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Wednesday
Apr082015

Introducing: Bounce Impatiens

Image from gpnmag.com

The past few years, shade gardeners have been having lots of trouble due to impatiens downy mildew. With having such a cold winter last year, we had hope that the disease had been eradicated. Unfortunately, the disease started to pop up again late last summer in the Midwest.

Luckily, horticulturists have created a variety of impatiens that is resistant to impatiens downy mildew called Bounce Impatiens. These impatiens look similar to New Guinea impatiens, but there are two key differences.

The first difference is in the name of these impatiens. Bounce impatiens get their name from their ability to "bounce back" from a missed watering or two, without losing blooms or buds.  The second difference is that Bounce impatiens have more of a traditional impatiens growth and flowering habit.  Bounce impatiens grow wide, filling up garden beds and containers as the classic impatiens would, as well as long bloom times and they are easy to grow.

Bounce impatiens come in cherry, lavender, lilac, red, violet and white. Just like impatiens, they need to be planted in part to full shade and need no deadheading.  

This summer, when looking for a pop of color for your shady spots in your garden, give Bounce Impatiens a try.

Sunday
Apr052015

Happy Easter

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and become obedient to death --- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

-Philippians 2: 5-11

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.