Affordable Hedges

Flowering Hedge
Image by Chad Horwedel via Flickr

I have been busy putting up pages for new plants over the past week. Some of the new plants are Juncus Blue Arrows,  Mahogany Ajuga,  Creeping Raspberry and Chocolate Mint (which I suggest planting in containers). A few plants making their return to Greenwood are the Tree Form Ardens,  Tree Form Lucy, and Tree Form Lady Stanley Hardy Hibiscus.

A project that is finally complete is bringing you 3 new departments: Affordable HedgesAffordable Flowering Hedges and Affordable Elegant Hedges. This has been a collective effort with everyone here at the office to find just the right plants for these departments. They had to be easy to grow, low maintenance and provide good density for hedging. They are sold as packages of 5 plants (same variety) with a Bio-Pak Fertilizer pack for each plant to plant 25 feet of hedge.

Next week temperatures here are scheduled to be in the upper 50’s, possibly low 60’s. A couple of weeks of weather like that will cause early spring bloomers to believe spring is arriving and their buds will swell up ready to pop. This happens quite often with trees such as the flowering cherry and pear varieties. A few weeks of warm weather followed by harsh temps again can damage the buds. When this happens, the trees may only have sporadic blooming at best and then leaf out. Mid to late spring, I receive lots of emails asking why their flowering trees didn’t bloom and this is the most common reason why they don’t. Warm weather during late winter followed by freezing weather is difficult on plants. The temperature fluctuation can also cause thin barked trees and shrubs to crack or split.

If you are following the Weekly Club Specials, then you already know that for this week only all of our rose varieties can be booked for spring shipping with a 10% discount. All of our Knockout Roses, Rugosa Roses and Drift (ground cover) Roses are reduced 10% now through Thursday, February 17th at midnight. Check yourClub Page for more weekly specials over the next 3 weeks. Plant your spring and summer gardening with Weekly Club Specials.

Be sure to “Like” our Fan Page to keep informed on new plants, specials and planting news from Greenwood Nursery.

Questions? Feel free to drop me an email: Email Questions. As owner of Greenwood Nursery, I have always made myself available to our customer base to help with questions or concerns.  I’m here. Just let me know if you need any help.

Until next time…….Cheryl

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Earning My Green Thumbs

Public Flower Garden in downtown Seattle
Image by FallenPegasus via Flickr

Post by guest blogger Cydney Langford:

I am the firstborn child of nursery owner parents. Plants, not babies. I can attest firsthand that green thumbs are born, not made. I had all the qualifications and knowledge, and yet, I can’t keep a peace lily alive for peat’s sake! (peat, as in organic humor) On the way to school most kids were quizzed on their spelling words for the day. I was quizzed on trees and shrubs that we passed along the way.  As previously stated, I had ALL the qualifications and even interest but still, houseplants browned around me. This was the norm until my first house. It had no landscaping whatsoever; a clean slate. This was my time to shine! I could show my parents and prove to myself that I was just a green thumb in waiting.

First up was the placement of beds. An herb garden was a must, as was a vegetable plot or two.  Also not to be forgotten was a cutting garden. My mom always had fresh flowers in the house and my nightstand is never without a small bouquet. It’s quite the homey touch. Now,,,, all this might seem like a daunting task for a new homeowner who hasn’t even unpacked, but I was determined. My thumb was going to be green.

Starting out, money was an object so I wanted hardy perennials and evergreens that would give me presence in the garden. For the herb plot I knew that patience was a virtue if I didn’t want to spend much money so I began with 3 in. pots. I found a great creeping Rosemary which blew me away with how fast it grew and thyme which, to my surprise, was an evergreen in my region. Two super easy starter herbs. Next was 2 varieties of lavender, lavender du Provence and lavender munstead, to which I dug the holes much bigger and added sand before planting. This reminds them of the Mediterranean of where they originated and they’ll thank you for it by growing better and faster than in clay soil. Other herbs such as oregano, chives,sage and annuals like dill, which goes to seed quickly and basil rounded it out. Quick tip: pinching off the blooms on the herbs promotes growth. That way all the energy it would have expended on the blooms gets redirected to the base plant.

