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Tuesday
Mar032015

Top 5 White Flowers

While white is actually the absence of color, using these white flowers will add depth and beauty to every garden.

1. Hydrangea: This is a beautiful flowering shrub, that could have been placed with our favorite blue flowers as well, but there is something delicate and lovely about the classic white hydrangea. These shrubs like shadier spots in your yard, and lots of water.  There are many varieties of hydrangeas that vary in more than just color.  There is the classic large, round flowers, mopheads, lace-cap and conical shaped flower heads.  Whatever shape you go with, the beautiful large, white flowers will keep blooming all summer long, bringing bright spots to your shade garden.

2. Diamond Frost: Ask any employee at the greenhouse, and Diamond Frost Euphorbia will be one of their favorite flowers to use in containers and garden beds. This airy flower may not seem like a lot, but when combined with other flowers, it’s unique texture makes it pop.  The traditional diamond frost does best in sun, but can keep growing and blooming in shadier spots as well with the help of fertilizer.   This low-maintenance annual makes a great addition to any container.

3. Sweet Autumn Clematis: Clematis are a great perennial vine to add some vertical interest to any garden.  Sweet Autumn Clematis is one of the hardiest varieties that grows quickly in sun to part sun.  This clematis gets its name for the sweet fragrance the flowers give off as it blooms throughout the late summer and fall season.  They attract butterflies and birds and can grow quite tall. To keep them shorter, keep the vines trimmed short during the spring, and let them grow out more during the summer months so they will set their buds to bloom for you.

4. Cleome: Also known as the spider flower, cleome are a great summer annual that gives a unique texture and height to any garden.  The large ball flowers have long seedpods that give these flowers the look of having legs like a spider.  Its unique appearance will add lots of drama to containers and gardens, and it can even reseed itself to comeback the following year. For the best effect, plant a cluster of these plants in a sunny spot, and watch them grow thicker and taller throughout the summer.

5. Peony: These perennials are a favorite among gardeners.  The flowers have large, full blooms that announce “Spring has arrived!” Year after year, these flowering shrubs do not disappoint with beautiful dark foliage that lasts all season long.  They come in a variety of colors, all of which are beautiful, but the white are particularly beautiful.  Plant them in a sun to part sun area in your yard, and watch as they spread and grow year after year.



Wednesday
Feb252015

Top 5 Blue Flowers

Flowers come in every color imagineable, but there are not a lot of truly blue flowers to plant in your garden.  Here are our Top 5 Blue Flowers:

1. Black & Blue Salvia: This is also known as Black & Blue Sage, it is an annual salvia that entrances gardeners with its deep blue spikes of flowers, as well as hummingbirds. It loves the sun and is drought tolerant. It is a taller flower that fills in well throughout the season and looks great in container gardens.

2.  Myosotis (Forget-Me-Not): This happy, little flowers are perennials that come back year after year in the springtime.  Forget-me-nots are small, delicate flowers that come in blue, pink and white. The light blue flowers with small yellow centers are a favorite for a spring garden. They are shorter plants, making a great edging in your garden, and they reseed generously.

3. Evolvus: This is a great blue flower that has become popular in the past few years, as it grows well in the summer and is drought tolerant.  It has a trailing habit that does well for containers and hanging baskets.  It needs a lot of sunlight, so choosing a sunnier spot in your garden is best. 

4. Pansies & Violas: These flowers are a sure sign of spring and one of the few truly blue flowers.  Their large blooms bring lots of color to any garden after a long winter.  Violas are smaller and more delicate than pansies, but both have beautiful shades of blue blooms in addition to their many other colors. They are hardy in cold weather and are some of the earliest flowers you can plant. They do not do well in the heat, however, so in the summer heat, it is best if they only get morning sun and are kept well watered. 

5. Lobelia: Lobelia are beautiful annuals that have two different growing habits depending on the variety.  Some lobelia have a mounding habit and do well around the edges of gardens, while others have a trailing habit and do best in containers and hanging baskets.  They need light to flower best, but preferably the morning sun as they can get fried up in the heat of the day

Tuesday
Feb172015

Top 5 Orange Flowers

Our color series continues with orange. 

1. Lantana: Lantana is a flower you will hear everyone at the greenhouse recommend to customers with sunny, hot gardens. These beautiful flowers come in a variety of colors, usually bi-colored blooms. The orange is a vibrant color that pops in any container it’s placed in. Butterflies, hummingbirds and more pollinators are attracted to these as well, and they are very easy to grow.

2. New Guinea Impatiens: These flowers do well in most light conditions, though the more sun they get, the more water they will need.  New Guinea Impatiens come in a range of colors, but the orange is definitely a favorite among gardeners. It’s a larger bloom that pops against the dark foliage and can make shadier areas of your garden pop. They are a tropical plant, however, so be sure to plant them after the last chance of frost.

3. Zinnia: Zinnias are a classic choice for any garden. They are easy to grow from seed, fast growers and low maintenance. Give them a sunny spot and water and they will produce beautiful blooms all summer long.  They come in pinks, whites, reds and yellows, but they have a beautiful orange color as well.  A unique hue for any garden wanting to present warmer, summer oclors.

