Friday, December 30, 2011

So Striking: the Winter series Camellias

Winter's Snowman Camellia

Another wonderful addition to the winter garden is the camellia, specifically the Winter series Camellias. The Winter series is the most cold hardy camellias to date, most being a Zone 6 and handling our Zone 7 weather easily.

They are so striking and beautiful, they can be used as a single flower in the garden or as an entire hedge. They can grow in height of around 6 ft., and spread in width to 5 ft. or more, depending on the variety, which makes them perfect for an alluring and evergreen privacy screen.
There are many gorgeous colors to choose from, from lavender to pink to white. At Strange's, we have several varieties available in our nursery in 1 gallon, 3 gallon or 7 gallon pots, including Winter's Charm, Winter's Darling, Winter's Fancy, Winter's Peony, Winter's Beauty, Winter's Cupid, Winter's Fire, & Winter's Snowman. A gorgeous flower and plant, including the Winter's series Camellias in your garden will add great interest and character.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Overwintering Experiment

It's frosty out there! During the winter season, some plants will survive, some will die, and some will need to be covered or taken indoors. Here at Strange's, we're always trying to figure out easy ways to keep our plants happy and healthy.

Bonsai trees, like other temperate climate plants, need to go dormant over winter. Tricking your plant into sustaining growth will eventually lead into a forced dormancy, which is stressful and usually fatal. Most plants have internal clocks that tell them when to go dormant, so keeping your outside plants outside keeps everything running smoothly.

Even so, they need protection, and some of our greenhouse staff have come up with an interesting way in keeping our bonsai tree's roots warm. At $2.49 a bag, giving your potted bonsai tree a snug little mulch home is an easy and cheap way to make sure it's protected while also letting it stay outside.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Rose: The Helleborus Gold Collection

There are not many plants that can withstand the harsh cold & frost of deep winter, so the ones that do, stand out, their gorgeous color brightening up a dormant & grey garden.

Helleborus niger, known as the Christmas Rose, generally blooms later than December 25th. The term 'Christmas Rose' is due to an old legend that it sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give Jesus in Bethlehem. Under the old calendar, January 6th was the day Christmas was celebrated, which is closer to when the Helleborus niger blooms.

Below are two flowers from the Helleborus Gold Collection that we carry at Strange's.

'Josef Lemper'
Pure white blooms are held upright by dark green foliage. Plants will mature to about 12” to 15” tall. These winter beauties thrive in shade and make great additions to containers for winter interest, from November to January.

'Pink Frost'
An eruption of burgundy buds open to blossoms of soft pink that darken to rich hues as the flowers age. As fresh blooms appear, the display across the spectrum from white to pink to red is stunning. Rich green foliage has red stems and a silvery sheen marbled across the top.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Smell of Christmas

As the temperatures drop to a steady chill of 50 and below, a beautiful day one that I can go without my coat, Christmas becomes heavy on our to do lists. Why, there's the lights, the garlands, the stockings, the wreaths, the poinsettias, and of course, the tree.

There's so many choices when it comes to trees. Artificial is one way. Its the easy, put-it-up-&-take-it-down tree, with lights and a stand built in, and moveable wire for branches. The downside is that its fake. It doesn't have that beautiful, forest scent that fills your nose and delights your mind with dancing sugar-plums, warm fires roaring and sleigh rides through the snow. Walking through the tree lot in Strange's nursery, the smell of Christmas surrounds you, from fresh wreaths, groupings of holly, and of course, row upon row of fresh cut Fraser firs.

Besides the wonderful smell that will fill your home all month long, cut trees are always tall. Towering over almost everyone, they inspire awe to children and adults alike. From 7 ft. to 11 ft. tall, they beg for high ceilings, long garlands and a staggering collection of ornaments. They long to be chosen for a loving family's home, where they are admired and adorned like a newborn baby. Every cut tree deserves a home, and at Strange's, we want to make it as easy as possible. We care for these trees as much as we care for our customers, and you can see it in everything we do. From free full service, lifting and loading the tree while you sit back and relax, to offering a $10 coupon towards any cut tree. With this offer, a 7-8 ft. tree could cost you only $39.99!* Such a small price for the size of the tree, the smell that fills your home, and the joy it will bring your family.

A cut tree is a memory maker, the ultimate connection of Christmas now to Christmas then. We, and people across the world, have been celebrating Christmas with an evergreen since the 1900s. Most back then cut down their own tree from a nearby forest, which you can certainly still do today. However, the benefits from buying a Strange's cut tree are enormous. First, we stock only Fraser firs, hand picked ourselves for their firm branches, soft, silvery-green needles, and perfect shape. Second, we only sell locally grown, North Carolina firs, that have been fresh cut by the tree farmers themselves. Buying a fresh cut tree from Strange's shows you support local farmers, you support the environment, and you support the history of Christmas.