For some year round color, evergreens were in order. I chose the fast growing Green Giant. These gave the perimeter of my yard a quick and easy hedge. Dwarf Sungold Cypress adds a pretty yellow green splash of color.  So, I put several of those together for a sunny grouping. My backyard is shaping up quite nicely by now.

Next up was the vegetable plot. I’ve always admired how neat and tidy raised beds look. They also give the garden an English cottage look which I love. I built my own using three 6” x 8’ boards per bed. One on each side with the third board cut in half. Then I secured them to the ground with stakes attached on the inside.  It’s so easy! I painted them white to complete the cottage look.  Our local farmer’s market has some great venders that grow organic vegetable seedlings. I ended up getting all my veggie plants there as well as some local honey and baked goodies. I love the farmer’s market! After planting all my vegetables I mulched them in with some black cow and gave a good watering. Next up, my flowers!

Now with the cutting garden, I absolutely had to have roses. I love roses! However, anything I’ve ever read about roses talks about maintenance and upkeep and fertilizing and so on, etc. Ugh! How can I develop a green thumb when all I’ll be doing is researching rose growing tips and rose trimming tips, how to cover them for the winter & snore, snore, snore! I want to have a life as well. What’s a girl to do? Dum, da, dum dum! Knockout roses to the rescue! You can’t kill these things and they look amazing! I started with two 1 gallon containers and they’ve quadrupled in size in just three years. Beautiful blossom filled bushes with the roses just begging to be put on display in my house. They’re fantastic plants. When we entertain in the summer, no one can believe that I am the one responsible for the growth of these magnificent flowers! They also ask for the name of my gardener or how often my parents “stop by”.  I just reply that it may have taken a while, but I have earned my stripes in gardening and I now am the proud owner of not one, but two green thumbs.

By guest blogger Cydney Langford

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Warm Winter Days Work

Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintai...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year again here in Tennessee! The time when Mother Nature gives us a little glimpse of spring in amidst the snow and freezing temps. I always try to take full advantage of these sunny days, as they are a nice reprieve from Jack Frost’s wintry mix. Taking care of any forgotten pruning and pulling up of any annuals that got missed the first time are two easy ways to quickly transform a winter backyard into a primed canvas ready for spring.

Pruning my Knockout Roses is at the top of my priority list. One of the best things about these beautiful flowering shrubs is how easy they are to care for. Knowing when and how to prune them will reward you with vigorous growth and gorgeous blooms from April to as late as November (here in zone 7). If your Knockouts are still in their first year after planting, there probably isn’t any need to heavily prune, but only to clip out any damaged or touching branches and then give them a little shape to guide them through this year’s new growth. Once they reach their mature height, in about 3 or 4 years, it is easy enough to shear them heavily in early spring for all new season growth.

Starting your pruning session with a well oiled and freshly sharpened pair of pruning shears makes it much easier on your hands as well as makes clean cuts on the plants. Start by cutting away any deadwood followed by the offshoot canes growing out from the base. When making a cut, look for an outward facing bud and cut just above it at a 45-degree angle to encourage growth and to not end up with dead stumps. Now as you begin to shape the rose shrub, keep in mind that since Knockout Roses are vigorous growers, trim it to approximately 18 to 24 inches below the desired height. Keeping your trimmings in a wheelbarrow or on a tarp as you prune these thorny shrubs will help make for easy disposal and if you’re like me, you like walking bare foot in the garden in warmer weather, so you’ll be glad you were careful.

After pruning and removing forgotten annuals, I like to give my hands a little rest and take a walk around my garden to plan out my next move. I keep a little notebook handy for jotting down my plant wish list and areas where I see more height is needed. Any required repairs to the garden are noted as well. As I look around my garden, I take in the late winter scenery.  It’s the dormant period that gives the renewing of spring. Just like in life, our rest or sleep period allows our bodies to regenerate.

Now, I refill my bird feeders, give my patio a quick sweep and reward myself with a nice cup of tea. Job well done!

Cydney Langford, guest blogger

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