The Ten “Must-Haves” for your Landscape # 7 – Nooks

Nook with LightingThis is the seventh in a series of articles on the Ten “Must-Have’s” in your Landscape. Nooks are places that we have set aside in our landscape to revive, refresh, and relax. Nooks are often intimate spaces with one or maybe two chairs. I have three nooks in my yard, one in the front, and two in the back. Each one serves a different purpose depending on time of day or mood.

1. Morning Coffee or Tea

front porchWhat a great way to start the day.  I love to sit outside early in the morning when it is still cool and listen to the birds sing.  The dew is still on the plants and the landscape is just awakening. Usually this indulgence is saved for “non work” days so that I am not rushed and can enjoy the natural elements. I didn’t grow up in the South, but spent most of my youth in New Zealand. Gardens in New Zealand are amazing, but most people have their yards entirely fenced so you often cannot see the garden within. It has taken me a long time to get used to the open landscaping concept in Georgia. I felt so exposed when we first moved here, counting 14 houses that could look into my backyard! One of the charming things about the South is the welcoming front porch with rocking chairs. So my favorite morning nook is on the front porch, although I do admit to planting some screening shrubs so that I am not too exposed to the general public when I am having my morning tea. This is not my front porch, but I would like it to be!

2. Yummy, fragrant plants

If you don’t have a Tea Olive in your landscape, find somewhere to put one, preferably near a seating area. Tea Olives flower in the spring and in the fall and permeate the air with a lovely fragrance. Fragrant plants are important in the landscape, not just for their perfume, but to ward off some pests. The citronella geranium is a great addition to a patio to help ward off mosquitoes. I love to just rub my fingers through it to release the lemony smell. Another great fragrant plant is the gardenia which comes in all shapes and sizes. The low growing gardenia, Gardenia radicans, is a great shrub to use close to the front pathway. I have Tea Olives and Gardenias in both the front and back landscapes so that I can appreciate their fragrance when I am in my nooks. Some other fragrant shrubs to include are Sweet shrub, Honeysuckle, Daphne, Banana Shrub, and Sweet box.

4. Nooks in the Shade

Secluded NookWell that probably goes without saying for the South! One of my backyard nooks is amongst a shade garden. It is the perfect location to take a break from gardening and to relax for a little bit. It has an old wooden bench which has great rustic charm, but definitely not a seat you want to spend too long on as there is no padding! Great for making me get up and start gardening again. Again, this is not my yard, but in my head this is what I think my backyard nook looks like!

5. Nooks for Books

Tracy's BackyardIf you are going to sit for a while make sure you chose a great comfy chair. I remember shopping for our patio furniture and sitting in many chairs, just like Goldilocks. I found the perfect chair for me and every time I sit in it I can hear myself saying “Ahhhhh”. This is the nook that I go to if I want to spend some time reading, or perhaps having a glass of wine in the evening. This nook has a view of the back yard and is my favorite place to sit. Now that the trees have grown up, there are no longer 14 houses that can look into my backyard, but perhaps a couple.

6. Containers, Bird Feeders and Nooks

Nooks are great places to add decorative containers because you actually take the time to sit and appreciate the container garden. I have a bird feeder near a nook and it is a good distraction to watch the birds come and go. You could do a container garden to attract hummingbirds. Make sure you can hear your water feature from your nook.

7. Whimsical Nook

Evergreen couchCheck out this nook. It was actually comfortable! The owner definitely had some fun with this.

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
#10 Animal Friends

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!

Small Space Shrubs, You Might Not Know How Great They Are.

There are so many shrubs to chose from when you are landscaping and sometimes it can be overwhelming to sort out the numerous varieties and pick the right plant for the right place. There are many small shrubs that you already know about, such as Flirt Nandina, Creeping Gardenia, Buzz Butterfly bush, but below are some great new selections that can be used for smaller spaces, and a lot of these varieties you won’t find anywhere else!

