Category Archives: ground covers

I DARE YOU!

This month I want to dare you to push yourself to be a unique gardener.  What do I mean by this?  I want each of you to make the most of your garden.  It could be adding a new vegetable that you haven’t grown before or adding a tree to your yard that you’ve always admired into your own yard!  Maybe it’s a new ground cover where you’ve always put mulch.  It’s up to you!

We all have an area in the yard, no matter the size where we could add a garden area to enjoy.  Butterflies, hummingbirds, songbirds can all be attracted to your private spaces with just a simple addition of a few flowering perennials or shrubs.  Maybe you want to mow a little less grass and add some more square feet to an existing bed!  The possibilities are endless!

I could list all the plants that I love in the garden but what makes your garden yours is YOUR plant selections and combinations!  There are endless possibilities out there for you to choose from!  You can narrow down your selections by researching them online, you could join a garden club, you could read a gardening book or magazine but my favorite way to pick out the plants that go in my garden are at the garden center!  I like to see for myself what a plant is going to look like!

You are lucky to live in an area that has many garden centers!  Of course you have Gilson Gardens but there is also, Martin’s Nursery, Springlake Nursery, Havel’s, Bluestone, Middle Ridge Gardens, Secor Nursery, Sabo’s Woodside Nursery, Wyatt’s Nursery, Petitti, Gales Garden Center, Woodworth’s and many more!  Look them up and patronize them!  Spend an afternoon and hit several!  Although Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Lowe’s all offer gardening supplies and plants, I highly recommend that you shop your local small business for all your plant needs!  Keep our county alive by shopping where the experts are!  Your local garden centers are employed by some of the most knowledgeable people there are!

Share your love of plants with people that know how to help you!  They will help you find that perfect addition to your garden!  You may find a new passion for plants that you didn’t know you had!  Plants at your local garden centers are most likely grown right here in Lake County!  Can it get any better than that?  You’ll find the right plant for the right place from the best place in America….Lake County Ohio!

Let me know what you are shopping for!  Which spot are you going to add something new?  What color bloom are you looking for?  Go ahead!  Share!

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Fall Planting is GOOD for your Plants!

  Remember the old adage…Fall is for Planting“?  That has been the truth for  many, many years! Not only is this the time for planting bulbs like daffodils or tulips for spring but almost anything else you want to plant!  The secret?  Mulch!

As long as you mulch your plantings, you are almost guaranteed that your fall plantings will break forth in the spring with new growth and be as happy as ever! 

Shrubs, perennials, ground covers, grasses, vines, etc. actually love this time of year. Planting now, you get the benefit of fall rains, soil temperatures that aren’t headed to  “too hot” and cool air temperatures mean the stress level is low.  Plants get a chance to get settled in before winter which is what you want!

We do not recommend planting rooted cuttings this time of year. We do not suggest you divide your hostas now but most anything else is fair game! Most perennials are on their way to dormancy so they won’t have much on top anyways. You are planting the roots, giving them a nice home for the winter where they will settle into the soil and be ready for take-off come spring!

Don’t fear the fall and the good news is most garden centers are running specials and sales to avoid storing them in containers over the winter.  You get rock bottom prices and happy plants!  You won’t be sorry!  Just follow the planting instructions on the labels!  Have fun and PLANT!

Dreams of the Early Risers on a Winter’s Day

My office is on the back porch of a very old home.  I love it  most of the year. I remember when I was applying for the job and my boss said that my office would be right here, surrounded by windows and I was thrilled! 15+ years later, I still love my office and I can’t imagine being anywhere else day in and day out. (I truly do mean this!) I can look out and see the birds and the trees and flowers in the summer and watch the rain in the spring and admire the leaves changing colors during the fall.  You’ll notice….I said nothing about the winter. On days like this….I am literally the somebody in a snow globe! The snow is whirling around me and let’s just say…I’m not a fan of the white stuff! My boss, ever the optimist says it’s beautiful, I say it’s beautiful up until December 26th….then it can go!

Ok, I live in a snowbelt in Ohio so I guess it’s going to hang around for a while but as my friend just texted me…she thinks the snow is snowing and she has a point! So after all this complaining and rambling…what I really wanted to share today is my favorite early rising plants in the garden. I can dream of them now, waiting patiently for those first sunny warming days and breath a sigh of relief that they have FINALLY arrived and I can really start concentrating on what to do in the garden this year!

