Friday, May 29, 2009

Dayton "Dirt' May 29, 2009

With Memorial Day this Monday on May 25th, it almost seems too early as the traditional Memorial Day or Decoration Day as it was once known was celebrated the 30th of May.

You should be in full swing in planting your garden now, although it’s a good idea to think about gardening extending much later in the year by planting cool weather crops such as swiss chard, parsnips, turnips, lettuce and kale among others in mid to late August to harvest late in the fall and even in winter if the plants are covered with straw to keep their crowns from freezing such being the case with parsnips and carrots.

If your going to the cemetery to pay respect to your loved ones who have passed on, we have potted combination pots or potted blooming plants such as roses that you can take home later and plant. To save some money we’ll even show you how to make your own container of mixed flowers so that the combination has a center, a filler and a spiller!

We still have some vegetables and herbs that you may want to check out that includes the herb stevia that is a natural substitute for sugar and one that per unit of weight is much sweeter than sugar so that you use much less.

Stevia derivatives have now been approved by the Federal Government for use as a sweetener in soft drinks!

It’s still not too late to plant your favorite trees or shrubs as we have them already dug up or potted and ready to go so that their root systems are not disturbed by digging out of the field.

The Korean Lilacs are still in bloom with their heavenly fragrance permeating the whole nursery so that they are the tail end of the strong, sweet fragrances of spring until the Sweet Bay Magnolias come into bloom with Clethra, known as the Sweet Pepper Bush, making itself known in July with its heavenly scent.

Stop in to look around and to say hello.

Always gardening,


Friday, May 22, 2009

Dayton "Dirt' May 22, 2009

It’s time or just about time (depending on your local conditions) to set out your frost sensitive plants from tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and annual flowers.

You may not know it but some flowers such as petunias are resilient in that they can actually survive and soon thrive after being exposed to temperatures as low as 28ºF. Other annual flowers such as Impatiens, New Guinea Impatiens and Coleus would never survive such a freeze or repeated cold nights so that you need to plan accordingly as to what to plant first.

In the garden you can use Preen for Vegetable Gardens Weed Preventer but in the landscape, including your annual flowers, the original Preen works great especially if you slightly work it in or water it in well as you water your newly set out plants.

You can start putting out pots of tropical plants as long as you can keep an eye on the weather for cold frosty nights which will require some action on your part. Just be sure to place them in partial shade for a week before putting them in the bright sun.

Osmocote 14-14-14 works well as a fantastic slow, easy feed for annual flowers in pots, the ground or hanging baskets. In fact, our rose expert, the rose lady, loves to use osmocote on her roses to push growth and blooms.

Our next batch of perennials will be ready soon that will include a new bright yellow Coneflower called ‘Mac-n-Cheese’ that can be planted next to it’s bright red sidekick ‘Tomato Soup’! Where do "they" come up with these names?

Our roses including the new Knock Out Rose called ‘White Out’ are starting to bud up to bloom shortly.

However, as I have previously stated in earlier blogs, the Rhododendron alleé is my favorite area of the nursery with ironclads like ‘Boursault’, ‘Nova Zembla’ and ‘Boule de Neige’ displaying large flower trusses that look like jewels sitting on top of an whorl of leaves.

Come on in and get some ideas for your home and we’ll do a quick sketch for you to scale so that you know what to put where. We do ask that you try to come in on a weekday if possible and set up an appointment with one of our designers so that we may give you our undivided attention.

For the most part, the weather now reflects the Goldilocks Principal: not too hot, not cold, it’s just right! Enjoy!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dayton "Dirt' May 15, 2009

Mountain Laurels, Rhododendron, Azaleas, Enkianthus and Blueberries are all of the same ericaceous family that we grow right at the nursery in Norton!

I’ve been hooked on rhododendrons since I’ve been 12 years old when I remember seeing in Pennsylvania, a border of rhododendron with azalea in the foreground that just seemed to meld together so beautifully that it would almost be impossible to imagine such beauty.

I think our perennial plant varieties expanded by at least another 30-40 varieties in addition to our standard fare.

In our annual greenhouses, hanging baskets, combination pots, flats of flowers and heirloom vegetable plants abound.

I can’t quite figure it out but spring has a certain smell that excites the mind even if one were unable to see all its radiance of color and life.

