Fir babies: Eight fir trees & other evergreens to plant for winter cuttings

Fir babies: Eight fir trees & other evergreens to plant for winter cuttings

International Dog Day came along this week and photos of man and their best friends spread on social media like wildfire. We love dogs (and cats) but we're all about our fir babies (not our fur babies) right now. Why? For one, the fall is the best time of year to plant trees and shrubs to promote healthy root growth during milder temperatures. So give us a minute and let us to do a little show and tell before winter is among us and you're out in your yard with the scissors looking for trees and shrubs to trim for arrangements and wreaths. Check out the slideshow below to see eight fir trees and other evergreens we think make great choices to plant for both landscapes and winter cuttings. 

Spring with a cherry on top: Three must-have flowering cherry trees

Spring with a cherry on top: Three must-have flowering cherry trees

It's the most beautiful time of year. Pastel pinks, rosey reds and pure whites grace our gardens and we can't stop planting more trees and shrubs to fill our yards with even more color. If you're looking to add height and bounds of spring color to your landscaping, now is the time to visit to choose your favorite flowering cherry trees because they're in full bloom now. 

Deck the Halls with Citrus Plants

Citrus Plants
Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree

Close up of lemon

Close up of lemon

What’s more fun and healthy than being able to grab a lemon, lime, or orange from your very own indoor citrus tree? Citrus plants can easily be grown indoors in a container and they will produce fruit as well as give off a refreshing fragrance. You can start these plants indoors in pots and then transfer outside when the weather is warm, or keep them inside permanently. Maintaining the plant in a container minimizes the shock involved with transplanting and allows you to control their growth (in case you don’t have space for a 12-foot tree inside). Citrus trees like soil that is well draining so their roots don’t sit in water for too long. Putting Styrofoam peanuts or rocks in the bottom of the container helps retain the water while allowing the roots to stay dry. Citrus trees like a specific amount of watering. If you scratch just under the surface of the soil and it’s moist, then the water level is correct. Overwatering can lead to weak roots and open the door to diseases. If the leaves are curling, are muted colors, or starting to drop off, then the plant needs more water. It’s best to keep a consistent watering schedule of about once a week in the winter to ensure the tree maintains the right amount of moisture.

These trees like a lot of sunlight, so choose a spot where they’ll get an adequate amount. A grow light can supplement for sunlight if there’s not a sunny-enough spot. A fertilizer specifically for citrus, fruit, or nut producing plants is recommended because these will have the right mixture of nutrients for fruit production. Follow the directions on fertilizer packaging for the frequency and amount of fertilizer to be used.

Citrus Plants

Citrus Plants

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at growing a citrus tree, come down and see us! We have a selection of lemons, oranges, and limes to choose from and one of our friendly associates can help you get started growing your own citrus fruit. We even have some plants that are currently producing fruit to choose from!

Fall is the Perfect Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs

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trees and shrubs

trees and shrubs

As we begin to transition from summer to fall, now is prime time to plant trees and shrubs. If planted now, trees and shrubs will put all their energy into root growth.  Roots will grow throughout the winter months to store nutrients for next season. Trees and shrubs need less water during winter, because shorter and cooler days decrease the rate of photosynthesis. Trees planted in the fall are better able to withstand the heat and drought of the next summer. Soil is warmer now than it was in the spring, and it will remain warm even after air temperatures start dropping. Pick a good location for your tree or shrub that will provide it with the appropriate amount of sun or shade and meet its moisture requirements. Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and no deeper (the top of the root ball should be above soil level). The root ball will lower a bit as the soil settles, and you don’t want it to end up too low in the ground. If planted too deeply in the ground, the plant can suffocate because not enough air will reach the root system. Break apart and loosen the roots if they are pot bound, so that they can more easily spread out once in the ground.

Once your hole is dug, use the shovel a few times in the bottom to loosen the soil and make it a little easier for the roots to expand outward. Amend the soil with composted cow manure, soil conditioner and organic fertilizer. Organic fertilizer is good to use in the fall because it contains a healthy dose of good bacteria and micro-nutrients, so it isn’t going to drive a lot of foliage growth, but will help the root system immensely. The mixture should end up being composed of a third of the existing soil, a third cow manure and a third soil conditioner. In addition to that mixture, we suggest using Espoma Bio-Tone. This is a starter fertilizer that contains myccorhizae (a type of fungi that roots rely on to help them gather nutrients) and other beneficial micro-nutrients that will help the plant establish a bigger and healthier root ball.