For those who want to continue the tradition, we also have trees that have not been cut, that can take you through this Christmas and the next, provided you plant it and care for it all year long. Whichever you prefer, the smell of Christmas is not to be missed, as it takes you far further into the spirit than anything else ever will.

*Price subject to change.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Something to Look Forward To

Sometimes, amidst the worrying and scurrying for Christmas decorations and gifts, its nice to think about how close we are to the coming year. While there are reasons to fear it (who wants to get older?), we at Strange's use it as a time to look forward to another growing season. With Spring 2012 comes warm weather, which means tomatoes, butterfly bushes & crepe myrtles, just to name a few. New years also bring exciting new varieties, and 2012 will be no exception!

For the past 16 years, the Wave series (Wave Petunias) has been known for highly colorful, vigorously spreading plants that last all season long. Now, PanAmerican Seed has introduced an all-new spring and fall pansy series. Home gardeners can fill their gardens with three seasons of color using the new Cool Wave Pansy.

Cool Wave Pansy delivers the same easy-care, long-lasting color as Wave Petunias, and they also demonstrated superior overwintering in U.S. trials. Watch for its debut in March 2012.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Over the weekend, many of you were coming in to gather up what you thought was the last of our stock of pansies. Well, fear not pansy lovers! A new shipment of big, beautiful pansies has just arrived today and our greenhouse is stocking them out in the nursery as we speak. If you haven't gotten your pansies yet, here are a few reasons why you should:

1. Pansies are winter hardy so they don't wither at the sight of cold weather.

2. Pansies are easy to care for and respond well to monthly feedings.

3. Pansies make a great addition to any garden or container because of their wide range of colors.

4. Right now we are selling 6" containers for only $2.99! Prices start at $1.29.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Christmas at Strange's

Our customers may not realize it, but we love Christmas at Strange's! Visit our W. Broad location and you can see for yourself -- since the beginning of October, we have transformed our store into a winter wonderland.

While our feature products are plants, flowers, and garden-related items, we also have everything you need for Christmas! From artificial and fresh cut trees to wreaths, ornaments, wrapping paper & gift cards, we have the decor you need covered. Plus, don't forget great gifts for kids & adults alike, and beautiful poinsettias in white, pink, red & every mixture in-between.

Visit our You Tube account to view a video featuring just a sample of some of our Christmas cheer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tobacco Project: Richmond

Currently showing at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond is an exhibition by Xu Bing called Tobacco Project. It explores the artist's fascination with the tobacco plant, as well as people's relationship with the plant over time. This exhibition is free and ends December 4th, so don't miss out on such an interesting look at Virginia's first major cash crop.

Strange's also participated in this exhibit by providing tobacco plants grown in our greenhouse, seen above.

Click here for more information on the exhibit.

Click here for a look at putting together the exhibit, plus an interview with the artist.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall is for Gardening!

Though Fall is sometimes known for days like today (rainy), its cooler weather and increased rainfall is actually very beneficial to some plants. Cool weather vegetables, for example, grow much better and faster in the Fall because they thrive in cooler temperatures than Spring can offer. Lettuce, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and many others fall in this category and should be planted in August or September. Some may have longer grow times than others, and you want your plants to be harvest-ready before the first frost, so check your vegetable before you plant.

Bulbs are another plant that many people don't know should be planted in the Fall. Planting bulbs in the Fall will give them more time to strengthen their root system and become a strong plant to bloom in the Spring. We have many varieties at Strange's, including tulips, crocuses, hyacinths, and eventually onions & garlic as well. Just remember to wait until your soil is at 55 degrees or below before you plant your bulbs, or you will fool them into thinking it is already Spring, and we don't want premature blooming!

There are other plants as well that enjoy cool weather, such as the beautiful foliage of heuchera, the showy flowers of the Encore azalea, the gorgeous color variety of pansies and the full, pillowy flowers of mums, not to mention many others!

Everyone can find something to plant, and also, don't forget those kitchen herb gardens. At Strange's, Fall is for Planting!

Click Here for a Video on Fall Gardening

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Breakthrough New Animal Repellent

Say goodbye to messy mixes and stinky sprays.

Repellex Systemic Tablets are easy-to-use, pre-measured tablets that require no mixing. This exclusive breakthrough technology allows capsaicin (hot pepper) to be absorbed into the plant by simply planting the tablet next to a growing plants' root system. Once the repellent is absorbed over 7-30 days, the repellent will stay active for up to one whole year. Since the repellent is internally treating the plant, it will not wash off in the rain like traditional repellents do over time or be faded by the sun.

