Pro Talk with the Gurus of Gardens & Floristry
Let's Talk Gardening Plants & Products with Sean
Selecting & Caring for Your Fresh-cut Christmas Tree
When selecting your tree, you need to know the optimal time to purchase and what’s okay (and not) with needle drop. In caring for your tree, you need to know when and why it needs a fresh cut as well as the do’s and don’ts for watering and setting up.
Learn how to safely take care of your plant pots over the winter. Sean considers the four groups of pottery: terracotta, cast stone/concrete, fiber glass/lichen fiber and finally, plastic. He explains that it’s not the cold temperatures that can damage your pots; it’s the precipitation they absorb or contain, followed by freeze/thaw cycles. All Sean’s helpful advice can be applied to garden statuary and bird baths.
Overwintering Hardy Plants in Containers
As we get ready for cooler temps, let’s review what you need to know about overwintering your hardy container-planted perennials. Sean, our horticulture guru, identifies what you need to be aware of when overwintering your hardy potted perennials. These hardy plants fall into three groups: deciduous, conifer evergreens and broadleaf evergreens. Deciduous and conifers are easy enough to care for, but the broadleaf evergreens, such as boxwood and rhododendrons, are the most challenging, especially when they experience prolonged below-freezing temperatures. Watch the video to learn what you need to know about overwintering your potted perennials.
Fall-Blooming Native Perennials
Sean provides an overview of some of his favorite fall-blooming native perennials: Eupatorium Dwarf Joe-Pye Weed and Hardy Ageratum + New England Aster • New England Aster Purple Dome + Vernonia Iron Butterfly.
September and October are the best times to plant AND enjoy their blooms. With these natives you’ll have gorgeous blooms that will extend well past other plants that have finished blooming. These lovelies are also invaluable to our pollinators: bees, butterflies and migrating hummingbirds will certainly thank you for it!
Fall Ornamental Cabbages & Kales
Have you considered adding ornamental cabbages and kales to your landscape or containers? You should! These beauties are a fall staple, but we should really think of them as a fall AND winter staple. Kales and cabbages have a very wide temperature range in which they thrive — 75 degrees all the way down to the mid 30s — this is their “sweet spot.” They’ll even survive temps well below freezing. And the cooler it gets, the more their color intensifies! They do well and look great in both the landscape and in containers.
Fall Planting Perks
Fall is the BEST time for perennials, shrubs, trees and grass seed to take root!
We generally think of spring as the planting time, which is it… But fall — September, October and November —is the optimal time to get your plants in the ground. Sean, our gardening guru, explains why in this video. Check it out — then let’s get get to planting so your plants can get their underground party started!
Love lavender but it keeps letting you down? Unless you’re living right on the coast with its sandy soil, you’ve most likely struggled with keeping your lavender alive for more than a season or two. That’s partly due to our climate, but your soil composition has a huge amount of impact on your success. Give Sean’s video a watch to learn how to properly prepare your soil, and learn about how Phenomenal Lavender may be the hybrid answer you’ve been searching for. A transcript of the video is available in our blog.
Sean, the horticulture expert at The Gardener’s Center, is here to give us insightful information on two different types of native milkweed: Asclepias Incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) and Asclepias Tuberosa (Butterflyweed). A transcript of this video is available in our blog.
Nepeta, or Catmint, comes in tall-to-compact varieties, are beautiful, long-bloomers, drought tolerant and adored by pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Who doesn’t love ‘em? Deer, rabbits and woodchucks, that’s who. Sean has pro tips for selection, placement, care and easy maintenance for keeping them tidy and getting them to re-bloom. A transcript of this video is available in our blog.
Proper Plant Potting
Sean, our horticulture expert, provides pro tips for potting your annuals in containers to ensure maximum growth and health for a long growing season. A transcript of this video is available in our blog.
Sean, our resident expert on all-things peonies, discusses planting and care so you can enjoy these beauties in your coastal Connecticut garden.
Lawn Care Products
Sean talks about which products to use and when to seed your lawns, when to fertilize, and when to treat weeds and crabgrass. Most importantly, he wants you to remember that TIMING IS EVERYTHING!
Shopping on Monrovia.com
Sean talks about another great way to research and procure exactly the plants you are looking for through our partner, Monrovia. We proudly carry many of their stunning plant, but we don’t carry all of them. With Monrovia.com, you can search for the exact variety, size, and color or plants you want.
Types of Roses
Sean reviews attributes and differences between our popular rose varieties: David Austin Roses (aka English Roses or Cabbage Roses), Shrub Roses, Drift Roses and Climbing Roses. A transcript of this video is available in our blog.
Sean talks about the proper way to prune hydrangeas, one of our most-asked questions. The answer depends on a few things, including what type of hydrangea you have and whether it blooms on new wood or old wood. Hydrangeas are showstoppers in the garden… Treat them well and they’ll show off!
Fall Garden Questions
Sean talks about evergreens that are going through a normal cycle of annual leaf drop that often causes folks to worry their tree or shrub is dying. Also discussed is caladiums, cannas, dahlias, and elephant ears or (colocasias) — you can keep them over the winter to plant again in the spring. This is a much different process than simply bringing in your plants for the winter; learn the tips you need to accomplish this.