Spread a couple inches of mulch over the area to protect the roots and water well. Trees and shrubs have high water needs as they attempt to establish a strong root system.

Any tree or shrub that has been grown in a container or has burlap around its root ball can be planted in the fall. Do you have more questions? Stop in and see one of our friendly staff members who would be glad to assist you with your fall planting needs!

Japanese Maples: A Spectacle of Vibrant Color

Surround your maples by the lush foliage of conifers typically found in a Japanese garden.

Surround your maples by the lush foliage of conifers typically found in a Japanese garden.

 Japanese Maples - 

Green thumbs and novice gardeners alike covet these chameleon like trees because of their showy display and diversity in shape, size, and color. Leaves among varieties can reveal colors of scarlet, burgundy, crimson, orange, gold, yellow, wine, plum, jade, lime, white, and blush; just to name a few. Some varieties bear colorful leaves spring, some in summer, and others in fall. These trees can grow upright or spread and cascade. Varieties can be fast growers, and others grow only two inches in a year, like the dwarf maple. Because of the maples many characteristics it is important to narrow down just what you want when selecting the right Japanese maple for your garden.

Keep in mind: Most Maples like part sun and their soil should be well drained and moist. Prune in spring after the leaves emerge. Pruning in late winter is not a good idea as the cuts may bleed sap.

Creating a focal point in your garden to display your maple’s gorgeous color is key. Even when barren, these magnificent trees create picturesque branching patterns that will take center stage in any winter garden. Look for varieties with colorful yellow or red branches and twigs like the coral bark maple. 

"Even when barren, these magnificent trees create picturesque branching patterns that will take center stage in any winter garden."

"Even when barren, these magnificent trees create picturesque branching patterns that will take center stage in any winter garden."

A Maple's fiery foliage is best shown against a green backdrop. Surround your maples by the lush foliage of conifers typically found in a Japanese garden like cedar, pine, cypress, and spruce. Gardenia, loropetalum, and holly make nice broad leaf selections to cushion the red, orange, and golden display of the maple. Introduce feathery leaved autumn ferns to soften the vignette in autumn and winter.

Don’t forget to finish off your maple garden with well dressed containers. Dwarf maples and semi-dwarf maples are ideal for dropping into pots. Complete the container with contrast in foliage. Highlight the seasonal color changes of your maple using lime green creeping jenny, caramel heuchera, or a purple potato vine.

"finish off your maple garden with well dressed containers."

"finish off your maple garden with well dressed containers."

Let us help you choose the ideal maples to add a spectacle of color to your garden! While there are thousands of maples to choose from , these are Some of our Favorite Maples at GSCO: 

-          Fullmoon

-          Autumn Fire

-          Bloodgood

-          Bihou

-          Burgundy Lace

-          Coral Bark

-          Crimson Queen

-          Crimson Prince

-          Emerald Lace

Christmas Boutique

Christmas Elf Banner- Garden Supply Co

Visit our Greenhouse Christmas Boutique as we celebrate our 15th year bringing you the latest and greatest in holiday decor.  Stroll through our retail gallery and sip on a cup of freshly brewed coffee or hot apple cider, as we delight you with over a dozen themed vignettes decked with trees, ornaments, garlands, wreaths and decor. We are excited to share this year's holiday collection our team of design experts have brought to you for 2013.

enjoy coffee

enjoy coffee

The front of the greenhouse celebrates a GSCO staff  favorite pick,  Garden and Gun. This hunt club inspired tree is set in front of our cozy stone hearth and features sequined stuffed pheasants a midst large black lanterns, giant metal spheres, and faux stag horns. The tree is dripping in champagne and golden mercury glass ornaments. We've dressed the vignette in faux fur wreaths, rich houndstooth and tweed ribbons, and our best magnolia picks and sprays. The realistic looking cotton picks add instant southern charm to this feminine take on the gentleman's "Best in Show."  

