Monday, August 31, 2009

Got Mosquitoes? Tell Them to Buzz Off!

Mosquitoes are a constant worry for everyone no matter how little time you spend outdoors! They are a menace to household pets and children as they carry numerous diseases. However, many products have hit the market in the last few years to aide in these efforts. Bayer, Ortho and Bonide all manufacture mosquito control products in granular and liquid form, including a propane fog applicator. The Citrosa, or Scented Geranium, is also a safe and natural method of mosquito control, an annual species which we carry in the spring. Visit us at Strange’s West Broad for these products and more to help with your everyday critter control. For information on non-beneficial insect control, please go to our website.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Ewwwwww!!! What is that thing on my plant?

That funky new ornamentation on your shrubs that seemingly sprung up over night is not a hot new style of plant jewelry. Those oval shaped bags festooned all over your Arborvitae or Juniper are called Bag worms. These nasty little guys are easily visible once they have formed their spindle shaped bags. Large populations of bag worm larvae can strip plants of their needles and leaves. While deciduous shrubs and trees are able to produce new leaves within a 4-6 week period, evergreens are much slower to recuperate and the damage may be severe enough to cause eventual death. Plant damage is most noticeable in June, July and August. The bags are made up of silk and the vegetation the bag worm is feeding upon. On evergreens the bags can resemble a small pine cone, making it difficult to detect until the damage is done and the plant is partially defoliated. During this stage the bag is attached to the larvae which is dragged around as the nasty critter munches on your unsuspecting plant. The bag continues to grow as the larvae grow. When disturbed, the larvae will pull their head and upper body back into their bag and hold the top opening closed. Gross!! In early fall, when the bags are one to two inches long, the bags are suspended from branches and the larvae change into pupae before becoming adults. The adult male emerge as a moth and start their search for females. The female emits a scent to attract the male to her while remaining in her silken home. The male Bag worm inserts his abdomen into a hole at the bottom of the sack to mate, he will die shortly thereafter. The female lays up to a thousand eggs in her sack and then she will drop to the ground from the bottom of the sack to die. The eggs overwinter in their bag until May through June and emerge from the bottom of the bag. They spin a fine silk and either attach themselves to the same plant as their parents or are picked up on the wind and blown to the next plant over. There is one generation per year.

Bag worms are not that food specific but seems to prefer juniper, arborvitae, pine, spruce, and an array of deciduous plants. To control Bag worms use cultural and or chemical cultural control. Pick off by hand as many of the nasty bags as you can and destroy or burn them. If you choose not to go this route, (there could just be too many to pull off) then use a chemical spray. Sprays are most effective while larvae are in their newly emerged state or while feeding so apply May through August. Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt, Sevin, Neem Oil, Hi-Yield 38+ or Permethrin are good choices. There you go and good luck!!!

Ruth Whiter

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Don't Watch Football---Get Out in the Garden!

Fall is the perfect time to get outside and work in the yard. It's cooler, plants are starting to change color, and there's usually minimal work to be done, compared to what you have to go thru in the springtime! Did I mention it's cooler too?

There are a couple of easy jobs that really should be done in the fall. All your evergreens could use a shot of fertilizer to help them make it thru the winter, and catch the perennials too, while you're at it. Use Hollytone on most of your evergreens (just not on boxwood), and put some Plant-tone on your perennials. If you decide to plant some tulips or daffodils, remember to hit them with a good bulb food like Bulbtone.

A rule of thumb for fall is this --- if it blooms in the spring, now is the time to pay attention to it. Pruning is probably the only thing you DON'T want to do, because you might end up cutting off buds that will be blooming in March & April.

Remember also, if you want lots of color next spring, plant your bulbs this fall! We've got a great selection of dafs, tulips, hyacinths, allium and more in the store right now. Hurry up and get em while they're fresh..........

Plant Nanny To The Rescue!

