THE BLOG: let's talk gardening

FEBRUARY
27
2013

Add a Slice of Lemon

NEW: Lemon Slice Superbells®

There is nothing more super than these new Superbells. These cheery, new flowers produce brilliant bi-color blooms in lemony yellow and white. Lemon Slice is easy to grow and makes a stunning display at 6 - 10 inches tall with these long, trailing branches that cascade over the sides of hanging baskets and other containers, and spread over flower beds. It's incredibly heat tolerant and requires no deadheading for endless, cascading color all summer long.

So, be sure to ‘squeeze’ this show stopper into a sunny spot in your yard this season!

FEBRUARY
25
2013

Set the Bar High

There’s something about being outside that just feels good and today people are moving more and more of their living spaces outdoors. Outdoor accessories can be the finishing touch to your outside space, so if you’re looking for a trendy outdoor accessory, why not consider getting an outdoor bar set. Bars have become increasingly popular in homes and yards and having an outside bar area makes it easier to host, even if you’re serving something as simple as lemonade. Today’s outdoor bars are available in variety of options making it easy to find one that fits your outdoor style. So, raise a glass and get ready to take the fun outside!

St. Tropez Bar Set
With a solid teak frame and aluminum hardware, this bar set is the ultimate for outdoor parties. The 36-inch table includes two bar chairs with sand sling seats.

Mandalay Bay Bar Set
With its eastern influence, this all teak set offers comfort and style. The 42-inch table will comfortably seat 4. Includes two bar chairs.

FEBRUARY
21
2013

Double the Blooms with Reblooming Lilac

BLOOMERANG LILAC

Get ready for some major blooming with this new reblooming lilac ~ the Bloomerang Lilac. Bloomerangs bloom heavily in spring, taking a brief resting period, and then start up again in mid-summer continuing until cold weather sets in. Now you can enjoy classic lilac fragrance for months instead of weeks! While traditional lilac varieties bloom for a few short weeks in spring, Bloomerang's fragrant flowers continue until frost. This compact, mounded variety fits easily into any landscape. Reaching just 4 to 5 feet tall, it is ideal as a foundation planting or as part of the mixed border. You can even include it into perennial beds. Lilacs are easy to grow in full sun and average, well-drained soil. These long-lived shrubs will bring years of enjoyment.

Why we love this beauty:

  • Small habit fits into any garden
  • Fragrant flowers
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Great cut flower for arrangements
  • Deer resistant
  • Provides fall interest
FEBRUARY
19
2013

Deliciously NEW Plants for Spring 2013

Look what’s coming this spring. We have a whole selection of new and exciting stuff for your garden. Not to mention that the names are simply scrumptious.

Verbena Candy Cane - has eye-catching red and white flowers.This heat loving Verbena produces the flower power from spring through summer and into autumn. These sweetly swirled patterned blooms will stand out in any garden or patio. Candy Cane is perfect for container plantings, hanging baskets and in landscape beds.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Coleus - shows off non-fading, multi-color foliage in a unique bold pattern – the rose center on each leaf is surrounded by deep mahogany and edged with a thin green margin. Late flowering and dwarf size makes it adaptable to multiple uses. Performs well in planters and small space gardens in both sun and shade. Great companion to other “chocolate” coleus like Chocolate Mint.

Lemon Slice Million Bells - look like little Petunias, they perk right back up after it rains, and stay compact and bushy even when stressed. Covered with hundreds of flowers from early spring all the way through those first light frosts. Just 6 - 10 inches tall, long, trailing branches cascade over the sides of hanging baskets and other containers, and spread over flower beds. Vigor, heat tolerance and resistance to disease are traits. You don’t have to deadhead old flowers or pinch back stems. Water only when the top of the soil feels dry. Too much water makes the roots rot. Full sun. Fertilize once a month.The unique bicolor pattern of white and bright yellow has never been seen in a Calibrachoa, and it is sure to capture your attention. First availability: mid to late April

Check out more new plants here: http://pinterest.com/mcdonaldgarden/new-plants-2013/

FEBRUARY
12
2013

Say it with Flowers

Flowers have been a long-standing favorite for Valentine’s Day, and February 14th is one of the busiest days for flowers. Looking for the perfect way to say it, try sending a flower that has a meaning. Here is a list of some ‘meaningful’ flowers that we adore:

ORCHIDS (Meaning: Love, Luxury, Beauty and Strength)
During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. The 14th wedding anniversary flower, pink orchids convey pure affection, and the popular cattelya orchid represents mature charm.

ROSES (Meaning: I Love You)
The rose is a year-round favorite. It is the symbol of love and the most popular flower given on Valentine's Day. Each color offers a distinct meaning: red, the lover’s rose, signifies enduring passion; white, humility and innocence; yellow, expressing friendship and joy; pink, gratitude, appreciation and admiration; orange, enthusiasm and desire; white lilac and purple roses represent enchantment and love at first sight.

