautiful as ever.  Late spring, early summer is blessing us with tons of beautiful blossoms at the garden center, and I am so excited to share with you some of my favorites of the week.

As you can see, the perennial and annual tables are absolutely bursting with color.  The roses are magnificent right now and the hydrangeas are out of this world.  Scroll down a post or two to see more details on those.  I also mentioned previously the early blooming crape myrtle, Zuni, which continues to wow down at the garden center.  Now joining the Zuni in full bloom are the Natchez and Tonto varieties of crape.

Natchez Crape Myrtle

The Natchez Crape Myrtle is a best seller, made popular by being a fast growing tree that blooms all summer long. It grows very rapidly at 3-5 feet a year and is tolerant of many climates. The pure white blooms explode in brilliance against the tree’s deep green leafy canopy from June through September.  A Natchez Crape Myrtle also gives you the unusual bark coloring of cinnamon on the trunk and stems, along with its smooth, sleek distinctive texture.

Tonto Crape Myrtle

The new Tonto Crape Myrtle gives you huge, dark pink blooms throughout the summer. This is the perfect tree if you want to add vibrant color to your lawn, but have limited yard space. This crape myrtle matures to 8-15 ft., making it the perfect tree to tuck away in tight areas. However, it will soon attract attention with its abundance of dark pink flowers that last from late spring to early fall.

Zuni Crape Myrtle

The Zuni tops out at about 12′, making it the ideal choice for small yards and screening hedges. Blooming early summer through fall, Zuni features larger, dark lavender flower trusses, improved hardiness, and handsome peeling bark. Excellent fall foliage color from orange-red to maroon.

Another blooming tree that caught my eye this week is the stunning Southern Magnolia. Native to the southeastern United States, the magnolia is a large striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves and large white fragrant flowers. Widely cultivated around the world, over a hundred cultivars have been bred and marketed commercially.  We are excited to offer several varieties at Garden Supply, including this ‘Little Gem’ magnolia.

Little Gem Magnolia

This cultivar of Southern Magnolia has a compact, upright growth habit more typical of a multi-stemmed shrub than a single-trunked tree. It grows at a
slow rate to a height of perhaps 30 to 35 feet with an 8 to 12-foot spread. ‘Little Gem’ Southern Magnolia forms a dense, dark green oval or pyramidal
shape, making it suited for screen or hedge planting.

The Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora is a medium to large evergreen tree which may grow 27.5 m (90 ft) tall. It typically has a single stem and a pyramidal shape. The leaves are dark green, stiff and leathery, and the large, showy, citronella-scented flowers are white, up to 30 cm (12 in) across and fragrant, with 6–12 petals with a waxy texture, emerging from the tips of twigs on mature trees in late spring. Flowering is followed by a rose-colored fruit.

We also offer the Dwarf Southern Magnolia, a heavy bloomer with white, 6-inch flowers appearing  in spring and again in summer. Its narrow, evergreen form is 20 to 25 feet high by 10 to 15 feet wide. Green leaves are rusty bronze underneath.

I wanted to share with you a fun new line of Americana home decor items just in to the Greenhouse. These adorable pieces are full of spirit and are just waiting to brighten your homes this summer season.

And don’t forget our Gardener’s for the Cure team, part of the 2010 NC Triangle Race for the Cure, being held June 12th.  If you have not joined the team yet, it is not too late.  We are getting close to our goal of raising $10,000, but we still have a little way to go.  Every penny goes to research for finding a cure for breast cancer, and we appreciate each and every pledge.  So much so, in fact, that we are offering a special 12% discount card for all your Garden Supply purchases for the rest of this year.  Register with us at the nursery, or online here. Help us in this fight against breast cancer.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  See you all down at Garden Supply.

Everything is Coming up Roses

Hello everyone!  All of us at Garden Supply would like to wish you and your families a wonderful Memorial Day holiday.  How fortunate we are to live in this great country.  And a huge thank you to all of those in the armed forces who serve and protect us.  For you, we are truly grateful.

I hope you have a few moments to spare this long weekend to stop by Garden Supply and enjoy a stroll through the gardens.  We have so many gorgeous plants to see, including an amazing variety of a summer blooming favorite, the rose.  With our creepers and climbers and standards and topiary forms, we surely have the perfect rose for every gardener.

This year, we are especially excited to bring you the all-new climbing Knock Out rose.  With the increased disease-resistance and profusion of blooms on these fabulous cultivars, paired with the ability to creep and climb, this new variety is sure to be a huge hit.  They are available in limited quantities in both Brite Eyes (medium pink) and Winner’s Circle (fire-engine red).