Autumn Garden Color
Sean reviews annuals, evergreen shrubs to perennials that will show color in your beds and containers for the last part of the growing season. Some of these choices will last through Christmas time! Sean showcases three perennials: the Lady in Black Aster, the ever-popular Montauk Daisy, and true perennial garden mums.
Let's Talk Floral Design with Jaime
Floral Design 101
Jaime talks about how to build a floral arrangement from start to finish. She shows you the kinds of tools she uses and the mechanics she employs for constructing a low, lush, and compact style arrangement that’s perfect to use as a centerpiece. Jaime discusses color palette options and thinking outside the box when it comes to a fall mix, and to consider shape and texture when choosing your flowers.
Jaime talks about best practices for taking care of your orchids. Orchids really are a breeze to take care of inside your home, but we’ve heard from many people who shy away from them, usually telling us they think they are hard to care for or that they always kill them. As far as indoor flowering plants go, orchids really are your best bet. Jaime discusses best practices for watering orchids (NO ICE CUBES!), where to place them in your home, and when and when not to fertilize them to ensure success.
Cut Hydrangea Arrangements
Jaime gives you some fantastic tips to help your cut hydrangea blooms last longer, as well as a simple, but beautiful way to arrange those gorgeous blooms.
Let's Talk Indoor Gardening with Joy
Joy takes you on a tour of the beautiful greenery and variegated leaves available for your indoor garden. See what works in low light or bright light, as well as their watering needs. From low and bushy to tall and wide, these indoor plants are waiting for you!
Joy talks about re-potting (or “up-potting,” according to Joy), and the signs to look for to know now’s the time. You’ll also get instructions on how to choose the new pot and how to prepare your plant’s new home for a happy transition.
Joy talks about how houseplants just make us feel better, especially in winter when not much else is green. Plants make people feel good and we are all about that! Joy also zeroes in on alocasia plants and their popularity, and it’s easy to see why. There are many different varieties and each one is more interesting than the next. Think lots of texture, lots of patterns and lots of veining and variegation. All of these things make these alocasias super eye-catching. Joy will tell you all about them and the deets on how to care for them. If you would like a closer look at our alocasia selection, stop on in or check them out on our website.
Joy talks about interesting and unique varieties of houseplants following a field trip to one of our growers on Long Island, which she compares to a trip to Disney Land for her. Some of these are incredibly cool in the ways they react to touch and vibration, lighting and growing patterns. Watch as Joy gives us the lowdown on the Mimosa Sensitive Plant or “Shy Plant,” Philodendron Goeldii with the crazy cool way its leaf structure pattern grows, the Tradescantia Callisia Navicularis (which sounds like a Harry Potter spell) that can look like two completely different plants depending on the lighting conditions you give it, and the unique Monstera Dubia or “Shingle Plant.”
Joy talks about propagating your plants by taking cuttings of them and helping the cuttings to root. This is a great way to share plants with friends and create new plants from your existing ones. You can even trim unruly or long vines from your plants, then root those cuttings and add them to that same plant’s soil base for extra fullness. There are a couple of different methods you can use to achieve this, and there are certain plants that are very easily propagated, and some, well, not so much. Joy shows us a few that work really well and she has a few products to introduce you to that will help ensure success.
Joy talks about common houseplant pests. Oftentimes these pests are so hard to see that you don’t really notice them until you see your plant looking sickly. Joy has the deets on three common little buggers that will wreak havoc either to your plant or your sanity. She’ll tell us how to identify them and how to treat them. We are talking brown soft scale, mealy bugs and fungus gnats. Wait until you see the close-up photo of a mealybug! It looks prehistoric.
Joy talks about some new, rare, and hard-to-find houseplants that just landed in her greenhouse. She knows what everyone has been looking for and she’s been working hard to seek these babies out for all of you. Joy introduces you to these spectacular specimens. Learn a little something about these special friends and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to take one (or more?) home!
Joy talks about how to keep your pets and your plants living happy and healthy together. Joy shows you which houseplants are pet friendly and which are not. If you have pets at home, be sure you know which is which!
Let's Talk Container Designs with Lauren
Expanding Container Designs
Lauren talks about expanding your container design palate with options you may not have considered before. She shows us how using plants that are traditionally considered indoor tropical houseplants can add interest and a dramatic flair to our summer containers.
Spring Container Design
Lauren talks about spring container designs and what to expect from your spring planters. Spring annuals tend to be rather fleeting, spring bulbs last just two to three weeks in full bloom, and pansies will start to fade around Memorial Day once the warmer weather kicks in. BUT THAT’S OKAY! While fleeting, spring annuals are such a welcome pop of color and fragrance! Plus, Lauren has tips for repurposing some plants into your landscape.
Fall Container Design
JLauren shows you some fall designs, one a harvest look and one a little “funkier.” See what she’s done and how you can create your own fall—and maybe funky—container designs.