Protecting your plants from hungry animals has never been easier. This repellent is labeled and approved for repelling: deer, rabbits, moles, voles, gophers, groundhogs, dogs, cats and feral hogs. At this period in time, Repellex states this product should be used on non-edible plants only, but they are working to eventually change that.

Strange's will be carrying this product at our West Broad location, so hurry in to get this amazing new animal repellent for yourself!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fall is for Planting Annuals, Perennials, Trees & Shrubs!

Tired of planting in the hot summer sun? Did you know that it is actually better for the plants if you plant them in the fall? It’s true!
Planting your plants in the fall helps them establish a good, strong root system and in turn helps them survive the harsh summers. Having an established root system also makes plants more tolerant to hot weather. The fall and winter months tend to get more rainfall than the spring and summer, meaning you are going to need to water your plants less. It can also save you money in the spring and summer months. Plants that have an established root system are said to be drought tolerant and won’t need to be watered as much.
The beginning of September is the ideal time to start your fall planting. This is when you can start tilling your land and getting your beds ready to be planted. Some things you can do to prepare them is add soil amendments such as Black Velvet, Leafgro and Mushroom Compost. All of these things will make sure you have the ideal soil for starting your planting. If you want to get ahead of the game, it isn’t a bad idea to draw up a plan. Figure out what kind of plants will work well in your garden, and then decide where you would like to place them. This will make it easier for you to enjoy your time planting! You don’t have to rush your planting either. Fall planting last thru the first half of November depending on the weather.
There are many things that you can plant in the fall. It is the ideal time to plant your trees, bushes and shrubs. It is also a great time to put in your perennials. If you are looking for color from trees or shrubs think about planting some of these: maples, Encore azaleas, burning bush, itea, fall camellia and firepower nandina. (just to name a few!) If you want some perennials to spruce up your yard think about: any ornamental grasses, sedum, black-eyed susans, coneflowers, and fall blooming clematis. Fall blooming annuals add color and a bright vibe to your yard. Consider some of these: mums, pansies, and anything from the Fall Magic series, which are blooming annuals that do extremely well in the cooler fall weather. Most importantly, enjoy the time you spend planting. When you are out in the hot summer heat, you're wishing it was cooler outside. In the fall, you don’t have to wish!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fall is for Planting....Vegetables!

Would you have guessed you could plant vegetables in the fall? If you said yes, YOU’RE RIGHT!
Most cool season vegetables grow better in the fall than those planted in the spring. In the spring, the temperatures are hotter during the critical harvesting period. Higher temperatures can affect the quality of product. Flavors of vegetables are usually sweeter and milder when grown during cooler temperatures, as well as have fewer insect problems.
Available space, what you like and your intended use of vegetables all contribute to what you can grow. Cool-temperature-adapted crops are excellent for fall gardening because they continue to grow well into the fall and can be harvested after many tender plants have been killed by frost.
Some hardy vegetables that can stand severe frost, but can not live under 20 degrees are: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, kale and garlic.
For best results in your fall garden, choose the shortest season cultivars to insure a good harvest before being killed off by frost. The easiest way to do this is to look for cultivars labeled “early season.”
To figure out when you should start planting follow this table:
+ Number of days from seeding or transplanting outdoors to harvest
+ Number of days from seed to transplantable size
+ Average harvest period
+ Fall factor (the slower growth which results from cooler weather and shorter days): usually 14 days
+ Frost tender factor (only for frost-sensitive crops): usually 14 days
= Days to count back from the first expected fall frost.
To get your garden ready for fall vegetables, start by digging up anything that is dead or has finished bearing. Then put compost and composted manure down which will boost the nutrient level and enhance the water-holding capacity. It helps to spade or rototill the top 4-6 inches of the soil. It relieves compaction and incorporates the compost and other organic matter into the soil. Mulching will help reduce winter annual weed germination by blocking light and smothering the tiny weeds.
Now that you have put in the hard work, stay persistent and look forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor!

*Information from University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Amazing Cucumber!

We all know that the cucumber is a healthy snack, and quite delicious. We at Strange's recently discovered that the cucumber has so many more uses than just food - read below for more on the amazing cucumber!

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day; just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2.Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates which provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror; it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum, giving off a scent undetectable to humans but one that drives garden pests crazy and makes them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem areas for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe; its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress.
11. Just finished a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and use it to erase the pen writing. Also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Source: Originally printed in The New York Times, "Spotlight on the Home" series

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why Grow Grass in the Fall?