Worrying about poor potted plants while you're supposed to be relaxing at the beach or vacationing in a mountain cabin is a gardener's constant dilemma. With so many new products on the market, houseplants and window planters need not suffer while you are away from home for weeks at a time. Whether you prefer Aqua Globes, Plant Nanny, or the DirectRoot GelSpike and whatever your vacation length, our moisture control products are just what you need. Visit our website for more detailed information on these and other products and come in to our Strange’s West Broad location for more information.
Written by Ginny Gregory.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's Finally That Time Again! Fall Bulb Time, That Is....

The cool autumn months of September & October are the best times to plant spring bulbs. A small selection of fall-planted bulbs surprise us by blooming this autumn, rather than with the daffodils or tulips. For these select few, mostly fall blooming crocus, the foliage appears in the spring, then the bulbs go dormant until the bright flowers emerge at summer's end. After these pink and purple crocus bulbs brave the fall frost, spring-blooming crocus and scilla flower early, generally in March or early April. Hyacinths arrive a bit later, spanning the mid-April through mid-May period. April also sees the arrival of grape hyacinths (Muscari). In May, or sometimes early June, the spring bulb show presents allium (purple and white, star-shaped flowers). The dwarf iris surfaces in early spring while dutch iris blooms in the late spring/early summer. Most bearded iris have one bloom period, lasting about a month, but some newer introductions have the capacity to bloom a second time. Reblooming iris are extra-vigorous growers. They bloom in spring, earlier than normal, then again in summer or early fall. The colorful parade of anemone bulbs we have in stock surface for their spring debut in early to mid-spring. And of course our wide selection of narcissus, daffodil and tulip bulbs have also arrived, whose bloom periods are many and varied. This season we also offer variety bags with a selection of variegated tulip and daffodils as well as a deer resistant blend. This collection of 35 bulbs includes trumpet narcissus and glory of the snow, a proven winner at beating the winter doldrums as it often peeks through drifts of snow in late February. Please visit us at Strange's West Broad to view our wide selection of colorful and eye-catching bulbs and begin planting for a glorious spring and summer show!

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Turn your Birdbath into a Hot Tub!

All bird lovers place feeders out for the birds in winter, and more experienced bird watchers offer more than one kind of seed. But very few understand the importance and results of adding a heated bird bath during winter. The Nelson Bird Bath Heater works in sub-zero temperatures and is designed for all types of bird baths: plastic, pottery, and concrete. Equipped with a thermostat to conserve energy, the heater easily plugs into any outdoor outlet. Chipped and cracked concrete baths are a common winter problem should the basin full of water freeze. However, aside from the benefit of attracting a variety of winter birds, a warm bath also prevents the water which is absorbed into the concrete, from freezing and fracturing the porous material. Many wild birds will neglect to migrate away from an available food source in the fall, such as a readily stocked feeder; unfortunately this also means few survive through a winter when a previously reliable buffet closes for the cold season. So do not simply turn your basin upside down or hide it in the garage for the winter. Turn your birdbath into a hot tub and watch as your winter friends flock outside of your frosty kitchen window.
Written by Ginny Gregory.

Taking it back to the Stone Age with American-made garden décor.

Humbly begun by two brothers in Ohio, Stone Age Creations is a privately-owned corporation that has been producing hand-crafted birdbaths, benches, and statuary for nine years. Although their business has grown significantly in a short timespan, they maintain a solid commitment to American-made products. All are hand-carved from real stone as created by Mother Nature. These stones have endured harsh outdoor environments for thousands of years and will continue to do so long after you purchase them. “As a family-owned business located in a small town, our focus is to support the independent retailers and small business owners that distribute our products and support us. We don't offer any of our products through 'big box' stores. We also don't compete with our distributors by marketing and selling directly to retail customers within their market.” To this day the brothers take pride in the production of the items manufactured on their 50-acre site in New London, OH. Going to quarries to hand-select the finest stones available, co-owner, Kevin White, uses a hammer and chisel to handcraft these stones into a work of art for your garden. Please visit us at Strange's to view our selection of Stone Age Creations products.
Written by Ginny Gregory.


Well, at least I didn't say brussel sprouts .... mmmmmmmmmmm!

