activities

Fun for the Kids

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I hope your weeks are off to a productive and wonderful start. This is a big week for many, as Wake County schools open their doors to a new year for those on the traditional calendar. Back to school time means fall is just around the corner, bringing with it seasonal fun and cooler temperatures.  Won't it be nice to be able to get back in the garden again after this rather hot summer?

For all the kiddos out there who are getting ready to go back to school, or who have already been going on the year-round schedule, we have a few special treats for you down at Garden Supply. We have just received a seriously silly, seriously fun selection of fun bands in the Greenhouse. Your kiddos are going to love the new scented, mini, tye-dye, glittered, seasonal, and glow-in-the-dark varieties.

We also have a very special visitor to the garden center that I know your kids will adore. Please say hello to Alvin, the prairie dog!

Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. On average, these little guys will grow to be between 12–16 inches long, including the short tail, and weigh between 1–3 lbs. They are found in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Alvin is just visiting, and may not be around for long, so do stop by the Greenhouse if you get a chance, soon. It's not often you'll get the chance to come face-to-face with a prairie dog!

Thanks for stopping by everyone!  I'll see you back here soon for more snippets from the garden.

Lawn and Garden Care for June

Hello everyone, and happy Sunday!  All of us at Garden Supply would like to wish you dedicated, hard-working, fabulous dad's out there a wonderful Father's Day.

The greatest gift I ever had Came from God; I call him Dad! ~Author Unknown

We appreciate each and every one of you!

Also a big thank-you to everyone who attended our Annual Auction yesterday. We had a wonderful turn-out, lots of lovely garden items up for auction, and food and fun for everyone. A good time was had by all, and we couldn't have done it without you.

Today I would like to share with you a few care tips for your June lawn and gardens. For those with fescue grass, June is the month to treat and prevent brown patch which appears as a browning area in the lawn typically in the summer months when conditions are favorable. Brown patch is caused by a fungus, and if your lawn is showing signs, you will need to treat with a fungicide. We recommend that you apply Hi-Yield Lawn Fungicide to prevent brown patch.  Two applications may be necessary if rain has been heavy.

While brown patch does cause patches of dead grass, other things can cause the same symptoms. If the area is poorly drained and water stands on a spot for more than 24 hours, the grass roots will rot, causing a dead patch. Also, in areas where the sod has rooted poorly, brown patches will develop as dry weather sets in. So what are the true symptoms of the disease? True brown patch spots are small to begin with but in warm weather they can enlarge rapidly. Seen from above, the patch will look like a doughnut - a ring of tan grass having a patch of green grass in the center. Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown - where the blade emerges from the ground - but the crown will be green. Early in the morning during hot, damp weather you might see a white fungal web at the edge of the dead grass patch.

Never water in the evening. The best time to water is in early morning. Fescue is much more susceptible when it has lush, green growth plus warm nighttime temperatures.  The second step is to water at the right time. Since brown patch needs 14-16 hours of wet leaf surface to reproduce itself, water only after the dew has dried in the morning. An alternative is to water after nightfall. Since the grass is wet with dew anyway, watering in the dark does not unnecessarily extend the wet period.

So what if you have brown areas in your sod or planting beds due to poor rooting mixed with our hot summer temperatures? We have help for that, too.  Garden Supply owner,Keith Ramsey, recommends treating with Drought Defense by Soil Logic to reduce water consumption and enhance growth.

Drought Defense reduces the amount of water needed to irrigate lawns, groundcovers, trees, and other plants. This soil moisture management product helps prevent plant-available water from evaporating or draining past the root zone.  It is super-concentrated, long-lasting, helps lower watering bills and is safe for use on fruit and vegetable plants.  Drought Defense is environmentally friendly and is safe for use around children and pets.

This easy-to-use concentrate is ready to go.  Simply connect the sprayer to your hose and spray evenly over measured area.  Be sure to irrigate all treated areas after application to wash the product into the soil.  After two applications of the product, normal watering time and quantity can be reduced up to 50%!

For those of you with warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Centipede and Zoysia, June is the time for over-seeding your bare spots and laying down an application of fertilizer.

We have everything you need down at the Garden Center, and our experts are standing by with answers to all your lawn care questions.  Stop by and pay us a visit and get your June lawns and garden looking in tip-top shape in no time.

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

Super Sale and Auction Alert

Hello everyone and happy Thursday!  The weekend will be here before we know it and we've got some fabulous events going on at Garden Supply to start this weekend off with style. First of all, we have a truly SUPER SALE going on that you won't want to miss. We're heading to market in July and need to make room for all the new goodies.  Tons of home and garden decor pieces are now marked 50% off in the Greenhouse.  This sale lasts through Friday morning. After that, we'll be getting ready for the auction Saturday.  So HURRY in and get your hands on these hot deals while they last!

Here's a peek at some of the items on sale.  Take a look at this gorgeous table display.  Every item on this table is reduced to 50%.  And that's not all....every item in this bookcase is also 50% off.

We've got some big ticket items like furniture and display pieces also marked 50% off.