Marge Miller Camellia
This is the first prostrate camellia! We are excited about this introduction because it is so versatile. It can be used as an evergreen groundcover plant, or trained on a stake to be a weeping camellia. It reaches only 1 foot tall and 3-4 feet wide. Beautiful soft pink flowers cover this plant in late fall. Marge Miller Camellia would look great spilling over walls. Also use it as a focal point on a stake surrounded by spring and summer blooming shrubs such as Crimson Fire Loropetalum, Drift Roses, or Creeping Gardenias. This camellia would do great in a container either spilling over the edge or staked with annuals around the base. Just remember that camellias prefer a partially shaded environment.

Shi-shi Gashira Camellia
This camellia makes a great foundation shrub for that space that gets a little morning sun and is shaded the rest of the day. It stays evergreen and then in the fall it will be covered with semi-double rosy-pink flowers. Shi-shi Gashira gets 4-5 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. Use it as a foundation shrub and combine it with other shade loving lower growing plants such as Golden Dragon Plum Yew (details below), Hellebores, Autumn Ferns, and Hostas.

Golden Dragon Plum Yew
A designer favorite for shady gardens. This new introduction combines the interesting texture of the yew family and has yellow foliage! Golden Dragon is evergreen and stays low only growing to 2-3 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide and will brighten up shady garden areas. Combine this plant with Camellias, blue Hydrangeas and other shade loving plants. Golden Dragon would also look good with Cast Iron Plant, or Coral Bells with burgundy foliage. It can also take some sun, so it is not restricted to the shade garden.

Cecil Alice Aucuba
Another new introduction that will brighten up a shade garden. This Aucuba only reaches 2-3 feet tall and gets 3-5 feet wide. Aucubas prefer to grow in a very shaded environment so combine this plant with Cast Iron plant, Ferns, Hostas, Hellebores, and weeping Japanese Maples.

 


Enduring Summer Crape Myrtle

We all love Crape Myrtles for their endless summer flowers. Enduring Summer is a dwarf variety with bright red blooms that last all summer. This Crape Myrtle would look great planted in groups or use one or three together to provide a splash of color among some evergreen shrubs. Enduring Summer can take full sun and is fairly drought tolerant once established. Definitely a sun loving, low maintenance addition to the landscape. Combine this Crape Myrtle with yellow foliage plants such as Fire Chief Arborvitae, Kaleidoscope Abelia, Gold Mop Cypress and you will get a stunning display.

Princess Kylie Crape Myrtle
Another great new dwarf Crape Myrtle. This one has magenta pink flowers and gets 4-5 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. Princess Kylie would be great in the middle of a border with taller shrubs such as Cleyera or Hollies behind it then shorter shrubs such as Crimson Fire Loropetalum, Kaleidoscope Abelia, dwarf Gardenias, or dwarf Encore Azaleas in front. Knock-Out roses have become so popular and sometimes we just want to use a different shrub than a Knock-Out, so the dwarf Crape Myrtles are perfect.

 

 

Holmstrup Arborvitae
At long last there is an option for an upright accent plant that doesn’t get too tall! Holmstrup Arborvitae gets 5-7 feet tall and only 2 feet wide so it would be perfect for an accent plant at the corner of a house or where you need a little privacy, but don’t have a very wide landscape bed. Arborvitaes have great texture and we love to combine these plants with other sun loving leafy evergreens such as Gardenias, Hollies, Encore Azaleas, Loropetalum, Cleyera, Indian Hawthorns, or Distylium.

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.

 

The Confederate Rose Story

If I told you there was a super cool plant in the South with legends of a Rebel soldier’s dying breath laced in its white, pink & red flowers, would that perk your ears?

The Confederate Rose or hibiscus mutablis is actually not a rose but a hardy hibiscus brought to the south as a Chinese import.  First appearing in English gardens in the 1600’s, it is said to have gained favor in the South due to its ease of cultivation during the hard financial times after the Civil War.  The Confederate Rose enjoys a lovely legend and should be considered a staple in every southern yard. 

