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!

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.

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.

Arbor Day 2010

Hi everyone!  With Arbor Day just two short days away, now is the perfect time to consider planting a new tree in your home landscape.  We have a wide range of beautiful trees to chose from down at Garden Supply.  By planting a tree, you will not only be enhancing your own yard, but you will also be helping the environment.  Did you know that trees remove pollutants and dust from the air?  Trees also provide natural insulation- enough to cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 30%.  Come talk to our experts about choosing the perfect tree for your garden, and celebrate Arbor Day with us!

Here’s a little fun history on Arbor Day.  The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska.  It was the idea of Julius Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician.  Throughout his long career, Morton worked to improve agricultural techniques and served as President Cleveland’s Secretary of Agriculture.  But his most important legacy is Arbor Day.

Morton felt that Nebraska’s landscape and economy would benefit from the wide-scale planting of trees.  He set an example himself by planting orchards, shade trees and wind breaks on his own farm, and he urged his neighbors to do the same.  As a member of Nebraska’s state board of agriculture, he proposed that a special day be set aside dedicated to tree planting and increasing awareness of the importance of trees. For Nebraska’s first Arbor day, more than one million trees were planted.  A second Arbor Day took place in 1884 and the young state made it an annual legal holiday in 1885.

In the years following that first Arbor Day, Morton’s idea spread beyond Nebraska with Kansas, Tennessee, Minnesota and Ohio all proclaiming their own Arbor Days. Today, all 50 states celebrate Arbor Day. Arbor Day is also now recognized in other countries, with variations being celebrated in Australia, Japan, Israel, Korea, Yugoslavia, Iceland, and India.  Sometimes one good idea can make a real difference.  For more information about this holiday, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation.

Over the next few days, I’ll share a few simple Arbor Day crafts and activities you can do with your kids at home that will foster a love of trees that will last a lifetime.

This fun pine-cone bird feeder is a snap to make and would be perfect to hang in your newly- planted commemorative Arbor Day tree. Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

  • A large, open pine cone
  • Vegetable shortening, lard, or suet
  • Oats or corn meal
  • Bird seed
  • String

Simply tie a few feet of string to the pine cone and then cover the cone with the food mixture below. Roll the pine cone in birdseed and then hang it from a tree branch outside.

Food Mixture:

Mix 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, lard or suet with 21/2 cups cornmeal or uncooked oats until well blended. Optional: add chopped dried fruit, chopped nuts, seeds like sunflower or millet, and/or suet which are high energy bird foods.

Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more great Arbor Day ideas.

Earth Day

Earth Day falls in just two days from now, on April 22nd.  This year, do something good for the environment by planting a tree or shrub.  Not only will you be “greening” up your yard, but you’ll help remove pollutants and dust from the air and provide natural insulation-enough to cut your heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent.  And with so many plants blooming right now, you’re sure to find one or two to fall in love with down at Garden Supply.

Like this stunning Summer Snowflake Viburnum.

Summer Snowflake first blooms around the end of April or the first of May, about a week after dogwoods finish. The white flowers are individually about the size of a quarter, but borne in a flat head that is up to four inches across. The blooms splayed on the horizontal branches give the plants a wedding-cake kind of look when they appear.

Other than the upright growth form, the other thing that sets Summer Snowflake apart from other viburnums is that it is a repeat bloomer. Admittedly, the first bloom of the season is much more showy than the ones to follow, but about once a month, additional blooms pop out here and there on the ends of new growth.

Gardeners favor viburnums because they have multiple seasons of interest; showy flowers, bright red berries and good fall color. Summer Snowflake has two of the three – usually it sets few berries. Part of the reason for its ability to continue flowering during the growing season is because it does not have a load of berries to support.

Another personal favorite of mine is the Common Snowball Viburnum.

The Common Snowball Bush, Viburnum opulus ‘roseum’, produces white flowers in late spring. It is a deciduous thicket-forming Old World shrub. In the fall, the leaves turn a wonderful burgundy reddish-purple. About the same time, the bright red, attractive berries ripen, and persist on the plant throughout the winter. Birds are very fond of the berries, and can often be found snacking during the winter.

Another showy spring bloomer is this Vanhoutte Spirea.

This durable and easy to grow shrub is a sentimental favorite among many because it is remembered in our grandparents’ gardens.  This is a tried-and-true shrub that can be grown with a minimum of fuss.  Space considerations should be pondered in advance- it can grow 6-8 feet tall and 12 or more feet wide.  It grows well in average, well drained soil and flourishes in full sun or partial shade.  It is a show-stopper in mid to late spring when its arching branches are covered with pure white flowers.  Can be grown as a hedge or used in shrub borders.

If you’re interested in a blooming tree for this mid-April period, consider the Crabapple tree, like this Malus ‘Firebird’.

Firebird Crabapple produces an abundance of white blooms in spring and is loaded with small red fruit in fall, less than 1/2″ in diameter, which remain on the tree well into winter.  Firebird is a genetic dwarf grown on a grafted standard and is excellent for small locations.  The flowers are fragrant and are attractive to bees, butterflies and birds.