Everybody knows by now (after being hammered over the head by the media), that fresh greens are good for you. What everybody might not know, though, is how easy they are to grow from seed, in the fall. You can buy a lot of the run of the mill varieties already up and growing, just like you buy tomatoes and peppers in the spring. But why not try something different? Grow some from seed this fall. We carry 2 lines this time of year-- Botanical Interests & Kitazawa Seeds. Botanical Interests has one of the widest selection of seeds we've ever had. Many of them are heirloom &/or organic. Kitazawa is a really cool company from the west coast that specializes in Asian seeds. So we have things like Japanese spinach, Hawaiian lettuce, Chinese cabbages & Japanese mini sweet carrots. Some of the greens will be ready to pick (and eat!) in as little as 21 days. Most take 40-50 days to really mature.

So stop paying $6 a pound for the mesclun salad mix at the grocery store, and grow your own. It really DOES taste different!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

USDA study: "Encore Azalea resistant to lace bug"

In a recent USDA study, eleven varieties of Encore Azalea were found to be resistant or moderately resistant to lace bugs, a major landscaping pest that can lead to loss of leaves and plant vigor. By incorporating these colorful shrubs into your landscaping you will be helping the environment by minimizing the use of pesticides! Research entomologist Grant Kirker reported, “Host plant resistance is an environmentally friendly, low-tech, low-cost method of control that reduces the need for pesticides to manage azalea lace bugs.” Azalea lace bugs are a major pest in both production nurseries and home landscapes. Adult bugs use their piercing pincers to suck the juices from the undersides of the leaves, leaving a yellowish stippling on the upper and lower leaf surface. Severe infestations can lead to reduced plant vigor and loss of leaves. The study, conducted at the USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Horticultural Research Laboratory in Poplarville, Miss., researched nineteen varieties of Encore Azalea and fourteen standard cultivars for host plant resistance to lace bugs. Researchers are hopeful that this new knowledge will lead eventually to the breeding of pest-free cultivars.

Each of the Encore varieties begins their performance with the spring flowering season. Once this “first act” of blooming concludes, new shoots begin to grow and set buds. The Encore Azalea's "second act" opens when these buds begin blooming into full flower mid-summer. This unique bloom season continues through the fall, the curtain dropping with the onset of cold weather. Encore Azalea varieties found to be pest resistant included: Autumn Amethyst, Autumn Twist, Autumn Royalty, Autumn Sangria, Autumn Cheer and Autumn Rouge. Cultivars showing moderate resistance were Autumn Embers, Autumn Bravo, Autumn Starlite, Autumn Ruby and Autumn Princess.

Encore Azaleas currently available in our inventory:

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Are These Bags Buggin' You?

Although these leafy bags appear harmless and often inconspicuous on mildly infested evergreens, bagworms are actually very aggressive and hungry pests! Bagworms are the larvae of moths. The characteristic brown bags are often seen attached to twigs in late August. The eggs hatch in May or June. Newly hatched caterpillars crawl out of the old bag and immediately begin feeding on leaves. “The bagworm feeds on trees such as Arborvitae, Juniper, Pine, Spruce, and many other evergreen species. It also attacks certain deciduous trees such as Black Locust, Honey Locust, and the Sycamore,” warns nursery worker, Eloisa.

If you think you have these hanging around in your garden, please visit our website to read more about bagworm control.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Water, Drain, Fertilize – Your Top Priorities in Fall Container Gardening

This hot and dry time of year can wreak havoc on your fatigued summer containers. Don't be discouraged by those drooping annuals; it's easy to rehabilitate your established pieces by removing those spent blooms and adding some color from our Fall Magic collection. Our in-house container gardening expert, Susan Frakes stresses, “The rule of thumb with container gardening is to choose something that will survive in Zone 5. Anything that is hardy to that area will live in a container in our zone (7) year round. I don't know of anything that does not follow that rule.” It's easy to find the right fall annual or perennial to refurbish your current planters. Don't just leave a hole or be afraid to rejuvenate what you have left over from spring. “Everybody is working with holes and tired summer annuals in their containers right now. I have over 250 planters at my house now and they have holes too. I'm filling them in with perennial grasses, Heuchera, and cool weather hardy Petunias,” Susan admits with a smile. We recommend including any of our new four-inch selections: blooming annuals that should get your containers through to the first frost of the season including red and variegated Geraniums, perennial grasses and Heuchera. Consider including some perennial herbs such as Rosemary or Oregano to compliment your current blooms as well as spice up your recipes for dinner. But be forewarned, even perennial herbs won't last forever in container gardens.

