Fresh Butterfly Bush Varieties From Proven Winners

Proven Winners® has come out with a lovely series! This “MISS” series grows a medium height, just 4-5 feet tall and has a refined, elegant growth habit with intense colors.  It makes a perfect accent for that sunny spot in your garden or yard. ‘Miss Molly’ is as close to red as you will find in a butterfly bush and ‘Miss Pearl’ has a white so bright you can see it at night!
These beautiful varieties bloom profusely through the summer.  They attract butterflies, of course, and also bees and hummingbirds.  They are seedless so they are non-invasive, heat tolerant, and deer resistant.  AND they are fragrant!  With very little maintenance, ‘Miss Molly’, ‘Miss Violet’, ‘Miss Pearl’, and ‘Miss Ruby’ will bloom every year! Make sure to plant butterfly bush in well drained soil with at least 6 hours of full sun each day.  Don’t forget the Espoma Bio-Tone Starter Plus to reduce transplant shock and give roots ample nutrients for best growth.  Prune butterfly bush only after new growth has begun to emerge in spring. It may take several weeks to appear, so be patient and resist the urge to prune sooner.

Miss Pearl – crisp, clean, pure white flowers of ‘Miss Pearl’ buddleia are the perfect accent for any landscape, from a cottage garden to more formal plantings. The newest member of the perfectly-sized “Miss” series, it offers a new color of these non-invasive butterfly bushes. ‘Miss Pearl’ blooms for months and will never be without dozens of honey-scented flowers in the summer time.

 

Miss Violet – Just like her sisters, ‘Miss Molly’ and ‘Miss Ruby’, ‘Miss Violet’ is a compact plant with vibrant flower color, but with loads of dark purple-violet summer flowers.Seedless and non-invasive; deer resistant, too! Winner of a Green Thumb award from the Direct Gardening Association.

 

Miss Molly – Fragrant flowers are a rich sangria-red color. Red color may be more pronounced in the South. This compact plant is smaller than many other buddleia varieties, and its distinctive flower color makes late summer gardens pop! Like all varieties in the “Miss” series, ‘Miss Molly’ is non-invasive.

 

Miss Ruby -Brilliant rich pink summer blooms unlike any other variety. Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Fragrant. Deer resistant. It has compact habit and remarkably vivid, rich pink blooms. The distinctive magenta flowers are more vibrant than that of any other buddleia variety.

 

Earth Day! April 22

Earth Day is on April 22nd and everyone here at The Family Tree just loves to have any excuse to plant!earth day Trees, shrubs and flowers help stave off the effects of climate change, help protect communities from extreme weather, and provide valuable oxygen! Trees have huge impact on our environment, both locally and globally (and of course visually), and we think there is always a need for more trees and shrubs!

Here are some great facts about how trees and shrubs benefit our earth:
1. Trees absorb CO2 thereby removing carbon and adding oxygen.
2. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases.
3. An acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
4. Provide shade to conserve energy.
5. Provide habitats and shelter for birds, bees, and wildlife.
6. A beautiful landscape can increase property values by as much as 15%.
7. Hundreds of thousands of plants provide food source for people, birds, and wildlife.
8. Trees, shrubs, and flowers make you feel good… ‘nuf said!

Just ask us! Our designers and plant professionals offer their friendly expertise in helping you choose the perfect plants for your outdoor living spaces. Here are some great ideas for Earth Day planting:

Flowers – Save the pollinators! Plant some flowers.  Bees and butterflies love most perennials like Agastache, Echinacea, Tick Seed, and Gaura.  They love Mexican Heather, Salvia, and petunias and hundreds more annuals.  Remember bees and butterflies pollinate some of our most nutritious foods. Click here for some great hummingbird, butterfly and bee attracting plants.

Veggie Garden – Planting a vegetable garden will not only provide you with delicious, fresh veggies this summer, but it also gives you a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the lovely weather! Plant some tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans.  If you’re not up to the challenge of planting a whole vegetable garden, try a container garden with herbs and a tomato or two.

container gardenContainer Garden – Liven up any area with a beautiful container garden.  With our designer’s help, you can decorate your porch, patio, windowsill, and pool area with stunning colors and textures.

