Archive for the ‘Garden Designs’ Category

pansies-and-violasThough we call them “Pansies,” they are anything but wimpy. One of the toughest flowers, Pansies are perfect in our climate. They come packed with history, folklore, symbolism and fun facts.

Wikipedia tells us that “the pansy is a group of large-flowered hybrid plants cultivated as garden flowers. Pansies are derived from viola species Viola tricolor, hybridized with other viola species. These hybrids are referred to as Viola. The common words “pansy” and “violet” are often used interchangeably. When a distinction is made, plants considered to be pansies have four petals pointing upwards, and only one pointing down. Violets have three petals pointing up and two pointing down.”

The Meaning of the Names:

viola-yellow-sorbetThe website flowerforyou.org tells us that the Victorian meaning of Pansy is “to think,” particularly of love. If a maiden found a honeyflower and a pansy left for her by an admirer, it would mean “I am thinking of our forbidden love” in symbol rather than in writing. However, it is considered a bad-luck gift to man. Violet, however, means “modesty,” hence the term “shrinking violet.” Color also influences the message. Blue means “I’ll always be true, faithful and watchful,” whereas white means “let’s take a chance.”

Use as Emblems:

pansy-whiteSeveral states, cities and organizations have chosen the violet or pansy to represent them. The common blue violet is the state flower of Rhode Island, Illinois and New Jersey, while Wisconsin chose the wood violet. Osaka, Japan has the pansy as its city flower. The Kappa Alpha Theta sorority’s flowers are black and gold pansies. The pansy is also Tri Delta’s flower. It is a symbol of alumnae membership and the third step in the lifetime development of Delta Delta Delta’s members. It is also is the symbol of freethought, its usage inaugurated in the literature of the American Secular Union in the late 1800s.

The reasoning behind the pansy being the symbol of freethought lies in both the flower’s name and appearance. The pansy derives its name from the French word pensée, which means “thought”; it was so named because the flower resembles a human face, and in mid-to-late summer it nods forward as if deep in thought. The French believed that pansies could make your lover think of you.

Folklore and Mythology:

pansy-yellow-purpleThe three colors of the original pansy, purple, white and yellow, were thought to symbolize memories, loving thoughts, and souvenirs — all things that ease the hearts of separated lovers. The three petals were thought to be representative of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, and thus the flower was sometimes called herb trinity.

In German and Scottish folktales, pansies were called stepmother: the large lower petal is the mother, the two large petals to either side of her are the well-dressed daughters, and the two small upper petals are poor stepdaughters.

In another German story, the pansy at one time had a wonderfully strong, sweet scent. People would travel from miles around to smell this scent. In doing so, however, they would trample down the grasses surrounding the pansy. Because this ruined the feed for cattle, the pansy prayed to God for help. God gave the plant great beauty but took away the scent.

According to the doctrine of signatures, pansy leaves, which are heart shaped, were used to cure a broken heart.

Pansies were used to foretell the future for King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. Plucking a pansy petal, the knights would look for secret signs. If the petal had four lines, this meant hope. If the lines were thick and leaned toward the left, this meant a life of trouble. Lines leaning toward the right signified prosperity until the end. Seven lines meant constancy in love (and if the center streak were the longest, Sunday would be the wedding day). Eight streaks meant fickleness, nine meant a changing of heart, and eleven signified disappointment in love and an early grave.


pansy-bluePansy has dozens of common names, such as Johnny-jump-up, and the faces created by the patterns on the petals give rise to names like monkey faces, peeping Tom, and three faces in a hood. Its supposed magical powers in the ways of love resulted in names such as cull-me-to-you, tickle-my-fancy, love-in-idleness, kiss-her-in-the-pantry, and heartease.

Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth century English writer, said that a syrup made from the flowers was used as a cure for venereal disease. The Ancient Greeks considered the Violet a symbol of fertility and love, and used it in love potions. Pliny recommended that a garland of violets be worn above the head to ward off headaches and dizzy spells. The Celts made a tea from the dried leaves and used it as love potion.