The most important thing to remember in August is to provide adequate moisture and a drainage system as well as to continue with a healthy liquid fertilizer plan, such as Fertilome Blooming and Rooting. With our current heat index it is nearly impossible to over water this time of year unless your containers are not draining properly. If the planter is located in a compacted mulch bed or does not have a drainage hole for excess water, then these issues need to be resolved in order to ensure successful growth. If densely packed mulch is inhibiting excess water flow, simply elevate your container to facilitate drainage. We recommend using a 5/8 size bit to drill a hole in the bottom of most planters. Drainage is of utmost importance as the nature of container gardening requires individual plants to live in close quarters and share a common space. It's a good idea to continue dead-heading Petunias to flush out new growth and pinch back your Coleus to encourage a more bushy habit. Properly fertilizing your containers obviously depends on your selection of plants. For a spruced-up fall planter with blooming annuals and perennial grasses, we recommend a healthy dose of Osmocote Flower and Vegetable 14-14-14 Plant Food. If you choose to design a winterized evergreen container with a Winter Pansy border, then an Espoma Plant or Holly Tone and Fertilome Pansy Food would best serve.

If plans for your planters include evergreen shrubs, we will be getting in a wide variety of Spruce, Holly, and Boxwood in the next few weeks. When creating something new for fall remember to make sure the container you select is large enough to handle the plant for at least two years. An average rule of thumb is to make the container at least twice as large and deep as the plant's current pot. Most evergreens and perennials should be planted in a combination of Black Velvet planting mix and a little peat moss. If the pot is extremely heavy to handle, consider putting a few inches of either large chunk mulch or Styrofoam packing peanuts in the bottom before planting, to both take up space and make the pot lighter to move. We also recommend adding Soil Moist to the soil before planting to help sustain moisture during the dry season. Add enough soil to ensure that the top of the root ball will be approximately one inch below the rim of the pot. This leaves room for water to accumulate before it settles into the root system when you water. Loosen the roots up if there is a mass around the bottom. If they aren't loosened, they will bind up so that the plant will suffer and eventually die. You will need to fertilize more often than what is recommended on the label, since containerized plants use more food than plants in the ground. Keep in mind if you choose to pot up trees or shrubs that they will require large pots and may eventually need to be transplanted to a garden bed. Don't be afraid to add new life to your stressed and drooping summer containers whether you choose to add fall perennials or winter evergreens. We make it quick and easy for you so that the only dilemma you will face is choosing between all of the blooming and vining varieties we have in our Fall Magic Collection!

Fall Magic Annuals and Perennials currently available in our greenhouse:
Geranium (red and variegated)
Lemon Drop
African Daisy
Creeping Jenny
Million Bells

Evergreens and Perennials coming soon or currently available in our nursery:
Alberta Spruce
Vinca Vine
Evergreen Ferns
Carex Grass
Berry Hollies
Sky Pencil Holly
Dwarf Boxwoods

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To Kill Or Not To Kill... That Is The Question.

“The first thing I ask customers when they are searching for a solution to a mole or vole problem is, 'Do you want to kill them or repel them?' It usually depends on how long they've been trying to repel the little monsters,” says our retail manager, Bill Darden with a maniacal grin. These rodents are a constant problem for all gardens no matter if you're beginning to experiment with a shady hosta bed or acres of vegetable farming. The root of the issue is really quite simple. Moles are led to tunnel through your yard and accompanying beds as they are attracted to Japanese Beetle grubs. “By protecting your yard against these larvae you kill two birds with one stone,” admits one of our nurserymen, John Earnest. We strongly recommend an organic alternative to pest control in Milky Spore. Available as a small granular substance, it can either be applied by hand or put in a lawn spreader. The bacterium contained in Milky Spore stays in the soil until it is consumed by passing grubs that digest it. It then consumes the grub and is redistributed into the soil. The more grubs you have, the more quickly it spreads. It is safe for children and pets, and won't harm the environment. One to three applications are needed over a period of one to two years, depending on which form of Milky Spore you choose. After the first two years, you don't need to worry about it for ten to fifteen years.