Brite Eyes climbing KnockOut rose

The world’s most resistant to black spot climbing rose.  On the Brite Eyes rose, buds are a lovely shade of salmon pink that unfurl to reveal a creamy yellow center. Beautiful blooms from the new colored and nicely-shaped buds to the fully opened single roses. On the Winner’s Circle rose, the fire engine red color is non fading. In the fall the foliage turns deep burgundy red and the plants is covered with bright orange hips.

For an excellent creeping rose, be sure to check out these Drift Ground Cover roses.

Brighten borders and banks with ground cover roses.  Valued for their continuous bloom cycle and creeping habit, these are perfect for small gardens, containers, and hanging baskets.

Another climbing variety is this Golden Showers rose.

This popular yellow climber has bright flowers with honey-like fragrance.  It blooms spring through fall on very robust plants.

Make a statement with your container planting with topiary-form Knock Out roses from Monrovia.

rosa x ‘Radrazz’ topiary Knock Out rose

These maintenance-free roses continually produce self-cleaning flowers with unsurpassed resistance to black spot leaf disease.  Available in red ‘Radrazz’ and pink ‘Radcon’.

Be sure to check out our large selection of hybrid tea roses, as well.

Thank you all for stopping by and sharing part of your day with us.  Hope to see you all soon down at Garden Supply!

Hydrangea Heaven

Good morning everyone!  What a beautiful week it is.  It is so gorgeous down at the garden center right now.  I hope you all get a chance to stop by and stroll the gardens and drink in the beauty down every path.  The roses are blooming, the perennial and annual tables are absolutely bursting with color, and the tropicals from Monrovia are radiant and bright.  Everywhere the eye can wander at Garden Supply is a sight to behold, indeed.

Some of you may have noticed on your drives around town that the early Crepe Myrtles are beginning to bloom. Crepe Myrtles are wonderful additions to your home landscape offering colorful and long-lasting flowers along with sinewy, fluted stems and branches with a mottled appearance that arises from having bark that sheds throughout the year.

Zuni Crepe Myrtle

We are pleased to bring you this Zuni variety early-blooming Crepe Myrtle down at Garden Supply.  The Zuni is a special introduction featuring larger dark lavender flower trusses, improved hardiness, and handsome peeling bark. A must-have for the garden for early summer blooming.

And if you are ready for some truly gorgeous blossoms, you must come and see our hydrangeas.  We have a huge selection of flower type and color, from the standard globe-like mop form to delicate lace caps.  My absolute favorite variety and top find of the day is the ‘new for 2010’ Invincibelle Spirit hydrangea.

Invincibelle Spirit

The Invincibelle Spirit has rich pink flowers that bloom from early summer to the first frost.  This hardy and native plant even re-blooms without deadheading, and the fragrance is out of this world.

Blushing Bride & Twist-n-Shout

In the foreground here is the Endless Summer Blushing Bride hydrangea.  This lovely plant blooms with radiant pure white, semi-double florets that gradually mature to a sweet pink blush.  This newest member of the Endless Summer Collection reliably blooms on both old and new growth, producing more blooms all season long. Blushing Brideʼs full yet compact habit makes it an ideal plant for decorative containers, elegant as a stand-alone shrub or combined with other garden plants.

Beyond the Blushing Bride hydrangea in the above photo and below is the Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout.  Twist-n-Shout boasts gorgeous season-long blooms, vivid color, sturdy red stems and deep green foliage.


This stunning lace-cap hydrangea is available exclusively to independent North American nurseries in limited quantities, with European distribution to follow later this year.  So hurry in and get your hands on one while they last.

Another outstanding hydrangea is the Big Daddy variety, offering 12 – 14 inch flower heads which radiates blue and pink in tightly-clustered masses of gigantic blooms. Big Daddy features some of the largest flowers of any hydrangea. The plant has strong stems, making the blooms ideal for cutting.

Big Daddy

Or how about the lovely Light of Day which bears green leaves festively edged in white and  flattened lace-cap flowers in shades of blue and pink.

Light of Day

The inner blooms are either pink or blue, depending on the soil acidity. Surrounding the inner blooms are bright white flowers. ‘Light O’ Day’ will reach about four feet tall and four feet wide. It prefers moist soil (not wet) in a place with afternoon shade and morning sun. ‘Light O’ Day’ makes an excellent choice for the woodland garden or along the north side of the house or garage.  For maximum bloom production, choose a spot that is lightly shaded, has dappled shade or is shaded in the afternoon with morning sun.