Christmas Tree- Garden and Gun- Garden Supply Co

Christmas Tree- Garden and Gun- Garden Supply Co

g and g vignette

g and g vignette

gg tree

gg tree



photo 2

photo 2



Our designers often take nods from the fashion industry and this year black and white was a duo prominent through out fashion and interior design. We have complimented the black and white pair with shades of lime green and red for a fun, whimsical feel. Snowmen and penguins are perfect additions to this mix. This whimsical theme has been popular among customers in years past and the bold addition of black and white will continue to gain popularity for years to come.

Christmas Tree- Whimsical Christmas- Garden Supply Co

Christmas Tree- Whimsical Christmas- Garden Supply Co



 If you long for the nostalgia of Christmases past, our vintage vignette is the theme for you. Lit Houses literally take the spotlight in this heavily flocked tree, especially appealing to collectors of Cody Foster. Adorned with beaded garlands and crystal icicles, this snowy blanket it the perfect canvas for those brightly colored vintage and replica ornaments we so fondly remember from yester year.

Christmas Houses- Garden Supply Co

Christmas Houses- Garden Supply Co





owl vin

owl vin

Take your tiny tots over to the kids corner where Santa is busy making toys in his workshop. Look overhead to find the Polar Express train suspended in a fully decked out garland. Peer high and low to find all of Santa's helpers swinging from garland to tree in preparation for December 25th. This 9 foot tree is covered from sock monkey to easy bake oven. 

Christmas Garland- Garden Supply Co

Christmas Garland- Garden Supply Co

photo 2 (7)

photo 2 (7)

photo 4 (4)

photo 4 (4)

photo 3 (5)

photo 3 (5)

Don't be left with coal - our Letters to Santa tree has the wishlist thing covered! This Americana styled tree is filled with eclectic versions of elves and Santas dressed in cozy sweaters, all busy making lists and checking them twice. Find rustic mail boxes, sleighs, and burlap poinsettias nestled into icy picks, birch bundles, and jungle bell clusters.

Christmas Tree- Santa's Workshop

Christmas Tree- Santa's Workshop

Christmas Elf- Garden Supply Co

Christmas Elf- Garden Supply Co

Enjoy the playful world of fairies and forest creatures nestled in this year's Enchanted themed tree. From The frosted fern picks to the over-sized foam flowers, this tree is truly something out of a fairy tale. Search for nature's furry and feathered friends tucked into the boughs of this upside down enchanted garden. The enormous moss covered mushrooms and birdcages take center stage in the elaborate garland that stretches over nearly half the length of the boutique.

Christmas Tree- Fairy- Garden Supply Co

Christmas Tree- Fairy- Garden Supply Co

 Celebrate the Holiday Season with Garden Supply Company!

Spring Arrivals

Although it doesn't really feel like it yet, spring has arrived here in the Carolinas. And when you are ready to begin your seasonal planting, we are ready for you. If you're craving a bit of color right about now, there are lots of beautiful blooming plants to choose from. Here's a peek at just a few of our recent arrivals and top favorite picks for early spring. Trees

As you drive around town this week, you may notice that many of the trees, such as the cherries and pears, are in bloom right now. Some of our other favorite trees blooming now are:


Snow Fountain Weeping Cherry

As a weeping tree, Snow Fountains Cherry features cascading branches that dip all the way to the ground, giving it the appearance of a white fountain when covered with pure white flowers in early spring.


Star Magnolia (white) and Red Bud (pink)

Reaching a height of 15 to 20 feet at maturity, the Star Magnolia boasts star-burst white blossoms in March and April, making it one of the true harbingers of spring.

The Red Bud's rosy pink flowers appear in  early spring, March-April. Reddish-purple leaves change to dark green, then to yellow. Forms a spreading, graceful crown.




These early bloomers sport the vibrant yellow flowers that have become a fixture of our spring dreams. Their flowers precede their leaves. Border forsythias are fast-growing shrubs with an upright and arching form.