And of course, plant a tree! Choose one to honor a special someone in your life.  Add a focal point to your landscape.  Add some shrubs to your landscape too.  We can help!

For ideas for your landscape check out our professional services:

Quick Sketch – If you have a small area in your landscape that needs attention, one of our expert designers can help.  We will sit down with you for 20 minutes, sketch out a plan, and give you some ideas on how to make that area blossom into beauty.  Whether it’s a flower bed that just won’t thrive or you’re just plumb out of ideas, we can help you choose the perfect plants to solve the problem no matter what it is!

landscapePlanting Services – You’ve had a great time picking out a cartload of plants for your home, but now you’re dreading the task of planting them; now what do you do? Call The Family Tree; we offer planting services with FREE delivery and no job is too large for us! We’re as happy to plant petunias around your mailbox as we are to put in the new landscape you’ve picked out!

Expert Advice – We have more than 12 Horticulturists and GA Plant Professionals at The Family Tree, all of whom are full of excellent tips and helpful advice. If you have any questions or even just want someone else’s opinion on which color roses to plant by the front door, our experts are always happy to help! Every one of them knows the plant selection at The Family Tree like the back of their hand and can help you find the perfect plant for any condition!

Why not do your part to help make the earth more beautiful this Earth Day? Stop by The Family Tree this week and browse our huge selection of trees, shrubs, flowers, and more! Oh, and remember to just sit back and enjoy the beauty of this world that we live in!

Earth Day; Plant Something Pretty!

Earth Day is on April 22nd and everyone here at The Family Tree just loves to have any excuse to plant!earth day Trees, shrubs and flowers help stave off the effects of climate change, help protect communities from extreme weather, and provide valuable oxygen! Trees have huge impact on our environment, both locally and globally (and of course visually), and we think there is always a need for more trees and shrubs!

Here are some great facts about how trees and shrubs benefit our earth:
1. Trees absorb CO2 thereby removing carbon and adding oxygen.
2. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases.
3. An acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
4. Provide shade to conserve energy.
5. Provide habitats and shelter for birds, bees, and wildlife.
6. A beautiful landscape can increase property values by as much as 15%.
7. Hundreds of thousands of plants provide food source for people, birds, and wildlife.
8. Trees, shrubs, and flowers make you feel good… ‘nuf said!

Just ask us! Our designers and plant professionals offer their friendly expertise in helping you choose the perfect plants for your outdoor living spaces. Here are some great ideas for Earth Day planting:

Flowers – Save the pollinators! Plant some flowers.  Bees and butterflies love most perennials like Agastache, Echinacea, Tick Seed, and Gaura.  They love Mexican Heather, Salvia, and petunias and hundreds more annuals.  Remember bees and butterflies pollinate some of our most nutritious foods. Click here for some great hummingbird, butterfly and bee attracting plants.

Veggie Garden – Planting a vegetable garden will not only provide you with delicious, fresh veggies this summer, but it also gives you a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the lovely weather! Plant some tomatoes, peppers, squash and beans.  If you’re not up to the challenge of planting a whole vegetable garden, try a container garden with herbs and a tomato or two.

container gardenContainer Garden – Liven up any area with a beautiful container garden.  With our designer’s help, you can decorate your porch, patio, windowsill, and pool area with stunning colors and textures.

And of course, plant a tree! Choose one to honor a special someone in your life.  Add a focal point to your landscape.  Add some shrubs to your landscape too.  We can help!