The Legend Of The Confederate Rose
Before the Civil War the Confederate Rose was pure white. During the Civil War, a young soldier defending the South’s honor was fatally wounded in battle. He fell upon the rose and lay dying. During the course of the two days he took to die, he bled more and more on the flower, till at last the flowers were covered with his blood. When he died, the flowers died with him. Thereafter, the Confederate Rose opens white, and over the course of the two days the bloom lasts, they turn gradually from white to pink to almost red, when the flower finally falls from the bush.  The rose grew on the lawn of the house in Abbeville, SC where the first decision to secede from the Union was formulated prior to the shots at Ft. Sumter, and where Jefferson Davis signed the final paperwork officially ending the war while on his escape from fallen Richmond, VA.  It is also said that a woman in Alabama gave returning Civil War soldiers a Confederate Rose to show her appreciation.

The Confederate Rose, Hibiscus mutablis, is a member of the hibiscus family which includes both the tropical hibiscus and the hardier Rose of Sharon. It is a fast growing perennial considered to be a large bush or a small multi-stemmed tree. The plant roots easily from cuttings, has few pests and grows vigorously during the summer. Once established it is drought resistant. The blooms appear in late summer into the fall and it seems as though these remarkable flowers change color almost overnight.

The Confederate Rose likes full sun, well-drained , slightly acid soil. It grows as a multi-branched shrub or a small deciduous tree with low branches which can get up to 12 feet tall and wide so allow room for expansion.  It is hardy in zone 8-10 and will die back with the first hard freeze but return in spring getting larger each year.

Water Confederate rose generously, thoroughly soaking the plant’s root zone, and then wait a few days before watering again. The plant requires plenty of water, especially during warm summer weather, and dry soil may cause the leaves to turn yellow. However, consistently soggy soil may cause diseases such as mildew and rot.
Feed the plant every other week, using a high-potassium, water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio such as 12-4-18. Apply the fertilizer according to the label’s specifications. Always water deeply immediately after applying fertilizer.
Remove spent blooms as soon as they fade to prevent the Confederate rose from going to seed too early.
• Mulch the shrub in autumn to moderate soil temperature and moisture during the winter months. Use 2 to 4 inches of a mulch such as pine needles, dry leaves or bark. Rake the mulch away from the trunk, as the mulch may attract pests that damage the wood.
• Prune in November or December. Prune weak growth and damaged or diseased wood. Remove branches that are crossing, crowding or rubbing on other branches.
• Protect the plant from whiteflies, which often infests Confederate rose, causing the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. Treat blackflies, along with the sooty molds that often accompanies the pests, with a horticultural oil spray. Water the plants before applying the oil spray so the oil evaporates quickly. Avoid applying the oil spray on hot, sunny days.

Cultivating Is Easy
Confederate Rose roots easily from cuttings, especially in the spring. Plant pencil-sized cuttings in a mixture of 1 part peat moss and 3 parts sand. Keep the container warm and moist. Roots usually appear in four to five weeks. Wait a few more weeks for the roots to mature and then move the new plant into a larger container or plant it in its permanent outdoor home.

 

Perennials All Season Long

Perennial flowers bloom year after year making them a gardener’s dream. But unlike annuals, which bloom all season long, perennials tend to bloom a short amount of time, anywhere from 4-8 weeks. With their short bloom time, they can make a dramatic entrance every year. Planting one or two varieties might make you long for the long blooming annuals, but if we can figure out how to make dramatic entrances over and over, perennial gardens can be very rewarding. By this we mean using a number of different varieties that have alternating bloom times during the spring summer and fall.  Take a look at the following perennials.  You can see the seasons in which they bloom and a few of their delightful attributes.

Looking at perennials in person can be fun too! Stop by today and see the many gorgeous perennials we have! 

