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Going Going Gone!

It’s official – fall is here and at this rate, winter may be here sooner than later.

Halloween has come and gone, and the garden centers are offering discounted prices on their plants to get ready for Christmas.  You can’t blame them really, most major department stores (including our very ownGreat Lakes Mall) already have beautiful Christmas ornaments on display!   You can get some great bargains this time of year for your garden and indoor plants so don’t wait.

Insider Tip:  here in Lake County, Gilson GardensSabos, and Martins are offering 50% and more off hardy plants.

This is also the best time to purchase your ornamental grasses because they are in their glory right now.  They are at full size so what you’re planting is what they will become in your own garden next year.  That’s awesome for those of us who can’t visualize winter vs. summer garden sizes.

This is the time to plant your bulbs, clean up your beds and YES, you can still plant!  This is the time to plant daffodils, tulips, snowdrops, crocus and more and I promise you…getting them in now will reward you with their beauty in the spring.

Finally, your veggie garden may be done, but you can still get plenty of apples and veggies from your local farm market.  Gourds and squash last a long time so get them now to enjoy later.   Bring in your herbs or harvest them so that you have fresh herbs throughout the winter – did you know you can dry and freeze them so you can use them throughout the winter?

Bring on winter!

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!

Roses are the Sweetheart of the Garden

FEBRUARY 12TH, 2013 by guest blogger Annette Howard
Roses are the Sweetheart of the Garden

Roses, once the fame of Mentor, OH

Valentine’s best loved flower is the rose, a symbol of love for all time. Times have changed however…. flower shops have closed down, grocery stores are selling month old roses at the register and we’ve all seen the ads online for FTD. Gone are the days of men spending $75 for a dozen of these beauties!

It’s also getting more difficult to find the roses you think of for Valentine’s Day at your local nursery. These are hybrid tea roses and although the roses are beautiful, the foliage is often leggy, riddled with disease or covered in bugs. Many landscapers are planting and recommending the new shrub roses as an alternative. Shrub roses have been improved and are anything but “shrubby”.

The relatively new Knockout series offers an almost true red, pink, and yellow and most are available in both single and double flowers. They bloom just about all season! These plants are tough and compact, they tolerate pruning and resist disease. These roses are popping up in landscapes everywhere from homes to commercial plantings. They are even drought resistant once established!

If you would prefer a shorter selection of roses than the 36” Knockouts, try the Fairyland series that is hardy, covered in blooms and pretty much maintenance free. They reach a height of 24”. There are many shades of pink, red, white and yellow in this series. Both families of roses make a gorgeous vase all summer long in your house and will be a colorful shrub in your landscape.

Although you cannot find shrub roses at the garden center this time of year, true romantics out there are welcome to pick up a gift certificate at their local garden center that their Valentines can use when it does warm up. Think about adding an “I’ll plant it for you!” note in the card – Now that’s romance!

Aside

The Hostas are starting to pop here in NE Ohio and I am definately a collector….here’s the word from Doug Green’s Garden that I wanted to share with you!  Although many think of Hosta and think of the variegated forms, … Continue reading

Share the Magic of the Holidays with the Gift of Fairies!

A fairy offering wishes, illustration by John ...

Image via Wikipedia

   That’s it, the woman has finally lost it….I know what you’re thinking!  But, NO, truly I haven’t!  This time of year when I just don’t know if I can tolerate one more day of drab skies and rain and the threat of snow, my mind wanders to all that is green…

 You still don’t know where I’m going with this….that’s ok….I’ll share…..

FAIRIES!

     Yup….that’s it!  I’m sure you’ve seen the fairy gardens in the gardening magazines or even in your local garden centers. Some stores have everything for our winged friends, including furniture!  But close your eyes….bear with me here…close em!

     Picture a small, picturesque garden, filled with everything minature….teensy weensy ferns, and succulents and lil’ flowers that only a fairy could pick! Picture sitting in a lil’ bench, waiting for your fairy friends to show up….you can hear them….a distant giggle….off in the greenery, right behind that lil’ plant, hidden from view….a place you would imagine Tinkerbell and her friends….

English: A Fairy Tale by Dorothy M.Wheeler

Image via Wikipedia

       These fairy gardens are so very popular! Great for gifts, great as a project with your kids….imagine their joy while they gaze at the lil’ garden and wait for the elusive lil’ friends to appear…..use your imagination! What items from your own home can you use?  Bottlecaps, pinecones, pebbles, marbles (make great gazing balls for fairy gardens!) the possibilities are endless!  You can use just about anythin for a container as well!

     Fairy gardens can be started inside by a window and then moved to your porch or deck when the weather warms and you and your children can watch it grow and thicken creating so many more hiding places for the fairies!

   You can inspire dreams and stories for generations to come with one little fairy garden, for you, for your children, for your friends and family…..and the love of a garden…..

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!

Those intriguing elegant ferns in the garden

Fern plants at Muir Woods, California

Image via Wikipedia

     This has been an interesting spring so far. We nurserymen don’t even know what it means to have a “normal” spring anymore.  Mother Nature finds a way to keep our lives interesting year after year!  This year (as any other!) we emerge from winter as the sun-starved creatures that we are. We look to the sky and gaze at the blue sky welcoming it back! But…this year…not so much! April….I’m pretty sure we didn’t see the sun and it was still so cold!  May came in pretty nice but wet…oh the rains we’ve had!  Our neighboring towns have had hail three times in the last month and the winds have been dangerous and damaging!  

  So where am I going with all this whining about the weather….to the ferns…the beautiful ferns. They emerge from the ground like some slow alien being that pops up out of the earth and slowly begins to unfurl their fuzzy tendrils and fronds! I am absolutely fascinated by the stages of the fronds as they unfurl and dream of just sitting and observing the show but hence, no time for that!  All the different shade of green, and it’s a wonder-garden of  perfectness for fairies and tree-frogs!

  I took some pics of the fronds opening on some ferns in the nursery and I’ll try to post them.