Voles follow behind by making use of the mole tunnels; however, they are just as destructive if not moreso as they burrow into the surface dirt surrounding a hosta or rose bush to eat the tender roots. Our number one selling product to deter these varmints is Volebloc, also known as Permatill. This is a permanent solution, as it never breaks down. When planting, dig your hole as you normally would, line the entire hole with Volebloc or Permatill, place your plant in the hole, backfill, place more Permatill over the top of the rootball, and finish covering with soil and mulch. Permatill is extremely sharp so voles won't tunnel through it. It is a safe and organic method to controlling the critters; although this product requires use for each and every plant in need of protection.

For those of us who are less forgiving or tolerant of these pests there are more volatile products on the market. Ramik is a popular rodent poison commonly used to kill mice; however, by sprinkling a few handfuls in known mole and vole burrows your living problems will quickly turn into instant fertilizer. Many of our customers have been sharing techniques with us such as soaking Ramik pellets in apple juice and leaving a dish near the entrance holes or using mouse traps with peanut butter under a flower pot. Be sure to check under your pot at least every morning; a local farmer and Strange's customer boasts catching over sixty voles using the trap, peanut butter, and pot system. That's a lot of voles! But use diligent caution when working with poison, as it is obviously extremely lethal to pets.

One last solution we have researched here at Strange's is the popular Mole Plant, also known as Gopher Spurge. “These poisonous annuals were selling like crazy over the spring,” says our perennial supervisor, Megan Lacey. “Unfortunately we are unable to order any more until they become available through our nursery provider, but it may be possible to order a selection online.” Per Gilbertie's Herb Guide, Mole Plant has stems that contain a sap which is poisonous and caustic. Growing as a single stem, it bears yellow flowers in clusters and when spaced forty feet apart as a border plant, it is extremely effective in deterring moles. It is also used in folk medicine as an antiseptic and purgative. Follow this link to the web site of Sand Mountain Herbs to order seed packs.

We also strongly recommend these products and carry them at our 12111 West Broad Street location:
Bonide's Mole Max
St. Gabriel Laboratory's Milky Spore
Enviro Protection's Mole Scram
Shake-Away's Rodent Repellent Granules

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Friday, August 14, 2009

2010 Color Trends

With Summer coming to an end, our greenhouse takes on the task of planning for next Spring. This is always an exciting yet grueling process. I am loaded with sales data and can easily determine what I need on hand at any given time to fulfill the needs of our customers . However, it is always difficult to predict the upcoming color trends. Every year it switches. Spring 2008 was all about the purples and blues, Spring 2009 was all pink. This year I decided I would ask you for your help. Tell me what colors you will want in your beds/containers next year. Here's a link to a site for Million Bells ( but please feel free to tell me your favorite flower and what color we can grow for you!

Fellow grower and Greenhouse Manager,
Sunnie Wright-Caldwell

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Attracting Hummingbirds to your Garden!

Attracting hummingbirds to your garden simply requires a bit of planning and attention to detail. These delicate creatures are specific to the Western Hemisphere with over 300 species in existence. It is important to research their natural habitats, behaviors, and predators in order to create an ideally attractive environment. Many hummingbird feeders are characteristically red as the majority of nectar producing flowers have adapted to attract these vibrant birds. The more bright and alluring the color of your feeder, the better! Mixing sugar water is quick and easy, although adding red dye to the nectar is not recommended as it poses potentially harmful health risks. As you choose your hummingbird feeder keep in mind the location that would best be suited for enjoying their behaviors. Initially place the food source in a bright and open area so that it is easily identifiable; after the hummingbird community begins to flock to your yard, then it is safe to begin moving your feeders to other locations: outside your kitchen window, under a shade tree, or in your protégé garden. We are frequently visited by novice observers and Master Gardeners alike from the Shortpump, Bellevue, and Goochland communities who are looking for the right type of feeder for their hummingbird needs.

