Archives for March 2015

Container Gardening: Portable Prettiness

The beauty of container gardens lies not only in their contents, but also in their movability. As last week’s Container Gardening pinblog post mentioned, container gardens can add instant curb appeal to your home, whether you’re looking to sell it or not. In addition, they can be taken with you to be enjoyed at your new home! There are a few important decisions you will have to make before you begin filling your container garden with plants.

Pots – The best choice is glazed ceramic, but it is imperative that there are many drainage holes! Wooden and terracotta pots are also excellent options. A friendly reminder: when choosing your pots, aim for light colors, which will diminish the heat absorption from the hot Georgia sun. Whimsical pots such as Tiki Man Heads and feet are fun and make great conversation pieces.

Location – Do you get mostly sun or maybe some shady times during the day? Choose plants that thrive in your conditions. We can help you choose plants that will be happy in your location.

Flowers – When selecting what plants to fill your container with, there are three types of plants you grassDwFounshould look for:

Thrillers – tall dramatic plants for the center of the pot; Fountain Grass or a dwarf spruce tree work well.

impatiensFillers – flowers that will hide the dirt around your thriller, such as Geraniums, Petunias, Impatiens etc.

Spillers – trailing vines that will flow over the lip of the pot, such as Potato Vine, Scaevola, or Alyssum.alyssum

Veggies – If you’re more inclined towards a practical garden, vegetables are an excellent option. Several types of veggies that work well in a pot include herbs, lettuce, carrots, radishes, and quick growing varieties, such as beans and tomatoes. A helpful list of easy to grow vegetables can be found here.

veggie pot

If you’re interested in learning more about how to beautify your yard with dazzling container gardens, stop by The Family Tree this Saturday, March 28, at 10am for our seminar “Impress Your Guests, Container Garden & Focal Point Ideas – Accessorize You Outdoor,” led by resident expert Regina Lewis.

Best Trees and Shrubs for Shade

“What trees and shrubs grow well in shade?” is a question that we get a lot at The Family Tree Garden Center and we are excited to say that there are a lot of beautiful plants that can grow and flourish in the shade.

We gathered a great list of trees and shrubs that will be perfect for the shadiest areas of your yard:


There are many different types of Serviceberry plants and we know there is one perfect for your yard. The Serviceberry blooms in the spring, has a great fall color and yields edible June berries which makes it a winner. Plus, there is little pruning involved, making this shrub one of the best low-maintenance options.

Dogwood Dogwood

The Dogwood is a show stopper and has year-round appeal. It has abundant foliage in summer, rich color in fall and berries in late fall and winter. Not to mention, birds love it! No matter what your space, there’s a dogwood species for you.

Virginia Sweetspire

This shrub has a strong, pleasant fragrant, flowers in the summer and a beautiful fall color. We love the Virginia Sweetspire because it doesn’t have many disease or insect problems and it truly works in any landscape!

Rhododendron rhododendron

Believe it or not, the Rhododendron is so popular that it has it’s own society — the American Rhododendron Society. We can’t highlight the 900+ species, but we can say that they bloom in late spring and then have hardy foliage after. If you are looking for a pop of color in the shade, the Rhododendron is for you.

This is just a taste of what you could plant in those shady areas of your garden.

Come in and talk with an expert at The Family Tree Garden Center today to find out what is best option for you and the shadiest parts of your yard.


Curb Appeal: The Ultimate First Impression

Are you hoping to sell your home quickly? Curb appeal depends on everything between your front door and the street looking fresh and beautiful. Regina Lewis, The Family Tree’s resident garden designer, shares her top tips on how to create the best first impression for prospective buyers. The common theme with these tips is creating eye-catching color.

The Front Door – Drawing attention to your front door is crucial, whether you use it regularly or not. charleston-blue-front-door-lTo highlight this important feature, its surrounding area must be neat and clean before you can think about adding color. The easiest method to incorporate color is by painting your door a shade that stands out (in a good way, of course)! Other ways can include placing colorful container gardens near the door, adding a bright welcome mat, and arranging coordinating pillows on any seating on your porch.


