THE BLOG: let's talk gardening

APRIL
28
2012

Do you have an Invincibelle Spirit?

Breast cancer affects everyone. It threatens our mothers and sisters, friends and daughters, grandmothers and wives. The National Cancer Institute estimates 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.*

People everywhere are uniting to take a stand against breast cancer through the Invincibelle® Spirit Hydrangea. Every Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea sold is a $1.00 donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Purchase the only hydrangea that helps find a cure. The Invincibelle Spirit is hardy, easy to grow, and blooms each year regardless of pruning techniques or extreme weather. Unlike many other hydrangeas, the species blooms on new wood, so it develops flowers even if killed to the ground from harsh winters. It’s continuous blooming - producing new flowers from early summer (May/June) right up until frost. Also, it is adaptable to many soil types, can be grown in full sun to partial shade, and required minimal maintenance to keep it looking great. The flowers emerge a bright, hot pink, and mature to a light, soft pink.

Join us and help us and help find a cure! Purchase the Invincibelle Spirit Hydrangea at any McDonald location. And, join us for Pink Day THIS SATURDAY, April 30, at all McDonald locations. Shop a variety of pink plants and we'll donate 15% of the proceeds to Susan G. Komen in support of Breast Cancer Research! learn more >>

*The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

{ Happy Gardening! Posted by McDonald Garden Center, April 28, 2011 }



APRIL
25
2012

Be the First on the Block

NEW: LANAI TWISTER PINK VERBENA

Be the first on your block to get this eye-catching and unique bloom. With a trailing growth habit, it’s a perfect spiller in containers, hanging baskets or window boxes. This bi-colored annual features pink-and-white flower heads contrasted by rich green foliage. Twister Pink is a heat lover that will thrive throughout our summer's heat and humidity. It will bloom from early spring all the way through until frost. Pinch spent blooms and trim foliage to encourage new growth. We love this new verbena paired with survivor pink geraniums or white geraniums.

APRIL
23
2012

Seeing Pink!

If a stroll around your neighborhood this spring and summer and notice a pinker-than-usual palette -- don’t be too surprised. There’s a good chance that you’re witnessing the effects of “Pink Day!” Join McDonald Garden Center and Sentara, on Saturday, April 28, and help the fight against breast cancer. Visit any of the McDonald year-round or Garden Market locations and purchase from a variety of pink plants including pink Geraniums, Petunias, Azaleas and Knockout Roses and 15% of the proceeds will support breast cancer research and prevention. Sentara staff will be on hand at each of the three year-round locations to answer your questions and provide information regarding breast cancer. Be sure to join McDonald Garden Center and Sentara on April 28; and be a part of the cure!

Check out our Pinterest "PINK" page and start thinking pink!

APRIL
20
2012

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Get Waterwise

Landscaping with water-wise plants, often referred to as Xeriscaping, is a great way to recognize Earth Day. Water-wise plants are adapted to local conditions and generally grow better. They also require less maintenance and ~ of course use less water! There are a wide variety of colorful, fragrant and beautiful plants that fit this description and most have long blooming seasons. By selecting plants that will thrive in dry conditions, you can save on your water bills – and help the environment, too. Here’s some of our top choices:

ICE PLANTS. These succulent perennials are low-growing making it a perfect ground cover or the perfect border. They also are gorgeous planted on their own in containers. Bold colored flowers range from golden yellow to purple. The Firespinner variety is our top pick this season with it's stunning orange blooms!

MEZOO TRAILING RED. This unique, annual foliage plant is an ideal spiller for any container combination. It adores the full sun and blooms with small red flowers. Try pairing it with Knockout Roses, Geraniums, Petunias and even ornamental grasses.

PORTULACA.This beauty is a small, fast growing annual plant with very bright, bold blooms. The flowers will open on bright, sunny days and close at night. Plant Portulaca in a container, window box or hanging basket and let it spill over with abundant blooms. We love the new Happy Hour series with bright colors like banana, fuchsia, orange and mixed. Look for these in store in May as they like it a bit hotter.

SEDUMS. Sedums encompass a very wide variety of hardy, perennial succulents with water storing leaves. Some are loved for their interesting and attractive foliage, while others for their gorgeous flowers. Sedums make an ideal groundcover and look absolutely beautiful planted in a container. The possibilities are endless with Sedums! We recommend our new varieties, Lemon Coral and Beach Party.

HENS & CHICKS. Few plants are as hardy, easy to maintain, effortless to grow and beautiful to boot! These succulents are shaped similar to an artichoke, but the color and leaves can vary. Colors range from pale mint green to dark olive, burgundy to red, purple to pink and sometimes even gray. The leaves may be thick or thin, bristly or round-tipped, smooth or covered with fine hairs. The parent rosettes are the "hens," and the smaller rosettes that sprout from them are the "chicks". Tuck Hens & Chicks into the niches of a rock garden, in containers or directly in the ground. They prefer full sun to partial shade.

APRIL
18
2012

Pack a Big Punch

IMPATIENS

Pack a BIG Punch with these petit plants! Impatiens are bright and cheery annuals that light up any shady part of your yard, providing a blast of color until frost! Impatiens grow more colorfully than a painter's palette, ranging in hues from white, pink, salmon, red and even a few bicolors! Extremely versatile, these beauties incorporate season-long interest in the garden, or in window boxes and hanging baskets. They are ideal in planters paired with other annuals such dusty miller, shrimp plant or ferns. Impatiens can also be used to edge shrub borders, walks and patios. Plant in any shady spot that gets half a day or less of full sun - preferably morning sun. Impatiens are now blooming in all stores starting at 99¢.

