Arbor Day Sale

Hello everyone, and welcome to the start of a brand new weekend!  And what a beautiful weekend it is predicted to be, with warming temperatures and blue skies.  Sounds like the perfect time for a bit of gardening.  And in honor of Arbor Day today, we have a few specials and promotions going on down at Garden Supply.

While the locally-owned family farms we get our plants from are doing well delivering to local garden centers like us, they are still not catching up because of the decline in “new home” building.  The landscapers fuel this inventory buy and they aren’t installing much right now….see the trickle down of the economy?  I know you get this and see the importance of continuing to buy local when you can! We feel so strongly about it and want to continue to bring you the freshest plants at the best prices.  So, all day Friday and Saturday until noon, come in with this blog post to receive 20% off all your trees and shrub purchases. We want to give our growers a BIG re-order Monday! Take advantage of this great offer to purchase that commemorative tree for Arbor Day!

We also are bringing back our perennial sale from last weekend.  Purchase 10 perennials and receive 10% off, 20 perennials and receive 20% off, and 30 or more perennials and receive 30% off.  And just in time for your spring clean-up projects, we are reducing the price on some of our mulch.  Our triple shredded hardwood mulch is now $22.00/yd., and our N.C. long-leaf pine straw is $4.40/bale. These sale prices are good through May 15th.

When you get ready to plant your new trees and shrubs, here are a few handy planting tips to keep in mind.

Handle balled & burlapped (B&B) plants by the ball and container plants by the pots as much as possible.  If your new plants must be held for several days before planting, put them in an area where they will be protected from excessive sun or drying winds.  Water thoroughly every 2-3 days until planting.  Check daily, as more or less frequent watering may be necessary depending upon weather conditions and the size of the plant.

Consider the mature size of the plant and be familiar with sun and moisture requirements as well.  Pick an area that will accommodate these requirements.  Do not plant in excessively wet or dry soil.

Your hole should be dug at least 1 1/2 times the width, but NO deeper than the size of the root ball.  Mix existing soil in equal parts with soil conditioner and composted cow manure.  An adequate amount of Bio-tone, Plant-tone, or Holly-tone and Dynamite fertilizer should be added to insure nutrient content.

Remove plant from pot by placing hand on top of root ball and turning over.  Tap and pull the pot until the root ball slips out.  Loosen any roots if necessary on pot-bound plants.  On B&B plants, do not remove any wire, string, or burlap.

Place a portion of your amended soil mixture in the bottom of the hole so that 1/4 of the height of the root ball is above ground level, depending on the moisture content.  Backfill around root ball, using soil mixture.  Lightly tamp soil to hold plant in position and help insure good root-to-soil contact.

Mound remainder of amended soil mixture up to the edge of the root ball to produce a “ring” for water retention and root insulation.  See photo above.  Place mulch at a maximum depth of 1 to 2 inches on top of root ball and 3 inches elsewhere.  Soil conditioner or hardwood mulch is best for trees.

You can find these full instructions, along with other helpful tips on watering and lawn care, in our handy Planting Guide, available for free in the Greenhouse.  And as always, our helpful staff is on hand 7 days a week to assist you with all your gardening plans.

So get out there and get planting!  And happy Arbor Day everyone!

Arbor Day Activities

Hello everyone!  In honor of Arbor Day tomorrow, I would like to share a few activities that you can do at home with your kids that will encourage a love of trees and nature that will last a lifetime.  Not only will they be developing strong, earth-friendly habits young, but you will have a ton of fun together as well.

This rustic twig frame is a simple and quick project that even very young children can do.  All you need is a few twigs, some string or twine, glue (hot glue works well), and a photo for framing.

Collect 2 bunches of twigs.  One bunch (about 6 to 8 twigs) should be approximately 2 inches longer than your photograph. The other bunch of twigs should be about 2 inches wider than your photo.