ANTHURIUMS (Meaning: Hospitality)
With their open, heart-shaped flowers, it’s no wonder that anthurium have come to symbolize hospitality. With bold, typically red flowers and shiny, dark green foliage, anthurium, are long-lasting and irresistibly beautiful.

TULIPS (Meaning: Perfect Love)
In the Victorian language of flowers, red tulips are a declaration of love, making them ideal Valentine's Day. A Turkish legend may be responsible for the red tulip's symbolism. The story goes that a prince named Farhad was love struck by a maiden named Shirin. When Farhad learned that Shirin had been killed, he was so overcome with grief that he killed himself - riding his horse over the edge of a cliff. It's said that a scarlet tulip sprang up from each droplet of his blood, giving the red tulip the meaning "perfect love."

LILIES (Meaning: Beauty)
Known as the May birth flower, and the 30th wedding anniversary flower. While white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue, white stargazer lilies express sympathy and pink stargazer lilies represent wealth and prosperity. Symbolizing humility and devotion, lilies of the valley are the 2nd wedding anniversary flower.

FEBRUARY
8
2013

FILED UNDER

Petal Perfect – Rose Care Basics

Everybody loves a rose and there are countless types to choose from, floribundas, hybrid teas, shrub and climbers are the most popular. Prized for their form, color and scent, they are a wonderful addition to any garden. All roses however have gotten a bad reputation with home gardeners as being hard to grow and labor intensive. This could not be further from the truth. With just a few simple tips, we can help you grow roses that will not only be the envy of the neighborhood but will also bring you joy for years to come.

Garden Placement - roses require a minimum of five hours of sun, so make sure you plant in an appropriate space.

Soil Conditions - rich, loamy, well-drained soil is imperative for a rose’s root system. Add compost when planting and always use mulch to keep in moisture and keep roots cool.

Planting - be sure not to plant too deep. The graft (where the large knot on the main stem is located) should be about two inches above the soil line. When planting a potted rose, remember to plant it the same depth of the soil in the pot. If planting a bare root rose, make a hill in the middle of your hole and spread the root system over it. Back fill the hole and pack soil in tightly.

Feeding - roses require a regular feeding schedule throughout the growing season. Feed with a slow release fertilizer monthly from the time you see new growth in the spring until fall. Supplement this with a good water soluble fertilizer every two weeks.

Diseases & Pests Control - roses are prone to fungal diseases and aphids. Systemic products are very useful and will help eliminate the need for a time consuming spray schedule. If you choose to do a spray schedule, make sure you are diligent and thorough. Never spray any plant when it is in direct sunlight. Damage can and will be done to foliage and flowers. Spray either in the morning or the evening.

Pruning - this is vital! Most roses bloom on two year old canes. The best rule of thumb is to prune after the plant has bloomed and prune back only the canes that bloomed this season. Climbers should never be pruned until they have been planted for two years. Most roses are grafted so be on the lookout for basal suckers, which will come up from below the graft area. Cut them off or you’ll have red roses blooming with your yellow roses!!

If you have any questions regarding roses, stop in any local McDonald Garden Center and one of our gardening experts will be glad to help you.

FEBRUARY
4
2013

FILED UNDER

Camellias: The Winter Pick Me Up

When winter seems at its bleakest, Hampton Roads gardeners have a colorful treat in store for them -- the beautiful blooms of camellias. Camellias have been a part of the southern landscape for almost 200 years. Native to the Orient, these graceful beauties were introduced into the U.S. near Charleston, South Carolina in 1786. Camellias flower in the fall and winter with blooms appearing October through March. Flowers range in color from pure white to dark red, while some cultivars offer multi-colored or variegated blooms. Flowers can be saucer-shaped single or double blooms and even ruffled like the Peony camellia. For the remainder of the year, their evergreen foliage is an attractive glossy green providing winter interest that last all year.

Most camellias are shrub-sized and compact and can serve several functions in the landscape. Whether they are planted as a hedge line, mixed with other shrubs, planted in a container, or situated as a standalone bush, camellias don't ask for much and yet give so much beauty in return. Here's just few of our faves:

Charlie Bettes - an early season bloomer that produces some of the largest blooms you will ever see on a camellia. Flowers are bright white with lemon yellow stamens. Plant full sun to partial shade.

Jacks - spring flowering variety that boasts large, pink blooms that can span up to 5 inches across. Lustrous dark green evergreen leaves last all year long. Prefers partial sun to partial shade...

Lemon Glow - early spring bloomer that features formal double blooms that open yellow and fade to creamy yellow. Prefers sun to Partial Shade.

Black Tie - late winter to early spring bloomer featuring showy, fragrant, dark red double blooms on glossy, evergreen foliage. Prefers part shade to part sun.

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