Monrovia - Plant Savvy
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design, inspiration and practical ideas from the plant experts. November 2013
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Dear Savvy Gardener,

November is such a wonderful month.  Crisp cool weather, dazzling fall foliage and it’s even National Pomegranate Month! Plus, it’s a good time to plant trees and shrubs so they can get established before the heat of next summer. Since you’ll probably be welcoming friends and relatives to your home this month, think about creating a truly welcoming environment– starting with the front entrance. Just a few simple adornments, made with natural materials from the garden, will create a sophisticated fall look – and you may not need to spend a lot.


How about a nature-inspired wreath for the front door?  They’re not hard to make – craft stores have a variety of forms and there are plenty of how-to videos online.  And it’s likely you have colorful foliage, fruit and seed pods growing in your yard that will look fabulous.  Magnolias have thick, deep green leaves that make beautiful wreaths. Some, like Braken’s Brown Beauty and Teddy Bear® have a contrasting cinnamon-color on the back of the foliage.


Citrus trees have pretty deep green foliage that works well for wreaths -- use both the foliage and the fruit.* Try Improved Meyer Lemon, Satsuma Mandarin or the Bearrs Seedless Lime. For fall craft ideas and inspiration, check out our fall Pin Boards.

Try a horseshoe wreath*
rethinking wreaths

Wreaths don’t have to be round.  Try a horseshoe, square, star-shape or a monogram block letter. And they don’t need to hang on a door.  Place one on a table and fill the center with a bowl of candy or tray of hors d’oeuvres. Hang a fall wreath on a gate, wall or lamp post, or from a tree. You can even make an attractive wreath out of seeds, nuts and suet for the birds.  And it doesn’t have to be temporary.  Create a living wreath of succulents and keep it for months.  Lipstick Echeveria, Angelina Sedum and Sunsparkler® Lime Zinger Sedum will add interesting color and texture.

Easy-to-make wreath
let nature hang around

An easy option is to purchase a plain twig wreath and then make it your own.  Weave in some seasonal flowers -- late blooming Hydrangeas such as Limelight, Quick Fire® and Pinky Winky™. Or adorn with some interesting pheasant or peacock feathers. For a pop of color, tuck in some bright orange or red Pyracantha berries, or fall foliage and berry clusters of a Cranberrybush, Make it fragrant by tying on small bundles of Sweet Bay, Rosemary or cinnamon sticks with pretty ribbons. Fruits like Apples and  Persimmons are popular on wreaths. Then fill in the crevices between them with nuts or clusters of Juniper berries.

fabulous fall entry*
real inviting

Use containers to bring lots of fall color to your front porch. Fill pots with brightly colored Chrysanthemums, Paprika Yarrow and Yukon Belle® Pyracantha.  For great fall foliage, try FothergillaSienna Sunrise® Heavenly Bamboo and Red Wall™ Virginia Creeper. Grasses provide a nice harvest look and add height in a container. Try Festival™ Cordyline or Orange New Zealand Sedge.  Consider planting in some interesting containers, like a hollowed out straw bale, pumpkin, gourd or large piece of driftwood. Nestle pumpkins, gourds and pomegranates between the pots.

Flame® Bush Lily
establish your roots

Depending on where you live, there is still plenty of time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials. Japanese Maples are dormant now, making it easy to select one with a good branching structure. You’ll be rewarded with a healthy tree with vibrant foliage that you’ll enjoy year round. For a late winter and early spring colorful display, plant a Flame® Bush Lily. Its extra large, bright-orange flower clusters will brighten up a shady spot. Black Tulip™ Magnolia has huge deep burgundy-red flowers that appear in early spring, before the leaves emerge.


*Photos courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens


Are you kicking yourself that you haven’t planted any Blueberries yet?  Now’s a great time to get them started. Enjoy their fall color now and juicy berries in summer!


For more fall decorating inspiration, watch our Fall Container and
Front Door videos.


It’s National Pomegranate Month. Good for harvesting, eating and planting. Our new Angel Red® has the tastiest fruit ever!


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