4. Helenium: Helenium, or sneeze weed, is a great perennial that comes in the warmer color tones as well.  The flower resembles a cross between a coneflower and a gaillardia, and will not fail to produce beautiful blooms for you in the late summer and fall.  Often, its petals look as if they were handpainted, making the beautiful orange colors a unique addition to any garden.

5. Red Hot Poker: This is another great perennial that every garden should have.  A favorite of hummingbirds, the Red Hot Poker has distinctive bloom with architectural features.  The flower is a spike shape that is made up of smaller tubular blooms, creating great spots for hummingbirds to come and grab nectar. They’re also deer and drought resistant, and very low maintenance. Give them a sunny spot in the garden and they will put on a show.

Tuesday
Feb102015

Top 5 Red Flowers

Our color series continues with red. A great color for every season, and as much as red poinsettias make the holiday season, we are going to focus more on annuals and perennials to plant in your garden.

1. Monarda/Bee Balm: This native beauty is a great perennial for the garden and even better for attracting hummingbirds, butterflies and bees alike.  The bold red color is one of many colors bee balm comes in, but it is definitely the most beautiful.  Monarda comes in a variety of heights, but the taller varieties make a great statement for the garden.  They want sun to part sun to grow the healthiest and they are drought tolerant.  They are great cut flowers and are deer resistant. Year after year, monarda will come back and thrive. 

 

2. Lobelia/Cardinal Flower: Another great native perennial that attracts hummingbirds, these tall lobelia have beautiful spikes of flowers.  Not to be mistaken with the lower growing annual of small blue flowers, lobelia likes full to part sun and can grow as tall as six feet.  It has a dark red, almost purplish foliage and grows best in moist soil.

3. Geranium: This may seem like a no brainer to a lot of gardeners, but we had to put it on the list.  The red geranium is a classic in containers and garden beds alike. While it may seem overused, this red beauty is low maintenance and gives you a lot of bang for your buck.  Planting it with other, more unusual flowers can help make it stand out even more.  The large, globe-shaped bloom loves the sun and is drought tolerant.  They are easy to deadhead and will bloom all summer long for you.

 

4. Lady in Red Salvia: Many people know and love the perennial blue salvia, but the annual red salvia is just as, if not more, amazing.  These flowers grow best in a sunny, dry area of the garden. The spikes of red flowers grow to be between one to two feet tall, bloom all summer long and attract loads of hummingbirds throughout the season.

 

5.  Begonia: Our final pick for the best red flowers is the wax begonia.  These beautiful flowers are great for sun or shade and come with green or red foliage.  Either plant seems to glow with mounds of red blooms throughout the summer.  Begonias are about as easy as it gets with bedding plants. They do not need to be deadheaded, and stay somewhat shorter, so they make a great “filler” plant.

 

 

 

Tuesday
Feb032015

Top 5 Yellow Flowers

Over the next few weeks, we are going to be posting our top five favorite flowersfor various color palettes. MAny of these flowers are popular among gardeners and others are a little less known.  No matter the flower, or the color, this list is sure to get you thinking spring--and mixingit up with your garden this year!

Top 5 Yellow Flowers

1. Marigold

 

Marigolds have made many of our lists, including being some of the easiest flowers to grow from seed. Marigolds make the list for top yellow flowers for the widevariety of heights and shapesthat they have, aswell asbeingow maintenanceand durable flowers.  They are rabbit and deer resistant, and do not need a lot of work to keep them happy and healthy during the season.  From the shorter Disco daisy-like flower to the tall, large spherical Inca marigold, there is one for any container or garden.

2. Rudbeckia


Rudbeckia is another popular flower for our lists.  This perennial is a native to Illinois and blooms later in the summer through the fall, giving you bright pops of yellow as teh leaves begin to fall.  Rudbeckia love sunlight and come in many different varieties.  Being a native plant, tey are low maintenance and come back year after year, continuning to give you their beautiful yellow blossoms.

3. Daylily

Another easy, low maintenance perennial that everyone is familiar with.  These flowers are the definition of easy, shooting their yellow blooms up above their bright green foliage to dancein the sun.  Daylilies may seem simple but recently, growers have developed newer varieties that bloom constantly throughout the season, producing more flowers than ever before.  Daylilies come in a variety of colors, but the yellow ones are particularly popular and are one of our favorite go-to perennials.

4. Tulips


One of the best things to see in the spring time is a bouquet of yellow tulips.  Tulips come in a lot of colors, and textures, but there is nothing happier than the yellow tulip.  Even the happiest place on world has a yellow tulip named after it's main mouse (pictured).  Next time you need to cheer someone up, bring them a bouquet of these beauties and yo uare sure to see a smile.

5. Mum

Yellow mums are a great way to finish out the growing season.  From golden hues to bold yellows, mums are perennials that come back year after year.  Mums in general are hardy plants with lots of color.  The yellows reflect the fall leaves and will keep color in your garden until the frost comes.