Saturday, June 21, 2008

Off to North Carolina

In my mind I'm going to Carolina. One of my professional commitments is I am on the board of Garden Centers of America. Our board meeting is in the Raleigh area of North Carolina on Sunday, and then we get to tour the local garden centers, growers and gardens.

One of the places that I am looking forward to visiting is Plant Delights Nursery @ Juniper Level Botanic Gardens

Plant delights is a retail and a mail order company, they have some of the coolest plants on the planet. I must confess that I have actually bought plants from them at retail to try in my garden. The owner Tony Avent is one of the best speakers I've seen too. So anyway, I will be posting some pictures from the road next week. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mindowaskin Park Overlook

There are many picturesque parks in Union County. Mindowaskin Park on
East Broad street in Westfield is one of my favorites. It is also the
one that I dedicate some of my time. I am on the board of Friends of
Mindowskin Park, and the main thing that I am responsible is the
planting of the urns on the overlook. I am a bit late this year, but
I waited for that last heat wave to pass. This year I brought my son
Dakota along to help. Besides having him take this picture, he helped
take the plants out of their pots and helped with the clean up.

Bunnies and Gazanias

Originally uploaded by stevemd
I had a teacher back in my high school days that told me that I should learn something new everyday. Well, I may go one or two days without learning something, but I really try to remember her teachings. seems that the gazania gifting turned out to be an experiment in rabbit feeding. I received two different emails almost simultaneously saying that the rabbits devoured their gazanias.

Well I definitely learned something. Plants that are resistant to one animal (deer) may not be resistant to another (cute little bunnies).

There are a few possible solutions. A bottle of hare tonic...(sorry only kidding) control that I use for rabbits in my garden is sprinkling dried blood meal around the plants. It sounds gruesome, but the blood meal is a bi product of the beef industry. It doesn't have an obnoxious smell, and it will actually also feed the plants. The main drawback is that it is only effective until it rains.

Another solution that I read about online, but haven't tried is putting slices of Irish Spring Soap around the plant. It's the smell of the soap that repels the bunnies, not their aversion to cleanliness.

There are also several commercial repellents that you can use, that don't wash away after a rainfall. Both work extremely well. Bonide makes a granular product called repels all. It does contain dried blood as one of the active ingredients. It will last 30-60 days after application. The other is a liquid called Rabbit & GroundHog Out which contains lemon grass, caster oil, garlic and peppermint. This will also last for thirty days.

Annual Phlox

Originally uploaded by williamsnursery
Still Playing with the camera...These just love the heat and sunshine.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Congratulations Class of 2008!!!

It's been an exciting week for the families at Williams Nursery. Mel Jackson (my niece) graduates high school today. Hooray!

You make us all proud Mel!

Also congrats to Staff Members Alex, Nadine, David, Vincent, Kaitlynn (forgive me if I spelt this wrong) who also graduated today!

Today at the Nursery

I was extremely lucky today. My friend Steve, had told me that he had purchased a new camera, and that he was interested in selling his old one. I have been looking for quite some time, on getting a digital SLR, but had absolutely no clue what to buy, so I figured it was a good way to ease myself into it.

I haven't used an SLR since back before the whole digital revolution. These are a few pictures I just took, they are a bit clearer than the point and shoot pictures that I've posted here before, and it looks like I'm going to have quite a bit of fun taking pictures this Summer. These are taken with a Canon rebel XTI.

BTW...all of these plants are available for sale.


Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Real Life Plant Pictures

This slide show is of the pictures that Asa B. Sent to me. Wow! Great Work! I think my personal favorite is the green and yellow coleus planted with the large leaf begonia. Thanks for sharing...

Keep emailing me photos! Send them to Remember to include your name and town. I'll select one person's name at random and send them a $25 gift certificate.


Monday, June 16, 2008

First Photo Received!

Sometimes its sad seeing plants leave our place, but thanks to today's electronic age, I can actually see where some of the plants find a home. In last weeks enews, I asked to get pictures of some of your yards, and of your container gardens. (I'm also going to raffle off a chance to win a $25 gift card to those that take the time to send their pictures.
Arlene R. of Westfield gets a gold star for being the first! She sent in this great picture. Thanks!.

I really like the butterfly on the arbor. Nice touch!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 12, 2008

2008 Favorite Perennial Poll Results

Here are the results to the Favorite Perennials Poll.
I apologize to those Daylily enthusiasts. I totally skipped you over.

Achillea (Yarrow)
0 (0%)
6 (12%)
3 (6%)
Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)
5 (10%)
Echinacea (Cone Flower)
6 (12%)
2 (4%)
Geranium - Hardy
4 (8%)
Grass - Ornamental
3 (6%)
12 (25%)
2 (4%)
1 (2%)
2 (4%)
5 (10%)

New for 2009! PTILOTUS EXALTATUS-Joey™

Ok, so I know that 2008 is not even close to being done, but I was starting to research new varieties for next year, and this one looks like a winner. Its a completely new genus for the US gardens. Ptilotus doesn't exactly roll off the tounge, so it's probably easier to refer to it by its trademarked name 'Joey' ™
A native to Australia, ptilotus loves the heat and sun. It is very drought tolerant, short growing, and will truly be an attention getter.
It is being introduced into the US by Benary

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Home In on it Video Tip.

A quick tip about tomatoes that's currently running on Comcast.

Increase of the value of your home with plants

Wanted to share a quick tip that I have running on Comcast.

Smoke Bush not banned in nj

Contrary to what the media has said. This smoke bush, Cotinus 'pink
champagne' had not been subject to the nj anti-smoking legislation.

An improvement over previous smoke bushes. This variety flowers at a
very young age. The deer will stay away from them. This variety will stay more compact than the other varieties. Generally reaching a height of 6 to 8 feet tall.

They are very drought tolerant, like full sun to part shade.

In stock and in flower now.

These Tiny Pixies will prance into your garden

Some of us struggle for space in the garden. I love cone flowers but
they grow to large to be included in my garden. This new Echinacea
'pixie meadowbrite' is an exciting new tiny coneflower. It will grow
only eighteen to twenty inches tall and only twenty four inches wide.

It loves the summer heat and will atract butterflies into the garden.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Perennial Gazania

Last week, I mentioned Gazania Colorado Gold, which is a perennial variety. I didn't have a chance to take a picture, but here it is now. Remember they just love the heat!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 09, 2008

Impressing Dad with the Wall Street Journal

My father is a long time subscriber to the Wall Street Journal. Quite a few times, he'll take out his highlighter out and highlight worthy selections for me to read.

Well this past Thursday, I had a surprise for dad. The Wall Street Journal actually used us as a reference source for an article on the current growing trend of vegetable gardening. I think WSJ only keeps their stories available online for free for a week.

Here is the link
The Vegetable Patch

880 Radio also picked up the story, and I was a bit startled when a few friends called me up and said they heard us mentioned on the radio.

I was very impressed with how much research goes into an article. Even though we were only mentioned in a single line. It involved several phone conversations, and quite a few email.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Spinning Gerber

Show in the picture are two different Gerber Daisies. The one on the right is the traditional gerber daisy. The one on the left is an exciting new variety. The new variety is called "Spinner" the flowers are huge compared to the regular gerber. The spinners can be sensitive to over watering, so be careful.