These birds prefer to feed in a location of partial shade within fifteen feet of a protective shelter. As do all wild animals, hummingbirds must keep a close watch out for predators. They tend to perch hidden in a nearby tree or shrub before venturing out to collect nectar. The most common predators are raccoons or other scavenging mammals as they are attracted to the sweet sugar water scent. By hanging your feeder on the eaves of a house roof or on a wrought iron shepherd’s hook, these pests will be unable to obtain convenient access. However, hummingbird feeders are often plagued by bees and ants as well. A simple solution to these pests is to purchase an ant guard that is hung just above the feeder and bee guards that can be placed over the feeding portals. It is common to see merely one or two hummingbirds feeding at one time because they can be very possessive of a discovered food source. The easy and most reliable solution is to set up several feeders in different parts of your yard. They will not easily forget where to find an ample supply of nutrition either! Our retail floor manager, Bill Darden confesses, “Every spring I notice the same hummingbirds returning from their winter holiday. They always remember where to find a snack after migrating back to our area.”

The most convenient and relatively maintenance free hummingbird feeders are more than likely already available within your flower beds and side gardens. Butterflies and hummingbirds alike are attracted to sweet vines, flowering shrubs, and tubular annuals that are oriented horizontally. Examples include the perennial Bleeding Heart and Honeysuckle. Bright red Hibiscus and colorful Lantana are always alluring as well as the Butterfly Bush, Flowering Maple, and Columbine. A comprehensive list of plants that attract hummingbirds can be viewed below. Feel free to visit our store to ask questions and collect items that will best attract these delicate and fascinating creatures to your garden at home.

Our Broad Street location provides a selection of literature on hummingbirds, including Ortho’s All About Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies and Donald and Lillian Stokes’ work in Beginner’s Guide to Hummingbirds.

“I notice lots of hummingbirds gathering around the Diplodenia in my backyard every morning,” says our greenhouse manager, Tyler Zufall. Here is a comprehensive list of plants that attract hummingbirds:

Autumn Sage
Bee Balm
Cardinal Flower/Lobelia
Scarlet Larkspur
Butterfly Bush
Bleeding Heart
Coral Bells

Flowering Tobacco
Flowering Maple
Hyacinth Bean

Here is a quick and simple recipe for making your own nectar at home, courtesy of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center:

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:
Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold.
Cool and fill feeder.
Extra sugar water may be stored in a refrigerator.
Red dye should not be added.

"Many customers come in asking for ready-to-use hummingbird nectar and we sell a lot of it!" admits cashier, Amanda Jackson. For instant nectar and concentrate, we recommend Opus Garden Song, Birdola Hummingbird Nectar Ready-To-Use, and Perky Pet Hummingbird Instant Nectar Concentrate. All of these items and many more, including feeders and guards are available right outside of the greenhouse in our hardgoods retail area.
Written by Ginny Gregory.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Press Release


Strange's Garden Center to Offer Free Gardening Seminars

Richmond, Virginia- August 10th, 2009- Strange's Florist, Greenhouse, and Garden Center will be offering fall “Garden Talks”. These short seminars are designed to educate the Richmond gardener on common problems, new practices, and exciting plants. Being offered are several one hour seminars at the Strange's Broad Street location (12111 West Broad Street, Short Pump).
These talks include:

August 29th & 30th 10AM - 2PM- Give Your Containers a Fresh Look- This is an ongoing demonstration to show you how to revitalize your containers.

August 29th 3PM- Eeewwww! What's Wrong With My Plant?- Question and answer session with our experts. Bring us your examples, pictures and questions, and we'll fix it for you.

September 5th 10AM- Take the First Step to Garden Organically- “I Must Garden” organic gardening experts give you the inside tips on how to keep your garden organic and healthy.

September 12th 10AM- Now is the Time to Plant Daffodils and Tulips- Start your spring colors now with bulbs.

September 12th 11AM- Fall is For Planting- Let our experts walk you through the steps for successful planting.

September 26th 10AM- Design a Four-Season Border with Flowering Shrubs and Perennials- Create beds that are exciting year round!