For ideas for your landscape check out our professional services:

Quick Sketch – If you have a small area in your landscape that needs attention, one of our expert designers can help.  We will sit down with you for 20 minutes, sketch out a plan, and give you some ideas on how to make that area blossom into beauty.  Whether it’s a flower bed that just won’t thrive or you’re just plumb out of ideas, we can help you choose the perfect plants to solve the problem no matter what it is!

landscapePlanting Services – You’ve had a great time picking out a cartload of plants for your home, but now you’re dreading the task of planting them; now what do you do? Call The Family Tree; we offer planting services with FREE delivery and no job is too large for us! We’re as happy to plant petunias around your mailbox as we are to put in the new landscape you’ve picked out!

Expert Advice – We have more than 12 Horticulturists and GA Plant Professionals at The Family Tree, all of whom are full of excellent tips and helpful advice. If you have any questions or even just want someone else’s opinion on which color roses to plant by the front door, our experts are always happy to help! Every one of them knows the plant selection at The Family Tree like the back of their hand and can help you find the perfect plant for any condition!

Why not do your part to help make the earth more beautiful this Earth Day? Stop by The Family Tree this week and browse our huge selection of trees, shrubs, flowers, and more! Oh, and remember to just sit back and enjoy the beauty of this world that we live in!

Creating a Hummingbird and Butterfly Buffet

Attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden can be easier than you think! We suggest planting an array of flowers and plants to attract these beautiful creatures. We have put together a list of flowers and plants that are sure to bring hummingbirds and butterflies flocking to your yard. While it is widely thought that hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, they are really attracted to plants with throated flowers.  Choose plants that have long throats.  The plants listed below are just a few of the varieties that you can choose from; come in to The Family Tree and speak to one of our sales associates to find out more! hummingbird

Black and Blue Salvia – This perennial is sure to add color to your yard not only through it’s lovely blue flowers, but also with the bright hummingbirds and butterflies it will attract. Another plus, this bushy plant is deer resistant!

Lantana – Coming in many cheerful colors, lantana is a hardy plant that will bloom all summer. This drought-resistant plant loves the full sun.

Hibiscus_rosa-sinensis_Bot.Garten_MuensterHibiscus – If you’re looking to add a little bit of the tropical to your yard, hibiscus is a perfect choice. The huge blooms are the perfect food for hummingbirds.

Butterfly Bush – The aptly named butterfly bush produces cones of fragrant purple flowers that butterflies love. Hummingbirds are also attracted to the sweet nectar.

For shady areas try Torenia. It is a prolific bloomer and offers hummingbirds (and bees) ample nectar.

Adding an attractive hummingbird feeder not only helps attract these tiny guests, it also looks really pretty as garden art in your landscape. Nectar in feeders need to be changed about every 3 days.

The plants listed above are just a few of the varieties that you can choose from; come in to The Family Tree and speak to one of our sales associates to find out more!  For a printable list of plants, click here.

 

Spring Kick Off Sale

Garden Sale in Lawrenceville, GALet’s kick off spring with a 20% off sale**! Join us Friday, March 24, 2017, we’ll have a greenhouse overflowing with annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs.  You’ll get the best selection by shopping early for spring.   We’ll have more great specials throughout the store.

It gets even better! Get a FREE bare root dogwood with your purchase! While supplies last, we want everyone to have one of these beautiful southern favorites.

** (20% off excludes seed, sod, soils, straw, sale items, services and previous purchases.  Cannot be combined with any other sale, coupon, discount or promotion.) 

January Garden Therapy

Your Yard Is Calling!

January has arrived and it brings with it a new year and the anticipation of spring gardens in a few short cardinalmonths! Here are some tips and suggestions for you to get your gardening off to a great start.

Feed the birds

January is bird month! Although there isn’t much snow in Georgia to prevent their finding food, birds will still appreciate it if you decide to put out birdseed to help them through the leaner winter months. The bonus is that they’ll get into the habit of hanging around your yard and stick around all year feasting on pesky insects and grub.

Protect Your Plants

With the unusual weather that Georgia can have, some plants may get confused and think that spring is right around the corner and begin to sprout. Because the warm weather is sure to be followed by more normal winter temperatures, you’ll need to protect those tender sprouts from frost with a thick layer of compost or mulch. If the temps drop below 25 degrees, consider frost cloth for your tender flowering shrubs.  (Never cover your plants with plastic.  It reduces air circulation and could cause damage.) Also, this sounds weird, but go ahead and water your plants thoroughly before a frost.  The water will, at worst, freeze around the roots keeping them at a constant temperature.