Standard Camelia- Kramer's Supreme

The deep red buds of Kramer's Supreme open to magnificent peony-like, rosy-red blooms with a delightful fragrance. Flowers make a dazzling contrast with the glossy, dark green foliage.

Annuals and Perennials



Although a favorite for winter plantings, the pansy will add luscious color to the landscape throughout spring and into the early heat of summer and work well in container plantings, hanging baskets, and garden beds, alike.



Stock offers a wonderfully spicy, distinctive scent. Plant it in spring several weeks before your region's last frost date -- this annual thrives in cool temperatures and stops blooming once hot weather arrives. It's especially wonderful in window boxes and planters at nose level, where its sometimes subtle effect can best be appreciated.



Perennial Candytuft sends up showy blooms very early in the spring. Flowers are startlingly bright white on shrubby little plants with needle-like leaves, and when in full bloom, they cover the entire plant.



Geraniums have been a gardener's favorite for well over a century. The old-fashioned standard for beds, borders, and containers, geranium is still one of the most popular plants today.


Chocolate Chip Ajuga pictured here with 'Anne Greenaway' Spotted Nettle

The Chocolate Chip Ajuga's evergreen foliage is attractive year-round, showing off a satin sheen finish embossed with rich hues of chocolate brown, bronze and maroon. Don't let all this beauty fool you though; it is as tough as it is gorgeous and can even withstand light foot traffic.

For more great blooming plants and all your gardening essentials, stop by the garden center. We've got loads of fresh arrivals coming in weekly and all the gardening help and advice you're looking for. Hope to see you soon at Garden Supply Co.!

Holiday Elves are Here

Cary, NC The elves have been busy late at night at Garden Supply Company, decorating the holiday trees for Christmas and turning the Greenhouse into a winter wonderland. It is looking absolutely magical in here.  Every year, I never cease to be amazed at the ideas and creativity these talented little helpers dream up. You have got to come take a look! We have beautiful trees in every style and theme imaginable, from fun and whimsical to elegant to everything in between.

This stunning jewel-toned tree is a real eye-catcher. I love the natural elements of the floral picks mixed with the touches of glitter and gold. And aren't those peacock feathers a unique and special addition?

The layered ribbons are another beautiful feature. Many of these ribbons are available for purchase by the yard. Just ask the elves at the front counter for help.

For a natural, outdoor look, how about this beautiful woodland tree?

Snowy and tawny owls mingle with rustic elements like pine cones, hemp ribbon and bird nests on this organic beauty.

These are just a few of the spectacular tree displays the elves have whipped up in the garden center. We'll be showcasing them all at our annual Holiday Open House, scheduled for the first weekend in November. But in the mean time, pop in and see what we've been up to. There is new holiday decor showing up daily that you won't want to miss.

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

June Endings

Hello everyone and happy Wednesday!  Can you all believe that it's mid-week already?  And that we are about to start a new month? I don't know where the time manages to go, but I sure wish I could slow things down a bit. I want this summer to last! And speaking of summer, we've still got some hot summer deals going on down at Garden Supply that I would love to share with you. Just in time for the 4th of July holiday right around the corner, our entire line of patriotic home and garden decor is on sale.  That's right!  Every item of home and garden decor in the greenhouse is now 20% off through Friday, July 2nd. Take a peek at some of the festive summer and holiday items we have available.

Whether you are planning a big party, having a BBQ with the neighbors, or spending a quiet day at home with the family, we have a ton of festive goodies to put you in the holiday spirit. Not only can you make a POW with a firecracker table display, simple red, white, and blue items can make a bold statement, as well. Pair a trio of red vases with a single white piece for a strong impact, like on our white bookcase here. Arrangements like these can last you throughout the summer and bring a touch of brightness to your home decor.

Look at how this arrangement of red, white, and blue items adds a holiday flair to this table display. Here's a peek at some of our other patriotic items, too.

Here's one of my favorite items in the Greenhouse right now.

It is time to celebrate, and we've got your holiday decorating needs covered.  Come check out these fabulous items and enjoy big savings on our entire line of home and garden decor.  Plus, we still have pink tagged items in the Greenhouse for 50% off!