Container Gardens – Your main goal in creating a container garden should be to add instant lushness and color, as well as making your house stand out from those around it. The most important thing to remember while deciding which plants to use for your window boxescontainer garden is to coordinate the colors and textures of your home. Choose a dramatic container and plants that will accent your entryway.


Mailbox Area – The mailbox is the first part of your house that people see, so it is extremely important that it stands up straight and that your house number is clearly visible. If you have flowers around your mailbox, it is important that they match the ones near the house, even if it’s just in color, in order to create a unified visual experience.mailboxnormanack


A Few Other Tips – Be sure to weed and edge your lawn and flowerbeds regularly. In addition, prune any bushes requiring it and put down fresh mulch wherever needed for a quick update. These small changes are easy to implement and have a tremendous impact on the overall appeal of your home.

To learn more about how to make the ultimate first impression on potential buyers, stop by The Family Tree on Saturday, March 21 at 10am. Regina Lewis will be sharing more tips and ideas on how to make your home look inviting.

Harvest to Table: Vegetables

This is the second blog in our Harvest to Table Gardening blog series. In this blog, we are going to focus on growing vegetables in your backyard garden.

What could be better than growing your own food straight from your garden? Here is a short list of vegetables The Family Tree Garden Center recommends you plant in your backyard vegetable garden — crops that are easy to grow and expensive to buy in the store.

Backyard Vegetables: cabbage

Peas – Plant these first this spring because they have a short season of 50 – 60 days. Peas need well-drained soil and do best in raised beds and large planters. Stagger the planting time every two weeks to extend the harvest. Peas also contribute to the health of the soil by fixing nitrogen.

Lettuce – There are many varieties of lettuce. Large, head-forming lettuces like iceberg and butterhead can be planted single file in rows, which makes mulching easy.

Tomatoes – There are many varieties to choose from— cherry, table and paste tomatoes. The plants will need tall stakes, which should be set when the plants are transplanted. Some people prefer to use wire cages. In either case, the plants will need to be tied to the stakes as they grow, which takes a little time. Tomatoes do best when their leaves are kept dry.

Squash – Zucchini and yellow squash are compact, easy to grow plants which provide great summer vegetables. Winter varieties take more room to grow but are a highly valued winter vegetable.

This is just a taste of the vegetables you could grow in your backyard garden. Find more information on other vegetables from our friends at Burpee. Read more about garden berries from last week’s blog post.

Have questions about harvest to table gardening? The experts at the Family Tree Garden Center are here to help. We have a selection of vegetables for you to choose from. So stop by our center or give us a call at 770-972-2470. We would love to assist you on your gardening journey!

Harvest to Table: Berries

Harvest to Table Gardening can be extremely gratifying. In this blog series, we are going to cover the basics of how to sustainably eat what you grow.

You may be aware that the price of berries at the grocery store have continued to increased over the seasons. What better way to cure that problem by growing your own berries in your very own garden?

blueberries-509883_1280Backyard Berries

Here is what you need to consider when growing your own berries:

  1. Decide which berry you would to grow. In general, all berries need full sun and, with the exception of blueberries, need neutral soil.
  2. Once you decide, soil preparation is crucial. The soil pH needs to be very acidic – about 4.8. Begin by finding your soil’s pH with a soil test. The pH can be lowered – or made more acidic – several ways, including soil amendments.
  3. Plant and start growing.
  4. And finally, enjoy! Because no matter which berry you decide grow, we guarantee that it will never forget the moment when you lift the leaf and see your very first ripe berry of the season! When you pick, taste and enjoy your first berry under the warm sun, you will know you have succeeded.

Find more information on each garden berry from our friends at Burpee.

Have questions about harvest to table gardening for berries? The experts at the Family Tree Garden Center are here to help. We have a selection of berries for you to choose from. So stop by our center or give us a call at 770-972-2470. We would love to assist you on your gardening journey!