Ultimate Geranium Container Gardens

Geraniums offer a show from early spring to fall. They blend velvety foliage with large clusters of show-stopping blossoms that range in color from red, pink, rose, salmon, orange, purples, to white. Geraniums look great in flower beds but they perform even better in containers.

There are two main types of geranium – the common geranium has rounded, velvety, green leaves often contain a burgundy ring. They tend to stand upright and offer flowers on long stems. The ivy leaf geranium has glossy green, ivy-shaped leaves and tends to grow more like ivy rather than upright. Use the common geranium as a thriller or filler to add height to your container and the ivy leaf as a spiller to hang over the edges of your hanging baskets, window boxes, or the edge of a big planter.

Geraniums like well drained soil. Water thoroughly and let slightly dry between watering. Pick off spent flowers from the bottom of the stem. The same for leaves that turn yellow. It is perfectly normal for some leaves and flowers to need to be picked off but if many leaves turn yellow or brown, check your watering schedule for over or underwatering.

Geraniums are not crazy about high summer heat (unless you use Calliope® geraniums). They may quit flowering during the super hot weather but they will start up again when the weather cools lasting well into fall!

Now for the fun part! Pairing your geraniums in your containers.  Here are just a few examples but there are so many plants to use! Creeping Jenny, Ivy, and Sweet Potato Vine make wonderful spillers, pairing well with geraniums.  Bacopa, Lantana, Vinca, and Verbena look beautiful as fillers to create a full colorful look.  Use spiky Dracaena & Cordeline for tall texture and Salvia and Angelonia for tall color.  Dusty Miller with it’s silvery leaves adds even more color!

Bring your container by or choose one from our wide assortment. We’ll help you create the container garden of your dreams!

Soft pink offers a cool, refreshing feel and is perfect for a lush geranium head.
It’s a perfect partner for purple and chartreuse.
This white container helps the colors pop.

A: Pink Geranium  — 2
B: Asparagus fern — 1
C: Purple Calibrachoa  — 2
D: Pineapple sage  — 3

 

 

Keep It Simple!
Sometimes simple, straightforward combinations give the biggest impact. Here blue and red offer a stunning presentation. Red Calliope Geraniums offer the stunning flower heads with the Blue Daze soft leaves and bright blue blooms fill in this deep blue container beautifully.

A. Red Geranium — 1
B. Blue Daze—  5

 

 

DRAMA!
Geraniums, spikes, and vinca is a tried-and-true combination that has worked for thousands of gardeners. Add on to the theme with extra textures for bigger impact! 

A: Hot Pink Geranium  — 1
B: Verbena  — 1
C: White Bacopa  — 2
D: Ivy, Vinca, or Creeping Jenny  — 1
F: Dracaena Spike — 1

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.) 

Pretty Peonies!

Flowers in Georgia Peonies are beloved plants all over the country, especially right here at our Garden Center in Snellville, GA, for their stunning, long blooming flowers. They come in beautiful shades ranging from whites to yellows, pinks to reds.  Many of today’s peonies have stronger stems, more profuse blooms, and lovely fragrances.  Getting peonies to grow in the south is not too difficult but getting them to bloom might be a little more tricky.

Four things are essential to succeed with peonies in Georgia:
 • Loose, well-draining soil.  Amend the soil with plenty of soil conditioner before planting.
 • Protection from afternoon sun in summer.
 • Chilly winters. Typically peonies need at least 3 weeks of 32 degree or cooler temperatures during the winter to bloom the following spring
Flowers in a Georgia Lawn • Plant in a spot that gets about six hours of morning sunshine but dappled shade/sun in afternoon. 

The cool thing about peonies, among others, is that they can live and bloom for over 25 years once they get established.  

Since peonies need to be cold in winter, we in the south may not have that many cold days, plant your roots shallowly, barely an inch deep in the soil. Make sure you have well-drained soil.  Add Nature’s Helper Soil Conditioner, Espoma Root-tone® Starter Plus, and even a little bit of perlite to your soil.  You can fertilize in fall with an organic fertilizer like Espoma Flower-tone® or in spring with bulb fertilizer.

Many peonies are fragrant such as Shirley Temple, Sarah Bernhardt and Karl Rosenfeld.

Peonies make wonder cut flowers!  Try these tips for creating show stopping arrangements:
• Select half opened blooms, they’ll last longer.
• Cut the flowers early in the morning.
• If the heads are heavy with dew, gently shake to remove water.
• Handfuls of peonies in a vase make a beautiful arrangement.
• Remove foliage below water line to prevent bacteria build up
• Keep flowers away from heat and direct light.