Arrange the twigs so that they surround the photo and extend outward about an inch in each direction.  Tie the twigs at each corner using the string or twine, making an X pattern.

glue the photo onto the back of your twig frame.  Hot glue works the best, but be careful of young children and hot glue.

Glue a small loop of string to the top batch of twigs for hanging the photo.

This string of leaves are a great way to decorate a room.  You can string these across a window or along a mantel or around a chandelier for a great holiday decoration.  Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

  1. Construction paper (any natural colors)
  2. Crayons or markers
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue, tape or staples
  5. A long piece of yarn or string

Draw a leaf on construction paper.  Make sure to draw a stick stem on the top.  Your leaf will hang from this stem, which will be folded over.  You can freehand your leaves, trace a real leaf from outside, or download a leaf template.

Cut out the leaf and fold the stem in half.  You can draw on leaf veins if you wish.

Attach the leaf to the long string using tape, glue, or staples.  Draw more leaves and repeat the process.

I hope these give you some great ideas for adding a few Arbor Day celebrations to your house.  And remember, the best Arbor Day project of all is to plant a new tree in your garden.  We have so many beautiful options to choose from, and as always, our experts are on hand to assist you with selecting the perfect tree for your yard.

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

Master Gardener

Hello everyone!  What a beautiful weekend it has been.  I hope you all had a chance to swing by Garden Supply to take advantage of our fabulous perennial sale.  We have so many new arrivals right now, our tables are literally bursting, and plants are spilling over onto the ground.  But even if you missed the sale this weekend, we still have a ton of fabulous perennials for you to choose from that would look perfect in your container garden and flower beds.

And speaking of perennials, I would like to introduce you all to one of our expert horticulturalists here at the garden center.  Allison has a background in horticulture, and after moving from California five years ago, she has dedicated herself to learning about North Carolina’s native plants, shrubs and trees.

Always passionate to learn more, mixing with a desire to give back to the community, Allison enrolled in the Master Gardener program last fall. The Master Gardener program, conducted throughout the United States and Canada, is a two-part educational effort, in which avid gardeners are provided many hours of intense home horticulture training, and in return they “pay back” local university extension agents through volunteerism.  Master Gardeners assist with garden lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, school and community gardening, phone diagnostic service, research, and many other projects.  If you are interested in learning more about the Master Gardening program, go here.

Allison is just one of our talented group of resident horticulturists here at the garden center.  She specializes in trees, shrubs, turf, and perennials and also is involved in our in-house design team.  And not only is she knowledgeable, she is also downright friendly and cute as a button.  Next time you’re down at Garden Supply, stop by and say Hi.

As always, if you’ve got gardening questions, we’ve got your answers!

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

Perennial Sale

So, what do you do when you have more perennials than can fit on your tables?  When you receive so many plants in one week that they are spilling over onto the ground? You have a SALE, that’s what you do!  All this weekend, purchase 10 perennials and receive 10% off, 20 perennials and receive 20% off, 30 or more perennials and receive 30% off. Now that’s a sale!

We have so many gorgeous perennials currently in stock. It is a pure joy to walk the grounds.  I am truly amazed at the huge selection of plants available, from drought tolerant species to shade lovers to ground covers to succulents to tall spires of blossoms, and everything in between.

Besides having a stunning array of plants to choose from, Garden Supply also offers a huge variety among species.  Take the lovely shade tolerant perennial commonly known as Coral Bells, for example.  I counted approximately 15 varieties of Heuchera alone, in a wide range of color options, foliage size and venation, and preferred growing conditions. Take a look at what I mean.

We have Heuchera ‘Velvet Night’, ‘Miracle’, ‘Marmalade’, ‘Midnight Rose’, ‘Palace Purple’, ‘Montrose Ruby’, ‘Obsidian’, ‘Snow Angel’, ‘Plum Pudding’, ‘Berry Smoothie’, ‘Blackout PPAF’, and ‘Silver Scrolls’.  I brought home this variety called ‘Tapestry’ and planted it in a pot under my deck in an area that receives a lot of shade.

