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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!

Mum's the Word

Isn't it refreshing to feel the slight crisp edge to the air these last few mornings? The nights are coming earlier in the evenings, too, and the temperatures are definitely beginning to drop.  Seems that fall is truly in the air. And if you stop by the Garden Center, you will find signs of autumn everywhere. The Greenhouse is filled to bursting with gorgeous seasonal decor and gift items, and new plants are arriving daily, just in time for your fall planting. Just this week, we've received a shipment of some of our most popular autumn bloomers, Mums, in all your favorite seasonal colors. From sunny, golden yellow, to orange, to deep red, to raspberry and violet, we have a shade for every taste.

We are proud to offer lush and full 8" pots of the following varieties.

'Barbara'- raspberry purple 'Red Daisy'- deep red 'Sunny Ursula'- golden yellow 'Hannah'- burnt orange 'Beth Violet'- purple

This year we are also bringing you several choices from the Igloo series of mums, 'Cool Igloo' and 'Rosy Igloo'. The Igloo series is a new, mum like perennial that blooms for weeks in summer and fall without pinching back. This mum is in the Dendranthema plant group, which is looks a lot like members of the Chrysanthemum family. Dendranthema is truly hardy and makes it through winter as smoothly as other perennials in the garden.

Mums look fabulous in container gardens on your front porch and deck, mixed in with your fall decor, as the centerpiece for your table settings, or planted in your borders and beds. Stop on by Garden Supply to see these, and all our gorgeous new plant arrivals. And be sure to come on back here tomorrow when I'll be sharing tips on caring for your newly purchased, fall-blooming mums.

See you all soon!

Getting Crafty

Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday to you! Today I have a few fun home decor and gift items to share with you that are perfect for all you Do-It-Yourself folks out there. If you are looking for that personalized touch to add to your homes or that special one-of-a-kind gift idea,we've got you covered. And if you haven't been into the Greenhouse lately, do stop by. We've got new goodies arriving daily that you won't want to miss.

Like these adorable scarecrow kits that will add a charming touch to your harvest decor.

Young and old alike are going to love these metal gourd kits. Simply insert the pieces as you like into a pumpkin or gourd, creating a smiling face in no time. This kit can be reused year after year, and works equally well in real or faux pumpkins. Doesn't this scarecrow look adorable in the planting basket with a touch of recycled paper as a ruff?  And if you like this guy, you'll love the turkey kit, too.

The turkey kit comes complete with metal head, feet, and tail-feathers to make one adorable, re-usable turkey decoration every year.

Another wonderful do-it-yourself project in the Greenhouse right now is the Remake It wine cork trivet.

Recycle your old wine corks into a trivet with this easy kit. Simply twist your corks onto the metal trivet, and you are done. It's as simple as that. What a perfect way to showcase corks from your travels or special gatherings and occasions. Makes a fabulous gift for the wine enthusiast on your list. And, it's a great way to recycle, as well.

If you're looking for truly personalized artwork, take a look. You can spell any name, word, or phrase with these mix and match alphabets and create your very own one-of-a-kind personalized masterpiece.

Each letter of the alphabet is represented with a unique black and white photo using architectural elements for the font. We have 3, 4, 5, 6, or more celled frames to help you create the perfect art piece.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! Hope to see you all soon down at Garden Supply.

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.

Let's Take a Walk

Come take a walk with me through the Greenhouse.  There are LOTS of new goodies arriving daily that will brighten your homes, celebrate the upcoming change of season, and put you in the mood for a little holiday fun. I've brought my camera along.  Let's see what's new together.

This is just the beginning of the new treasures to see down at Garden Supply.  If you're in the area, stop in and say hello.  We'd love a visit from you. Remember, also, we would be happy to mail you a goody or two from the Greenhouse if you can't make it in soon.

Thanks so much for dropping by today!  I'll be back before long with more snippets from the garden.

Halloween Haunts

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday to you all!  I've just come from Garden Supply where I toured the Greenhouse to peek at all the new goodies that have been arriving for Fall and Halloween.  And of course I brought my camera. So how would you like to take a little tour with me? We can see what's new together.

This is just a small sampling of what you'll find in store for you down at the garden center.  Come see for yourself.......

If you DARE!!!!

Deals to Share

Good evening everyone and happy Monday to you!  I hope your weeks are off to a wonderful start. We have a couple of special deals going on this week at Garden Supply that I am excited to share with you. It's hot outside, that's true, and gardening might not be tops on your to-do list right now, but these deals are too good to miss! First off, Keith was able to find a fabulous deal on B-Grade mulch that we are happy to be able to pass along to you, our treasured customers.  If you are needing to mulch your large natural areas or playgrounds, this is the special for you.  Now thru August 15th you can get this mulch for just $10 per yard. And to make it even "sweeter",we are offering free delivery in Cary, Apex, and Morrisville. ($20.00 delivery elsewhere). Now that's a deal!