 

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Growing Asparagus, Garlic, Potatoes, Strawberries

Asparagus:
Planting asparagus is a commitment to gardening in that asparagus
is a perennial and should be placed near your garden in an area where it can grow and spread each year.
Asparagus grows best in sunny well-drained soil with minimal weeds.
You will not get edible asparagus the first year and possibly the second year so be patient.
Plant your asparagus 12-18 inches apart. Make sure to eliminate weeds before planting.
Dig a depression 6 to 8 inches deep running the length of the row, mounding the amended soil on each
side for later use. Set seedlings into lowest part of the depression, planting about 2 inches deeper than they
were originally growing. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart.

Amend by tilling into your soil with mushroom compost, Nature’s Helper and Espoma Bio-tone.
As plants grow taller, rake a little of the soil on the edge of the row into the depression where plants
are growing. Soon the bed will be level. Mulch to prevent weeds.
Once asparagus plants are strong enough to be harvested, cut all new shoots in spring when they are about
8 inches tall, snapping them off at the soil line. Many seasoned gardeners use a knife to cut below the soil line,
but it is important to avoid cutting into emerging spears nearby. Also, the knife can spread any disease
from one plant to the next.

Remember, if the spear has begun opening and developing foliage, it will be too tough to eat.
To avoid this happening, plan to harvest at least every other day. Go ahead and pick all the spears each
time you harvest. Discard those that have grown too large.

Garlic
Garlic is one of the more heralded vegetables in your garden. Plant garlic cloves in the early spring,
and you will harvest garlic bulbs in summer. Home grown, freshly harvested garlic bulbs are much
stronger than those found in stores. They can be cooked and eaten by themselves deliciously.

Garlic is simple and easy to grow. Anybody, make that everybody, can learn how to grow garlic.
Plant it in soil that has been amended with a good planting mix, mushroom compost and/or soil
conditioner, in a partly to mostly sunny location and it will thrive. And, best of all, it takes little space.
It can even be grown amidst your flower garden if you are short on space.

Potatoes – Plant on hills and keep covered:
The most common form of planting is in “hills”. Prepare and loosen the soil where you will make the hill.
Place two or three potato eyes on the ground. Cover or “hill” three to four inches of soil on top of the
seed. Water thoroughly. Space center of hills a foot apart.

Fertilize every two to four weeks. A good fertilizer for potatoes contain low levels of Nitrogen, and
high levels of phosphorus. 6-24-24, or 8-24-24, are good fertilizers for potatoes. Too high nitrogen
will develop lots of green leaves and not great potatoes.

**As the plants grow, mound additional soil around the plants every week or two. Do not let the
tubers or potatoes be exposed to sunlight. You can cover the soil around the plants with
compost, mulch or even black plastic.

Strawberries:
Plant strawberries on slightly raised hills in your garden, in hanging baskets, and in strawberry pots.
Strawberries need at least 8 hours of full sun each day, and they prefer slightly acidic well drained soil.
Mix Espoma Bio-tone Starter Fertilizer into the soil before planting.
Be sure to set the plants so that their roots are well covered with soil
but the central growing bud, or crown,
is exposed to light and fresh air.
Note: If you bury the crown, the plant could easily rot.
Water them well upon planting. It is best to water at ground level if possible.
Strawberries appreciate mulch to hold in moisture and keep weeds down.
Just be careful not to cover the crown.

Fertilize with Espoma Plant-tone or another quality organic
fertilizer and water so that the plants don’t dry out (but DO NOT overwater).
 

15 Ways To Use Pansies

Pansies and Violas set the stage for a fresh bright spring season. Planting these perky winter/early spring favorites bring seas of color to your gardens and containers from fall to spring. With so many colors to choose, here are some easy ways to incorporate fresh color now before warm season annuals come available.

