Plant of the Week:


We're happy to share our plant of the week -- Mediterranean Pink Heather. This mounding, evergreen shrub establishes quickly for a fine, dense ground cover or border. It offers terrific winter color with lavender-pink flowers that last through early spring. Mediterranean Pink brings you tough little flowers in the winter when not much else is blooming. Once it stops flowering, this plant still offers a beautiful evergreen foliage that can be enjoyed in all seasons. To plant this in the ground, select a sunny to partially sunny spot. Dig a hole 3x the width of the container and set the top of the root ball slightly above ground level. Then combine the planting mix and soil and fill it in around the plants’ roots. This plant needs a lot of water, especially when newly planted. Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system and then, sit back and enjoy this year-round beauty!

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Plant of the Week:


If you love winter berries and birds, they you'll love Nandina Domestica! Berries brighten the landscape and provide a splash of color during an otherwise dreary time of the year. Berry-producing trees and shrubs pull double duty -- not only by adding interest to the landscape but also by providing a nutritious snack for birds and other wildlife through cold winter months. Feeding birds comes naturally when you grow trees and shrubs that provide wholesome berries.

There are a variety of berry-producing shrubs to choose from. One of our favorites is Heavenly Bamboo (also known as Nandina Domestica). Domestica is known for its attractive, lacy foliage resembling bamboo leaves. Tiny whitish flowers with yellow anthers appear in late spring and are followed by sprays of round, red berries which continue from fall to spring.

This evergreen shrub is one of the toughest and most adaptable shrubs to a variety of conditions. Nandinas grow anywhere from 5 to 8 feet tall, but can be kept at a compact size by pruning. Domestica can be grown in partial shade, although its foliage colors will be more intense if it’s grown in full sun. Ideal as a screen or hedge planting and can also be grown in containers. From its unique foliage and tiny flowers to fall color and brilliant red berries, Heavenly Bamboo is a perfect choice for most any Hampton Roads landscape -- oh, and your fine feathered friends will thank you too!

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>


Plant of the Week:

DAPHNE REBECCA: Fragrance to WOW the senses!

The Daphne plant is a divine little addition to your garden that produces the most delightful aroma. With its fragrance being described as sweet and even exotic, one should not be surprised that it is occasionally referred to as the “romance plant.” This sweet-smelling evergreen shrub is also called the Winter Daphne due to its pink blooms that typically appear in the middle of winter or as late as the beginning of spring. Anyone seeking a beautiful evergreen shrub will love adding the Daphne plant to his or her landscape.

Daphne Rebecca offers fragrant blooms in soft shell pink tones from January through March. It has a striking broad variegated foliage. Be sure to plant in an area with light shade. We love planting them in a container, as a specimen plant or in a mass landscape planting. Try planting it by your front door or walkway, so that all your guests will be greeted with its sweet aroma!



It's Root-amentary

Fall is a great time to plant.

Did you know fall is a great time to plant? Cool weather provides ideal growing conditions for new plants. By planting now, roots have time to become established without the stress of summer’s heat.

With the cooler temperatures and increased rainfall, the time from fall to spring will help the plant’s roots become better established. The soil is still warm in the fall and allows roots to grow until the ground freezes. (With mild weather, roots may even continue to grow throughout the winter.) If the same plant is put in the ground in the spring, it gets a slower start because soils are cooler. If planted in the summer, it may become extremely stressed due to heat, drought and an insufficient root system.

Now's the perfect time to plant some of these favorite trees & shrubs:

• Camellias
• Encore Azaleas
• Purple Leaf Plum Trees
• Dogwoods
• Indian Hawthorns
• Maples
• Boxwoods
• Holly
• Knock Out Roses
• Fruit Trees
• Arborvitae
• Gardenias
• Crepe Myrtles
• Nandinas
• Palms



Pink or Blue, It's Up to You!

