Monday, September 28, 2009

Insecticides Found Safe for Pets and Children!

I've got a brand new puppy running around my backyard and she's chewing on everything! My other two dogs do enough damage to the lawn on their own, but now almost all my shrubs have teeth marks! Aside from this canine cosmetic damage, I'm also worried about how insecticides and pesticides can affect my domesticated critters. It is comforting to know that I can come into Strange's and pick up the latest, most effective and safe treatments, which are also natural and organic. Manufactured by Organica, K+Neem comes from the seeds of the Indian Neem Tree. It is an effective alternative to chemically based insecticides and fungicides. K+Neem controls a wide range of mites and insects in all stages, and is effective against powerdy mildew. K+Neem is OMRI certified--so you know it's safe. It is the natural choice for flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees, shrubs, lawns, roses and houseplants.

Bonide also produces a natural dust product, Rotenone which can be mixed into a spray to control insects on fruit, flowers and vegetables. It can be used as a dust on dogs and cats to control fleas, ticks and lice as well. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in Hot Pepper Wax Insect Repellent, is derived from hot Cayenne Peppers and is proven very effective in deterring aphids, cabbage loopers, beet armyworms, spider mites, and whiteflies. An environmentally conscious company, Pharm Solutions has developed multiple products to combat garden pests and fertilize organically. Flower Pharm and Garlic Pharm help to repel aphids, thrips, white fly, cucumber beetles, spider mites, and aid in the control of rust, mildews, and fungi. Many of the natural ingredients within Espoma's Earth-tone Insect Control are also used to produce animal feeds and hence, are safe to use around animals and children while also controlling a wide range of insect pests. With these products on the market, I feel confident using them on my plants and my dogs. I know whenever the neighborhood kids come around, my insecticides will not harm them as they run and play in my yard. Although the hot pepper wax and Garlic Pharm will likely cause a mild upset tummy for my puppy if she ingests a large amount, at least I know I can combat those garden pests without subjecting my pets to any lethal toxins.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rub People the Right Way!

Sure, you've heard of Burt and Jason. Maybe you've even tried saying Yes to Carrots. However, if you are truly an "Active Badger" then we recommend Badger Body Care products. For Badgers, healing is really an art, filled with awe and appreciation for nature. It shows in the ingredients: real naturally processed botanicals brimming with life force. Certainly, no chemicals, synthetics or strange sounding additives. Only celebrations of color, texture and soothing aroma. At Strange's, keeping it organic and natural is always on our minds. Badger products feel and smell "right" and natural. That's because they are. And the results are what you would expect from nature: gentle, bringing you back into balance. Stop in at our West Broad location to pick up some of these USDA certified organic products to soothe your senses and share with the ones you love: Winter Wonder Balm Aromatic Chest Rub, Night-Night Balm for Kids, Bali Balm Soothing After Sun Care, Chamomile Baby Balm for Sensitive Skin, or Lip and Body Balm in Ginger & Lemon, Tangerine Breeze, Highland Mint, Lavendar & Orange, and Cinnamon Bay. We also recommend Badger's certified organic Lip Balm in Highland Mint and Unscented.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Orchids and Perennials and Shrubs... Oh My!

Having trouble getting that once beautiful orchid to bloom?
Are your annual beds in need of some proper TLC?
Is your container garden looking a bit worn out?

Stop by our Strange's West Broad location this Saturday, September 26th for free seminars to solve these everyday dilemmas.

At 10am our Virginia Certified Horticulturists will be conducting a seminar on Four-Season Border landscaping. This class is designed to help you develop a colorful garden bed that continues to draw interest and inspire your green thumb through the months typically most challenging in our area. Our experts will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on the best flowering shrubs and perennials for Fall!

Bring in your orchids from home to be analysed and repotted from 11am-12pm. Orchids 101 will provide information for novice handlers as well as seasoned pros. Whether you're cultivating dendrobium, phalaenopsis, or the more rare varieties, our educated staff will help unlock the secrets to these tricky beauties. Arrive early and prepared with questions!

