The Incredible, Edible Pansy!

Yellow PansiesNow is a great time to clean up your planted pots that may be looking a little bedraggled coming off the summer heat. Pansies are a great option to spruce things up, because they will grow and bloom all winter and into spring. Many pansies are bright and bi-colored, making them an eye-catching addition to any garden or pot. Once spring rolls back around, pansies that were planted in fall are usually more robust, having been able to establish strong roots. This plant doesn’t like extreme heat or humidity, which is why they enjoy our fall and spring weather.

Pansies are compact and low growing, so they are ideal for edging, borders or container plantings. They grow into clumps as opposed to spreading along the ground, and most varieties will reach a height of 4 – 8 inches. This flower is a great match with spring bulbs. A popular method for mixing pansies with spring-blooming bulbs is to plant bulbs in a garden bed, and then plant pansies right over the bulbs. In the spring, the bulbs will bloom and, as their flowers wilt, the pansies will be beginning their spring bloom. This is an excellent technique to maximize your garden bed color in the spring. Tulips or daffodils are a couple options that look great with pansies. Some cool-season annuals that complement pansies well are snapdragon, calendula, and nemesia. Purple Pansy

Pansies are fairly easy to grow and will flourish under most conditions as long as they have good soil and at least partial sun. They like steady moisture so don’t let them dry out too much. One of the top reasons pansies fail is not getting enough water, so keep an eye on them and water if you notice they have dried out. Pansies respond well to deadheading, so keep plucking the wilting flowers off of ‘em. Ensure the plant has adequate nutrition by amending the soil with soil conditioner and Bio-Tone starter fertilizer.

A fun fact about the pansy flower: it’s edible! It has a mild, almost minty flavor and tends to be used a lot for decorations and as a garnish. (If you decide to sample some pansies, make sure no pesticides have been used on the plant.)
Drop by and see us, we have a fantastic supply of pansies right now that will do a great job of giving your garden or containers a fun pop of color!

Mum’s the Word-Care Tips

Good morning everyone! Yesterday I shared with you some of the beautiful autumn mums we’ve received this week at the Garden Center. Mums are, without a doubt, one of our most popular fall bloomers. They look equally great in containers on your front porch as in borders in your mixed beds, and come in a rainbow of autumn colors. The garden mum just cannot be beaten for beautiful fall color. And now that you’ve picked up a few mums for your yard, I have a few tips and tricks for keeping your new plants looking in tip-top shape.

Fall planted mums need a little attention to help them make it in the landscape through the winter. Get these fall-blooming perennials in the ground as soon as possible. If using mums as container plants, it’s unlikely they will make it through winter, so enjoy their seasonal color as you would annuals.

Plant mums in full sun, in well-drained soil that is moderately moist. If the soil is too wet or too dry, the mums will suffer. Keeping the soil moist will ensure good root development on the plants as they go into winter, even after the tops have gone dormant. They tolerate part shade, but if it is too shady, the mums will get leggy and have smaller flowers. If your area receives at least half a day of sun, your plants should do fine.

Plant the mums in your flower bed at the same depth that they were growing in their pots and mulch them to help stabilize soil moisture and temperature. Be sure to cut and loosen the outer root system of the plant to maximize root growth before planting. Do not plant chrysanthemum flowers near street lights or night lights: the artificial lighting may wreak havoc with the mums’ cycle.

Do not fertilize your plants until you see new growth next spring. Use a general purpose fertilizer such as 5-10-5 at the rate of 1 lb. per 100 square feet. Fertilize once per month through July.

Removing the spent flowers, called deadheading, will keep your plant looking neat and tidy and will help promote more blooms. Once your plant has gone dormant, do not cut back the dead growth. The dried flowers and stems serve as insulation to protect the plant during winter. When you see new growth in spring, cut the dead stems as close to the ground as possible.

Be sure to give your mums plenty of space in the garden. They can grow and multiply rather quickly. An added benefit, in my opinion. By every third spring, divide your mums to rejuvenate them.

With these care tips, you’ll be enjoying glorious fall color from your garden mums for years to come. Enjoy!

Hot Summer Sale

Hello everyone and happy Saturday!  The temperatures are sure rising these days.  It has been one hot June, and we’ve got some hot summer deals to match down at Garden Supply that you will not want to miss. Stop by the garden center and enjoy 20% savings off all trees, shrubs, and home & garden decor.

And in addition, for this weekend only, we have some extra special deals to throw into the mix. We have added Hydrangeas, (excluding “Limelight” variety), Rhododendrons, and Green-leaf Hypericums, Buy one, Get one free. Those shrubs are great in afternoon shade if you are lucky enough to have some!  Also, ALL perennials, mix and match, are on SALE. Choose 10 Perennials, get 20% off, choose 20 and get 30% off!

Believe or not, this still a great time of year to plant because plants “root in” quicker.  Our only caution is that if you are going out of town for more than 7 days, have a friend come by to water, as everything needs an inch a week.

The upcoming forecast shows some promise of relief from the heat, so come in this weekend while it’s hot and the sales are even hotter! Hope to see you all soon down at Garden Supply!

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.

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.

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.