  1. Set the table Use the purple and yellow blooming pansies in green, glazed pots to create a living centerpiece on your patio table.  Or, simply plant one pansy in a tea cup for a simple elegant look.  
  2. Classic Containers Yellow faced pansies combined with solid yellows come together in an impressive arrangement that bring a classic look to any container.
  3. Stack for Texture Gather two galvanized buckets. Plant the smaller one with pansies and parsley. Tuck more pansies and Creeping Jenny or Ivy around the edges of the larger one, and stack.
  4. Window Charm Winter days have you feeling gloomy? Bring happiness inside with just a few snips. Plant fragrant pansies, snip some flowers and place in a jar on your windowsill.
  5. Thrillers, Fillers, Spillers A cone-shaped, evergreen arborvitae works perfectly as an attention-grabbing thriller. To brighten up the look of your container, fill up the pot with multi-colored pansies and have variegated English ivy spill over the sides for a dramatic visual.
  6. Classic Green & White Pair variegated American boxwood (‘Elegantissima’) with white pansies for a classic look. Variegated English ivy also serves as green and white accents.
  7. Herb Pairings Pair yellow and purple violas with a cool-season herb such as curly-leaved parsley for an easy-to-care-for display. Snip pansy flowers and herbs to brighten up your kitchen.
  8. Strawberry Jar Makeover Cool Wave pansies dress up a strawberry jar. Pair with yellow, white, and purple pansies and set jars on your porch or patio for waves of color.
  9. Balls of Blooms Create orbs of color with violas that love to bloom. Use sphagnum baskets and Cool Wave Pansies along the sides, then top the container with more pansies. Hang in a sunny location for more optimum splendor.
  10. Tuck In Color To dress up your entryway, tuck in a few pots along the steps and walkways with a simple color scheme to add whimsy and pop.
  11. Window Box Color When filling a show-stopping window box, don’t hesitate to use small evergreen shrubs or perennials, which last throughout the seasons. Euphorbia, Cyclamen also look striking in window boxes.
  12. Fairy Garden Fun Give your outdoor fairies something fun! Fairies love to play hide and seek in flower beds. Pansies are perfect for when warm season flowers are not available.
  13. Glowing Beds Bright yellow and stark white pansies add rich color that will make your pots and flowerbeds glow.
  14. Front Door Spectacular Spreading Cool Wave pansies provide color through fall, winter, and spring. You can add to the show in early spring by slipping in pots of forced tulips and some chartreuse foliage, like tiger ferns and heucheras.
  15. Perfectly Placed Pots A perfectly-placed container makes a big impact in your garden and yard. Try placing 3 sizes of containers for even more drama. Mix pansies with small evergreens, Creeping Jenny or Ivy, and Euphorbia.

One great tip for planting pansies, annuals, trees, shrubs, and perennials is to always use Espoma Bio Tone Starter Plus in your soil mix. We at The Family Tree are huge believers in this product for getting ALL your plants started on the right root!

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.

Money Tree Prosperity

Have you ever heard the story of how the Money Tree got its name? It started with a man whose prayers for money were answered by obtaining this unique plant.  When he took the plant home, he discovered he could grow several more from the seeds and new stems. He soon became rich from selling the seedlings.  It is from this story that the plant was given its nickname: the “Money Tree.” The plant (and the story) originated in Japan. The Money Tree consists of several trunks braided together with green leaves sprouting from the top.

  • Braided Money Trees are often given as a gift because they have the reputation of bringing good luck and prosperity.  Generally, the more leaves the Money Tree has, the better!  While it is common to find money trees with five leaves on each stem, it is quite rare to find one with six to seven leaves. Like a four-leaf clover, a Money Tree with a seven-leaf stem is considered to bring incredibly good fortune to its owner.
  • Feng shui practitioners believe that the braided Money Tree creates positive energy for any room that it is placed in.  Following this belief, your Money Tree should be placed in the “financial” part of your home or office. (Make sure it is bright in that area) Each new leaf of the tree will then bring added financial blessing and success.  This plant is easy to grow and will thrive easily in your home or office.
  • The jade green leaves of the Money Tree grow in a pattern often compared with the human hand.  These five leaves are said to symbolize the five elements of balance in creation: metal, wood, water, fire and earth.  Each stem of the “braid” is a unique plant.
  • Money Trees are easy to care for. Simply water thoroughly then let the soil dry. You can tell if you are watering too much if the leaves become droopy and yellow. If the leaves are wrinkled or curled, you are watering too little. The main problem that we see with Money Trees is from overwatering.
  • Place your Money Tree in an area with bright indirect light. In areas with less bright light, your tree’s leaves may grow smaller, but they will adapt if needed. Avoid direct sunlight. In warm weather, your Money Tree may enjoy a little outside time in the shade. Bring your plant inside if the weather drops below 50 degrees.
  • Concerning fertilization, this tree does not need to be fussed over. Fertilize once in the spring and once in the fall with a quality time released fertilizer. Insects don’t seem to bother the Money Tree but if you happen to see whitefly or aphids, spray the leaves with Insecticidal Soap and wipe clean.
  • Propagation is best had from cuttings/side shoots and seeds. Often you will notice new shoots coming out of the trunks. You can simply place these shoots in moist, not wet, soil with Root Starter and they will grow well.

