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Monday
Mar232015

The Art of Bonsai: April 11

Call to register today! 630-323-1085
 

 

Tuesday
Mar172015

Top 5 Pink Flowers

Our color series concludes with pink flowers. There are lots of shades of pink and lots of different pink flowers to choose from, but here are our top 5 favorite:

1. Hibiscus: This tropical shrub produces large, trumpet-shaped flowers throughout the summer season. There are both hardy, perennial hibiscus, and more tropical hibiscus, both which produce beautiful blooms that will catch anyone’s eye.  The tropical hibiscus can do well throughout the winter months as a houseplant if it has a sunny spot. The perennial hibiscus starts their growth late in the season, generally starting to pop up in late May or early June.  They start blooming in the late summer and continue into the fall. Whichever variety you choose to grow, you will want to plant them in plenty sun and give them lots of water.  They bloom best if given a healthy dose of fertilizer on a regular basis.
 

2. Dianthus: Another name for dianthus is pinks, making it a definite pick on our top pink flowers list.  These perennials are known not only for the beautiful flowers that bloom throughout the summer months, but for the blue-green foliage as well.  They are very hard and low maintenance, making them a great pick for any garden.  There are many varieties that differ in colors, bloom size and plant height, but no matter which variety you chose, you will not be disappointed.
3. Moss Roses: If you have an area of your yard that gives you all sorts of problems, moss roses are the way to go.  Moss roses like hot, dry areas, thriving in conditions that other plants struggle.  There are lots of warm colors that this plant comes in, but the bold and beautiful hot pink is one of our favorites.  They have a spreading and trailing habit, making them perfect for hanging baskets, window boxes and containers in the sunny parts of your garden.
 

4. Dicentra or Bleeding Heart: This classic perennial is a must have in every garden.  Being one of the first perennials to bloom in the springtime, seeing the delicate heart-shaped flowers makes everyone smile.  Traditionally this shrub would only bloom in the spring, but there are newer varieties that will bloom into the summer as well.  No matter the variety, however, the fern-like foliage is a beautiful addition to any garden.  Choose a part shade to shade area of your garden for this perennial and watch it come back year after year.
5. Celosia: There are lots of varieties of celosia, with each flower shape being drastically different from the next.  Each of these varieties has one thing in common however, the feathery blooms seem to glow in the summer heat, and they are fairly easy to grow.  Some celosia have finger-like blooms while other have the look of a rooster’s comb, but they all do well in gardens, as fresh cuts or even dried. Plant celosia in well-drained soil in a sunny spot, well after any chance of frost, as they are tender to the cold.

 

Wednesday
Mar112015

Top 5 Purple Flowers

Our color series continues with our favorite purple flowers.

1. Petunia: The petunia is one of the most common annuals used in Midwest gardens, and for good reason.  The large and bountiful blooms are easy to grow and can fill out any container, hanging basket or garden bed.  There are many varieties of petunias which all have different habits.  Wave petunias are one of our favorites for garden beds, as they spread and fill out the bed, covering it in the large colorful flowers.  Another favorite among customers are Proven Winners’ Supertunias, as they do not need to be deadheaded and trail beautifully over any container.  Whichever variety you choose to grow, you will no doubt find a bold, beautiful purple as a color choice.  Be sure to plant them in a sunny location and they will bloom all summer long.

2. Mexican Heather: This exotic annual is also known as cuphea, and is one of the best plants for a hot and sunny summer garden.  The small lavender flowers look lacy and delicate, but they are strong bloomers all summer long. Other than watering Mexican heather, there is no maintenance required.  It is drought tolerant and will not disappoint you.  These plants can even be brought in during the winter months and placed in a southern exposure, and they will bloom as a houseplant during the offseason.

3. Toad Lily: The fall is known for its mums, asters and colorful cabbage and kale.  Another beautiful purple perennial that is a must have for fall gardens, however, is toad lily.  The flowers appear like orchids with beautiful speckled petals, each one looks like it is hand-painted.  They do well in shade to part shade gardens and moist soil.  They are low maintenance plants that will return year after year and never fail to please.

4. Scaveola: This annual blooms throughout the summer, draping purple fan-flowers over pots and hanging baskets.  It can handle the heat of the summer without wilting and prefers the sunnier parts of the garden. The unique flower shapes and foliage are beautiful and add texture to any container.

5. Butterfly Bush: A classic perennial for a Midwest garden is buddleia, also known as butterfly bush. The sweet smelling flowers attract butterflies and birds alike, as well as gardeners.  There are taller and dwarf varieties that have an arching shape and make great accent plants in gardens.  Plant these in part to full sun, and will not disappoint.

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