In Literature and the Arts:

pansy-red-whitePansies and violets play a central role in many well-known plays, especially those of William Shakespeare. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the juice of a pansy blossom (“before, milk-white, now purple with love’s wound, and maidens call it love-in-idleness”) is a love potion: “the juice of it, on sleeping eyelids laid, will make a man or woman madly dote (fall in love) upon the next live creature that it sees.” (Act II, Scene I). In Hamlet, Laertes wishes that violets may spring from the grave of Ophelia: “Lay her in the earth,/ And from her fair and unpolluted flesh/ May violet spring” (v.I). Even Ophelia refers to them, “There’s pansies, that’s for thoughts”, in Hamlet (Act IV, Scene V).

pansy-okeefeLegend says that at one time all pansies were white, and it was not until they were pierced by cupid’s arrow that they gained the purple and yellow colors. With the colors, however, came the magic power to be used in love potions.

Throughout the ages, the violet has been the emblem of constancy. A Proverb states, “Violet is for faithfulness,/ Which in me shall abide, / Hoping likewise that from your heart/ You will not let it hide.”

In 1926, Georgia O’Keeffe created a famous painting of a black pansy called simply, Pansy. She followed with White Pansy in 1927. D. H. Lawrence’s Pansies: Poems by D. H. Lawrence was published in 1929.

Pansy was the name of a beloved Epiphone Elitist Les Paul Custom guitar with an Alpine White finish, played by guitarist Frank Iero (whose nickname, coincidentally, is also Pansy) of the band My Chemical Romance. Pansy was unfortunately broken during a show.

pansy-aliceMovie fans may remember Disney’s classical animated adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, which features a chorus of singing pansies.

Clearly, Pansies and Violas have played a major role in human activity for centuries. But, for most of us, what we love about these beautiful flowers is their vibrant colors, which include yellow, orange, red, white and even near-black (a very dark purple). They grow well in sun and partial sun and look fabulous in any garden.

Now is a great time to add the history and beauty of Pansies and Voilas to your yard. Come on in to The Plant Farm and pick up some of these colorful flowers (and feel free to use some of these fun facts to impress your friends!)


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As you can imagine, I love gardening and getting my hands dirty, but I also like to play outside my garden, too. That’s why perennials are a big part of my garden. They afford me the freedom to come and go as I please because they get on quite well by themselves if planted in a site they like. I love the way each season brings on bigger and better growth, and more flowers. More flowers mean more garden visitors as they attract hummingbirds and butterflies alike. Below I have listed my top five faves, but I have to tell you, it was tough to whittle down my list!

Lavender • Ok, maybe Lavender is not technically a perennial as it is more of a woody shrub, but in my head I had always grouped it into that category because it plays so well in the garden with my other perennials. This is my favorite summer blooming plant of all! Have you ever seen the fields of lavender near Sequim in the summer? What an incredible sight it is! The large fields, frosted in rich purples as far as you can see and smell, are amazing. Every part of the lavender plant is saturated with aromatic oils. I just can’t get enough of the delicious aroma that lavender exudes on warm afternoons in July. Hidcote lavender is a special favorite of mine. It’s bushy and compact and I suggest it often as a ‘blooming rock’ when Plant Farm guests are looking for landscape ideas.

What a great performer to sprinkle into a landscape’s sunny, dry spaces that other plants may struggle with. Can you imagine tucking these near entryways, along paths or near your patio spaces so the heady fragrance can delight your guests and family? Grouping them in drifts for dramatic effect will add a powerful punch of color every summer. Or use them as a common color to pull areas together and unify your look.

Hosta 'Golden Tiara'

Hosta ‘Golden Tiara’

Hosta • Hostas just make me happy! I absolutely love all the different leaf textures and leaf sizes, and many of the varieties have incredible variegation that adds an extra layer of interest. The larger leaves are a must for making a statement in your shaded garden areas and combine well when planted with other shrubs and perennials. The flowers they sport in the summer months are greatly enjoyed by hummingbirds and are like “the cherry on top” of an already beautiful plant! While most Hostas love the shade there are many varieties can handle some sunny spots as well if the soil is moist enough. Check the plant label to see if the variety can handle some sun.