If making adjustments to your summer container gardens has been challenging this season then visit us from 1pm-2pm for some instruction and advice on incorporating some of our Fall Magic. Our professional container designers will be available to encourage the use of any particular perennial from the Proven Winners collection. Bred to encourage a frost tolerance down to 28F, these tough little plants can withstand lots of those cold fall nights or days. If you can't make it to our Saturday session, this seminar will also be presenting an encore from 1pm-2pm on Sunday, September 27th.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Biltmore Bulbs Exclusively Available At Strange's

Bring a century of gardening expertise to your landscape with plants and furniture inspired by Biltmore Estate’s 8,000 acres. Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is renowned for it’s 75 acres of gardens landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted, and now folks can take a little bit of those gardens home with them. The idea of offering Biltmore Estate plants to consumers is not a new one for the estate. Even before Biltmore House was completed in 1895, the Biltmore Nursery was thriving. In 1898, the nursery distributed its first catalog to the public. Because of the estate’s widespread reputation, landscape architects and park superintendents around the country ordered Biltmore plants. As a result, estate-raised plants, shrubs and trees are still found today in many public parks, university grounds and large private gardens.

Here at Strange's we offer a select variety of Biltmore Bulbs that are exclusively available to privately owned local retail stores such as ours. These unique blooms include Camassia (caerulea), Persian Lily (fritillaria), Allium (schubertii), Scilla (amethystina), Arum (italicum) and English Bluebells. We also provide distinct Biltmore blends of Tulip and Crocus; pick yours up today and transform your bulb garden into a Biltmore classic!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Organic Pest Control by I Must Garden

Started in 2004 I Must Garden was formed by a Master Gardener unhappy with the repellents on the market. Having a vast experience using all sorts of products and remedies to keep her garden thriving she knew there was something better. After years of experimenting and testing I Must Garden sprouted. Here at Strange's we carry a wide variety of organic pest control products. I Must Garden Snake Repellent is a granular product that is safe to use on lawns and vegetation. This organic repellent contains a complex blend of botanical oils and other all natural ingredients that will safely and effectively repel snakes from your yard, garden, flower beds, sheds, crawl spaces, woodpiles, under porches, decks and more. Snakes gather information about their surroundings by collecting particles on their tongues and then passing their tongues over sensory organs inside their mouth, called the Jacobson's Organ. The ingredients in this repellent interfere with this sensory organ causing discomfort and confusion. Snakes are repelled by this formula and will avoid treated areas.

If more than one specific pest is wreaking havoc upon your tranquil garden beds then the I Must Garden Animal Repellent will safely protect plants against browsing damage. Deer, rabbits and other herbivores (plant-eating animals) are instinctively repelled from areas treated with this granular and organic formula since it represents the presence of carnivores (meat-eating animals). Containing granules infused with botanical oils, this product is stronger, more effective and longer lasting than plain blood meal.

I Must Garden takes pride in providing safer alternatives for gardening and pest control; as such their all natural products are safer around children and pets.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

#1 Bulb Fertilizer!

Espoma Bulb-tone is our #1 recommended product for fertilizing newly planted and established bulbs. Bulb-tone is a premium granular plant food formulated specifically for bulbs and tubers. It contains bone meal and other natural organics to meet the special nutritional needs of these plants. Bulb-tone's all natural formula contains Bio-tone, a patented blend of beneficial microbes. Bio-tone biologically enhances this natural food to ensure superior plant growth. Bulb-tone feeds slowly, safely, and will provide a long lasting food reservoir to ensure superior results. Use Bulb-tone with the confidence that you have chosen the very best. Stop in at our West Broad location to pick up yours today.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If the grass really IS greener on your neighbor’s side of the fence, we’ve got just the solution!
Saturday, September 19thCome on down to Strange’s Garden Center
at 12111 West Broad!
Participate in a variety of free seminars.

It’s a BLOCK PARTY with free donuts and coffee.
This ongoing demonstration is designed to educate the Richmond homeowner on
Do It Yourself Green Lawn Care.

Topics will include proper mowing, applying grass seed, using fertilizer, aerating and lawn preparation. There will also be demonstrations
on sprayers and spreaders.
Be sure to arrive armed with samples of weeds for identification and solutions as well as a soil sample for FREE pH testing.

Exciting Exhibits: weed identification and control, proper grass seed selection and application, irrigation recommendations and expert research on lawn care best suited
for Goochland, Hanover and Glen Allen.

Vendors: Representatives and our own Virginia Certified Horticulturists will be available for advice and information on Fertilome products, Jonathan Green, and Gold Standard Grass Seed.

Voted Best Plant Selection for 2009 by Richmond Magazine, we here at Strange’s provide the knowledge and answers you need to make your neighbors with green thumbs, fingers and toes even greener with envy!

Visit our website for more info!

Invigorate Your Winter Pansies!