 

Homestead Verbena
 Bloom Time:
The longest blooming perennial – from spring to summer.
Light: Full Sun or Light Shade
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 4-8
Groundcover; looks great in containers

 

Armeria
Bloom Time:
Mid-Spring, Late Spring
Light: Full Sun or Part Shade
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 4-8
Groundcover; Tolerates Salt

   

Asiatic Lily (Lilium)
Bloom Time:
Midsummer
Light: Full Sun
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 4-8
Good Cut Flower

 
Aster
Bloom Time:
Late Summer, Fall
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 5-10
Attracts Butterflies, Good Cut Flower
  Astilbe
Bloom Time:
Late Spring, Summer
Light: Shade or Part shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 4-9
Good Cut Flower
   
Balloon Flower (Platycodon)
Bloom Time: Midsummer, Late Summer
Light: Full Sun
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 3-8
Easy to Grow; Blooms Profusely
   
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)
Bloom Time:
Late Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-7
Attracts Butterflies, Blooms Profusely
   

Blanketflower (Gaillardia)
Bloom Time:
Foliage: Late Spring, Summer, Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-9
Attracts Butterflies, Easy to Grow, Flowers Profusely

  Bleeding Heart (Dicentra)
Bloom Time:
Spring
Light: Shade or Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 3-8
Easy to Grow
  Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
Bloom Time:
Summer, Autumn
Light: Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 5-10
Attracts Butterflies, Easy to Grow, Fragrant Flowers
Candytuft (Iberis)
Bloom Time:
Early Spring, Mid-Spring
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-8
Blooms Profusely
  Clematis
Bloom Time: Late Spring, Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-8
Vine
   
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Bloom Time: Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-8
Attracts Butterflies, Good Cut Flower
   
Coral bells (Heuchera)
Foliage Appeal:
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Light: Shade to Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 4-8
Easy to Grow
   
Coreopsis
Bloom Time: Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-8
Attracts Butterflies, Tolerates Drought
   
Creeping Phlox
Bloom Time:
Spring
Light: Full Sun or Part Shade
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-9
Groundcover
   
Daisy (Leucanthemum)
Bloom Time:
Spring, Summer
Light: Sun to Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 5-9
Good Cut Flower    
   

Daylily (Hemerocallis)
Bloom Time: Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-9
Easy to Grow

   
Ice plant (Delosperma)
Bloom Time: Late Spring, Summer, Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 5-8
Groundcover
   
   
Dianthus
Bloom Time: Mid-Spring, Late Spring, Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-8
Fragrant Flowers, Easy to Grow
   
Foxglove (Digitalis)
Bloom Time:
Late Spring, Early Summer
Light: Full Sun to Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 4-8
Attracts Hummingbirds
   
Gaura
Bloom Time: Late Spring, Summer
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 5-8
Easy to Grow, Flowers Profusely
   

Iris
Bloom Time:
Late Spring
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-9
Easy to Grow, Fragrant Flowers

   
Irish Moss (Sagina)
Foliage Appeal:
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Light: Shade to Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 6-8
Blooms Profusely
  Isotoma
Bloom Time:
Late Spring, Summer
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 6-9
Easy to Grow
   
   

Lavender (Lavandula)
Bloom Time: Midsummer, Late Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 5-8
Attracts Butterflies, Easy to Grow, Fragrant Flowers

  Lithodora
Bloom Time:
Late Spring, Early Summer
Light: Sun to Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 6-10
Tolerates Drought
   
Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon)
Foliage Appeal:
Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Light: Shade to Part Shade
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 7-10
Groundcover
   
Oriental Lily (Lilium)
Bloom Time:
Late Summer
Light: Full Sun
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 5-8
Fragrant Flowers, Good Cut Flower
   
Penstemon
Bloom Time:
Late Spring, Summer
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zone: 3-8
Attracts Butterflies, Attracts Hummingbirds, Easy to Grow


   

Peony (Paeonia)
Bloom Time: Late Spring
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-8
Easy to Grow, Good Cut Flower