Hydrangeas are a wonderful garden shrub that are easy to grow and bloom through a long season. They're elegant, colorful, and versatile, suitable in the landscape, garden beds, flowerpots, and even that tricky spot right by the front door. Hydrangeas come in a variety of colors ranging from white to blue, pink, red, purple and shades in between. Hydrangeas are best known for their chameleon-like ability to change the color of its flowers, and, you don't have to be a magician to make this happen. With a few easy products you can be on your way to creating the color that is perfect for your landscape. Remember, you can't change the color of the white hydrangeas - they will stay white.

To get started, we suggest bringing us a soil sample to get a base reading of where you acidity and pH levels. Bring them to any of our three year-round locations. From there, we can recommend one of these specific products to jump start your color changing.

To Make Your Hydrangea Blue
You will need to lower the pH in the soil. This is done with a soil acidifier. We like Espoma Soil Acidifier (with the blue hydrangea on the bag). It is an effective way to acidify soil. It is all natural and non-hazardous and non-toxic. This is also a great product for blueberries! To lower the soil pH, apply this product in the spring and every 6 months thereafter. We recommend using 1 and ¼ cup for new plants and 2 and ½ cups for established plants.

To Make Your Hydrangea Pink
You will need to increase the pH of the acidic soil. We recommend Espoma Garden Lime (which features a pink hydrangea on the front of the bag). It is pelletized for easy application and is all natural. We again recommend applying this in the spring and every 6 months thereafter.

If you want to make a rapid change in color, we suggest planting the Hydrangea in a pot. This will give you a bit more control to adjust the color. Hydrangeas can flourish in large pots, and a container gives you more control over the soil quality.

TIP: Keep in mind that you will need to adjust the soil before the bloom season or at the very latest when you see buds forming in order to change the bloom color.



A Sweet Summer Treat

ALTHEA... the NEW Smoothie Collection

There’s nothing better than a summertime smoothie and our NEW collection of Smoothie Altheas is no exception! These shrubs feature double-bloom, ice cream colored flowers all season long. Althea, also known as Rose of Sharon, is highly adaptable and easy to grow. We suggest growing these plants in full sun to part shade. As an upright shrub, they will grow to be a height of 8 feet and width of 4 feet and boast large, double blooms giving you a super summer show! They are perfect for hedges, beds, borders and mass plantings. As a heat-lover, this shrub is a treat for Hampton Roads gardeners who crave plants that can stand up to summer's heat.

Try one of these new smoothies in your garden:

Raspberry Smoothie - features double, fuchsia-raspberry blooms
Blueberry Smoothie - features double, bluish-purple blooms
Strawberry Smoothie - features double, light pink flowers


Our Natives are Right at Home

Native plant is a term used to describe plants that are indigenous to a particular area. This includes plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in a particular place. These plant species are adapted to the soil and weather conditions and are the foundation of our native ecosystems, or natural communities.


Native Plants Save Energy:
Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions over thousands of years. They are vigorous and hardy, so they can survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require very little care.

Native Plants Provide Balance:
Each native plant species is a member of a community that includes other plants, animals and microorganisms. The natural balance keeps each species in check, allowing it to thrive in conditions where it is suited, but preventing it from running wild.

Native Plants Benefit Local Ecosystems:
Natives are a cornerstone of biological diversity. They provide food and shelter for native wild animals such as birds, butterflies and other wildlife. The also keep the natural balance of each.

Native Plants Help Save the Bay:
Their root systems help rainfall percolate into the soil, reducing erosion and runoff. They help divert water from storm drains and decrease the impact of runoff to rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay. This improves water quality.

Here is a recommended list of Natives for you to try in your garden. You will definitely have success with these native plants while benefiting wildlife and our ecosystem.

