winter

Garden to Table: Just beet it detox smoothie recipe

Garden to Table: Just beet it detox smoothie recipe

Our winter blues melted away when our truck full of late winter greens, herbs and other veggies stopped by to take a load off earlier this week. So grab your veggies and let's tell winter to just beet it with this garden to table detox recipe that uses ingredients straight from the ground!

Hardy Winter Perennials

Hardy Winter Perennials
Hardy Winter Perennials

Hardy Winter Perennials

As we truck along through the cold winter weather, we decided to discuss some perennials which thrive in the winter. We have created a special display out front that showcases an assortment of hardy winter perennials so if you’re looking for ideas, you may want to check that out. Here are a few plants to consider:

Euphorbia

Euphorbia

Euphorbia

There are a wide range of varieties that fall into the Euphorbia species—over 2,000 plants ranging from weeds to trees to succulents are encompassed in this group. We have a selection of evergreen Euphorbias in an array of colors.

Euphorbia_2

Euphorbia_2

We have Glacier Blue, which has wonderfully variegated leaves and conical flowers in the spring. There is also the Mini Martini variety, which is a dwarf hybrid, and on which new growth appears as a deep burgundy. Ascot Rainbow is another species of Euphorbia we have which is stunning at this time of year, with green and yellow variegated leaves with touches of red and orange on them.

These plants enjoy full sun to part shade and well-draining soil with moderate water levels. They can handle drought conditions well and overall, are fairly easy to care for. They will flower in the spring and are a great evergreen choice for this area. If you are looking for a way to give your garden a splash of color in the winter, these plants are perfect!

Heucheras

Heucheras

Heucheras

Heucheras are a shade-loving perennial plant that overwinters well in our climate. These plants have exploded in popularity in recent years and a lot of cultivars are on the market. They come in range of colors from black, burgundy, orange, and green, and with an variety of variegation and leaf shape. Some, like ‘Mocha’, turn from a dark brown/black color to a beautiful red/orange in the depths of winter, giving your garden a pop of color just when you need it most.

Heuchera like moist, well-draining soil in a spot that is protected from harsh afternoon sun. They like to be divided every three to four years and enjoy some fertilization on a regular basis. A bonus—they attract hummingbirds and butterflies when they bloom. They are a sturdy plant that can provide constant interest in your garden and thrive in those shady spots that can be tough to fill with color.

Time for One More Fertilization Before Winter!

garden essentials large
2014-09-14 17.48.13

2014-09-14 17.48.13

As we get closer to winter, it’s a good time to think about fertilizing your plants and lawns one last time before the cold sets in. While it appears that plants go dormant or die in the winter, there’s actually a lot of activity going on under the soil. The roots are in growth mode and giving plants one last infusion of nutrients will help them build a stronger root system and thus help them better thrive next season. Plants need a whopping nineteen elements to grow, with the primary three being nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. To ensure that your plants have ample access to all of the necessary nutrients, it’s best to regularly apply plant food. Fertilizers are labeled with three numbers, which designate the ratio of those nutrients. The first number represents the amount of nitrogen, which promotes foliage or grass blade growth. The second number is the amount of phosphorus, which helps root growth. The final numbers is the amount of potassium, which helps cell functioning and also helps plants absorb trace elements.

For late fall lawn fertilization, it’s best to use a formula that’s higher in phosphorus to stimulate root growth before winter sets in. This will help your lawn be more winter-hardy and green up more quickly in the spring.

Perennials will benefit from a fertilizer with high phosphorus as well, and fertilizing them will help them be stronger plants and produce more flowers next spring. Trees and shrubs will also appreciate fertilization before the cold sets in because over the cold months, their roots are taking in nutrients from the soil and applying them to health-promoting functions, like root development and disease resistance. The roots will store any extra nutrients so that they are readily available for new growth in the springtime.

Read the directions on fertilizers and follow them to make sure they are applied properly for maximum effect.

Come by and see us and we can help you figure out which fertilizers will work best to ensure that your plants build their strength up over the winter and come back strong in the spring!

Importance of Feeding the Birds in Winter

winter_bird_wallpaper_d2411
icy bird

icy bird

    Did you know seeking food is the main activity in the life of wild birds? It is especially important to provide an available source of food for birds in the harsh winter months when conditions are more extreme and natural food sources like autumn fruits and flying insects are scarce. Knowing the food we supply our feathered friends may be the only source of nutrition for the wild birds in our area is a fact that will keep us pushing our customers to take part in regular winter feedings.

     Choose food varieties such as suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. Filling your feeders with high fat content bird food can help the wild birds conserve energy when they need it most. Storing foods high in fat is essential for the birds when ice storms can coat natural food sources like seeds and berries - hindering the birds from eating them.