Another deal you won't want to miss is our 50% markdown on all last minute summer annuals. Freshen up your bedding areas and container gardens with a pop of bright color that will last until fall, and enjoy spectacular savings.  We still have lots of fresh and beautiful plants to choose from.

And for those of you who may have missed out on our Gardener's For the Cure drive earlier this summer, it's not too late to get in on the great deal we have going.

We are still offering a 12% discount card good on ALL purchases at Garden Supply through the end of the year for every $100 or more donation made to the Komen Foundation. We also have our adorable team tees available for $10.

In other news, Fall and Halloween decor items are arriving daily to the Greenhouse. Come check them out because these goodies tend to head out the door about as quickly as they come in.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  Hope to see you all soon!

Still Blooming

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

I'm back today to share more of the beautiful blooming plants we have waiting for you down at Garden Supply.  If you're thinking that your patio and container gardens could use a little pick-me-up in this intense July heat, we have plants for you. And lots of them. Even in the full heat of summer, we are receiving fresh shipments of bloomers every week that are just perfect for adding a spark of interest to the tired summer landscape. Just look at the burst of color this tropical pink mandevilla vine adds to a simple container planting. They really are easy to care for, and add color wherever they are growing. This sunny tropical really enjoys sun....and we all know we have plenty of that these days.

Another great choice for the patio garden is the ever-popular Wave petunia, and we have some fabulous choices in stock at the garden center right now. Anyone interested in a little "Double Wave"? of spreading petunias?

Double Wave Petunias

Double Wave petunias offer fabulous, frilly flowers with Wave performance perfect for mixed containers, baskets and gardens.  Look for these lovely flowers in white, purple, and blue velvet varieties at the garden center.

Another petunia that really caught my eye this week is this unusual Black Velvet variety. Black Velvet presents the world’s only black petunia. It is a perfect fit for premium containers and baskets as this petunia partners well with many other sun lovers, and the rare color form is sure to add a ton of visual interest to the garden.

Black Velvet Petunia

These upright, mounded petunias are early to flower, have a tightly branched habit and are filled with color all season. Black Velvet is easy to grow with no special culture needed.

And don't forget........if you have considered adding a fountain or pond to your landscape, this is a great time. From now, until the end of the month, ALL fountains and pond-building supplies are 20% OFF. We have a wide array of fountains from “table-top” styles to grand statements. We offer delivery and installation of fountains as well as design and installation of ponds and waterfalls. Come check out our fabulous selection.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  We look forward to seeing you soon down at Garden Supply!

Revive Those Tired Containers

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! With the increase in temperatures and humidity these days, I know a lot of you are not thinking about working in the garden. After all, who wants to be out in this heat? But even though major projects might be on the back burner for now, it is still possible to keep some color and brightness in the summer landscape. If you stop by Garden Supply for a visit, you may be surprised to see so many beautiful plants in full bloom, even now in mid-July. We are continuing to receive weekly shipments of many blooming plants, including a wide range of tropicals, annuals and perennials. A few fresh plants will perk up those tired looking patio and container gardens in a snap.

Vinca

Available in a rainbow of colors, vinca offers a profusion of blooms with a carefree growth habit. Vinca is a prolific heat and drought tolerant annual, perfect for hot, dry areas like ours. It's easy to grow, and requires little or no attention. Plus it has the added benefit of often reseeding itself and returning year after year. Vinca is commonly used for borders, edging, and ground-cover or bedding plants. Also a lovely choice for the container garden. Plants grow 1-2 feet tall.

Vinca

Varieties of vinca currently available at the garden center include Titan Polka Dot, Titan Burgundy, Titan Lilac, Titan Mix, and Titan Dark Red. Look for loads of color from each.

My favorite bloomer at Garden Supply this week is the stunning Limelight hydrangea.  A perfect choice for brightening up those shadowy patio corners.

Limelight Hydrangea

Limelight is an exciting new hardy hydrangea from Holland. It has unique bright green blooms in mid-summer that holds its color right into autumn when the blooms change to a rich deep pink. The autumn display of green and pink blooms on the same plant is breathtaking!  The color makes a great addition to the garden and it blends wonderfully with all other colors.