Prepping Soil

If the ground is workable, (in other words, isn’t frozen solid or too damp), now is a great time to turn over the soil in your garden plot. Exposure to the elements help to break down hard clumps of dirt, saving you valuable time when spring rolls around. In addition, turning over the soil reveals a multitude of insect eggs and other goodies for hungry birds!

Planting

Yes, you can plant trees and shrubs this time of year.  As long as they are container plants (not B&B) and the ground is not frozen.  Planting now has great benefits!  The roots have time to get established before the spring and summer, and we get lots of rain this time of year so you will water less.  Remember to mulch them well and cover them if it does get super cold.

For monthly gardening chores click here

We welcome you to come visit our team at The Family Tree! If you need information, direction or help please contact our office by calling 770-972-2470. Make sure to follow-us on Facebook , TwitterGoogle+!

Did You Know It’s Time To Put Up Bluebird Houses?

Bluebird season in Georgia is right around the corner! Attracting bluebirds to your garden during the spring can make for excellent relaxation and sight-seeing. Now is the time to get your bluebird houses set up (or cleaned out from last season). In order to get these blue beauties to hang around your lawn once Spring rolls around, here are a few important tips and tricks to keep mind.

Put the bird boxes up by March 1 so they will be ready when the birds arrive to search for a place to set up house. Place bluebird houses 5’ to 8’ above the ground attached to a tree or fencepost. They prefer open areas with low groundcover or well-trimmed grass in order for them to easily hunt insects.

  • Bluebirds love meal worms, and probably love acquiring them easily even more! Offering them a place to feed on meal worms is an excellent trick to bring them to your garden space.

Georgia is home to some great native plants that will attract Bluebirds during colder weather. Since bluebirds rarely eat bird seed, add berries and fruits to your yard that will likely attract them. Elaeagnus, Cotoneaster, Serviceberry, Beautyberry, Ivy, Hollies, Pyracantha are great for early spring feeding.

  • Predators such as House Sparrows, snakes, mice and others need to be considered when placing your bluebird house. These predators will reek havoc on your bluebirds!  Predator guards on poles or at entrance holes are strongly recommended. Click here for more information of why your bluebirds have left the house. http://www.sialis.org/predatorid.htm 
  • Bird baths are a great addition to any lawn, as they attract many kinds of birds. Bluebirds included! However, bluebirds favor moving water. Adding a moving water feature such a small fountain can do wonders for enticing bluebirds.
  • The last important tip to remember is about maintenance of your bluebird house. Bluebirds are not typically known to clean out old nests, moving on from “occupied” nesting areas. The best time to clean out the nest if from October to December (Just make sure it is not in use!). Periodically clean the old nesting material out of your bluebird box to assure the bluebird vacancy.

 

  • Stop by The Family Tree Garden Center for all your birding needs. We carry Coles, Audubon, Friends Of Flight, Droll Yankee, and handmade feeders, houses, and feed.

Berries For Your Birds

Adding berry producing trees and shrubs to your yard can expand your bird-viewing pleasure. Since fall is the best time for planting, consider adding a few of these “feeders” this time of year. Not only will they offer nutrition to your backyard birds, they will be lovely additions to your landscape. Our year-round resident birds that eat bugs summer, spring, and fall are forced to switch to berries in the winter. Robins, bluebirds, and mockingbirds, for instance, don’t have bill structures to hull the seeds that you would add to your bird feeders, so they’re dependent almost entirely on berries.20160121_081635-1

Fall and winter berries tend to be high in fat and carbs that birds need for energy.   The nutrition in these berries also help them replace all those worn feathers, bulk-up for migration or ready themselves for winter.