During the Fall 2003 season Green Light Company, a primary manufacturer of lawn & garden products, introduced a slow release, non-burning 19-6-12 Pansy Food. With an overwhelmingly positive response from our customers we continue to recommend this fertilizer which contains nitrates and works great in cooler temperatures when pansies are usually grown as one of the most popular Fall and Winter ornamental plants. Each 1 lb. bag can treat up to 50 square feet of planting area or use just one teaspoon of fertilizer per plant. The granulated formulation makes it easy to apply allowing for continuous feeding of pansies as well as other plants such as begonias, geraniums and many others. With its simple, safe and effective combination of essential nutrients derived from Ammonium Sulfate, Potassium Nitrate, and Muriate of Potash, Green Light Pansy Food is the perfect fertilizer boost for any container garden or outdoor garden bed.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Organic Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer

Dr. Earth's Bat Guano was designed for today's gardeners who care not only for the environment in their own backyard, but for that of the entire planet. Sourced to meet the highest standard of fertility needs, this product is proven beneficial for all flowers, vegetables, annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Dr. Earth's Bat Guano is a superior raw material that actually invigorates and improves the biological life in your soil. Bat guano does this by supplying Pro-biotic Beneficial Soil Microbes, which feed the fiber of a living soil by releasing natural organic matter. All you add is water and light. Stop in at our Strange's West Broad location for a free Dr. Earth Gardening Guide!

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dirt Don't Hurt

Indeed, no matter who you believe made "dirt," it certainly does not hurt. Although many novice gardeners begin planting with fair to middling results, they soon find out that the best final crop starts within the dirt. The soil in which your perennials, annuals, vegetables, trees and shrubs reside provides the proper and essential nutrients for healthy growth and cultivation. Here at Strange's, we offer a variety of Black Kow and Miracle Gro products; however, we use Fafard brand planting soil.
"Fafard potting soils give your garden the proper balance of water, air, and pH. Using only weed- and disease-free materials, our soils undergo testing before and after production to ensure a consistent formulation and texture. It's what has made us the choice of professional growers since 1926. Fafard is committed to sustainable peat harvesting and bog restoration. An active member in good standing with the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), Fafard has been recognized for our efforts in returning harvested bogs to wetlands to preserve an area's ecological balance."
While the Fafard company not only provides an excellent product with which to restore, nourish, and revitalize your garden beds, we also commend their continued support for environmentally conscious business decisions.

Written by Ginny Gregory

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Form and Function, Meet the Future

Many small, privately owned businesses begin with an ingenious solution to a simple problem. Beverly Schor did just that when she redesigned her first pair of gloves having no idea that she was laying the foundation for her own environmentally conscious organization, West County Gloves. West County Gloves come in a variety of designs to fit the needs of the everyday gardener as well as contracted landscaper. They’re even available in children’s sizes! Visit their website to learn more and read about her innovative green techniques!

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Monday, September 7, 2009

“Useful, with a Pleasant Degree of Humor”

The calendar pages are the heart of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. They present sky sightings and astronomical data for the entire year and are what make this book a true almanac, a “calendar of the heavens.” In essence, these pages are unchanged since 1792, when Robert B. Thomas published his first edition. The long columns of numbers and symbols reveal all of nature’s precision, rhythm, and glory, providing an astronomical look at the year 2010. While this reliable trademark's website provides a wealth of information which can be personalized depending on a specific location, we also offer the tried and true paperback edition here at Strange's West Broad.

Written by Ginny Gregory.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's Alive! IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!

Although not holding quite the same mystery as Frankenstein, the Living Stone Plants we carry in our Foliage House are just as creepy and fascinating. Belonging to the genus "Lithops," this small cactus-like succulent is known to survive in extremely harsh conditions and thrive in areas with little to no moisture. Should the Living Stone Plant be forced to absorb a great deal of water, a sudden and terrifying explosion will rupture its rough exterior! Any soil that retains too much water will cause the plants to burst their skins as they over-expand. Plants grown in strong light will develop hard darkly coloured skins which are resistant to damage and rot, although persistent over watering will still be fatal. The most startling adaptation of Lithops is the colouring of the leaves. Not green as in almost all higher plants, but various shades of cream, grey, and brown, patterned with darker windowed areas, dots, and red lines. The markings on the top surface disguise the plant in its surroundings. They are often known as pebble plants or living stones which avoid being eaten by blending in with surrounding rocks. Yellow or white flowers emerge from the fissure between the leaves after a new leaf pair has fully matured, one per leaf pair usually occurring in autumn. These strange and unusual specimens of plant life make a unique addition to any cactus planter or dish garden. Visit Alison Cyrus in our Foliage House here at Strange's West Broad to learn more!

Written by Ginny Gregory.