Plant Savvy

Monrovia.com

 
 
   
December 16, 2014
 
Contents
Cool Containers
Simple Elegance
What We Loved in 2014
More of What We Loved
Green Gifts
Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed
Nick’s Pics Our Nicholas Staddon is always searching for great new and notable plants. Sienna Sunrise® Heavenly Bamboo is one of his favorites, for its colorful foliage. “It’s especially exquisite with this dusting of snow…”

Long Lasting Wreath Aloes and Hens & Chicks blend beautifully with Southern Magnolia leaves, pinecones and twigs. A few colorful balls and…wow! After the holidays, take off the ornaments and it will continue to brighten your entry for months in mild climates. Photo courtesy of The Succulent Perch.

Gift Idea Books about garden style and design make great gifts for both seasoned gardeners and beginners. Here’s one that caught our attention recently. Cultivating Garden Style

I promise to fertilize my citrus! I will be diligent about composting! Does this sound like you? Every gardener has a few New Year’s Resolutions. Which means it’s the perfect time for a quick refresher on treating your plants right. Check out these tips to help you get motivated.

‘Tis the Season Many Camellias burst into bloom about now. Quick tip: Use Yuletide Camellia to create a colorful, festive display. Wrap the container in burlap, perhaps a red bow, then tuck a few evergreen boughs at the base. If you have enough space, group with smaller pots of winter blooming annuals or perennials.

Rustic Wrap Springs and twigs from your yard make beautiful holiday package adornments. Tie with twine and add a stick of cinnamon for fragrance.

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Winter Inspiration
 
Frosty Pieris_MN_Chad Bartel 359x150_2 At our Oregon nursery, the emerging buds and stunning foliage on this Mountain Fire Lily of the Valley Shrub turned it into a delightful winter decoration, thanks to a dusting of frost. While winter temps can vary as much as 100 degrees around the country this month, every garden goes through magical change at this time of year, if you look closely.
 
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Cool Containers
 
If your winter garden is looking a little bare, try decorating the yard or your porch with large container plants. They work as holiday decor (dolled up in December with a few ribbons or ornaments) and still look great all winter long. Mother Nature adds her own special touch, with a frosting of snow or a fringe of icicles. When the weather warms, migrate those plants into the garden; and then replant your container with spring bloomers. A great way to repurpose holiday décor. Photo courtesy of Deborah Silver.

 
Simple Elegance
 
You can adorn these pyramid-shaped Spruce with twinkle lights for the holidays; then in January, remove them for a classy traditional look for the rest of the winter season.  This Dwarf Alberta Spruce is planted with Japanese Skimmia; and for more color use Lenten Roses, like Pink Frost or Cassis Red. In mild climates, Succulents are an easy-care option at the base of the tree for great color and texture. Photo courtesy of Pot Inc.

 
What We Loved in 2014
 
These plants made it on just about everyone’s wish list this year…were they on yours? The Runaway hit. Blue Enchantress® Hydrangea dazzled with its big mopheads and ruby red stems. This rebloomer flowers all summer long.  Berries everywhere. We saw tens of thousands of Raspberry Shortcake™ and Bountiful Blue® being planted all over the country, not just for delicious fruits but for their beautiful ornamental shape in all seasons.

 
More of What We Loved
 
Boxwood beats all. For versatility and dependability as a hedge and foundation plant, you can’t go wrong with Boxwood. We have 17 varieties, each designed for different uses and tastes. We’re especially fond of the compact Winter Gem and the tight and tall Green Tower®.  Cute dwarf Wee Willie® stays green even in the coldest winter.  Agapanthus returns.  Our new Baby Pete™ emerged as a compact and better-blooming bestseller.

 
Green Gifts
 
Another reason plants as gifts are a good idea: each year, Americans generate 4 million tons of trash from gift wrap and bags! A tabletop topiary or lush flowering plant needs no gift wrap. If you want to cover the pot, try recycling fabric scraps or burlap. Or drop it into a basket, metal pail or container you no longer use. Tie on a gift card (repurposed from past year’s cards) and tie with simple natural ribbon of jute or twine. Voilà!

 
Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed
 
Garden centers are so much fun this time of year – brimming with holiday decorations and fragrant with evergreens. Wander around and you’ll find plenty of great gifts for friends besides a bottle of wine or candy. Flowering plants like Camellias and Lenten Rose are looking good right now. Berry Bright™  or Pink Elf® Saxifrage would make a stunning hostess gift…as would cute mossy pots of herbs like Rosemary, Thyme and Bay. Too cold where you are?  Order a gift plant online for delivery in spring when the ground thaws.

 
   
 
 
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