And not only that, all trees and shrubs are currently 20% off, too! It's getting hotter out there, but this is still actually a good time to garden, as your plants will "root in" quicker.  Just be sure to water everything 1" per week.

Happy End of June, everyone!  Hope to see you soon down at Garden Supply!

Hot Summer Sale

Hello everyone and happy Saturday!  The temperatures are sure rising these days.  It has been one hot June, and we've got some hot summer deals to match down at Garden Supply that you will not want to miss. Stop by the garden center and enjoy 20% savings off all trees, shrubs, and home & garden decor. And in addition, for this weekend only, we have some extra special deals to throw into the mix. We have added Hydrangeas, (excluding "Limelight" variety), Rhododendrons, and Green-leaf Hypericums, Buy one, Get one free. Those shrubs are great in afternoon shade if you are lucky enough to have some!  Also, ALL perennials, mix and match, are on SALE. Choose 10 Perennials, get 20% off, choose 20 and get 30% off!

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

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

Bloomers for Early June

Hi everyone and happy Friday to you all!  Another weekend has rolled around again and the grounds at Garden Supply are looking as beautiful as ever.  Late spring, early summer is blessing us with tons of beautiful blossoms at the garden center, and I am so excited to share with you some of my favorites of the week.

As you can see, the perennial and annual tables are absolutely bursting with color.  The roses are magnificent right now and the hydrangeas are out of this world.  Scroll down a post or two to see more details on those.  I also mentioned previously the early blooming crape myrtle, Zuni, which continues to wow down at the garden center.  Now joining the Zuni in full bloom are the Natchez and Tonto varieties of crape.

Natchez Crape Myrtle

The Natchez Crape Myrtle is a best seller, made popular by being a fast growing tree that blooms all summer long. It grows very rapidly at 3-5 feet a year and is tolerant of many climates. The pure white blooms explode in brilliance against the tree’s deep green leafy canopy from June through September.  A Natchez Crape Myrtle also gives you the unusual bark coloring of cinnamon on the trunk and stems, along with its smooth, sleek distinctive texture.

Tonto Crape Myrtle

The new Tonto Crape Myrtle gives you huge, dark pink blooms throughout the summer. This is the perfect tree if you want to add vibrant color to your lawn, but have limited yard space. This crape myrtle matures to 8-15 ft., making it the perfect tree to tuck away in tight areas. However, it will soon attract attention with its abundance of dark pink flowers that last from late spring to early fall.

Zuni Crape Myrtle

The Zuni tops out at about 12', making it the ideal choice for small yards and screening hedges. Blooming early summer through fall, Zuni features larger, dark lavender flower trusses, improved hardiness, and handsome peeling bark. Excellent fall foliage color from orange-red to maroon.

Another blooming tree that caught my eye this week is the stunning Southern Magnolia. Native to the southeastern United States, the magnolia is a large striking evergreen tree with large dark green leaves and large white fragrant flowers. Widely cultivated around the world, over a hundred cultivars have been bred and marketed commercially.  We are excited to offer several varieties at Garden Supply, including this 'Little Gem' magnolia.

Little Gem Magnolia

This cultivar of Southern Magnolia has a compact, upright growth habit more typical of a multi-stemmed shrub than a single-trunked tree. It grows at a slow rate to a height of perhaps 30 to 35 feet with an 8 to 12-foot spread. ‘Little Gem’ Southern Magnolia forms a dense, dark green oval or pyramidal shape, making it suited for screen or hedge planting.

The Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora is a medium to large evergreen tree which may grow 27.5 m (90 ft) tall. It typically has a single stem and a pyramidal shape. The leaves are dark green, stiff and leathery, and the large, showy, citronella-scented flowers are white, up to 30 cm (12 in) across and fragrant, with 6–12 petals with a waxy texture, emerging from the tips of twigs on mature trees in late spring. Flowering is followed by a rose-colored fruit.

We also offer the Dwarf Southern Magnolia, a heavy bloomer with white, 6-inch flowers appearing  in spring and again in summer. Its narrow, evergreen form is 20 to 25 feet high by 10 to 15 feet wide. Green leaves are rusty bronze underneath.