September 26th 11AM-12PM- Caring for Orchids and Tricks for Re-blooming- Unlock the secrets to these tricky flowers.

September 26th & 27th 1PM-2PM- Get Your Containers Ready for Fall- Make your containers come alive with “Fall Magic”.

October 3rd & 4th 10AM-11AM, 2PM-3PM- Plant Your Containers Now for Spring- Incorporate bulbs into your containers now.

October 10th 10AM- Gardening for Wildlife: The Birds and The Bees- Plant a garden that attracts and feeds birds, bees, butterflies and humming birds.

October 17th & 18th 10AM-11AM, 2PM-3PM- Learn How to Use Trees and Shrubs in Containers- Trees and shrubs aren't just for your landscape! Incorporate them into your containers.

October 24th 11AM- Succulents: How to Make a Living Wreath- How to make a living wreath for your front door out of hardy succulents.

October 31st 10AM-1PM- Planting Paper Whites with Kids- Instill a love for gardening at a young age with this “Pea Pod Club” activity. Roam the property for activities all over!

Strange's was founded in the early 1930's and is Richmond's largest family owned and operated Florist, Greenhouse, and Garden Center. Strange's is known for providing the best plants, flowers, products, and advice in the area. Voted Best Plant Selection by Richmond Magazine 2009.

# # #

For more information please contact:
Strange's Garden Center
12111 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA, 23233

Friday, August 7, 2009

Verbena - The Perennial That Keeps On Bloomin!

Are your perennials all asleep in their beds? Nothing says the dogs days of summer have arrived, like a non blooming perennial bed. NoT!! :-)

Now that the burst of spring color has faded and early summer blooms have past we are all eagerly awaiting the fall colors ... which are not yet peaking out.

Awwww to heck with playing it safe! Kick your garden up a notch and add some eYe CaNdY this year. Plant some perennial Homestead Verbena (aka "Vervian"). This easy to maintain, full sun, reblooming, colorful groundcover will be the JaBBeR topic of the neighborhood... Not only this year but next year too! (Two Thumbs Up To That!) You can choose between several colors like Cherry Red * Luscious Pink * OR Rich Purple!

LiVe OuT LoUd and pLaNt iN CoLoR!!

~:-) SmiLe(-:~ From ThE GooFy TwO in the NuRSeRy!
***Nannette and Eloisa***

Henrico County Harvest Festival

Strange's proudly sponsors
The Henrico County Harvest Festival - September 19, 2009@ the Armour House & Gardens at Meadowview
presented by
Henrico County
Master Gardener Association c/o
Virginia Cooperative Extension - Henrico Recreation & Parks

The following events will be taken place throughout the day; Garden Tips - Demonstrations - Classes - Children's Activities & Vendor Sales. Visit stranges garden center for more information or call the Henrico Extension Office at 804-501-5160.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

OK, everybody who has weeds, raise your hoe!

It seems like there's always 2 weeds that are a major pain in the summer -- wiregrass (aka bermuda grass), and nutsedge (aka nutgrass). Wiregrass always tries to take over my landscape beds, and I'll admit, it does win every once in a while. But I've managed to keep it under control, and even get rid of it using Hi-Yield's Grass Killer, also known as Poast. This product is known as an "over the top" type spray, so you can spray it over the top of almost any kind of plant, to kill wiregrass, crabgrass, foxtails and other pesky grasses that are growing up thru your plants. Let's face it, the only place wiregrass REALLY belongs is out on the golf course, on the greens-- not in your garden or lawn.

My other hassle is nutsedge. This stuff is like the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry-- every year it resurfaces, even worse than the previous year! If you pull nutsedge out of your lawn, you can leave behind little bulblets that will just resprout and spread even more than before. Try using GreenLight's Wipe Out. It's a granular product that you can dump into your spreader and put on your lawn. No mixing required, and it will help kill not only nutsedge, but a whole bunch of other pesky broadleaf weeds like dandelions, ground ivy and clover.
Poast is meant to used in garden beds, not on the lawn. Wipe Out is for lawns, not garden beds. Always read the label all the way thru before using any product!