Archives for February 2014

March Events at The Family Tree Garden Center


As we wrap up a chilly February, our garden center is filling up with a plethora of spring blooms. If you have started thinking about your garden, landscape or fairy gardens, then head over to The Family Tree to get your projects kick-started. If you aren’t sure where to start and want some advice from our experts, come join us for events throughout the month!

Saturday, March 1 & 2, 10am: Terrarium and Miniature Garden Day!
Bring in your container or purchase one here and let us help you design the perfect terrarium and miniature garden. Pick up some tips and tricks on how to take care of, prune, and water your masterpiece.

Tuesday, March 4, 10am: TUESDAYS AT THE TREE
Preparing the Perfect Planting Environment for Trees, Shrubs & Flowers.

Saturday, March 8, 9am to 3pm: Design at The Tree
Our landscape designers will help you with a problem area in your yard. Just snap 4-5 pictures of the area, measure each angle in feet and figure out how much sun it gets. We will have a 20 minute session with you to get that area looking fabulous.Sign up early with on of the cashiers or Call 770-972-2470 for your appointment.

Saturday, March 15, 10am-4pm – Designing the Perfect Vegetable Garden for Maximum Harvest
Starting a garden can be a challenge. Learn great tips early to get the most out of your plants.

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 ,Twitter,  Google+!

Please Don’t Commit Crape Murder!

Untitled4I admit that I have been guilty of crape murder. Have you? When I first moved to the United States many years ago, I wasn’t familiar with a crape myrtle and didn’t know how to take care of it. Unfortunately, I saw the landscapers around town severely pruning crape myrtles, so I just copied them thinking this was correct. Then I wondered, why are the branches on my crape myrtles broken in the wind and always drooping with the weight of the flowers?

Fast forward many years, and some more education, I saw the error of my ways. If you are like me, you too may be copying what everyone else is doing, thinking this is correct. Pruning this way is called “crape murder!” Continually pruning like this develops “ugly knees” and is not a very attractive look for your tree.

Untitled3I think we would all prefer to do “fun” stuff in the yard rather than create more work for ourselves. Crape myrtles will grow just fine with little to no pruning at all. The only pruning I do each year is by removing the suckers that always sprout from the base of the plant. I don’t even remove the spent flowers as they will eventually fall off.

Flower clusters on an unpruned crape myrtle will be smaller, but the number of flower clusters will be greater than a pruned crape myrtle, so the overall floral display in the landscape are the same.

If you feel the need to tidy up your crape myrtles, February is a good month to do it. Here are a few things to look for:
– Remove any suckers that have sprouted at the base of the trunk.

– Clip off the spent flower blooms.

– Remove any branches or suckers on the interior of the tree that may be rubbing on other branches, or just look unsightly.

The diagram below illustrates the possible pruning places (in red).


If you choose the minimal pruning method, then after several years, your trees should have well formed branches and look like this.

Untitled2Happy Gardening!

Guest Blogger
Tracy Davis


Tracy grew up in New Zealand and graduated with a Horticulture degree from The University of Georgia


February Gardening for Spring & Summer Success

chrysler imperialTo celebrate the month of love, The Family Tree has put together a guide to help you give your garden some love! Here are a few tips and advice on what you’ll need to do, plants to buy, and overall guidance to help you achieve great success this spring and summer!

For the Love of Roses

Go ahead and plant your roses now! The selection is best this month, so you have a lot to choose from.  Roses like plenty of sun, well drained soil, and a good rose fertilizer.  If you already have established roses, now is the time to give them a good pruning. Look for any weak or diseased canes and remove them. Try to leave 4 -5 main canes and each of the main canes should have a few vigorous shoots. Prune to a height between 18-24”. Try to prune the cane to an outward facing bud, so that the new branch that emerges will grow outwards and not into the center of the plant.

Start now on your vegetable and flower gardens!

  • Plant potatoes, onions, lettuce, and spinach this month.
  • Pull up all the weeds and start working the soil.  Add lime, compost, Nature’s Helper and a good healthy soil like Dr. Earth or Fafard Planting Mix.  Your summer crop will be more bountiful if you start your soil now.
  • If you are concerned about how much lime to add, be on the look out for our next soil testing event.
  • Start seeds.  Vegetable, herb and flower seeds can be started in late February.  Pick up a brochure at the garden shop or ask one of our experts for more info.

Trees, perfect time to plant!

Choose the area you want to add a tree and head to The Family Tree to pick it out.  If you already have a tree, it can be pruned now!  Remove weak branches and snip back those that are getting out of control.  Make sure you cut close to a notch,  leaving branches exposed can invite disease. Fertilize your trees this month too.  They will be much stronger in the spring and summer if you feed them now.

Clean Up Your Tools

Sharpen and clean your tools for the coming season.  Make sure your lawn mower is oiled and sharp; you don’t want to look like you’re living in a jungle once those spring rains begin to fall! Don’t forget to take inventory and acquire any implements you’ll need. The most important question: have you got a good pair of gloves?

Pretty Pansies

Your pansies might look a little pitiful after the rigors of winter but they will be fine.  Water and fertilize them when they thaw out.  If you procrastinated in putting your pansies out in the fall, it’s ok! Plant some now; the selection is just as good in February as it was in September!

Clean out your bird houses!

The old nesting material should be removed. Scrub the house with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Rinse well and allow the house to dry completely before closing up. Make sure the hardware and hinges are solid.

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+!

African Violet Day: February 8th!

African violets 003Image: Wiese Acres

To kick off February events here at The Family Tree Garden, we are bringing you African Violet Day on February 8th from 10am to 2pm! Back by popular demand, Phyllis Hinkle and Johnnie Berry of the Atlanta African Violet Society will join us for a seminar on basic violet care and how to re-pot a violet.

Join us and bring your questions and violets for help with this lovely plant! We will have hundreds of African Violets on sale just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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+!