These are just a small sampling of the blooming plants available for a bit of Earth Day planting.  Stop by the garden center to see our full range and talk to our experts about planting guides and recommendations.

And in other Earth Day news:

Join us for Earth Day at the green McDonald’s

Thursday, April 22      5:00-7:00pm

1299 Kildaire Farm Road

Stop by and learn about all of the environmentally-friendly features that make this McDonald’s so unique.

Garden Supply will be there to answer questions about earth-friendly plants and landscaping. The first 100 kids will get to decorate a pot and plant something special to take home!

Bring your family and have a spring-time portrait taken by Erin May Photography.

Try samples and get more information from The Produce Box, a supplier of fresh, local produce delivered right to your door!

Create an Earth Day Bookmark with the Girls Scouts and benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Durham.

You won’t want to miss seeing Ronald McDonald and his Scoot Coupe!

For questions or more information please contact Julie Barberio at 919-244-9531 julie@mcdonaldsadvantage.com

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


Blooming Trees for Mid April

Hi everyone!  Looking to add some spring-flowering trees to your landscape and wondering what might be blooming in our area right now? This week?  Today?  Here are a few outstanding choices available for mid April blooming that reach their peek of beauty just as the Redbuds begin to fade and well after the Bradford pears have lost their luster. We’ve got them all down at Garden Supply.

The first option, that I’m sure you’ve noticed while driving down almost any semi-wooded street in town, is the glorious Dogwood tree (Cornus genus).

  • Beautiful white spring-time blossoms
  • Adaptable to various soil types
  • Drought tolerant

The Dogwood tree boasts a profusion of full white blooms every spring. Deep green leaves turn scarlet in fall, making your dogwood a beautiful sight in all seasons.

This breathtakingly beautiful blizzard of white blossoms is an excellent choice to plant along streets, near large buildings, next to patios or as a property border. An especially eye-catching tree when planted in rows.

This tree rewards all through the year!

Beloved blooms welcome spring from Massachusetts to Florida… from east to west
Stunning scarlet leaves add to the color show in the fall
Red berries appear in the fall and winter attracting songbirds – up to thirty-six species are known to be attracted to the dogwood’s fruit

Matures at 15-30 feet…grows in partial shade or full sun. Grows in most soils including acidic, loamy, rich, sandy or even clay.

Did you know?

– The White Dogwood is a native tree cultivated in 1731.
– George Washington planted it at Mt. Vernon, as did Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.
– Early Native Americans made medicinal teas from its bark

You’ll want to consider making this all-American tree part of your own landscape.

Another fabulous choice for mid April blooming is the Yoshino Flowering Cherry tree, a rapid-growing vase-like deciduous broadleaf tree.

• Stunning white blossoms
• Adaptable to various soil types
• Drought resistant

The Yoshino Flowering Cherry Tree is widely used as an ornamental tree; valued for its abundance of soft, white flowers in spring.

Its Oriental branching pattern displays a pure white cloud of delicate flowers that make your landscape look like springtime on parade…

Chose this tree to –

• Border driveways
• Accent small areas in your lawn.
• Highlight outdoor living areas

These trees line the streets of Washington, DC, and along with its cousin, the Kwanzan Cherry, are the stars of the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Held each spring, this festival displays thousands of blooming cherry trees along the city’s walkways.

When you plant this tree, you get the same effect at your home!

Plant in a row to give you a line of breathtakingly stunning white flowers. This tree is regarded by many horticulturalist as the best flowering tree you can find.

Did you know?

– The Yoshino is a native of Japan,
– Was introduced to America in 1902.
– There is a Japanese legend that each spring a fairy maiden hovers low in the warm sky, wakening the sleeping Cherry Trees to life with her delicate breath.

Another fabulous April-blooming cherry tree is the Kwanzan cherry.

• Hardiest of all cherry trees
• Rapidly grows to a mature height of 30-40 ft.

The Kwanzan Flowering Cherry Tree is easily the showiest of all Cherry Trees. Its flowers aren’t just pink… but “Double Pink,” meaning you get twice as many blooms as found on other trees.

Your new Kwanzan Cherry Tree blooms in large clusters of 3-5 flowers! These clusters are the thickest of all pink flowering trees and look similar to carnations.

Your Kwanzans will begin to bloom in April. Also a delight in the fall, when it will give you golden autumn leaves that grab everyone’s attention.

One of the easiest flowering trees to grow! Thrives in almost any soil and climate. Easily grown in zones 5-9. A tree for many seasons!

Stop by the garden center to find  these lovely trees in full bloom, ready to lighten and brighten your gardens this season.  Talk to our experts about the best tree planting guidelines for these species, and pick up our handy planting guide, available in the Greenhouse.  We have everything you need to ensure your new trees get off to a great start and get your yards looking in tip-top shape this season.

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