Native Grass-Like Plants
• Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus)
• Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
• Rush (Juncus effuses)
• Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaries)
• Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)

Native Perennials
• Aamsonia (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
• Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis)
• Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnate)
• Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberose)
• False Indigo (Baptisia australis)
• Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
• Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
• Threadleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata)
• Fringed Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia)
• Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
• Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium coelestinum, dubium)
• Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)
• St. John’s Wort (Hypericum calycinum)
• Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)
• Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
• Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
• Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
• Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis)
• Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
• Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida)
• Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)

Native Shrubs
• Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)
• Clethra (Clethra alnifolia)
• Wild Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
• Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra)
• Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
• Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)
• Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
• Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
• Bayberry (Myrica cerifera)
• Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa)

Native Trees
• Red Swamp Maple (Acer rubrum)
• River Birch (Betula nigra)
• Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
• Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginica)
• Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
• Sweetby Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana)
• Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)
• Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
• Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Native Vines
• Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata)
• Carolina Jasmine (Gelsemium sempervirens)
• American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens)


Now in the LIMElight


Shrubs with color in both autumn and winter are worth their weight in gold - or should that be green? Nandina, also called heavenly bamboo, is an easy-to-care-for ornamental shrub that has a spreading form with bamboo-like stalks and delicate, ferny foliage in shades of green and red. This NEW 'lemon-lime' variety is the first Nanina with a bright chartreuse foliage. This compact shrub will brighten any corner with its limey-chartreuse color in spring that turns a grassy green once the summer heat sets in. In winter, lemon lime fades to a yellow-green.

Nandina can be used in virtually any part of the landscape. The plant grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide and has a dense, full look. Plant in full or part sun for superb foliage color. Nandina will grow in a shady part of the garden, although, leaf color will not be as vibrant. This plant has just about everything a homeowner could ask for and is sure to be the highlight of any landscape or garden!


Azaleas that bloom in the fall?


Who doesn't adore azaleas in the spring? What if we told you that now you can enjoy an explosion of blooming azaleas other times of the year as well? Try our re-blooming varieties that flower in the spring, summer and yes, even fall!

Our re-blooming favorites:

Encore – offers three seasons of blooms and year-round greenery. Blooms from late summer to early winter, as well as in the spring. This evergreen enjoys more sun than traditional azaleas, but offers the same easy care. Encores offer a wide selection of plant sizes and bloom colors from reds, to whites, to pinks and even corals. Perfect as base plants, in container gardens, borders, as a foundation planting or in woodland gardens. Prefers well-drained soil and partial sun.

ReBLOOM - featuring large, double and even triple-petal flowers that appear in spring, then rebloom in summer, and continue blooming up until a hard frost. This compact, disease resistant evergreen boast improved cold hardiness and maintains its evergreen foliage year-round. ReBLOOM comes in a variety of unique colors including pinks, reds, purples, whites and corals. Plant in borders, woodland gardens or in containers. Tolerates some sun, but thrive in partial shade. Prefers moist, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic.

Bloom-a-thon - touted as being 'twice as nice as other azaleas'. This azalea produces flowers in April, that rebloom again in July, continuing through fall until a hard frost. Not even hot summer temperatures can stop this beauty from producing tons of late summer and fall blooms. The evergreen foliage is disease resistant and flowers come in a variety of shades including red, white, lavender and pink. Blooms lasts for 4 to 6 weeks in spring, and 12 to16 weeks in summer and fall. Ideal in borders, foundation plantings or in woodland gardens. Prefers well-drained soil and partial sun.


The Silver Lining in the Garden


Russian Olive is often grown as an ornamental shrub with unique silvery-green foliage that is sure to be a focal point in any landscape. This fast-growing Large deciduous shrub or small tree easily adapts to pruning if you prefer a particular shape or size. Let it grow into a large shrub or prune it into a small tree. Highly fragrant, yellow bell-shaped flowers appear in May and June as it prepares for the fruit that gives it its distinctive name. Blooms turn to olive-like fruits that are light green to yellow and are hard and fleshy. Can be used alone, as a hedge or as a background shrub. Both “Gift Edge” and “Olive Martini” grow to 10' tall but can be maintained at a lower height. Russian Olive is extremely hardy and tolerant of many conditions but prefers a sunny location and drier soil, giving you a low maintenance, carefree plant.

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