Christmas Trees and Flocked 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.

Flocked Fraser Firs:  If you have visited the Christmas winter wonderland at 

untitled-1

the Family Tree Garden Center over the last few years you would have noticed all those white trees that look like they have been freshly dusted with snow.  Flocked trees are becoming more and more popular as people not only appreciate their beauty, but realize just how easy they are to look after.  They don’t require watering and they don’t drop needles!

To flock a tree we start by giving a Fraser Fir a clean cut and securing it to a wooden tree 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 (so pet friendly) and flame resistant.  Flocked trees do not need to be watered! A big plus! 

There are a few tips when choosing a flocked tree:

  • After the flocking process, the tree has to dry for a day or two and if it is raining, this will hinder the drying process.  You can tell if a tree is dry by touch.  It should feel crunchy and not squishy.   We will advise you on what trees are dry and ready to go to a good home.  You can also look at the date on the tree tag which will show when it was flocked.
  • Time to take it home! When a flocked tree is purchased, we will wrap it in a huge plastic bag so that you can transport it home.  Don’t leave the tree in the bag for too long, but leave the bag on until you get the tree into the house and where you want it.  Then you just untie the bag, and lay the bag under your tree skirt so that you can re-use the bag for easy removal of the tree at the end of the holidays.
  • Don’t water the tree!  Water will dissolve the cellulose.  For this reason, it is not a good idea to transport a tree when it is raining.

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.

silvertip

Silver Tip Designer Trees:  These trees are grown wild and sustainably harvested from the mountains of California.  Each 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 and replanting method.

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.

Helleborus, Lirope, and Great Groundcovers

Do you have the feeling that your yard is missing something? You’ve got all the beautiful shrubs, colorful annuals; but the beds are lacking that “full” look? You may be missing out on the wonderful world of groundcover! Groundcovers can turn your flower beds into a luscious garden. Here at the Family Tree, we have a variety of groundcovers that are guaranteed to fit your liking and your lawn. If you’ve never used groundcover before, or are simply looking for some more information on caring for them, here are some tips for planting your groundcover.

Hellebores (Helleborus, Lenten Rose)
This is not your average groundcover! Helleborus (also called Lenten Rose for their beautiful flowers) have bell shaped, rose like flowers that bloom from January to May. There are a few types of these beauties.  The old fashion Helleborus (the kind that spread easily and have flowers that hang down under the leaves) are super hardy under your trees and in shade gardens. They are evergreen and bloom every year beginning in December or January on into May.  They spread easily by seed after they have been in the ground for about 3 years creating a lush undergrowth. 
The new hybrid varieties (Pink Frost, Candy Love, Love Bug, and Honeymoon) have more vibrant colored flowers ranging from white to deep burgundy that bloom above the leaves. They are sterile so they do not spread.  They look beautiful in a shade garden and in flower pots.  They are deer resistant, making them a great groundcover to use in large areas under trees or along the edges of flower beds. Helleborus tend to grow and spread a bit slower than other groundcovers, but a good stimulator can speed up the growing process when you plant. Space the plants about 10 inches apart, add a bit of Bio-Tone in each hole, and your Helleborus groundcover will thrive in thick clumps.

Liriope
Also known as lilyturf or Monkey Grass, this perennial is a member for the lily family. The two main varieties are Big Blue (solid green leaves) and Variegated (green with white edges). It forms in clumps and can grow between 10-18 inches tall. During the summer, Liriope produces purple or white blooms. One of the best characteristics of Liriope is how easy to care for it is. It prefers to be partially shaded, but can grow in full sunlight during the cooler seasons. Establishment is key for Liriope, and fertile soil is needed for strong roots. The Family Tree recommends a wonderful root stimulator called Bio-Tone that will guarantee a great beginning for this ground cover in your lawn. Use a small scoop of Bio-Tone in each hole, spacing the plants about 12 inches apart. They will fill-in in just a few years, providing a full “tall grassslike” look. Once your Liriope is established, the only care needed is to mow it the first of March to about 3-4 inches tall. Fertilize once a year in March.

Mondo
Mondo Grass and Dwarf Mondo Grass are an excellent alternative for shady areas where grass won’t grow. It will form a beautiful carpet and look grass-like. Once established, you can pretty much forget it. Mondo prefers shade but it will be fine with morning or evening sun. Plant about 10 inches apart, using Bio-Tone root stimulator in each hole to guarantee strong, spreading roots.

Asiatic Jasmine
Growing in thick mats up to around 10 inches high, Asiatic Jasmine or Asian Jasmine is perfect for the steeper sections of your lawn. This vining evergreen will eventually spread between 2 and 3 feet and produce tiny pink, white, or yellow flowers. Asiatic Jasmine is often planted under trees as it does well in partial shade, but can take some morning or evening sun. Spacing for this groundcover is a little wider than others; around 1 ½ feet. While it may look a bit too spacey, it will usually only take two growing seasons to fill up the empty space. You can speed this process up a bit more but using Bio-Tone root stimulator to quickly get the roots established and begin the spreading.