     We have a great selection of wild bird seed to attract all the species that are indigenous to our area. With our newly expanded birding section, you will also find feeders and housed  to fit any taste.  So cozy up next to your fireplace in the warmth of the indoors and watch the outdoor canvas as your generous food supply attracts wild birds of many species, color, and size. Take even greater joy remembering  what an important part of the birds daily life you are contributing to. 

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

feeders

feeders

bird food

bird food

birding

birding

Japanese Maples: A Spectacle of Vibrant Color

Lithia_Park_Japanese_Maples_November_2006
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

Fall Guide to Herbs & Vegetables

Garden Supply Co.- Cary, NC

Now that the season has changed and cooler weather is arriving, it's time to think about harvesting the last of your summer vegetables, and start work on your fall and winter gardens. Here's a few of our top tips for getting the most out of your seasonal herb and vegetable gardens this month.

Planting

Extend the gardening season well into the winter by planting fall and winter vegetables now. Good candidates for winter harvest include lettuce, radish, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, pak choi, swiss chard, collards, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Plant garlic now for harvest in late summer. It likes a sunny, well-drained spot. Set bulb tips 2 inches beneath the soil surface.

For the most successful winter gardening, we suggest using cold frames when planting. Cold frames are simple bottomless boxes with a removable glass or plastic lids that protect plants inside from excessively low temperatures, wind, snow, and rain. In doing so, it creates a micro-climate that is a zone and a half warmer than your garden. The result is a harvest of fresh vegetables all winter long.

Harvesting

Listen for frost warnings and be prepared to cover tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and other tender vegetables. The weather often warms up again after the first frost, so this protection can prolong the harvest for weeks.

When there is a threat of frost, harvest your cucumbers, eggplant, okra, pepper, and summer squash before the vegetables become frost-damaged.

Bring in tomatoes for ripening when the daytime temperatures are consistently below 65 degrees F. Pick only those fruits that have begun to change color.

Harvest sweet potatoes before frost as well as gourds, pumpkins and winter squash. If you'd like to store pumpkins, be sure to pick only solid, mature pumpkins that are deep orange in color. Try not to injure the rind as decay-causing fungi attack through wounds. Dip them in a chlorine solution of 4 teaspoons bleach per gallon of water. Allow to dry, but do not rinse until ready to use. Cure them at room temperature for a week to harden the rind, then store in a cool place. They will keep for about two months.

When you can no longer protect your plants, pull them and add them to the compost heap.

Herbs

By now, most herbs have lost their best flavor. Discontinue drying for winter use at this time. Exceptions, however, are chives and parsley, which thrive now and taste better than ever in cool weather.

Chives, coriander (cilantro), dill, and parsley can be direct-sown in the fall in the milder areas of the Piedmont for harvest in the fall and winter months.

For more gardening tips, stop by the garden center and speak with one of our friendly experts. We're open 7 days a week to help with all your gardening needs!

The Countdown Begins

Good morning everyone!  Happy Monday!  Here's wishing you a great beginning to a new week.  And it's a very exciting week at Garden Supply.  Our annual Spring Garden Party begins in just 6 days, on Saturday  March 13th at 10 a.m.  Be sure and mark your calendars because you guys are not going to want to miss this!  We can't wait to see you there. And in the mean time, we have tons going on down at the garden center.  New plants are arriving daily and the Greenhouse is full to bursting with beautiful spring and Easter decor.  Take a look at this glorious shipment of Variegated Winter Daphne that has just come in.

This lovely plant is noted for its fragrance, which carries long distances and can often be smelled before you even see the plant in early spring.  The flower buds are purple and as they open will reveal an almost white center which is very beautiful.

It is an evergreen, so will keep its leaves year-round.  The leaves are decorative, as well, in dark green with white edges.  It is very dense and has a rounded form that will grow from 2 to 4 feet tall and about 2 to 4 feet wide.  This particular shrub is said to be one of the best of its kind.  With its smaller size it would work well around patios or in a small yard.  It is hardy to zones 6 to 9.  If you like fragrance, this would fit the bill!

If you're looking for a burst of color and greenery, we've got you covered.  The Greenhouse is filled with a wide array of flowers and plants that are sure to please.  We've got pansies, orchids, begonias, tulips, hyacinths, hydrangeas, cyclamens, ranunculus, and primroses in full bloom.  It is absolutely magical in here.

While you're in the Greenhouse, be sure to check out our collectible Penny McAllister figurines.  They are guaranteed to bring a spring smile to these last lingering days of winter.

Penny McAllister's whimsical and sweet collections bring new charm to folk art.  The sewing bug bit Penny at the tender age of 5.  Nearly 50 years later, the former elementary school librarian has woven her passion for folk art into a dream occupation, making paper mache creations full of wit and whimsy.

"The chip on my nose, the worn paint on my clothes...they're all supposed to be there! I was designed this way, lovingly aged" by Penny McAllister

As always, there is more to see and do at Garden Supply.  Stop by and pay us a visit!  We'd love to see you!  And be sure to check back here soon for more snippets from the garden.