Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Show Your Garden the Love!


Following is a great post by Tim Bate of Skillin's Greenhouses:

Show your garden (and gardener!) the love with these Valentine’s Day inspired garden treasures.


We are "sweet" on this sampler of trees, shrubs and perennials that feature heart-shaped leaves or flowers.

Brunnera  ‘Jack Frost’ – Silver leaves with small, blue flowers resembling forget-me-nots.  12-15” tall. Zone 3.


Rising Sun Redbud - Rising Sun (C. can. ‘JN2) Z5

8-12’ tall and wide.  Redbud trees bloom ahead of foliage in spring with stunning  purplish pink flowers…and then the show truly begins with this new cultivar.  New heart-shaped foliage is a brilliant apricot orange color, maturing to yellow, and finally lime green in the summer, with all leaf colors combined on the tree during the spring flush.  Fall foliage is a rich golden orange.  What a way to wake up a sleepy landscape!




Ligularia ‘Britt Marie Crawford – Chocolate-maroon leaves that have a dark purple underside.  Flat daisy-like orange-yellow flower in late summer.  36-40” tall.  Zone 3
Disanthus Z5
6’ tall.  Show your garden the love with this sweet woodland shrub from the witchhazel family.  Redbud hazel, or Japanese Red Witchhazel, leaves emerge purplish red and are heart shaped. The foliage is a soothing bluish green in the summer with new foliage layering purple on the shrub, and finally changes to a rich wine red in the fall.  Diminutive red flowers open beneath the fall foliage.
Blue Cadet Hosta – A small, compact variety with blue leaves.  Lavender flowers in late summer.  10” tall 18” wide.  Z3
Maui Buttercups Hosta – small 5” gold leaves are rounded and corrugated, with good slug resistance.  Creamy white flowers in mid summer.  10” tall and 18” wide.  Zone 3
‘Valentine’ Bleeding Heart Z3
24-30” tall.  Very red, heart-shaped flowers dangle from dark red stems.  Foliage is “plum-green’ color and forms dense clumps.  A vigorous grower. 
Red Fox Katsuratree (C. jap. ‘Rotfuchs’) Z5
20’ tall with an upright oval form.  Foliage emerges a rich dusky purple in spring, turns bluish-green with purple tints in the summer, and lights up with yellow, orange, and apricot leaves in the fall.  Just before leaves drop in the fall they will perfume your landscape with the cotton candy-like scent of burnt sugar!  This variety is slower growing than the species, but well worth the wait.
These plants will be here this Spring, but we ARE selling Spring Bonds NOW for a 25% savings on future purchases.   You spend $37.50 now for a $50 bond that matures on April 1st.

So consider showing your Garden "The Love" this Spring and Summer.

We will see you soon!

Tim Bate
for Skillin's Greenhouses
February 13, 2013

Monday, February 4, 2013

The "Future" Generation

KCB is the author of this post and can be found HERE at the Finishing Touches garden website!

First, where did January go?  It must have been one heck of a New Year’s Eve party because it’s almost the last thing I remember; raising a glass for the old, toasting to the new. Now, it’s February. February may not be my favorite month yet I’m always happy when it arrives. I can thank the greed of Julius* and Augustus* Caesar for making February the shortest month. This just brings us closer to March; the month of the Vernal Equinox or as we lovingly call it ‘Spring’!

There I go, speaking of the future after a brief visit to the past. Nevertheless, as a gardener I am constantly looking to the future.  I am not alone, am I?  To paraphrase
Dr. Allan Armitage ‘There are no old gardeners. … can’t get old when looking forward to the future’.  Hearing these words recently the world suddenly made sense. Ok, a slight exaggeration, not sure if the world will ever make sense, still the premise touched me. It is SO true.

Instant gratification is the new normal. We want what we want when we want it which is usually NOW. Not so with gardeners.

Gardeners aka ‘we’ live for the future. Many start seeds in the coldest days of winter as they dream of the days they can be sowed in the earth. Others grow vegetables for future meals. Perennials are purchased with the anticipation that the will return year after year. A well planned landscape allows for the transformation that will happen over time. Nearly everything is performed with the mind on the future. Even the pockets of annuals are placed with the knowing they will spread as the season progresses. Then we celebrate that we can by more next summer.

Did you notice that the seed and gardening catalogues arrived sooner this year?  The first of many arrived a few days before Christmas.  Not sure about you, but I made sure these did not get lost I wanted to save them for the not too distant future. We want an unhurried moment to put our feet up and with a beverage of choice we peruse the perennials, analyze the annuals and become a voyeur of vegetable seed packages not with a longing for tomorrow or even the day after.  It’s all for the future.

There is one downside with always looking towards the future; you just may miss a month or two.  Guess I’ll just have to wait until next year to enjoy the month that falls between December and February. For now, I’ll just look forward to March.

*Julius wanted a month named after him. He took the seventh month, named it July and all other months moved down a notch. Wanting a longer month stole a day from February. When Augustus came along, he wanted a month as well. He couldn’t be ahead of Julius, so he took the month right after July and named it August. He shoved the other months down as Julius had done, and another one dropped off the end. That month had 31 days. Augustus couldn’t be outdone by Julius on the days, so he took another day out of poor February and added to August. February then had 28 days. Except during leap year. For more information, Google it yourself!

Created for Skillin's by KC Bailey
February 2013