I wanted to share with you a fun new line of Americana home decor items just in to the Greenhouse. These adorable pieces are full of spirit and are just waiting to brighten your homes this summer season.

And don't forget our Gardener's for the Cure team, part of the 2010 NC Triangle Race for the Cure, being held June 12th.  If you have not joined the team yet, it is not too late.  We are getting close to our goal of raising $10,000, but we still have a little way to go.  Every penny goes to research for finding a cure for breast cancer, and we appreciate each and every pledge.  So much so, in fact, that we are offering a special 12% discount card for all your Garden Supply purchases for the rest of this year.  Register with us at the nursery, or online here. Help us in this fight against breast cancer.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  See you all down at Garden Supply.

Arbor Day Activities

Hello everyone!  In honor of Arbor Day tomorrow, I would like to share a few activities that you can do at home with your kids that will encourage a love of trees and nature that will last a lifetime.  Not only will they be developing strong, earth-friendly habits young, but you will have a ton of fun together as well. This rustic twig frame is a simple and quick project that even very young children can do.  All you need is a few twigs, some string or twine, glue (hot glue works well), and a photo for framing.

Collect 2 bunches of twigs.  One bunch (about 6 to 8 twigs) should be approximately 2 inches longer than your photograph. The other bunch of twigs should be about 2 inches wider than your photo.

Arrange the twigs so that they surround the photo and extend outward about an inch in each direction.  Tie the twigs at each corner using the string or twine, making an X pattern.

glue the photo onto the back of your twig frame.  Hot glue works the best, but be careful of young children and hot glue.

Glue a small loop of string to the top batch of twigs for hanging the photo.

This string of leaves are a great way to decorate a room.  You can string these across a window or along a mantel or around a chandelier for a great holiday decoration.  Here's what you'll need to get started.

  1. Construction paper (any natural colors)
  2. Crayons or markers
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue, tape or staples
  5. A long piece of yarn or string

Draw a leaf on construction paper.  Make sure to draw a stick stem on the top.  Your leaf will hang from this stem, which will be folded over.  You can freehand your leaves, trace a real leaf from outside, or download a leaf template.

Cut out the leaf and fold the stem in half.  You can draw on leaf veins if you wish.

Attach the leaf to the long string using tape, glue, or staples.  Draw more leaves and repeat the process.

I hope these give you some great ideas for adding a few Arbor Day celebrations to your house.  And remember, the best Arbor Day project of all is to plant a new tree in your garden.  We have so many beautiful options to choose from, and as always, our experts are on hand to assist you with selecting the perfect tree for your yard.

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

Arbor Day 2010

Hi everyone!  With Arbor Day just two short days away, now is the perfect time to consider planting a new tree in your home landscape.  We have a wide range of beautiful trees to chose from down at Garden Supply.  By planting a tree, you will not only be enhancing your own yard, but you will also be helping the environment.  Did you know that trees remove pollutants and dust from the air?  Trees also provide natural insulation- enough to cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 30%.  Come talk to our experts about choosing the perfect tree for your garden, and celebrate Arbor Day with us! Here's a little fun history on Arbor Day.  The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872 in Nebraska.  It was the idea of Julius Morton, a Nebraska journalist and politician.  Throughout his long career, Morton worked to improve agricultural techniques and served as President Cleveland's Secretary of Agriculture.  But his most important legacy is Arbor Day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Food Mixture:

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

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

Earth Day

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

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

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

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

Another personal favorite of mine is the Common Snowball Viburnum.

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

Another showy spring bloomer is this Vanhoutte Spirea.

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

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

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

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

And in other Earth Day news:

Join us for Earth Day at the green McDonald’s

Thursday, April 22      5:00-7:00pm

1299 Kildaire Farm Road

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

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

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

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

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

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

For questions or more information please contact Julie Barberio at 919-244-9531

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

Blooming Trees for Mid April

Hi everyone!  Looking to add some spring-flowering trees to your landscape and wondering what might be blooming in our area right now? This week?  Today?  Here are a few outstanding choices available for mid April blooming that reach their peek of beauty just as the Redbuds begin to fade and well after the Bradford pears have lost their luster. We've got them all down at Garden Supply. The first option, that I'm sure you've noticed while driving down almost any semi-wooded street in town, is the glorious Dogwood tree (Cornus genus).