Pachysandra
This bushy groundcover is another great plant to place under trees to give your garden a fuller look. Pachysandra also produces a fragrant white flower in the spring, adding to its appeal. Recommended spacing for this groundcover is between 6 and 12 inches. Pachysandra likes healthy soil to get its roots established, so a small scoop of Bio-Tone in each hole will surely do the trick. This groundcovers leaves can be easily sunburnt, so be sure to plant in a shady location.

Vinca Minor
Also known as Myrtle and Perennial Periwinkle, this groundcover grows best in shady to partially sunny areas. Vinca Minor is a creeping groundcover, forming a dense mat of a beautiful dark green once established. The variegated variety has green leaves with white outline. Recommended spacing for this groundcover is between 6 and 8 inches, allowing space to ground both out and up; Vinca Minor will reach up to 6 inches in height once it is fully mature.

One last good rule of thumb for most groundcovers is to keep the weeds out. Periodically clean out any weeds that may grow between your groundcovers in order to eliminate competition and allow your groundcover to grow faster and healthier.

For more information and expert advice, visit The Family Tree Garden Center!

By Lindsey Meade

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!

Fairy Festival 2017

Alert! Alert! It’s time for Fun With Fairies!  Saturday, October 7, 2017 • 10am-1pm

The Family Tree will become a fairy lovers dream! There will there be fun, games, and real fairies. Don’t forget to dress up in your favorite fairy or gnome outfit to attract even more fairies!
Check out the schedule of events below…

We want you to show off your creativity in our fairy garden contest! Bring your fairy garden creation and set it up in our special “fairies & gnomes only” arena anytime from 10:00 to 11:30 for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Winners will be announced at 12:15. All fairy gardens welcome! Whether it’s a tiny acorn garden, a shoe box gnome home, or an elaborate fairy city, we want to see where your fairies and gnomes live!
1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize will be awarded in each category. 
Categories will be: 
8 years old and under 
9-16 years old
17 and up years old.

In case you’re fresh out of ideas, here is some helpful background info on fairies and what they like. If you’re interested in what types of fairies you should plan your garden for or what kinds of food to provide, be sure you read these posts!
Types of Fairies
How to Attract Fairies
What do Fairies Eat?

Enjoy crafts, games, story time, and hunting fairy’s treasures. Don’t miss tea time at 1:00 pm with a special fairy. Taste fairy treats and tea will Fairy Grandmother teaching you proper fairy etiquette.

Here’s the planned schedule for the day:

FAIRY GARDEN CONTEST– Set up near the pink balloons (10am-11am)
         Categories – 8 & under, 9-16 years old, 17 years and up
CREATE Fairy Crafts A Fairy Door, A Fairy Wand, Fairy Bells, Fairy Crown, Pumpkin Painting
CREATE – a fairy garden – SOO fun take home activity! Purchase your plants, pots, accessories. We will provide the soil and help.
PLAY & CRAFT – Create fun fairy crafts 10am-1pm
PICTURE TIME – Wear your favorite fairy costume for photos with fairies 10am-1pm
TOUR our fairy garden full of fairies & homes 10am-1pm
♥ STORY TIME with Miss Story Fairy 11:00am
FAIRY TREASURE HUNT – meet at the green ballooms for instructions 11:30am
        Win a fun prize for participating!
FAIRY GARDEN WINNERS ANNOUNCED – 12:15pm
TEA TIME & ETIQUETTE – at the garden patio with Ms Fairy Grandmother 12:30pm.

Be sure to put The Family Tree’s Fairy Festival on your calendar; we can’t wait to see you and your gorgeous fairy garden!

Check-In For Charity at The Family Tree

We are excited to roll out our new donation campaign – Check In For Charity!  We have chosen local charities that we will support through our customers checking in on Facebook at The Family Tree Garden Center.  Starting in September, when a customer checks in on Facebook here at the store, we will donate $1 to the charity that we are sponsoring for that two month period.    

Our first charity is not local but we feel the people who have been affected by HURRICANE HARVEY are our priority right now.  So for every check in during September and October, we will be donating money to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.  This hurricane is affecting not just the people along the gulf coast but will essentially affect all of us.  This category 4 storm is the worst to hit the coast in over 50 years.  Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced, injured, lost, and even dead.  Millions of dollars worth of damage will take years to recover.  The people there are in dire straights and need our help!

Here’s How it Works:
Starting September 1, check in to The Family Tree Garden Center on Facebook while you are shopping with us.  For each check in, we will donate $1 to that month’s designated charity. It’s that easy! **Make sure your check in is public so we and everyone else can see that you care!

We’ll have selfie frames available so you can snap a photo and add it to your check in on Facebook, as well as check marks that you can sign your name on and plant in our donation garden to watch the donations grow.

So stop by The Family Tree Garden Center for all your garden, landscape, and home decor needs and help us donate to a great cause!