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Dog days of summer, easy houseplants to grow...

Greetings from the Garden

Happy Summer!
I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful summer                                                          sunshine!  We should all be seeing the fruits of our labor beginning to pay off in the fabulous form of brightly colored tomatoes, mega perennial blooms and fresh growth on all our plants.  The past few seasons have compromised so many of our crops, it's just so incredibly satisfying to be digging beets and plucking cherry tomatoes!  I hope all of you are also reaping what you've sown....

There is still plenty to do in the garden, weeds are loving the weather, as well.  I have my share, for sure.  My little perennial Spaniel-weed, Baxter just turned two years old and is so fun and frisky!  He has been helping in the garden, as well.  He loves tomatoes and figs!  Speaking of figs, we finally got a shipment of the Chicago Hardy Figs in this week!  I know we have a large waiting list, getting in inventory has been a real challenge the last two years, but alas...they have arrived!  We will continue to recieve fresh shipments of summer blooming shrubs and won't be too long and we will fill all our shelves with garden mums, asters and black-eyed Susans!  I'm ready for it, how about you?

I hope to see you in the garden,



I think we can all relate to some innocent plant hoarding!  And if plant hoarding is wrong, then I don't wanna be right.  I so distinctly remember killing my first houseplant....I also remember my first story of "surthrival"...thanks to an extrememly hardy Creeping Charlie!  Now my eyes light up when I see a shiny Monstera or an impossible Calathea.  I feel like success mostly centers around a simple path of water and light.  Once we work out those, then any plant can become apart of our interior-scape.  Almost true....almost!  Today I want to talk about the simple task of maintaining our indoor plants nutritional requirements or feeding.


Just like all of us, plants need food.  And regular feeding.  Leaves are made of more than water and sunshine, and when plants grow new leaves, or an older one drops, they must replenish the nutrients they used for this task.  This is a simple cycle and feeding fills the requirements needed for all this wonderful growth and sustainability.  Holding the rich colors that came with the plant is as easy as a once a month feeding.  Once you develeop the habit and see the results, it will be easy to understand the process. Setting a reminder on your phone or calendar also helps....


A basic plant diet consists of the macros, Nitrogen (for green leaves, Phosphorus (for strong, healthy roots) and Potassium (for overall vigor and health).  If you are feeding something with very specific needs, like African Violets or Orchids, definately seek out the specialy labeled foods for them.  We carry both Orchid Growth & Bloom and African Violet Foods.  I really like the Bonide Liquid Houseplant Food.  It's N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phoshorus-Potassium) is 10-10-10, so it is very "all purpose" for weekly or monthly feeding for most of your houseplants. It will keep them green and maintain their overall health.  Remember to always measure the food!  More is NOT better, you can burn your plants with too much. 


Housplants tend to be on the same schedule as your outdoor gardens.  We feed them during the regular growing season, or when your outdoor plants are not dormant.  In our area we can start feeding in March and continue through October.  During the off season months, feeding every 6-8 weeks is more than adequate.  The plants are in a sort of resting pattern in the winter months.  They are not using as much energy as the temperature has cooled and the days are shorter, leading to less light and less plant processes.  

I hope this will help you on your path to creating happy, healthy houseplants that can enrich your home, clean the air you breath and create a space that is relaxing and beautiful!  Here are some pics of our new and unique houseplant varieties....


garden helper hacks

I don't know about you, but I always need some quick and easy ways to make my gardens beautiful AND productive with less effort.  Try these hacks for getting it done!
  • Mulch 2-3" of organic matter, bark, compost or chips to hold ground moisture AND eliminate weeds from growing in gardens and beds. My favorite is G&B Soil Building Conditioner---it works!
  • Scatter Bonide Weed & Crabgrass PREVENTER.  It kills the seeds-yes, the seeds!  It lasts 6-9 months and will reduce weeds by 80% the 1st year.
  • Feed your plants early in the morning when it's cool.  Use a liquid foliar feed for a quick burst of greening and blooms.  I love the G&B Bloom Liquid Plant Food for everything in my yard.  I mix it with Superthrive once a month to help with stress and heat. (I transplant lots of stuff in the summer temps)  If you prefer the "scatter method" instead, not to worry!  We have easy to scatter Gardner & Bloom Organic Fertilizers that fit your needs to a "t"!  We have everything from Paradise All Purpose pellets to Blueberry Food.  
  • Water in the morning--I cannot stress enough how important this is for plant health and vigor!  Between 7am & 9am is ideal for the heat of summer.  Water deep for encouraging deep, healthy roots and make sure newly planted trees are getting a thorough drench at least 4 times a week in August.  Overhead spraying can be done, but it is best to soak the plant at it's base, slowly, to allow the water to penetrate into the root zone.  Make sure to find the "drip line" on your trees.  It is the space directly below the outside branch tips, and that is where you need to be soaking to reach the hair roots that need it most!
  • My best hack is "plant crack".  All of us at the shop know it and love it, it is Toss & Gro Plant Feed.  It creates INSTANT flowers on annuals, perennials and containers. It's all purpose, pelletized, and blasts color on your plants!!  Try it....I promise, your plants will love it!


DID YOU KNOW...commonly this time of season many 
gardener's experience patches of brown in their grass.  It looks and acts like fungus, however, it is not.  In over 90% of cases, this is simply Sod Webworms or Lawn Moths!

Beneficial Nematodes attack more than 230 kinds of soil-dwelling and wood-boring pests, such as white grubs, cutworms, corn rootworms, strawberry weevils, gypsy moth larvae, cabbage root maggots, fungus gnat larvae, AND sod webworms!   

The common Lawn Moth (webworm) larvae are laid in your grass by adult moths and eat your lawn roots, causing dead patches randomly scattered about your yard.  The mystery is solved!  Nematodes are microscopic in size and cannot be seen with the naked eye. But the 7 million active units in each pint container will hunt down, penetrate, and kill most soil-dwelling pests. Take the easy and ORGANIC way to pest prevention.  Safe for people and pets!  

If you need more INSTANT   gratification, try Bonides' Grub Beater.  The formula will knock out sod webworms in only a few days and lasts for a full year.  This product covers $5,000 square feet per bag.  It is a granular pellet to be applied anytime during the growing season.  It is labeled for many other types of lawn and soil dwelling insects, as well.  Stop by for more information on how to keep your lawns looking lush and green this summer!!

 Perennial Highlight for August

Midnight Marvel Hibiscus

I am reposting this fabulous picture from last season!  This amazing pot is in Janesville, CA and owned and grown by garden extraordinaire, Sandy Caldwell.  Most gardeners don't realize that this perennial Hibiscus is truly hardy for our zone.  It gets 3-4' tall and wide and produces exquisite 5-6" brightly colored flowers in summertime.  We have so many colors to choose from, even some that wintered here in the plastic pots!  Stop by and see how stunning they are in full bloom right now!  We have 6 colors available right now and a fresh crop coming on the 25th

           Deer Resistant Perennials!

            Echinacea Purple Coneflower     English Lavender      Russian Sage                        Black-Eyed Susan    Hardy Geranium     Veronica     Gaillardia      Catmint                            Red Hot Poker     Wintercreeper     Summer & Creeping Phlox                       Salvia Sage    Hummingbird Mint    Coreopsis     Bee Balm    Ornamental Grasses 

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