Most of the berry producing plants also provide shelter. Birds will choose safety over food so choose areas where your birds will feel safe.  Consider planting in clusters and near other vegetation to create natural protection against predators. If you plant your berry producing plants with limited cover or protection, you will think your birds are ignoring your offering of wonderful berries.

  • Autumn berries: Dogwoods, cotoneasters, Dwarf Burford Holly, Nellie R Stevens Holly, and Beautyberry provide food for migratory birds, both to build up fat reserves before migration and to sustain them along their journey. Non-migratory birds also fatten up on these so they can enter the winter season in good physical condition.waxwing-fruit-tree
  • Winter berries: Crabapple, Sumacs, Cranberry Viburnum, Virginia Creeper, and Winterberry (holly) are all valuable to birds for both food and shelter. These plants hold their berries for a long time so that resident birds and early returning migrants can feed. Robins, Bluejays, Finches, and Mockingbirds are among the birds drawn to these plants in winter.
  • Nuts and acorns: Oaks and hickories, provide food for titmice, jays, and some woodpeckers. Insects drawn to their spring flowers provide food for spring-migrating birds. These trees also provide nesting habitat for many species.

Planting trees and shrubs that birds love will not only increase your bird viewing pleasure but will also enhance the beauty and texture of your landscape.

Feel free to ask any of our associates to help you plan your bird sanctuary or check out our FREE Quick Sketch service here.

How to ‘Winterize’ Birds

With fall approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll care for your feathered friends throughout the coming cold season. Even though there is plentiful food all around now, birds will soon have a harder time finding food for themselves! Feeding and housing them now will not only keep them happy and flocking to your yard all winter long, but will also be beneficial in the spring and summer when they’ll need to feed their babies and will already be comfortable in your yard, knowing that you’re a good provider. fall bird

High fat foods such as sunflower seeds are ideal for giving birds the energy they need to survive the cold nights. Birds don’t mind shelling their own seeds but you can buy already shelled seeds if you don’t like the mess. Suet cakes are readily available and inexpensive. Suet provides much needed fat and nutrition for your birds during the winter when seeds and berries are hard to find. Birds will flock to your yard for this treat! Right now The Family Tree is offering great deals on suet, so stock up now!

Birds such as bluebirds and wrens build their nests in bird houses.  To attract birds to your birdhouses, place them in a relatively sheltered area from predators and provide a food and water source nearby. Even in the winter, birds need fresh water.  Instead of draining your bird feeders and fountains, add a de-icer or water wiggler to keep the water from freezing.

Squirrels  – GRRR.  This is a hard one!  Many people like to watch the antics of squirrels but you also want your bird food to feed the birds.  There are a number of squirrel proof bird feeders and baffles made by Droll Yankee and Audubon. Some bird feed by Cole’s has hot pepper added, which seems to winter_birdwork pretty well; birds don’t mind it and squirrels don’t like it! You may also consider feeding squirrels in an area farther away from your feeders and houses.  They will get used to feasting in that area and hopefully will leave your bird feeders alone.

Once the cold weather passes, your birds will gladly set up house in or around your yard.  In the spring and summer they will be looking for grubs, beetles, mosquitoes and more undesirable pests to feed their families. This is quite an added benefit for your lawn and garden!

Don’t miss our Tuesdays at the Tree seminar on September 6 at 10am! Ornithologist Chip Utsey will share how to keep birds flocking to your yard year round, as well as tips and advice on giving them the nutrition and shelter they need.

The 10 “Must-Haves” for your Landscape #10 – Animal Friends

IMG_2435This is the final blog in a series of articles on the Ten “Must-Have’s” in your Landscape. Landscapes are natural elements and should be enjoyed by some wildlife and animal members of our family. Our yards would not be the same if we didn’t see little creatures foraging, or hear the birds singing. My dad who was an avid gardener commented to me that something is going on with the birds as they were no longer visiting his garden and he was missing the birds singing. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I could hear them just fine and it wasn’t the birds that were missing, but his hearing!