PULSATILLA vulgaris Pasque Flower –  The dainty fern-like foliage that is covered in fuzz emerge first and very soon after…these incredible flowers that seem to last and last! Flowers are deep to pale purple, depending upon maturity and stand proudly above the foliage and I can just hear them saying “Hey Looky here…I’m back!  Sometimes these beauties will be blooming in February in our greenhouses if the weather breaks early!  It’s so exciting!  These do well for me in the shade garden where the soil is evenly moist.  They can tolerate more sun but will tend to cook a bit in the heat.  Alkaline soils are best.   Plants only reach a height of 10″ tall but a very worthy addition to your garden if you don’t have it.  

Pulsatilla vulgaris, Botanical Garden of the G...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 HELLEBORUS – Lenton Rose –  These are VERY early risers and many times will stay evergreen in the garden year-round. The flowers come in many many shades from white to burgundy and everything in between depending on the cultivar! Some are single, some are double, some are speckled, some nod, some don’t….there are way too many varieties to mention but very often, these are blooming when the snow has yet to melt. Hellebores require full sun to part shade and reach a height of 2-15″ often with the flowers reaching taller than the foliage.

Bloodroot

I love the bloodroot! My aunt gave me a piece of hers years ago and now I have a healthy batch that I simply adore!  You have to be quick to see this bloom though! I keep watch out my window every day as soon as the weather turns because if I don’t…I miss the blooms! The large leaves spring from the soil in early spring (most times before any of us have even had a chance to venture out to the garden!) and are literally wrapped tightly around the flowers.  Then one day….there are the flowers and you know we really have reached spring! It makes me smile!  I’ll have to dig up the photo that she took of a few that she had where she literally watched the flowers open!  They last about a day, especially if it’s warm but what I sight for sore eyes! If planted in the shade in a woody area, the foliage will stay nice all season long and makes a nice ground cover. I have it interplanted with galium, asarum, hostas and Tiarella and it’s very happy! 

 Of course these are just a few of my favorites that keep me waiting for the seasons to change and I’m sure you have many more that are your favorites. Tell me what yours are! Are you a fan of the bulbs like crocus and daffodills?  Share with me!  Till next time!

Annette 

 

2012 Perennial Plant of the Year….Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’!

Unidentified blue flower in upstate New York

Image via Wikipedia

Exciting News! Wanted to share!

 David Kuack January 10, 2011 Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ named 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year - Image

Members of the Perennial Plant Association have selected Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ as the 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year. In addition to the winner, the other choices for 2012 were Panicum virgatum ’Northwind’, Heuchera ‘Caramel’ and Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’. Over 400 plants were nominated this year.
Discovered at Walters Gardens in Zeeland, Mich., in 1999, B. macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ was commercially introduced in 2000. The deer-resistant plants produce silver-gray foliage and reach a height and width of 12-15 inches. Plants produce racemes of blue star-like flowers in mid to late spring. ‘Jack Frost’ is hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8.
The 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year is Amsonia hubrichtii.

Pictured: 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’
Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Social Media for Wholesale Business

Ok already! I surrender! I have put Gilson Gardens on Facebook for our retail garden center and florist, my boss, our office manager and I  have joined LinkedIn, I’m blogging, we’re googling, and we’re making changes to our website so we can keep it more current and change the content whenever we want! Good for us right?  We’re trying but why must it be so complicated? I’ve attended classes, I’ve asked questions, I’ve done research…..I still seem to be spending WAY too much  time trying to get our name out there! I want you to enter “plants” or “nursery” or “wholesale” and have Gilson Gardens  just pop up on your screen!  I want to be right in front of the landscapers, the garden centers, the homeowners, the old, the young, the generation X,Y and Zr’s! Bottom line….I don’t have to Twitter and that’s good because I don’t have time for that too but  I want our content to be relevant, I want it to be educational and more importantly I want it to get to the kinds of people I want to reach!  Our wholesale nursery sells ground covers, perennials, shrubs, vines, grasses and natives to independent landscapers and garden centers in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia.  We ship in our own racked trucks.  We have a sales team like no other where you’ll get sound experienced advice that is honest and dependable.  Our plants are grown right here in northeast Ohio and in stages so you will receive fresh stock most  of the growing  season.  We are a family owned business, third generation operated and owned! We can custom grow for large orders but we can also get you the small orders for a single job with the same smile and professionalism you deserve.

     So back to the internet and how to get our name out there….I’m hoping the blogging is helping….I know we’re making friends (or fans) on Facebook, I will continue to write of plants that we grow, we will continue to stay “plugged in” and hope in the end it pays off! Till next time….I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for all the great people we do business with every year!