One of my favorite varieties is a real beauty called ‘Golden Tiara’ and it has to be one of the very best for filling in the shady spaces! Golden Tiara was selected in 1993 to receive the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit for its outstanding and easy to grow virtues. This sweetie has a vigorous habit growing densely to 12-15” tall by 24-30” wide, making it ideal to plant along walkways, as borders or covering large areas. They do ask for protection from the hottest afternoon sun.

Gardeners may have had experience with slugs or snails munching on the leaves of their plants but I never have a hole in my Hosta leaves or other plants for that matter! I start sprinkling ‘Slug Magic’ by Bonide (pet and people safe, made from iron phosphate) as soon as I see the leaves poking through the ground in the spring and once a month thereafter and just like ‘magic’, I have perfect, lush, totally intact Hosta leaves gracing my patio area all summer long.

Salvia 'Hot Lips'

Salvia ‘Hot Lips’

Salvia • I like almost all the beautiful varieties of Salvia, just like my hummingbirds do! Their striking flowers come in shades of blue, purple, red, pink and more, and they bloom for countless weeks if the spent flowers are removed after the first big flush of color in late spring/early summer. All Salvia is a type of Sage and the foliage is quite fragrant and reminiscent of the sage we cook with. If you want to become a little adventuresome, you should check out the salvias whose foliage smells like pineapple! Salvias are easy to grow in the sunny areas where your soil is well drained and not too fertile, as they like the leaner life.

Know what Ciscoe Morris, hummingbirds and I have in common? Our favorite Salvia is Hot Lips. This Salvia has red and white blooms. The two-toned color scheme starts out with an entirely red flower and then the top half of each blossom turns white, leaving the bottom of the blossom with two luscious pouting red lips. The effect comes off as ‘sparkling’ in the sun and the foliage is deliciously aromatic, adding in one more layer of interest.

I admit, in our wetter climate the perennial types of Salvia are sometimes thought of as a short-lived perennials and this is often because they are planted in shade and overwatered or over fed. They are of good value when planted for their long bloom time and if you plant some areas of your gardens with hummingbird attractors like Hot Lips Salvia you won’t need to hang up a feeder all summer! The Salvias as a whole are so worth planting… the Hummingbirds, Ciscoe and I will thank you!



Penstemon • Another great and easy to grow group of perennials is the genus Penstemon aka Beardtongue or Bearded Tongue. My hummingbirds love the incredibly long blooming time and I love the different foliage textures and flower colors available. While the sunny sites are preferred, part shade areas are tolerated quite well as long as the soil is not overly damp, especially in winter. The leaner soils are appreciated by Penstomen, meaning you won’t be planting in rich loamy soil or fertilizing these much at all. I have a Penstemon in my backyard garden that gets only about 4 hours of sun a day growing in Marysville sandy soil and it thrives and blooms spectacularly. In fact, as I write this, there are hundreds of blossoms opening up on one of my beauties and there are two hummingbirds jockeying for position around the flowers!

Astilbe 'Vision in Pink'

Astilbe ‘Vision in Pink’

Astilbe • What a pretty plant! Astilbe, common name ‘False Spirea’, has been a staple in shade gardens of the NW for ages and it makes sense. Most gardeners are attracted to the soft fluffy plumes of flowers and the intricately cut fern-like foliage. One of my favorite varieties of Astilbe is the yummy ‘Vision in Pink’. I absolutely love its bright flower color and, because it can tolerate more sun than some other varieties, I can plant it in more of my gardens and it will bloom again freely if sheared back after the initial flush of flowers.

Besides the pretty flowers, another reason these beauties are so popular around our part of the world is because of the damp cloudy weather which the Astilbe loves, so they perform to perfection. Astilbe will thrive in the moist damp sites in your shade garden and can even handle quite a bit of sun, as long as it’s not too hot or dry. The arid spaces under fir or cedar trees just won’t make these lovelies happy, so plant outside the big tree’s drip line, mix some compost into the soil, add H2o and watch them smile!

Did I kindle your curiosity about perennials? I hope so. As I said, it was difficult to hold the list down to five. There are so many more varieties of perennials available at The Plant Farm and we’d love to help you select some for your garden.