Every item marked with a pink ribbon is half off.  Entire table displays and shelves filled with goodies are being cleared out.  This sale is truly beyond anything we've done before.

Be sure to stop by before Friday morning to snatch up a few of these amazing deals, because after that, we turn our attention to our ANNUAL AUCTION being held Saturday, June 19th, another event you will not want to miss. Join us for a full day of fun at our best sale of the year by participating in our absolute auction. Registration begins at 8:00am.  The bidding starts at 9:00 and will continue until all items are gone. 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.

Items are being pulled and set aside for this once-a-year event as I type.  You can stop by late Friday afternoon for a preview, or early Saturday from 8-9 before bidding begins. We have a real auctioneer calling for us and keeping us on track.  You will need to register for a number with which to do your bidding, with an easy check-out process at the end.  If you need help with any large items you might purchase, you can arrange for delivery and/or installation with us at Garden Supply.  Standard fees apply.

We'll also be grilling hot dogs and firing up the pizza oven again.  And we're looking forward to all the fun! Hope to see you soon at the garden center.

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.

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.

Wine & Design Container Gardening

Hi everyone! Tonight is Wine & Design time down at Garden Supply. Join us from 6-8 pm and let our experts help you pick out the perfect plant arrangements for your container garden.  Sip a glass of wine and enjoy a beautiful evening with us. This event is free, however RSVPs are requested at 460-7747 or email at info@gardensupplyco.com. Want a few tips on easy container gardening? Beautiful pots bursting with gorgeous plantings dress up your patio, entry, or garden, and they are a snap with these simple guidelines.

Dazzling containers reach their potential only if planted properly.  Here's the scoop on soil, pots, and the little things that help plants thrive. Plants need good potting mix to flourish.  But how can you spot a good potting soil?  Hoist the bag. If it's light and fluffy, like moist sawdust, it's probably fine.  If it's heavy and feels like wet dirt, keep looking. Also consider using a mix that already contains a slow-release fertilizer, like Miracle Grow potting soil. Always use potting mix, never garden soil.  And although it's tempting to reuse potting mix- it costs money after all- your plants will grow more robustly and have fewer diseases with fresh mix. If your soil doesn't already contain it, blend in slow-release fertilizer when you plant.

Pots must have a drainage hole for excess water to pass through.  A pan to hold the drain water prevents staining on your deck or patio. In larger pots- more than 12 inches across- you may want to add an upside-down plastic pot or packing peanuts in the pot's bottom to decrease the overall weight.  In smaller pots, fill completely with soil to allow for good root growth.

Finally, cover the surface with mulch.  Not only does it decorate the pot, it also reduces soil splashing and conserves water.  Simple bark mulch is fine, but try other materials such as rocks or moss for a more decorative look.

Now that we've got you started, you can move onto the real fun part...picking out your plants.  Stop by the garden center tonight and let our friendly experts guide you on making the perfect selections for your yard.  And come back tomorrow for more tips from me on basic design and TLC for your newly planted containers.

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you all back here tomorrow for more snippets from the garden.

Win a Thousand Dollars

A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have joined and/or donated to our team, "Gardener's for the Cure". We're off to a good start, but there's more that we can do. There are over four thousand of you on our email list and we thought, "Well, we can easily see 10% signing up, times the $25.00 entry fee, equals $10,000. Easy, that's our goal!" We have a way to go!

We want to clarify some commonly asked questions we are hearing from you....you don't have to come to the Race on June 12th, you can check the box, "Sleep in for the Cure". Also, when you sign up on the website for our team, you are automatically assigned a "personal page" with a "personal goal". It's part of the "networking" to raise more money. However, you do not have to participate in that way. (Of course we would encourage you to, it's an easy way to let your family and friends know how you are making an impact!) Also, a lot of you are on teams through work or have already signed up individually, etc. but guess what ?! You can be on more than one team... some of us are on three. And lastly, YES! We are really giving you a 12% discount card to use on ALL of your purchases  the rest of the year for the mere $25.00 it takes to join our team.

So here's our challenge to you: the deadline to be able to sign up for the team is May 17th and we want to hit that goal! If we do, one of you who have either joined and/or donated to our team, will win a $1000.00 Gift Certificate from Garden Supply Co. Don't put this off another minute! Follow this link to our Team's home page and join us there or if you aren't comfortable with cyberspace, you can register with us at the store. http://nctriangle.info-komen.org/site/TR/RacefortheCure/DUR_NCTriangleAffiliate?team_id=133021&pg=team&fr_id=1702

One person can make an impact on many women's lives, imagine all of us together, all four thousand of you, and the IMPACT we can have on the lives of MANY women and their families. Join us!

Herb Fest

Hello everyone and happy Friday! It's time to kick off another wonderful weekend. We hope you can join us tomorrow, the 15th, in downtown Cary for the 1st Annual Friends of Page Walker Herbfest.  Festivities begin at 9 am and include cooking demonstrations, crafts, live music, and activities for the kiddos. We'll be there selling a huge selection of herbs at a great deal. Stop by and say hello!