 

  • Find Money Trees and many other interesting houseplants at The Family Tree Garden Center.  Our knowledgeable, friendly staff is here to help with all your interiorscaping desires.

 

Christmas Is Just Days Away

Christmas is only days away! Are you ready?  Well, we are here to help make your holidays merry and bright for you and everyone on your Christmas list.  Take a look at a few of our deals.  Every day we are putting more items on special so if you haven’t signed up for our e-newsletter, you can sign up now to be in the know about our upcoming sales and specials.

Gift Card Sale. Now through Christmas Eve you can buy a gift and get a gift from us.
Buy a $50 gift card…get a $10 gift card FREE
Buy a $75 gift card…get a $15 gift card FREE
Buy a $100 gift card…get a $20 gift card FREE
Free gift cards are valid January 1, 2017-March 2, 2017.  Perfect for spring planting!  Give a gift that everyone loves and you can treat yourself with the free spring gift card!  You can even buy our gift cards online and we will send them to you within 48 hours!

Christmas décor is on sale for 40% off. Our décor is special, unique and beautiful.  Our designers can help you with ideas for your trees, tables, mantels, and gifts.  You’re sure to find the perfect decoration here!
20160919_082727Christmas ornaments are on sale for 50% off. Your guests will be saying OOOO, AHHHH when they see your Christmas tree decorated with our special ornaments.

Fraser Fir Christmas Trees start at $29.95 for 6-7 foot (regularly $39.95) You can put up a few trees at that price!  And with the great ornament sale, you’ll have plenty of sparkle on your trees!  Our trees are hand selected.  We give your tree a fresh cut and load it on your car for you.  Don’t forget the Tree Bag for easy removal after Christmas and the Prolong to add to your water to help your tree stay fresher longer.

Brighten up your décor with Poinsettias! 30% off these colorful Christmas plants. Choose from red, pink, and white.poinsettia-ipad-painting

Whatever your Christmas desires are, we can help bring your vision to life. Stop by and talk to one of our designers today!

Christmas Trees

perfect-treeFraser Firs:  Our Fraser Fir Christmas trees are hand selected in North Carolina and shipped to us directly from the farm.  With over 2000 trees to choose from in our covered tree forest, you can see your perfect tree from all sides by using our unique hanging system.  We give your tree a fresh cut and secure it to your car or truck before you take it home.  Our trees are watered EVERY DAY so they will stay fresher longer.

Silver Tip Designer Trees:  These trees are grown wild and sustainably harvested from the mountains of California.  Eachsilvertip tree is unique, none look alike because they are not grown from clones.  These rare Silver Tips have a unique “open” look, silver tipped foliage, and are sought after by interior designers.  Very few Silver Tips are available due to the unique harvesting method.

Flocked Fraser Firs:  To flock a tree we start by giving a Fraser Fir a clean cut and securing it to a wooden untitled-1tree stand.  Our expert then takes the tree and sprays it completely with a wood pulp/glue mixture that we call flocking.  This is an intense process that takes experience.  Our flocking material is non-toxic and flame resistant.  Flocked trees do not need to be watered! A big plus!  To take a flocked tree home, we will wrap your tree in plastic and secure it to your car or truck.  These trees need very little care and will look beautiful for the entire season!

Ice Kissed Flocked Trees:  The Family Tree Exclusive!  While these trees are being flocked, we sprinkle them with non-toxic translucent crystals that create sparkles and twinkles! These trees are festive and have added texture and color.

20151129_121909-1Caring for the Tree (Unflocked)

  • The Family Tree Garden Center will give your tree a fresh cut before you take it home.  This is very important to open up the pores so that it can absorb water.  Place your tree in a bucket of water immediately when you get home.  Even if you are not setting it up in your home just yet.
  • Consider spraying your tree with WILT STOP™ before bringing it indoors.  WILT STOP™ is a non-toxic tree resin that helps your tree from drying out and losing its needles.  It can extend the enjoyment of your tree for quite a while.  (Spray before you bring your tree inside!)
  • Watering is critical. A freshly-cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours!
  • When you bring your tree inside and set it up, fill the tree stand with water and keep it filled. (Using a Santa’s Water Wand can make watering easier.)
  • Never let the water level go below the tree’s base.
  • Indoors, keep the tree away from heating ducts or other heat sources. In fact, the lower the temperature, the better the tree will do.
  • We recommend adding Prolong™ to your water to help your tree stay fresher longer.