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Argyranthemum butterfly

Argyranthemum butterfly

Spring is finally here! Okay, yes, in typical Pacific Northwest style, it’s a wet spring, but that just means that in this time of putting away sweaters and woolens, it’s more important than ever to bring out your brightest spring prints. Your wardrobe isn’t the only place you need to pump up the color palette.  It’s time for your garden to have a spring makeover as well. Let’s get some fresh color into your spring garden.

Calibrachoa Cabaret Cherry Rose

Calibrachoa Cabaret Cherry Rose

Color is a basic of gardening and with a bit of planning it can transform your garden from a collection of plants into something that can really create a mood. Color works in relation to other elements, so think of it like the movie Pleasantville. Without color, your garden might be a beautiful place of contrasts and textures, but it would be like a static collection of plaster sculptures. It’s the addition of color that brings it to life.

Have you ever been in a garden that transformed your mood? Do you ever find your eyes being drawn to one part of a flowerbed or overlooking something even though it’s right out in the open? Color has a lot to do with that. The proper use of color can influence

Begonia Bon Bon Sherbet

Begonia Bon Bon Sherbet

mood and perception and by selecting and mixing your colors with care, you take your garden and make it an exciting party place or a corner of quiet contemplation.If excitement is what you’re after, go for warm colors like the reds of a Calibrachoa Cabaret Cherry Rose, the yellows of a Begonia Bon Bon Sherbet or the orange of a Calibrachoa MiniFamous Double Rose Chai. Warm colors draw the eye and stimulate the senses as they shout, “look at me!” They create a focal point and draw attention. Alternatively, do you want to draw people to a particular corner of your garden or highlight that birdbath? Then use something like an Argyranthemum butterfly or a Verbena Superbena coral red.

Petunia Supertunia Royal Velvet

Petunia Supertunia Royal Velvet

If peace and meditation is the mood you want to set, then go for cool colors like a Blue Verbena Superbena, purple Petunia Supertunia Royal Velvet or maybe a Green Ipomoea Marguerite. These colors soothe and welcome visitors, inviting them to sit a bit and enjoy the quiet.

You can even use colors to change the size of your garden. Okay, not really, but they can make it seem larger or cozier. Warm colors make things seem closer while cool colors make them seem further away. For example, if you use small plants in warm colors close up and larger, cool-colored plants further away, they give your garden a sense of perspective and make it look bigger. On the other hand, if you want a large garden to seem more intimate, then use warm colors like a Coleus Chocolate Covered Cherry.

Petunia Supertunia Raspberry Blast

Petunia Supertunia Raspberry Blast

I love a bright green potato vine against a deep pink Petunia Supertunia Raspberry Blast. That’s because colors are great for giving a bit of contrast. Ever use a color wheel? You may remember it from the last time you painted the living room. Color wheels are used by decorators and artists to see which colors go together and which ones contrast. As a rule, colors close to one another on the wheel produce a sense of unity while colors from the opposite sides of the wheel produce contrast. Yellow and purple, for example contrast while yellow and green complement one another.

Bacopa Snowstorm Giant Snowflake

Bacopa Snowstorm Giant Snowflake

This means when you start getting out the potting soil, using contrasting and complementing colors, you can control how strong an impact your plants make. If you want them to stand out from one another, then use contrasting colors. If you want to produce a harmonious effect, then go for complementary colors. And it’s not an “and” “or” situation either. Whites, such as a Bacopa Snowstorm Giant Snowflake, and neutral colors can soften the effect of vivid colors. Throwing in some white or pastels like a Calibrachoa MiniFamous Double Rose Chai can tone down a color effect and let one bed of plants blend into the next.Here’s a tip: choose one dominant color and keep repeating it. It can be different plants, but try for the same color. It

Green Ipomoea Marguerite

Green Ipomoea Marguerite

really helps to tie everything together. With a bit of planning, you can manage all sorts of effects. Think out your patterns and you can use unity and contrasts to draw attention to highlights in your garden and away from things you’d rather not be noticed, such as standpipes and composters.Still not sure, what would look good in your garden? Our Landscape Design expert, Ryan Sanders, gives this advice: “Walk the aisle to see what attracts your eye. One of the best ways to pick garden color or work out a garden design is to see your plants working together.”