1. Birds

Bird feeder-For years I resisted the temptation to add a bird feeder to our yard. The reason, we have cats and I didn’t want to provide them with a ready supply of food. Our cats have become older, and slower, so last year we added a bird feeder. I don’t know much about birds, but I soon figured out that you need to be able to keep the birdseed dry in the feeder! Birdfeeder #2 performed much better than birdfeeder #1. We learn by our mistakes! It also requires a little work on our part to keep the feeder clean, but well worth it. I love to watch the birds come and go and listen to all the noise that they generate in the garden. I don’t even mind that there are a couple of squirrels that eat breakfast there every day. It is quite hilarious watching them balance on the feeder. If you don’t want squirrels to eat all the food, there are feeders that are squirrel proof. I have also learned that the type of bird seed you use seems to have a direct link on the type of birds that are attracted to the bird feeder. So check out our Tips & Advice page on Birds to see which birds to attract. We have a wide variety of feeders and bird seed at the Family Tree Garden Center.

2. Cats

Cat in catnipI had to write a bit about cats, as I do know about cats! If you love cats make sure you have catnip planted somewhere in your yard. I have a patch and all the cats know where it is. It is funny to watch them roll around in it. If you don’t have somewhere in the yard, you can grow catnip in containers. Cats also like catmint, but this definitely takes a second best to catnip. If you don’t like cats and you are tired of your neighbor’s cats coming into your yard, there are deterrents that can be sprayed onto plants that will keep them away.

3. Dogs

Dog escaping yardRegina at the Family Tree used to groom and show dogs in her former career so she has given me some good tips on ways to keep fido happy in the landscape. Dogs love to escape and dig under fences. Strong gauge chicken wire can be buried along both sides of the fence line to deter dogs digging. Also, if you have a gate area, try putting pavers down on both sides of the gate. Dogs are territorial and will patrol the perimeter of the yard, so if you can, put plantings a few feet away from the perimeter fence so that the dog has room to patrol. Dogs will use the same route in a yard and you will see a well worn path develop. Your dog is designing your landscape for you, so where the worn path is, turn that into an actual path with gravel or mulch. This will keep the dog’s paws clean. Raised beds help deter dogs from entering garden beds, or even a low fence if your dog is persistent. Dogs will also resist entering gardens if you have thorny bushes, or tall grasses planted. If you want pops of color with annuals and you know your dog will probably destroy them, try putting the annual color in containers to brighten up the landscape.

4. Poisonous Plants

Sago Palm flowerThere are a lot of poisonous plants in the landscape and some can have a devastating effect on our beloved pets. I have friends that lost both of their dogs to the poisonous flowers on a Sago Palm. My friends live in Houston where Sago Palms live year round. Sago Palms don’t flower very often, but when they do, they produce a bright orange/yellow bloom that seems to be irresistible to dogs. Check out the full listing of poisonous plants at aspca.com.

5. Uninvited Animal Guests

We have two rabbits enjoying our yard and they have been there for a few years. I watch them in the mornings to see what plants they are attacking, but so far, they have done minimal damage so I am ok with them sharing the yard. However, deer are another matter completely. Thankfully we only have deer occasionally, but a number of our customers complain about deer eating everything in their landscape. If you have a deer problem, the first plan of attack is to plant deer proof plants. Refer to our Tips & Advice page for plants that will be deer resistant. Milorganite is a fertilizer for lawns and we have had several customers that use this as their fertilizer as it deters deer. There are also deer repellants that can be sprayed.

If you are still not sure where to begin, come in and see us at the Family Tree. We also offer a free Quick Sketch or a full Landscape Design Service that will help you get started.

Happy Gardening!

Tracy Davis
Horticulturist/Designer

Be sure to check out the rest of Tracy’s list of the top 10 ‘must-haves’ for your landscape!

#1 Foundation Plants
#2 Trees
#3 Screening
#4 A Welcoming Front Entry
#5 Pops of Color
#6 Focal Points
#7 Nooks
#8 Hardscaping
#9 Entertaining Areas