Plant Savvy

June 14, 2014
Hen Pecked?
Grow Up!
Healthy Eating
Versatile Herbs
Berry Good!
Look No Further
 Our Nicholas Staddon travels near and far, speaking to gardening groups and visiting botanical gardens. During his recent trip to the 2014 Chelsea Flower Show in London, he was inspired by this meadow garden display, which blends flowering perennials like Meadow Sage with Dwarf Scotch Pine.

Have extra produce from your garden? Learn how to donate it or Plant a Row for the hungry.

Check out the edible garden of HGTV host Jamie Durie.

June is national Rose Month! In 1986, President Reagan declared the Rose to be the official floral emblem of the U.S.A! We love the prolific Knock Out®.

Father’s Day is June 15. Please don’t buy him a necktie…head to the garden center for a gift he’ll love (and use!). How about some Wine Grapes or Hops for beverage making?

Check out this feature on our website that lets you search for a landscape design professional and view mini portfolios.

A heat-loving Pineapple Guava will reward you with sweet fruit and stunning edible flowers. Plant in a large container on the patio, or as a landscape accent in warm winter zones. 

Versatile, colorful herbs like Thyme are easy to grow in containers or the garden. Fresh herbs for cooking and a great look. Try this Lemon Thyme Grilled Chicken recipe.


For the best plant selection and excellent service, visit your local independent garden center.

Connect With Us
You Too Can Be an Urban Farmer!
Roosters You don't need to live on a farm to raise chickens. It's allowed in many cities -- although often with restrictions on the number allowed and a ban on noisy roosters.
Dear Savvy Gardener,
Small gardens and even patio balconies can be transformed into an easy-to-maintain edible garden. And it’s a great way for beginners to dabble in growing fruits and herbs without too much of a commitment. The first rule for success is healthy soil.  Amend your soil with compost and other living matter that that will break down and keep soil healthy.  For containers, use a quality potting mix and make sure you have good drainage. Think beyond terra cotta pots…you can grow in whiskey barrels, horse troughs, old wheel-barrows…just about anything, as long as you drill drainage holes.  Add mulch to hold the moisture in and keep weeds out. For those who are hesitant to give up an ornamental garden, you don’t really have to –many edibles are beautiful, providing color, texture, flowers and fragrance. Plant your edibles alongside flowering plants that attract important pollinators.

  Healthier & hardier  
Hen Pecked?

If you’re so inclined…chickens are endearing, funny to watch and will provide you with delicious, fresh eggs…five or six per chicken per week.  Plus, they’ll eat slugs, snails and other pests; and they will happily munch on your fruit and vegetable scraps.  When you muck out their coops, add it to the compost bin. Don’t add the manure directly to plants, as it can burn them. Let it decompose a bit first. Great info here.

Grow Up!
If space is a problem, try growing up.  Apple and Pear trees are easy to espalier, which means training them to grow flat against a wall or trellis. Espaliers are good for privacy, too.  Wouldn’t you rather look at a flowering fruit tree instead of your neighbor’s air conditioning unit? Fast growing vines like Grapes or Kiwi will cover a trellis, walkway arch or arbor, and the fruit hangs down for easy harvesting.  You can buy them already trained as an espalier, or do it yourself.

Healthy Eating

The Artichokes we eat are actually the flower buds, harvested before it blooms. Leave a few buds and watch the huge violet flowers bloom. Mediterranean favorites, Pomegranates and Figs, provide a bounty of gourmet fruit on gracefully branching trees. Pomegranates have brilliant orange flowers that will yield a crop of big red fruit that are extremely high in antioxidants. Figs produce a summer harvest of tasty fruit perfect for deserts or appetizers. 

Versatile Herbs
Back in the 8th century, Charlemagne called herbs the friend of the physician and the pride of cooks. So why not grow your own? Rosemary, like Roman Beauty and Spanish Lavender, such as Hazel are drought tolerant and do well in containers, too. Thyme is tasty and makes an attractive border plant.  Use the dried leaves of Sweet Bay in soups and sauces. Mint is handy to have for all sorts of recipes. Try Chocolate, Pineapple or Lavender Mint.  Enhance your pastas and salads with fresh Sweet Basil.

Berry Good!

Berries are super popular edible for home gardens.Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries, and Strawberries are fantastic in a container and offer year-round interest. You’ll be rewarded with a lot of delicious, antioxidant-rich berries. While quite pricey in the supermarket, just one plant can produce six to seven pounds of fruit each season.  If you live in a cool, moist climate, try growing a Gooseberry.  Pixwell is a native variety and loaded with sweet, juicy fruit all summer. Currants are tasty fresh and make delicious preserves.

Look No Further

Citrus, with their glossy green foliage and fantastic fragrance, can provide an abundance of orangesgrapefruit, tangerineslemons and limes. Try the Variegated Calamondin Orange, with stunning green and cream-colored foliage and fruit pale green stripes. Moro Blood Orange has sweet, bright red-fleshed fruit, and the Meyer Improved Lemon produces a crop of juicy fruit twice a year. Gardeners in colder climates can easily grow citrus in containers and overwinter them indoors.

. Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your browser.