For gorgeous repeat blooms look to the Endless Summer the Original hydrangea.
the Original
The repeat blooms of Endless Summer the Original truly offer gardeners an endless summer of incredible color. This hardy plant is perfect for everything from foundation planting to container gardening. They even make an ideal floral arrangement or table setting as cut flowers.  And speaking of color – that’s also one of the remarkable aspects of this plant. You can alter the color from pink to blue. LEARN MORE
For a eye-catching white blooming variety, check out the Anabelle arborescens hydrangea.
‘Annabelle’ is one of the most popular hydrangeas, growing under a wide range of conditions. It has very symmetrical large flowers on erect stems. Elegant best describes this plant. Welcomed, mid to late summer flowers are white to greenish-cream and 6-inches across.
Come on down to Garden Supply and see these stunning hydrangeas for yourself, along with all our beautiful plant selections.  Our experts are standing by to help you create the yard of your dreams this season. And I’ll be back here soon for more snippets from the garden. Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

TLC for Container Plants

Good morning everyone!  The gloomy weather continues this week, but that doesn’t slow us down at Garden Supply.  We are bursting with activity and beautiful plant selections, with choices to please any gardener, from beginner to expert.  Stop by and check out our fabulous array of stunning Knock Out Roses. The Knock Out Family of Roses are easy to grow and do not require special care. They are the most disease resistant rose on the market. They have stunning flower power with a generous bloom cycle (about every 5-6 weeks) that will continue until the first hard frost. All of the Knock Out Roses are self-cleaning so there is no need to deadhead. We are happy  to be able to offer the shrubs, as well as gorgeous topiary forms, and even a brand new climbing variety that we are particularly excited about.

Monrovia Knock Out Rose topiary Rosa x ‘Radrazz’

Over the last week, I’ve been sharing tips and techniques for growing outstanding container plantings, and today I’d like to share a little TLC for your container garden.  You’ve chosen your plants and planted them in quality potting mix.  Now, proper care will keep them happy.

Pots in full sun often require daily soaking, especially in our hot Piedmont summers.  Shade pots, however, are easy to overwater.  If the soil is wet to the touch, wait another day.

Regularly snip off spent blooms and brown leaves to keep your containers looking in tip-top shape. Deadheading flowers often stimulates extra blooming, as well.

Place pots where they’ll receive the amount of sun or shade appropriate for the plants in them.  All the plants in a pot should have similar sun and water needs.

With just these few simple tips, you’ll be growing a fabulous container garden in no time.  Our friendly experts are always on hand to answer any questions and help you make the right selections for your yard, too, so come on down and pay us a visit.

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

Outdoor Containers- Basic Design

Good morning everyone!  We sure are getting a spot of rain this weekend, aren’t we?  It’s a bit gloomy for us, but just think how happy the dry landscape is right about now.  I know that my grass was feeling the strain of the heat already.

Last post I shared with you all a few tips on selecting the right pots and potting mixes for your outdoors containers. Now that you’ve gotten started, here are a few hints on basic design principles to create a stunning impact with your pots.

For a good basic design, just remember three words- thriller, spiller and filler. Combine an upright plant, a trailer that spills down the pot’s sides, and a filler to add fullness and color.

Good choices for your thriller plants include yucca, cannas, fountain grass, and the ‘spikes’ shown here, among others. Try ferns, hostas or heucheras for your shady container garden.

False Dracaena ‘Spikes’


Options for the spiller feature include creeping jenny, sweet potato vines, calibrachoa, and bacopa, to name a few.

Callie Brights Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa, available in multiple color choices, provide an abundance of brightly colored blooms all season long.  They are easy to grow and very rewarding.  Perfect for all kinds of containers, including window boxes, hanging baskets and combination planters.

Giant White (suteracordata) Bacopa

Hundreds of beautiful flowers cover the bacopa trailing plants all summer.  The Giant White variety continues to bloom even after other bacopas have stopped, making it another perfect choice for your containers.

Filler plants are available in all different color choices and foliar interest.  Look for flowers in the annuals section, any number of which will be perfect for the filler feature.

To make a real impact with your container garden, remember there is power in numbers.  Combine three, five, or even more pots in varying sizes and styles on steps, in a corner, or at an entry.  Containers that are unremarkable by themselves take on greater impact in groups.

If you’re looking for a real star of the show, know that pots with single plants can be stunning accents.  Choose a larger container and a plant with striking features, and this stand-alone will take center stage.

Hope these basic design tips help you create the container garden of your dreams.  Remember that our helpful experts are on hand seven days a week to assist with all your planting needs, including tips on choosing the right plants for your containers.  I’ll be back soon with hints about TLC for your newly planted pots.  See you all soon!