So, here’s one more great tip: come into The Plant Farm, grab a cart and start picking up what draws your eye.  Our friendly and knowledgeable Plant Farm staff members are ready to offer advice and show you our vast selection of Annuals so you can turn up the color dial in your garden.

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Add another dimension to your garden with the Twilight Zone rose, new this year and available now at The Plant Farm.

Add another dimension to your garden with the Twilight Zone rose, new this year and available now at The Plant Farm.

“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” A quote by Emma Goldman that grabbed my attention when I came across it while reviewing the roses being introduced on The Plant Farm’s 2013 Rose List. I was also drawn to French poet and novelist Jean Richepin’s quote, “One may live without bread, not without roses.” A wonderful rose quote, though I must admit that I’m awfully fond of bread, too. Still, it’s easy to understand why roses inspire such a passionate devotion and are prized above all other possessions.

Cinnamon Dolce

Cinnamon Dolce

The Plant Farm’s 2013 Rose List is now available and I know you’ll be excited to see the new roses being offered. Two roses being introduced this year that you will find particularly attractive are Twilight Zone and Cinnamon Dolce. Submitted for your approval, the Twilight Zone rose. It’s a gorgeous deep purple Grandiflora variety with blooms that are stuffed with rich, velvety petals. Cinnamon Dolce, a Hybrid Tea rose, will charm you with its highly fragrant blooms, which are brick red with deep pink speckles. Cinnamon Dolce has an excellent resistance to rust and mildew, which makes it perfect for our Pacific Northwest climate.

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire

Also new this year and exclusive to The Plant Farm, as a member of David Austen Roses, are Fighting Temeraire and Queen Anne. The Fighting Temeraire is a painting by English artist J. M. W. Turner and the Fighting Temeraire rose color echoes the peachy glow of the sky in the painting. The blooms are large and full, and have a wonderful lemony scent. Queen Anne is a full, hardy deciduous shrub rose. The blooms are delicate pink, plentiful and they have a classic old rose look. Surely, these two beauties helped earn David Austen Roses their 16th Gold Medal at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne

So many rose varieties and colors to tempt rose lovers this year and we’ve got the roses offered in Bare Root right now. I know I’ve talked about purchasing plants Bare Root in previous blog entries and roses are a perfect example of how buying Bare Root can save you time and money. Bare Root roses will cost you up to 40% less than potted roses. They are easier to transport because they weigh less and you don’t have the bulk of the pot and soil. In addition, they establish much more quickly because their roots are intact and they don’t experience the shock of going from container soil to your garden soil.

Are you excited to get into The Plant Farm and pick out your 2013 roses? Good, because we’re excited to introduce them to you. On that note, I will leave you with this quote from Richard Brinsley Sheridan “Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.”

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tulips and sunSpring anticipation is such a delicious agony.  Daydreams about warmer temperatures and the sun feeding the garden, the occasional hint of spring flowers have you marking the days off on the calendar.  Your heart is beating out a chant: “How soon can I start? How soon can I dig in? How soon can I start?”  Big events like the Northwest Flower & Garden Show have you making lists and it’s so hard to wait.  I have to tell you, The Plant Farm isn’t going to make it any easier on you.  We have way too many excellent new plants and products this year.

Dark Night RoseNew for 2013!

Dark Night Rose – New for 2013!

In the coming weeks, we’ll take a more in-depth look at colorful new annuals, exciting new container and basket combinations, and share garden ideas from local gardening masters and our own staff experts. Stories like The Berries & the Bees and Herbs: Beyond Spice will delight you and give you food for thought; pun intended. This coming week, we’ll focus our spotlight on the gorgeous new roses we’ve added to The Plant Farm’s Rose List. I can’t wait to tell you about the new roses!

Plant Bare Root and Save!

Plant Bare Root and Save!

Oh, and if you’re a savvy shopper, you will want to know that in about two weeks we’ll bring in a huge selection of Bare Root ornamental trees and shrubs. We offer them bare root for a couple of weeks and then they go to our production crew to be potted up. Buying bare root is an excellent way to save money and it’s much easier to get the plant in the ground.