Limelight Hydrangea

Limelight flower heads range in size from 6 to 12 inches and are held upright on the shrub. The blooms are well distributed making a very nice plant and display.  This is an easy to grow plant with reliable flowering and flower color regardless of soil pH. Use Limelight, either fresh or dried, in bouquets to make a unique floral design. And perhaps its best feature of all? Limelight is drought tolerant. And although this plant may seem like an unlikely choice for the patio garden, Limelight makes for an ideal "thriller" feature in your container design. Use it in the back or middle of the pot to add height and drama to the container.  Just remember that all container plants need thorough watering in this heat to thrive.

If you're looking for a way to beat the heat, perhaps a fountain or water feature with the sound of running water will keep things cool.  We have a grand selection of fountains from smaller desk-top versions to large monuments for the landscape, and ALL are currently on sale 20% off down at Garden Supply now through the end of July.

We offer delivery and installation as well as pond design and installation, too.

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

Perennial Gardening Month

Hello everyone and happy Friday! Is everybody ready to start the weekend?  I know we sure are down at Garden Supply.  We always love to see so many of you filled with the excitement of working in your yard, and starting tomorrow, we have a little extra incentive for you. We are offering 20% off trees, shrubs, and home and garden decor. (That's 20% off your entire purchase, not just one item, so if you've had your eye on something big, this is the sale for you). Just mention this blog post and you can start shopping tomorrow for the best selection. This month is very special to us at the garden center, as June is Perennial Gardening Month. June is a perfect month to plant new perennials that will flower in June and beyond into summer and fall. At one time gardeners did most or even all of their perennial planting in the early spring season. Summer environmental conditions were considered too harsh for new plantings. This is not true any more! The use of plastic containers presently sold in the garden center allows plants to be easily acclimated to their new surroundings, as opposed to the past practices of marketing perennials either bare-root or field-dug.

We are celebrating Perennial Gardening Month with a huge selection of plants with a diversity of bright and colorful blooms and interesting foliar texture and variety that are perfectly suited for our tough Piedmont growing conditions. Here is just a small sampling of some of the beauties that caught my eye this week.

David Garden Phlox

This showy, clump forming perennial is prized for the profusion of enchanting white flower clusters that rise above the foliage.  This plant is great in borders, rock gardens, formal beds, and meadows.  The flowers are fabulous for cutting.

Chapel Hill Yellow Lantana

Chapel Hill lantana will brighten up any sunny area of your garden. Plant atop walls or in containers and allow it to cascade over the edge. Great for a mixed tropical border of vivid colored plants. Can be used as a ground-cover or as an accent plant in hanging baskets. This is a beautiful butterfly and hummingbird attracting plant. Chapel Hill lantana is exceptionally cold hardy and best of all, is deer resistant.

Omega Skyrocket and Color Wheel Stokes Asters

The Stokes' aster is a tall long-lived perennial with slender, upright stems and blue flowers.  These are very striking with silver or yellow plantings. Use Stokes' aster at the front of perennial borders; the deep green basal leaves are evergreen and, when not covered by snow, provide some color and texture all winter. This is an adaptable and easy to grow perennial, considered by many as one of the most attractive late-flowering perennials. Cut flowers remain attractive for a week or more.

Homestead Pink Verbena

Homestead Pink displays blazing rich pink blooms amplified by deep green lacy foliage.  It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and blooms May through October.  Also available in purple.

Homestead Purple Verbena

The Homestead's low, spreading habit makes it a natural as a ground-cover or perfect as use for edging.

We have lots more gorgeous perennials to choose from down at the garden center.  Stop by and have our friendly experts help you make the perfect selections for your home landscape.

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.

Everything is Coming up Roses

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

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

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

Brite Eyes climbing KnockOut rose

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

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

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

Another climbing variety is this Golden Showers rose.

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

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

rosa x 'Radrazz' topiary Knock Out rose

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

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

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

Hydrangea Heaven

Good morning everyone!  What a beautiful week it is.  It is so gorgeous down at the garden center right now.  I hope you all get a chance to stop by and stroll the gardens and drink in the beauty down every path.  The roses are blooming, the perennial and annual tables are absolutely bursting with color, and the tropicals from Monrovia are radiant and bright.  Everywhere the eye can wander at Garden Supply is a sight to behold, indeed. Some of you may have noticed on your drives around town that the early Crepe Myrtles are beginning to bloom. Crepe Myrtles are wonderful additions to your home landscape offering colorful and long-lasting flowers along with sinewy, fluted stems and branches with a mottled appearance that arises from having bark that sheds throughout the year.

Zuni Crepe Myrtle

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

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

Invincibelle Spirit

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

Blushing Bride & Twist-n-Shout

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

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

Twist-n-Shout

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

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

Big Daddy

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

Light of Day

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

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

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!

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!

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.