‘Tapestry’ has stunning multicolored and veined foliage with free flowering stems of warm pink flowers.  The dark-centered leaves are colored blue green in spring and summer, changing to green in the fall and winter.

And of course we have many, many more plants to choose from.  How about some Artemisia, Asclepias, Platycodon, Gypsophila, Penstemon, Agapanthus, Lavandula, Nepeta, Leucanthemum, or Silene?

Silene, commonly referred to as Catchfly, has narrow, strap-like leaves with dark green centers and wide creamy gold margins.  Their single pink flowers are attractive to butterflies.

Or maybe you would prefer some Lobelia, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Euphorbia, Lysimachia, Echinacea, Baptista, Scabiosa, Linum, Verbascum, or Centaurea?

Centaurea has deep purplish-blue flowers with thistle-like centers over foliage that is lightly covered in silver hairs.  It will self-seed and attracts butterflies.  Centaurea is deer resistant.

Yet still we have Phlox, Salvia, Veronica, Armeria, Tickseed, Papaver, Cerastium, Achillea, Sedum, Monarda, Helianthemum, Gazania, Eryngium, Gallardia, Foxgloves, and Columbines.  Just to name a few!

I’m out of breath!  How about you?

Make sure to stop by the garden center this weekend and take advantage of this wonderful sale.  You’ll have your gardens looking amazing with brand new plants fresh off the truck while enjoying some serious savings at the same time!

We’ll see you soon!

Earth Day- You Can Make a Difference

Good morning everyone!  Today is Earth Day, and it’s the 40th anniversary of the holiday.  It’s a great time to learn about our planet and how to take care of it.  Think you can’t make a difference?  Not so.  Little things- like using a cloth shopping bag, or tossing potato skins and eggshells into a compost bin- can help the environment.  Teach your kids now, and they will develop good habits that endure throughout their lifetime.  Together we can see, just one person can make a difference.

Here are a few ways you can go green this Earth Day, and every day.

Explain to your children that lights, televisions, computers and furnaces all use energy, and that energy is in short supply.  Turning off the lights when leaving the room or switching off the TV when you’re done watching will save energy.

Also, appliances like coffee-makers, DVD and CD players, toasters, and hairdryers do use energy, even when turned off.  Unplugging your devices from the electrical outlet is the way to conserve energy when not in use.

Every bottle and can that we use is waste, and will end up sitting in the town dump unless it’s recycled.  The Town of Cary has a wonderful curb-side recycling program and yard waste collection making recycling a snap.  If there’s no recycling collection in your area, find out where you can drop off items.

It’s easy to collect your own food scraps and garden waste and turn it into healthy compost for your yard.  Get your kids involved in a little craft project to create a compost container, like this cute one here.

photo courtesy of

This project isn’t only fun- it’s great for the environment and your garden too. With just a minimum of effort, you can help reduce waste and produce rich, healthy soil to spread around your yard.  Too see step-by step instructions for creating this project, as well as other fun Earth Day kids crafts and activities, check out this wonderful website.


  • shut off the water while brushing your teeth
  • use cloth or re-usable tote bags while shopping
  • walk or ride your bike instead of taking the car
  • take shorter showers and install water saving shower heads
  • choose products with less packaging

Trees not only will beautify your yard, they also help remove pollutants and dust from the air.  They also act as natural insulation-enough to cut your heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent.  Planting a tree can commemorate a special event or anniversary and also acts as a natural jungle gym.  We have tons of trees to choose from down at the garden center.  A nice choice for this time of the year is the Fringe tree, in full bloom this week.

Fringe tree or Old Man’s Beard is a beautiful, small tree when it is in full Spring bloom. It can grow nearly anywhere in the continental United States and it’s white flower color kicks in just as the dogwood blooms are fading.

