roses

Beauty in Chaos: The Basics of Cottage Gardening

cottage gardening feature pic

A cottage garden is a colorful tangle of tumbling flowers and plants that provides a cheerful welcome for visitors. This gardening style is an exercise in creativity and an expression of individuality, with each garden being completely unique. If you've ever thought about starting a cottage garden, here are some tips to get you started: The basics

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  • Invest in your soil: Soil quality directly affects plant quality, so make sure soil amendment is one of your first undertakings. Soil is filled with organisms that are essential to healthy plant growth, and adding manure or compost is a perfect way to ensure plants have the nutrients they need.

  • Consider light conditions: Keep in mind that plants in their ideal conditions are going to thrive and require less upkeep. In general, flowering plants need more sunlight than foliage plants. Have a good idea of how much sun your garden area gets and at what times of the day: is it morning or afternoon sun? Some plants may prefer one or the other.

  • Start with a small area: This allows you to experiment with various plants and slowly build a more intricate garden. You can always move things later if you change your mind.

  • Tall in the back, short in the front: Be sure to position plants with regard to their height so that there is visual interest to pull the eye up and down. Also, take spacing needs into account so that full-grown plants don’t end up crowding each other.

Plant considerations

There are no right or wrong plant choices for this type of garden. Cottage gardens have a soft, romantic feel, which comes from classic flowers. Some traditional cottage garden plant examples are: hollyhocks, daisies, phlox, foxglove, roses and lavender. Don’t overlook fruits, herbs and vegetables as options: not only are they ornamental, but they are a return to the original purpose of cottage gardens, which was to produce food and flowers for a family.

beautifulflowers

beautifulflowers

It’s important to consider plant textures and shapes. Part of what makes a cottage garden exciting is the artful mixture of a variety of plant shapes and hues. Varying textures and colors give a cottage garden depth and, while at first glance things may seem chaotic, viewers quickly realize that there is a flow and balance in these gardens. Repeating plants or colors is a good way to create harmony and avoid a garden that appears jumbled.

Incorporate objects and barriers

Dress up your cottage garden by creatively using decorative objects, as well as fences and barricades. Fences or barriers can neaten the look of rambling plants and provide support for tall vegetation. When it comes to sculptures or decorations, the more offbeat, the better! Twig structures, lattices, sundials, birdbaths, and fountains are some objects to consider. Natural or worn materials look right at home in cottage gardens, but don’t overdo it: the plants should steal the show.

And the biggest tip for cottage gardening is to just have fun with it! These gardens are ever-evolving, so it’s perfectly okay to keep tweaking plants, placement and objects until you find the combination that speaks to you. Above all: take time to relax and enjoy your garden!

For more gardening tips, be sure to visit the garden center. Our friendly staff is on-hand seven days a week with answers to all your gardening needs.

A Perennial Favorite, the Rose

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Roses have captured the hearts of gardeners for centuries. Throughout recorded history, people have been growing roses. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war, and politics. During the Roman period, roses were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century that royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and they were often used as barter and for payments. No other plant has such a rich and extensive history. In fact, according to fossil records, the rose is 35 million years old.

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The popularity of roses continues on today, with more than 2,000 different varieties to choose from. New varieties with increased disease resistance and winter hardiness make roses an excellent choice for shrub borders and perennial gardens, alike. From old classics like tea roses, shrub roses and old garden roses to climbers, miniatures, and the ever-popular Knock-Out series of roses, we have all your favorites at Garden Supply Co.

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!

TLC for Container Plants

Good morning everyone!  The gloomy weather continues this week, but that doesn't slow us down at Garden Supply.  We are bursting with activity and beautiful plant selections, with choices to please any gardener, from beginner to expert.  Stop by and check out our fabulous array of stunning Knock Out Roses. The Knock Out Family of Roses are easy to grow and do not require special care. They are the most disease resistant rose on the market. They have stunning flower power with a generous bloom cycle (about every 5-6 weeks) that will continue until the first hard frost. All of the Knock Out Roses are self-cleaning so there is no need to deadhead. We are happy  to be able to offer the shrubs, as well as gorgeous topiary forms, and even a brand new climbing variety that we are particularly excited about.

Monrovia Knock Out Rose topiary Rosa x 'Radrazz'

Over the last week, I've been sharing tips and techniques for growing outstanding container plantings, and today I'd like to share a little TLC for your container garden.  You've chosen your plants and planted them in quality potting mix.  Now, proper care will keep them happy.

Pots in full sun often require daily soaking, especially in our hot Piedmont summers.  Shade pots, however, are easy to overwater.  If the soil is wet to the touch, wait another day.

Regularly snip off spent blooms and brown leaves to keep your containers looking in tip-top shape. Deadheading flowers often stimulates extra blooming, as well.

Place pots where they'll receive the amount of sun or shade appropriate for the plants in them.  All the plants in a pot should have similar sun and water needs.

With just these few simple tips, you'll be growing a fabulous container garden in no time.  Our friendly experts are always on hand to answer any questions and help you make the right selections for your yard, too, so come on down and pay us a visit.

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