Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Southern Living: The Source for Landscape Solutions

Every time I have a problem area in my garden that I try to solve with wrong plant after wrong plant, I feel like I'm lost on a dating site where every match is the wrong one. It would be handy if I could stumble on a website with categories such as "This will grow come hell or high water". But the tough plants from the Southern Living Plant Collection are guaranteed to thrive in Virginia's hot, humid summers. It looks like I finally found my perfect match.

Plants from the Southern Living Plant Collection are designed to solve specific landscape problems and thrive in southern gardens.

The Southern Living Plant Finder makes it easy to find sturdy performers such as crepe myrtles, camellias, loropetalum, and other heat lovers for all your stubborn spots. Southern Living is excited to introduce several new selections such as 'Lime Sizzler' firebush, 'Osage Thornless' blackberry,   and 'October Magic White Shi-shi' camellia. 

'Lime Sizzler' firebush

'October Magic White Shi-Shi' camellia

At their awesome website you can shop online at or cruise such handy categories such as expert videos, style advice, and the plant finder. Check them out!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Encore Azaleas: Superior Plants for Sunny Gardens

Have you ever looked at a plant and thought, "Why can't you just grow in the _____________? Now fill in the blank with whatever light and soil condition you have that the plant hates. Thanks to Encore, azaleas, long staples of shady, warm southern gardens are now available for cold, sunny spots up to zone 6. Encore azaleas are available in 31 reblooming varieties and unlike any other azalea in the world, need 4-6 hours of sun or high filtered shade to thrive. How cool is that?!

'Autumn Fire' azaleas rebloom throughout spring, summer, and fall.

Evergreen Encore azaleas bloom in early spring but continue to bloom throughout summer and fall and can be found in botanical gardens throughout the United States, including the US National Arboretum in Washington DC.

'Autumn Sunburst' azalea

For a gallery of their 31 different varieties and to find a retailer near you, check out their informative website. How can you resist?!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Garden Trends: Expertise and Experience

I love discovering a new company, especially when they turn out to be as awesome as they advertise. Garden Trends, a division of Harris Seeds, isn't new at all. They were only new to me. I discovered Harris Seeds and Garden Trends when searching for purple gomphrena seeds. A mainstay of my summer garden, purple gomphrena attracts pollinators and looks cool doing it. A bright purple flower that looks like it was plucked from an Andy Warhol painting? Yes, please!

Harris Seeds was the first company over a century ago to test and label seed packages for germination rates. My seeds arrived in a heat sealed package and sprouted much quicker than the other types of gomphrena I grew. Orders are shipped within 24 hours of receipt so there is still time to order your favorite summer seeds. In addition to vegetable and flower seeds, Garden Trends sells plants, trees, organic seeds, mushroom kits, bulbs, and garden supplies.

Their garden blog, Garden Digs, and their comprehensive resource library are an excellent source of current trends as well as time tested information. Garden Trends is a garden company staffed by real gardeners and I'll be purchasing their seeds every year.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Oakes Daylilies: Extra Large Plants Guaranteed to Grow

There's something to be said for a plant that only blooms for one day. If it's a reminder to live in the moment and enjoy each day, then I'll take it. Daylilies from Oakes Daylilies are some of my favorite plants. Extremely easy to grow and available in a variety of sizes and shapes, daylilies are perfect for novice as well as more advanced gardeners.

'Pirate's Patch' daylily

Oakes offers the biggest clumps of daylilies I've ever seen and always send a bonus plant. Their clumps are huge! When  you order a plant, they actually send a clump of three large daylily fans. No other daylily nursery sends plants as large as Oakes. In addition to large plants, they send plant labels that can be wrapped to a stick and placed discretely in the garden to help remind you of the plants name.

Ready to plant daylilies from Oakes

Oakes' catalog carries over 400 varieties of daylilies but grow almost 1500, which are on display at their Daylily Festival every June. Started as a hobby for father and son, Bill and Stewart Oakes, the hobby soon took over so they opened Oakes Daylilies to share their obsession with the public. I'm so glad they did! I have their daylilies stuffed into every empty spot in my garden.

I added 'Dream Blue' and

 'Dancing Lions' to the garden last fall.

Daylilies can be added to the garden throughout spring, summer, and fall so check out their amazing catalog. My favorite place to shop is the Under $10 link. Considering how big their plants are, it's the best deal in horticulture! 

Fragrant 'Sunday Gloves' blend well with other plants and grow in my rain garden.