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

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

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

This tree rewards all through the year!

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chose this tree to –

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

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

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let's Get This Party Started!

Hi everyone!  Happy Friday and welcome to the start of the weekend.  And what a great weekend it will be.  Our annual Spring Garden Party kicks off tomorrow, and we could not be more excited!  We have a ton of fun for the entire family with live music, food, kids activities, guest artists, and more.  Not only that, we will also have a whole community of gardening experts on hand to share their expertise and answer all your questions.  And that's still not all.  How about some really good news? *SALE  SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE SALE*

That's right!  We're having a sale!  Starting tomorrow through March 20th, enjoy 15% off your entire tree and shrub purchase.

And for a bit of extra Garden Party fun, keep your eyes peeled for pink flamingos.  They may very well be marking some additional specials and discounts on plants throughout the nursery.

We have so many gorgeous plants for you to choose from.  The garden center is bursting with fresh beauties.  We have perennials and annuals, fruit and vegetable plants, and an amazing assortment of shrubs and trees.  We are proud to offer one of the best selections of plants found anywhere.

Come check out our new arrivals of Japanese Maples.  We've got a couple dozen species of standard or bigger maples for the landscape, plus we're super excited about the 30-40 rare and unusual varieties we have in, some of which we may never see again.

We also have a true collector's grouping of rare conifers.  Walk the grounds and prepare to be amazed!

And if you're looking for a real showpiece for the garden, be sure to ask to see our Chrysantha-Edgeworthia "Paper Bush" shrubs for a real unique treat.

Here's a few glimpses of some of our other new arrivals.

Isn't that metal planting container gorgeous?  Our helpful gardening staff would be happy to put one together for you.

Don't forget about all the beautiful blossoms inside the greenhouse, too.

We are so excited to get this Garden Party started!   You can see the full calendar of events here.  Hope to see you all tomorrow.

Two More Days!

Hello everyone!  Just two more days until the kick-off to our fabulous Spring Garden Party. We have a full week of festivities and fun planned to help celebrate the arrival of our favorite season here at Garden Supply.  Each day, locally owned businesses from our community will gather here to share.  Come "garden" with our local growers and enjoy free pizza from our wood-fire oven and hot dogs off the grill.  There's something new to do each day.  Be sure to check our calendar for a complete list of what's in store for you and your whole family! Prepare to be WOWed by all the amazing plants, trees and shrubs arriving daily down at the garden center.  Spring is in full swing and you will not want to miss it!  And in special honor of our Spring Garden Party, how about a little sale??  From Saturday, March 13th through Saturday, March 20th, you will receive 15% OFF your entire tree and shrub purchase.  And have we got some beauties for you to choose from!  Take a look at some of our new arrivals.

Weeping Cherries: Mahogany bark Snow Fountain Cherry

Weeping cherry trees must be included in any Top 10 list of weeping trees, since they are spectacular blooming specimens for the spring landscape. Snow Fountains blooms best in full sun and well-drained soil. A slow-growing ornamental, the branches of this weeping cherry cascade right down to the ground.

Winter Honeysuckle:

Winter honeysuckle is a delightful shrub for extending the seasons: its winter flowers bring spring to the garden several months early while, at the other end of the year, its foliage lasts well into winter.

Pussy Willows:

Pussy Willows are a pure treat for spring-starved eyes. Who doesn't love to  prune off a few branches studded with furry pussy willow to be brought indoors and honored as spring's earliest harbingers?

And if you're looking for a true showpiece for the winter landscape, check out these amazing Harry Lauder's Walking Sticks.  Often referred to by their common names, corkscrew filbert and contorted hazelnut, these flowering shrubs make showy ornamentals prized for their twisted, architectural forms.

These are just a small sampling of what's in store for you down at Garden Supply.  You truly have to see it to believe it!  Stop by and pay us a visit and get in on our special 15% off all trees and shrubs sale beginning Saturday.  Keep your eyes out for pink flamingos around the nursery, too.  They will be marking other sales that are changing daily.

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