Ryan Sanders, TPF's Landscape Design Expert

Ryan Sanders, TPF’s Landscape Design Expert

You may have to wait for spring to arrive, but right now, you can do more than daydream at The Plant Farm.  You can come check out the plants arriving every day, sit down with our Landscape Design expert, Ryan Sanders, or hire the Pruning Services crew to get your trees and shrubs into tip top shape.

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A festive holiday welcome from The Plant Farm

A festive holiday welcome from The Plant Farm

Heedless of the wind and weather, it’s time to deck the halls with boughs of holly.  Okay, I promise not to serenade you with any more carols, especially since I’m mixing up the lyrics, but I do want to share with you that the holidays are in full swing at The Plant Farm.   We’re always thrilled about our holiday selection, but this year we have an abundance of plants and products.  We have fantastic ideas for your holiday decorating, beautiful and festively wrapped host/hostess gifts and tons of potential presents for your green-thumbed loved ones.

Are you getting your home ready yet?  The holidays really start to take shape when I get my tree and the last few seasons that means a living Christmas tree.  With a living Christmas tree, you have the beauty and fragrance of a live tree gracing your home and after the ornaments are packed away, you have a lasting, living memory when it takes up residence in your backyard.  A living tree also means you can find a unique tree silhouette.  A friend used a Cloud Pine and being a traditionalist where Christmas trees are concerned, I was skeptical, but once decorated it was lovely and very festive.

Holiday whimsy abounds

Holiday whimsy

If you want to be quirky and traditional at the same time, you could go with one of the adorable Dr. Seuss Christmas trees we brought in from T&L Nursery this year.  They have trained Goldcrest Wilma and Lawson Ellwood Cypresses into a distinctly Grinchy posture, wrapped them in bright red ribbon and adorned the tip with a single ornament.  This is just the right touch of Christmas whimsy.  I don’t know if my gardening skills are up to it, but I’m thinking about trying it with a larger Cypress next year…

Need an idea for a lovely host/hostess gift this season?  Beautiful winter-blooming plants such as Hellebores, Cyclamen and Camellias are bright and cheerful, and they’ll keep blooming through winter.  This year, the Cyclamen and Hellebores have holiday wrapping and cute little Santa or presents tucked inside. Hellebores or Christmas Roses, as they are sometimes called, are deer-resistant winter blooming perennials.  They have delicate, almost Victorian-looking blooms that are lovely in holiday displays and make them a great centerpiece for a holiday table.  The wrapped Cyclamen is going to make a charming and budget-friendly gift for my daughter’s teacher this season.

Speaking of charming, the custom container-gardens at The Plant Farm are a fantastic way to spruce up your front door and could also make a wonderful gift.   We can help with the perfect Custom Planter for you.  We have everything you need to pull together your vision or we have a variety of unique, already planted container-gardens.

Already assembled gift packs make shopping easy!

Already assembled gift packs make shopping easy!

If you’re looking for gift ideas for your gardening friends and loved-ones, this year The Plant Farm elves have outdone themselves.  They’ve created several ready-to-go combos and kits that will make completing your shopping list easy-peasy, and the names alone will delight them.  What gardener wouldn’t love to receive a gift kit called Berry Pancakes? It contains a combination of berry plants, protective netting and soil amendments for successful growing.  Know someone who’s going to make a “get-healthy-this-year” New Year’s resolution?  Then the Growing Salad kit would be perfect.  It’s a seed starting kit filled with all the veggie seeds you need for delicious salads all spring and summer.

Not all the gift packs we’ve created this year have an edible theme, but if edible sounds appealing to you, then the season for Bare Root Fruit Trees is just around the corner.  A fruit tree is a gift that continues to provide delicious treasures season after season.  Right now, you’ll save 10% off the regular price by pre-ordering and we will provide you with an attractive certificate detailing what your loved-one will receive.  I gave a 5-way Apple Combo tree to my husband last year and it was a huge hit.

Mason Bee starter kits make a wonderful gift.

Mason Bee starter kits…a wonderful gift.

Or maybe the recipient of your holiday giving already has fruit trees and you want to get them something to ensure crop success each season.   I was thinking a Mason Bee Guide & Starter Kit would be great follow-up gift for my husband, the aspiring orchardist.  Mason bees are excellent little pollinators and they are very easy to raise.  They are able to pollinate an estimated 97% of the flowers they visit each spring, which make them an excellent gift for those with established fruit trees or as a complement to a gift of Bare Root Fruit Trees.