When you plant your heat loving plants such as tomatoes and peppers in your garden, I want you to try a newer product called Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer as it definitely helps with those pesky weeds. Make no mistake, this is not the regular Preen that I have advised you to use in your landscape and around annual flowers but a Preen product that is made with corn gluten!

Organic and safe, this vegetable garden Preen prevents weeds in your garden by inhibiting the root development of a germinating weed seed - the little devils just don’t have a chance!

Not only do we market things like organic Preen but we have organic insecticides that will kill aphids, spider mites, thrips and well, you get the picture. Don’t forget to do a second spray of the organic Spinosad on the trunks and lower branches of your more mature rhododendron and dogwoods to kill the borers trying to eat the live bark of your treasured plants. A third spray at the end of May is all you should need to finish up.

It’s time to start working hard in the garden so get off your computer and get going!


Friday, May 8, 2009

Dayton "Dirt' May 8, 2009

This time of the year in the state of Ohio is truly breath taking!

Trees in the woodlands, wildflowers and landscapes around houses have finally shed winter’s dormant cloak.

Around the nursery, the azaleas are radiating their beauty in shades of red, purple, pink and white to be followed a little later by the exbury azaleas and catawbiense hybrids of rhododendron in even more of a kaleidoscope of color including orange, yellow and melon colors in addition to the colors of the evergreen azaleas.

One of the newer flowering trees you have to see is the eastern redbud called ‘Appalachian Red’ in that when it blooms beside the naturally occurring Redbud, the Appalachian variety seems to be electrified as it is a glowing neon pink!

You may have even picked out a gift already for your mother but in case you haven’t, you’ll be sure to find something on the grounds or in our greenhouses full of annuals and perennial flowers just waiting for a new home. Be sure to check out our roses too as the rose lady will be here (if the weather’s nice on Saturday) to give you her advice from her many years of gardening.

If you have ruled out a living gift for mom, bring her to the nursery to just look around as our selection is vast and she may just enjoy walking around to breathe in a deep sense of spring.

Because of the large number of customers in our nursery in May, it is very difficult at times to make sure everyone has his or her questions answered. That’s why we have an item called auxiliary signs on many of our tree and shrub basic signs that give you more in depth details on the plants you should know.

Every year my goal is to write 100 additional auxiliary signs to add to our library of 300 already so that hopefully many of our customers questions are answered if we are unable to serve them right away.

I’ve got to check the watering in the greenhouses and scout for bugs. As with any job not all things about it are glamorous, just a lot of hard work!

Happy Spring!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Dayton "Dirt' May 1, 2009

Our annual greenhouse is finally open for your inspection.

This year we’ve added a new line of tropicals, bouganvilla that can be aggravating to sell as the flowers drop and some leaves in their transit from Florida; however we received the plants early enough so that they could regenerate some of their buds and foliage as well as having time to quarantine all of the tropicals to make sure there are no bugs from Florida to contaminate our other greenhouse product or your plants at home.

Our thousands of azaleas are just starting to pop out into color along with my favorite fragrant Viburnum called ‘Cayuga’ that blooms just before the May 10th, fragrant blooming French Lilacs.

This is the best time to get an idea for a Mom’s Day gift as everything is or getting ready to burst into bloom.

Some of my favorite easy to grow evergreen azaleas are ‘Herbert’ (dark double purple), ‘Boudoir’ (watermelon pink), ‘Snowball’ (bright white), ‘Karen’ (bright purple) and ‘Girard’s Crimson’ ( rosy-red).

Our registered trade name that I chose for azaleas years ago is "Bloom and Grow" since we propagate and grow all the plants at the nursery. I got the idea from the song Edelweiss, written by Rogers and Hammerstein in which the lyrics portray the flower as one that may "bloom & grow". This part of the lyrics fits very well with the types of the plants we grow (azalea, rhododendron, mountain laurel and blueberries) as that’s just what they do: they bloom and then grow.

Soon our garden club members should be receiving our spring newsletter and some valuable coupons by mail. You can still join the club at anytime but we will require your e-mail address as we want to periodically e-mail you information and coupons you can use as all of us know it’s so much less expensive to do an e-mail than snail-mail!

Come on and take a look around but reserve plenty of time for the 14 acres as you’ll see something different and exciting around every corner.