The upright oval to rounded form of Fringe tree adds dark green color in summer, bright white flowers in spring. The pure white, slightly fragrant flowers hang in long, spectacular panicles which appear to cover the tree with cotton for two weeks. As with other white flowered trees, they look best when viewed against a dark background.

I planted this Fringe Tree from Garden Supply in my own yard two years ago for Earth Day.  What a spectacular addition to my landscape!

If you’re looking for some additional activities for this Earth Day, join us this evening at Cary’s all green McDonalds on Kildaire Farm Rd. for a fun-filled schedule of events.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  And don’t forget that you, too, can do your part to help save the environment, today and everyday!

Azalea Time

If you think shrubs in North Carolina, one plant that  will almost assuredly come to mind is the Azalea.  Azaleas are definitely one of the most sought-after plants in our area.  And why not?  Azaleas and rhododendrons are shrubs for all seasons. In winter some stand out with large evergreen leaves. In spring the flowers are showy; throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep green color to the garden. Some deciduous azaleas add bright fall color before the leaves drop. The spectacular spring flowers of azaleas and rhododendrons make them among the most popular garden shrubs.

Yes, springtime in the Carolinas means Azaleas in full bloom, and do we ever have a ton to choose from down at Garden Supply.  From white to hot pink and orange to red, we’ve got options in every color, including the ever popular Encore Azaleas offering blooms spring, summer and fall.  Check out this stunning Wolfpack Red Azalea, released by NCSU.  Perfectly adapted for growing in our area, this little charmer packs a lot of punch.

These Carla (North Carolina-Louisiana) Hybrids originated at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., with the goals of better resistance to root rot diseases, drought and cold. These hybrids, whose parentage includes Kurume, Kaempferi, Belgian Indian and Satsuki hybrids, are medium to large evergreen shrubs with a vigorous growth habit. Flowers are borne in mid spring in showy trusses of up to four blooms. Plant as you would any of the other azaleas: high and in well-drained, acid soil, rich with organic matter.

For a bright pink/magenta variety, how about the Formosa Azalea.

These Azaleas are spring blooming and the foliage is evergreen. They have an upright growth habit and are the best choice for a high light area. The Formosa has beautiful magenta deep colored flowers that grow profusely during the spring. The flowers are 3 inches in diameter, Azalea indica ‘Formosa’ can get up to 6-8 feet in height and does best on acidic soils.

Another beautiful pink variety is this Coral Bells azalea.

Abundant coral pink hose-in-hose blooms with darker pink centers and veins make a wonderful spring show.  A hose-in-hose azalea is one for which every trumpet-shaped flower has a second trumpet-flower inside it.  Flowers are backed by tiny evergreen foliage on a low spreading form.

Or how about something completely different?  Say a stunning orange azalea to spice up your shady nooks?  Then be sure to check out this Azalea x Goldstrike species which boasts striking gold flowers with orange blotches.

And for the serious Azalea lover, be sure to check out our selection of gorgeous Encore Azaleas. People who adore spring blooming azaleas can now enjoy an explosion of Encore Azalea color season after season. Encore Azaleas are the only patented brand of azaleas to bloom in spring,summer and fall. Each of the Encore varieties begins their performance with the spring flowering season. Once this “first act” of blooming concludes, new shoots begin to grow and set buds. The Encore Azalea’s “second act” opens when these buds begin blooming into full flower mid-summer. This unique bloom season continues through the fall, the curtain dropping with the onset of cold weather. But, the show goes on. As an “encore,” these exceptional azaleas flower again with traditional spring azaleas and the process starts over.

The red variety on the left is Autumn Sunset, and the pink bloomer on the right is called Autumn Belle.  We also have the white Autumn Moonlight variety.

And this last little charmer for today is a variegated pink species appropriately entitled Autumn Twist.

Come on down to the garden center and let our friendly experts advise you on picking the perfect azaleas and shrubs for your home landscape.  We are open 7 days a week and are ready to help you get your gardens in tip-top shape this season.  Hope to see you all soon.

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