Another excellent gift idea for gardeners with established landscapes is a Winter Pruning Service certificate.  Pruning is an essential part of promoting plant growth and increasing blooms.  It also keeps your plants attractive and healthy.  The Plant Farm now offers Pruning Services at $40 an hour and when you purchase the service as a gift we’ll provide you with a charming certificate.

Gift Certificates are the perfect solution when you can't find the perfect gift...

Gift Certificates are a perfect solution when you can’t find the perfect gift.

In addition to the pruning service, we now also offer Landscape Design services.  Have a special someone who is considering a yard or landscape makeover in the coming year.  One hour of Landscape Design is valued at $50.  A combination of design services and a gift certificate for the plants they’ll pick later on would be an awesome gift…

Okay, so there are so many more holiday gift ideas The Plant Farm has to offer, but I promised to keep the word count down.  There are many, many more you’ll find when you visit.  But if you’re still having trouble finding that perfect gift, there is a perfect solution – a Plant Farm gift certificate. Now through Christmas gift certificates are on sale [link to page].  Slip a gift certificate into their stocking and let your gardener choose the perfect item.

The Plant Farm is privileged to be rapidly approaching our 30th year of offering quality plants and gardening products to the greater Smokey Point area.  From everyone at The Plant Farm at Smokey Point, we wish you the warmest, happiest of holidays and a hale and hearty new year!

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We’re days away from the official start of fall and that means the holidays are close behind.  It also means we’ll be receiving more visitors, so it’s time to get our front doorstep and walkways spruced up.  Cleaning up or changing out your spring and summer containers, is an excellent way to mark the changing of the seasons.

Fall Container by Lora Keddie

Attractive containers have a mix of plants with different heights, shapes and textures.  In container gardening they’re known as the thriller, filler and spiller.  The thriller is a bold, vertical plant that is tall in relation to the other plants in the container.  The filler is the plant with medium height in the pot and the spiller plant cascades over the edge of the container.

If adding gorgeous, welcoming fall containers to your doorstep is on your list, right now is a great time to get started.  There is a lot of exciting fall color plant material on sale and you still have time to come in with your bucks for Dollar Days at The Plant Farm and get a double dip on savings.

We’re also offering FREE potting soil September 22nd-23rd when you purchase any container or pottery with plants. All containers are currently 30% off.  That’s a very exciting deal and here are a few plant ideas to inspire you…

Fall Pansies add a touch of whimsy

Fall standards like Cabbage and Kale have started arriving along with the Mums and Asters.  We’ve got a great selection of Pansies and Violas in gorgeous fall colors to add a touch of whimsy to your containers.  All these fall standards work well as filler or mid-level plants.

Heuchera is charming choice for fall containers because of the wide range of rich, earthy colors and the full leaves which are often variegated.  Coleus, too has striking, rich colors and gives an exotic look to your container.  Coleus is an annual, but it loves the weather we’re having right now.

Bold and bright Wilma Goldcrest Cypress

For thriller plants, especially large doorstep containers, the vibrant color of a Wilma Goldcrest Lemon Cypress tree is a great hardy choice and they have a wonderful lemony scent.  Nandinas, which take on fiery hues in the fall, would make a dramatic focal plant.

Grasses can play any role in your container

Grasses come in so many shapes, textures, colors and sizes they are almost an essential choice for container gardening.  Tall grasses have a firework aspect and make a dramatic thriller in any size container.   Many grasses also have a weeping habit and make great spiller plants.

If you want more ideas I highly recommend attending our Free Fall Container Gardening seminar this coming Sunday, September 23rd with Rachel Zeutenhorst.  Rachel is a Certified Professional Horticulturist with 20 years in the industry and was awarded the People’s Choice Award for her container display at the 2009 Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  It’s free and seating is limited so click here to register.

If you can’t make the class, stop into The Plant Farm anytime our staff is always ready to show you awesome plants and give you planting tips.  Like us on Facebook and share the results of your gardening with our Garden Club Members!

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