Friday, July 31, 2009

Plant Spotlight: Echinacea 'Magnus' aka Cone Flower

Ever since I was a child I have been in love with Sunflowers. I would grow them every year in my parents yard, I would doodle them, photograph them... we had a very serious relationship, the sunflower and I. Until this year. Seems another flower has caught my eye... and for good reason! The Echinacea 'Magnus' (aka Cone Flower) is stealing my heart. I first noticed this flower in the nursery this summer. I would walk by, it would catch my eye, and I'd have to take a picture of it. I have about a million pictures of this pretty little flower. It is very photogenic! But it wasn't until this week that Echinacea and I got serious. I learned a lot about Echinacea preparing our weekly email. As it turns out, Echinacea 'Magnus' is not only beautiful, and pink (my favorite color), but is very easy to care for. It's also native. It is drought tolerant. It is a long blooming perennial. It was the 1998 Perennial Plant of the Year. It's everything my sunflowers weren't.
The Echinacea 'Magnus' makes a beautiful cut flower, and is a perfect border for your perennial bed. An exceptionally hardy perennial that is heat and drought tolerant. Grow in full sun to light shade in average, well-drained soil. Plants grow to 3' tall. Flowers are in full color from July-Sept and attract butterflies and bees. Hardy in zones 3-10.
I feel this is the start of a very beautiful relationship for the Echinacea 'Magnus' and I. I look forward to many more seasons with it!
Have Echinacea 'Magnus' in your garden? Share you pictures with us!
~Jennie, New Echinacea Admirer
PS- Check out our weekly specials!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Help Feed The Community!

By now your vegetable garden should be producing oodles and gobs of fresh veggies. I know mine is! Everyday I go out and pick arm loads of tomatoes and cucumbers. I've made salsa and salad galore and still have veggies left over. What now? I don't want them to go to waste! So DONATE! Here at Strange's, we don't want our left over vegetables to go to waste, so we're going to donate them. And we want you to donate too! This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday bring us your fresh veggies and we will take them down to the Central Virginia Food Bank for you! There are many, many people right here in our own community that are going hungry, so let's get together and make a difference. We will be accepting donations at our West Broad Street Short Pump location (12111 West Broad Street) Friday and Saturday, July 31st and August 1st, from 8AM till 6PM and Sunday August 2nd from 10AM till 5PM. So stop by and donate, and show off your gardening handy work too!

Monday, July 27, 2009

New For 2009.This is one new plant my wife bought that I'm excited about this year.We planted the grass into a container on our deck. The location is one of the hottest spotswe have around our house. So far its growing and holding up in the heat and doing extremly well. The grass should do well in half day to full sun. The color is just like its name fire red borderspurple center strip. The grass also produces a fox tail flower in the fall of the year.The Fire Works is hardy in Zone 9-11so here in Virginia you would have to replant each year. For the color and texture that this plant provides I feel I will be including it in my garden on a yearly bases.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hopefully this does not look familiar. However, if it does I'm sure your bummed out! Well I know all about this nuisance and still I ignored the necessary preventative measures. This is called Blossom End Rot. It is a disorder common to tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and some melons. It is simply a symptom of a calcium deficiency in the fruit. This disorder is usually most severe following extremes in soil moisture (either too wet or too dry). The excessive rains and low night temperatures this summer have made it prevalent.

Prevention of this should be done yearly. Applying lime 3 months prior to planting is the easiest and most effective prevention. But if you are like me, prevention was forgotten and now I need immediate action. That is simply done by calcium sprays. Strange's carries a Ready to Use Yield Booster that is quick to act. It will not recover the already damaged fruit (you should pick it off and compost it) but it will make the newly developing fruits clean. Sprays should be made in the early morning hours or the evening. Applications need to be made every 7-10 days for 3 or 4 applications.

Anyone who has other methods... please share!

Fellow procrastinator,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sun Loving Impatiens

I have to admit.. I was a skeptic too. An impatien in full sun? I've tried New Guinea Impatiens and the 'Sunpatiens' with minimal success. But finally I gave into the sales reps and planted these Fanfare Impatiens here at our Broad Street store. I thought if they can make it along that highway, they can make it anywhere. I am sold. They are fantastic! They are available at our Broad Street location. Drive by and check them out for yourself. Visit Ball Horticulture for more information on Fanfare Impatiens.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Garden How To Videos

We've got some new How To videos. If you have questions, just comment them to us. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A peek at the nursery.

I like to go out into the nursery every couple of days and expand my photo library with all of the new and beautiful things that are in bloom. Seems like everyday I see something I never knew we had (yes, we have that many plants!) So here are a few nifty things I found the other day. Enjoy!
Clethra Summer Sweet

Encore Azalea

Echinacea Coconut Lime
Echinacea Tiki Torch

Rudbeckia Indian Summer

Hibiscus Cinnamon Grappa

Hibiscus Luna

For more info on these plants, give us a call at 804-360-2800.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Japanese Beetles Go Away!!

I was wandering around, looking at and smelling some beautiful roses the other day when I had a not so pleasant experience. Just as I was leaning down to smell a beautiful rose I get an eye full of these guys: Japanese Beetles.They're ugly and they do ugly things to your plants. They love to feast on all the pretty things in the garden- roses, crepe myrtles, azaleas, hibiscus.. the list goes on and on. But don't fear! Strange's is here to help you get rid of these nasty little critters. There are several different treatment options that work. Read about them here. So if you're having Japanese Beetle issues, pick up one of these remedies and get back smelling the roses. :)

Camera Girl and Japanese Beetle Exterminator

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh Dear!

I, like most of America, planted a vegetable garden this year. So far, I've had arm loads of squash and zucchini, more cucumbers than I (and all of the Stranges staff) can eat, a few peppers, and lots of green tomatoes. I love tomatoes! I venture out to the garden twice a day to check on their progress. Not one is turning yet but man are they loaded. I'm so excited! Until....

They found me! This is my beautiful grape tomato. It is now two feet shorter and 100 green tomatoes less than it used to be. The deer are prevalent in my neighborhood, but they've left my gardens alone until now. If you also have experienced this , I feel for you and I'd like to give you a few tips to deter deer and other animals.

Deer repellent products like Deer Off, Deer Scram, and Liquid Fence are highly effective and easy to use ( . There are also repellent plants. I have had success with an herb Coleus caninus or commonly known as Dog Gone (read about it at When you touch the plant a skunk like odor is given off. It was recommended to me when I had deer trouble in my strawberry bed. So far it seems to have worked. It is in each corner of my strawberry bed, and in two of the four corners of my gardens. Everywhere they are, the deer aren't. I should have done all four corners and maybe my grape tomatoes would have gotten passed over.

Its kind of pretty with those lavender flowers, just don't brush up against it!
Send me your success/failure stories, questions, comments, etc.

Fellow Gardener,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Patriotic Display!

Here is a picture I took of the greenhouse's very patriotic flag display. Sunnie and the gang did a great job with this one!
I was walking through the nursery the other day and I stumbled upon this beautiful display, so of course I had to run and get my camera and snap a picture. The greenhouse and nursery staff did a great job here. Gosh... I wish my front door looked like that!

It's a beautiful day! Come see our pretty flowers. :)

Camera Girl and Flower Lover