We would also like to give a big thanks to everyone who stopped by our Wine & Design Trunk Show last evening!  A big thanks as well to NYFO Boutique, Lynne Ogburn Designs, Surcee, and Moon and Lola for sharing your gorgeous and unique fashions and jewelry designs.  We couldn't have done it without you all.

NYFO Boutique

NYFO Boutique

Surcee

Moon and Lola

Surcee

Our own Master Gardener Allison modeling fashions from NYFO

And lastly, our heartfelt thanks for all of you who registered last night for our "Gardeners for the Cure" team as part of the Susan G. Komen 2010 NC Triangle Race for the Cure.   Our gratitude to Surcee and NYFO for donating fabulous prizes yesterday for a special raffle drawing for our team registrants.  And take a look at our cute team logo. Perfect for us gardeners!

Even if you cannot be present at the race on June 12th, you can still join the team and receive all the bennies Deborah is offering, including a special team Tee shirt, an after-party, and a 12% discount card for all your Garden Supply purchases for the rest of the year. Here is the link again for our team. Together, we can help find a cure for breast cancer.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope to see many of you at the Page Walker tomorrow for the Herbfest!

Trunk Show Tonight

Hi everyone!  We are so looking forward to this evening and our first ever Wine & Design Trunk Show.  We will be bringing you some of the latest fashions and current trends along with tips and advice on what to keep in your closets this spring and what to let go.  Moon and Lola from downtown Apex will be sharing their unique hand-crafted jewelry, and Lynne Ogburn Designs will be here to share their one-of-a-kind "gems from the garden" jewelry as well. Come share a glass of wine with us and enjoy a different kind of evening in the garden.  Festivities are from 6-8 pm.  Please RSVP to 460-7747 or info@gardensupplyco.com. I also wanted to share with you a few updates on some of the gardening projects I've been working on at my home.  You all may remember my Topsy-Turvy tomato planting test garden from one month ago.  We receive so many inquiries about the unique Topsy-Turvy planters down at Garden Supply, that I decided to give it a try and see how well they work.  I was initially quite charmed by the whole concept, and found my planters rather easy to set-up, even working on my own.  And now one month later, I still find the Topsy-Turvy planter to be a fun little gadget.  All you need to get started is a planter, one bag of good potting soil, and your plant.

Here is what my planter looked like on day one.

And here it is 4 weeks later.  As you can see, it has grown tremendously, and is setting its first tomatoes.  Look at how healthy the foliage looks.  One benefit to this growing style is it keeps the plants up above the ground where most garden pests reside, greatly reducing the chances of having a buggy plant.

The key so far has seemed to be selecting a nice sunny spot for the planter, and making sure it receives adequate watering.  Remember, the Topsy-Turvy is a container and needs to be watered on a regular basis.  As temperatures heat up, that means checking your planter every day.  To decide if your planter could use more water, heft the bag.  If it's heavy, leave it alone another day, but if it feels light as a feather, it's time for more water.

We also have the Topsy-Turvy Strawberry Planter and the Hot Pepper Planter in the garden center.  I've planted strawberries and a tomato together in my second planter at home, which I will share with you soon.  but we also have test planters of the Tomato and Hot Pepper Planters down at Garden Supply.  Stop by and take a peek next time you're there.

And now, here's an updated photo of my Mother's Day Garden I've been creating against the back foundation wall of my house.  Mom and I have a few plants left to get in the ground, but you can really see how the border is coming together.

If you would like to see more information on my shady Mother's Day garden, please go here.  I've got tips on getting started and plant selection for those of you with similar planting opportunities in your yard.  And as always, the experts at Garden Supply are standing by to help you with all your landscaping needs.

Hope to see many of you tonight at our Wine & Design!  And I'll be back soon for more snippets from the garden.

Sales & Events

Hello everyone!  Just a few quick reminders about some of the specials and activities we have in store for you this weekend down at Garden Supply.  In honor of Arbor Day, we are offering 20% off all your tree and shrub purchases through today.  Just mention this post to receive your discount.  Also, we've brought back our perennial sale from last weekend.  Purchase 10 mix & match perennials and receive 10% off, 20 perennials and receive 20% off, and 30 or more perennials and receive 30% off.  And finally, our triple shredded hardwood mulch is now $22/yd and our NC Long-Leaf pine straw is now $4.40/bale.  These sale prices are good through May 15th. In other news, we are excited to offer a special Dad & Kid event tomorrow as a fun surprise for Mom.  Dad- bring your kids in between 1-4 pm for a craft and planting activity, just in time for Mother's Day.  But Shhhhhh....don't tell Mom. :) It's a secret!

It's an absolutely gorgeous weekend!  Hope to see you all down at the garden center soon.  I'll be there from 1-4 tomorrow for the kids craft activity....stop by and say Hi!

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.

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.

REDUCE ELECTRICITY: 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.

RECYCLE: 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.

COMPOST: 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 Kaboose.com

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.

TAKE SMALL STEPS:

  • 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

PLANT A TREE: 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!