   
Phlox
Bloom Time:
Midsummer, Late Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 3-8
Fragrant Flower, Good Cut Flower
   
Primrose (Primula)
Bloom Time:
Early Spring
Light: Part Shade
Water: Keep Soil Moist
Zones 5-8
Attracts Butterflies
   

Salvia
Bloom Time: Late Spring, Summer, Early Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 4-10
Attracts Butterflies, Blooms Profusely

   
Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa)
Bloom Time:
Mid-Spring, Late Spring, Summer, Early Autumn, Mid-Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 5-9
Attracts Butterflies, Blooms Profusely, Good Cut Flower
   
Sedum
Bloom Time:
Summer, Early Autumn, Mid-Autumn
Light: Full Sun
Water: Tolerates Drought
Zones 3-10
Groundcover
 

 

A Bit About Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are a beloved flowering shrub here in the south.  Here at The Family Tree we carry over 30 types of hydrangeas and get many questions about what to plant where, how to plant and how to maintain the plants from season to season. One of the top questions we get is “How do I properly prune my hydrangeas?”  It’s a great question to ask since the different varieties need pruning at different times of the year.

To know when to prune you will have to know what type your plant is. There are three main types of hydrangeas: Big leaf hydrangeas (lace-caps and mop-heads), Panicle Hydrangeas, and Oakleaf .

BIG LEAF HYDRANGEA Hydrangea macrophylla
This class includes mopheads such as Nikko Blue and Bloomstruck and lace-cap like Twist and Shout. Big Leaf Hydrangeas have large, thick, serrated leaves and typically upright growth habit.  They prefer filtered shade. They won’t flower well in all shade and may wilt in too much sun.  They don’t deal well with wet feet so give them good well drained soil.  Fertilize with a fertilizer specifically for roses and hydrangeas.  You can change the color of your flowers on Big Leafs by adding soil acidifiers to make them blue and lime to make them pink.  Prune immediately after flowering (if you feel it’s necessary).

PANICLE HYDRANGEAS
This plant produces gracefully arching branches and pyramidal clusters of white in June-August, then pink-tinged in the fall.
Grow in moist, but well-drained soil, in sun to partial shade. Noteworthy panicles are Limelight, Little Lime, Quick Fire, and Strawberry Vanilla.  H. paniculata blooms on the current season’s wood; it may be cut back to a few buds to form a framework in spring to produce larger flowers, or allowed to grow with minimal pruning.  These varieties look great in fall when the rest of the garden starts to get ready for winter.

OAKLEAF HYDRANGEA
The Oakleaf hydrangea is a dramatic, white-blooming shrub with four seasons of interest.  Large oak leaf shaped leaves turn a beautiful burgundy in fall with large white cone shaped flowers in summer turning pink in fall.  Flowers make wonderful dried cut flowers for arrangements.  It blooms best in areas where summers are somewhat hot.  Oakleaf hydrangeas thrive with very little attention. Bloom occurs on old wood. Prune if needed immediately after flowering (little pruning is usually needed).  

Hydrangeas don’t necessarily have to be pruned other than to cut out dead branches or to keep them the size that you want. So start by tiding up the plant by removing the old blooms. Snip off the faded blooms just below the flower head and remove any additional pieces at the soil line. Big Leaf form next year’s flower buds in late summer/early fall so to reduce the risk of removing these buds for next year’s flowers, prune just as the flowers begin to fade.
 

In a Nut Shell:

  1. Summer pruning after flowers fade
    • Oakleaf and Bigleaf or Florist Hydrangea-Bloom on old wood so prune immediately after blooming. If you wait, you may not get blooms the next year.
  2. Late winter early spring pruning
    • Hills-of-Snow or Sevenbark Hydrangea
    • Peegee Hydrangea
    • Tea of Heaven
  3. Prune as needed to control growth
    • Climbing Hydrangea

 

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+!

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.