If you love Impatiens, but you need something for a sunny spot... try Vinca. Vinca looks almost identical to Impatiens, but these blooms can tolerate full sun. Vinca, also known as periwinkle, is a favorite among Hampton Roads gardeners because it can tolerate our hot summers! Available in a variety of colors including purple, red, pink, white, and orange that accent the glossy, green oval leaves. Vinca is ideal as a bedding plant, in pots, and hanging baskets. It tolerates full sun and heat very well, but will grow with a fair amount of shade too. These, like Impatiens, will also stick around until frost sets in. Mix with coleus, geraniums or even edibles for a creative combination. Plant in a full sun to part shade spot that gets at least three hours of full sun.
They do like it a bit warmer, so look for these blooms to hit stores in the next couple weeks.

APRIL
17
2012

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The 'Crown Jewel' of the Garden

You don’t have to be a member of the Royal Family to have the precious gem in your garden. Gardenia ‘Crown Jewel’ offers many of the sought-after traits of it’s parents; the double-bloom and cold hardiness of ‘Chuck Hayes’ and the heavy bloom set of and prolific flowering of ‘Kleim’s Hardy'. Featuring medium-sized, double fragrant blooms and bright green foliage that blooms in early summer, this compact Gardenia reigns supreme over other varieties with improved cold-hardiness. Crown Jewel makes an excellent container plant or small foundation shrub. Ideal around decks and patio or other sitting areas where the rich fragrance can be enjoyed. Be sure to catch a glimpse of this regal specimen this spring and summer season!

APRIL
11
2012

Quench your Craving for Color

SUNCATCHER PINK LEMONADE PETUNIA

Unforgettable summertime tones of yellow and pink grace each bloom of this exciting new petunia! When the weather is cool, it boasts a pale yellow color and when the weather warms it turns a blush pink! It blooms early and stays late, offering more blooms than you can imagine all throughout the season. Use it anywhere you want a showstopper as this petunia will trail from baskets, windowboxes and even mound in the garden. It reaches about 8 to 12 inches high and wide and loves the sun. Pair this beauty with Mexican feather grass or a green spike for a unique combination planter. It will attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Quench your craving for spring and summertime color with this beauty!

APRIL
10
2012

Now Sizzling ~ Fire Spinner Ice Plant

Looking to heat things up in your garden this spring and summer? This hot, NEW ice plant variety pairs fiery purple with orange for a one of kind bi-color flower that covers shiny, apple green, succulent foliage.

Fire Spinner blooms heavy in the spring and continues to flower on and off in summer until fall. As cooler weather sets in, the foliage turns a reddish-purple. This easy to grow, 2 to 3 inch groundcover adores the heat and thrives in full sun and well drained sandy soil. Perfect in rock gardens, borders, along walkways, in raised beds and in water-wise landscapes. Plant in mass for real show! Set your garden ablaze with this season with Fire Spinner Ice Plant!

APRIL
6
2012

Hold On... They're Comin'

Spring has sprung and so have the blooms! The dogwoods, cherry blossoms, daffodils, tulips and even geraniums are all blooming and surrounding us with beauty. These early spring bloomers offer a welcome relief and get the gardening season going. However, there are lots of plants that need those warmer days of summer to really get going.

Don't worry if you haven’t seen growth from your lantana, hydrangeas, dwarf pomegranate, perennial hibiscus, crepe myrtle trees, palms, and Mexican petunias. All these hot weather faves love the heat! Give these plants some time to start showing growth, as it is too early to decide if they are going to come back or not. They might even look dead at this point, but by having a little confidence and some patience, you could end up with beautiful garden blooms.

As the days become warmer and more consistent, these plants will begin to grow, bud and eventually bloom. Often times, they will not grow or bloom until the soil warms up considerably. So, take heart if you are enjoying gorgeous blooms in the landscape from other favorites, these gorgeous blooms need a bit more time to look alive. You especially will not want to start any pruning, until these late bloomers have come up or started to grow. Once established, then you can tidy up these plants. Hold tight, we promise more blooms are coming your way!

APRIL
5
2012

Garden Classic

GARDEN GERANIUMS

Geraniums are a truly a garden classic. Did you know that two types of geraniums exist? Seed geraniums and zonal geraniums. Choosing the right type for the garden depends on several factors and there are reasons to grow both depending on personal preference and where you are going to be using them.

Garden geraniums are ideally suited for use in flower beds, where you may need many plants to fill the space. Zonal geraniums are most often used in pots and combination planters where you are looking for a “star” in the container. Here are the differences between the two:

Garden Geraniums

  • Grown from seed
  • Limited selection of colors including red, pink or white
  • Grown in a 4-inch square pot making 18 plants per tray

Regularly $1.99
SALE PRICE: 4 for $5

Zonal Geraniums

  • Grown from cuttings, allowing for consistency in the variety
  • Wide range of vibrant colors including dark red, hot pink, violet, white, tangerine and many more
  • Grown in a round pot, with 8 to 15 plants per tray
  • The name zonal comes from the dark eye zone in the leaf

Regularly $5.99
SALE PRICE: $4.88

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