Would you like a lawn that looks picture perfect?
Fall is the best time to renovate your lawn and make it look like new. With just a few easy steps, and a little bit of effort, you can give everybody on your block ‘grass envy’! If you plant grass seed in the fall, you have the advantages of lower temperatures, cooler days, and (hopefully) more rain. Grass seed gets established easier when the ground is more likely to retain moisture, and if the days aren’t so darned hot!

A good looking lawn starts with the seed. You want to use seed with a high germination rate and a very low weed seed/noxious weed percentage. This information must be listed somewhere on the bag, according to law. Be willing to put the money into your grass seed, and you’ll reap the benefits. We recommend Gold Standard (virtually weed free) for sun and light shade, and Shady Nook, for areas that have heavier shade. Follow the seed with a good starter fertilizer such as Ferti-lome New Lawn Starter, and your lawn should be off to a strong start. Another application of fertilizer about 8 weeks later will help strengthen your lawn and help protect it through the wintertime.

Lawn care really isn’t difficult (and doesn’t take a whole lot of time), so why pay somebody to do it, when you can have the satisfaction of doing it yourself? Then you can really take credit for the way it looks!

Also, at Strange's, our employees are always ready to help you with your lawn & gardening woes, so just bring them on in! We'll always have a solution for you at Strange's.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Heat thats Sweet

Have you visited our Summer Plant Trials yet? If so, you may have noticed an avalanche of small green & red peppers growing right in the middle! Introducing....Sweet Heat.

Spotlight On: Sweet Heat Peppers
New for Spring 2012!
These beautiful peppers need sun to thrive, and are one of the earliest to bear fruit. Ripe peppers can be harvested red or green, and are ready only 56 days after transplant. The peppers are sweet and mildly spicy, which gives them a great flavor for salsa or grilling. They stay pretty compact, growing 8 - 12 inches high and 12 - 16 inches wide. They are hardy all the way down to 32 degrees.

Bloom-A-Thon Azalea Video

Behold, the Bloom-A-Thon Azalea!

This new variety of azalea blooms multiple times during the year, giving it the appropriate name of bloom-a-thon. To learn more, click here!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Butterfly Bushes

Summer is the perfect time for these gorgeous plants!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Featuring the Bloom-A-Thon Azalea!

Why settle for a few weeks of flowers when you can have months of blooms?

Spotlight On: Bloom-A-Thon Azalea
New for Fall 2011!
This azalea blooms from early Spring, starting in April, all the way through Fall until a hard frost. The Bloom-A-Thon comes in four different colors: Double Pink, Lavender, Double Red and White. According to plant brand Proven Winners, the Azaleas bloom 4-6 weeks in the spring and another 12-16 weeks in the summer and fall.

The Bloom-A-Thon is hardy in zones 6-9. It prefers partial shade, adequate amounts of water and well drained soil. It is a self pruner being that it flowers so much. It also has a self branching habit which reduces the maximum size of the plant in the landscape which is about 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall. They are also self-cleaning which reduces incidence of disease and increases their beauty in the landscape. Bloom-A-Thons are great for borders, containers, in planters with other containers, grouped together or by themselves.
At our Strange’s Short Pump location, we have four Bloom-A-Thon Azaleas planted in our trial bed. To see how they are blooming come and stop by! We will have the Bloom-A-Thon Azaleas on sale in either our Fall 2011 collection or early Spring 2012.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Quest for Sweetness

Looking for something sweeter than sweet?
Look no further! Extract from the Stevia plant, also known as Sweetleaf and Paraguayan sweet herb, is said to be as much as 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia rebaudiana, named after the Paraguayan chemist Rebaudi who first extracted the component stevioside, is one of 300 species from the Asteraceae family which includes sunflowers and chrysanthemums. From that family, Stevia is the only plant with such sweetness. Fresh Stevia leaves have a slight licorice flavor, sweeter than sugar. All natural and calorie free, Stevia does not appear to raise blood glucose levels, making it a plus for dieters and diabetics. Though it can not be used as a replacement for sugar in baked goods, it can be used to sweeten dairy products, puddings, sauces, salads and custards.
While it does not like cooler temperatures, in zone 7 you can grow it as an annual or in a pot which you could move indoors during colder weather. In the garden it grows 18 to 30 inches tall with gray-green oval leaves and sometimes white flowers. It prefers plenty of sunshine and a sandy or loamy soil (much like the Strange’s soil), kept moist but not wet. To avoid over watering, add a layer of compost or mulch to protect the shallow root zone from being exposed to too much water. If you are going to plant Stevia in a container make sure it is at least 10-12 inches in diameter. Fill the container with a lightweight growing mix and add a little mulch on the top. Stevia prefers fertilizers with lower nitrogen content. Most organic fertilizers would be ideal since they release nitrogen slowly.

To make sure you have the sweetest of sweet plants, harvesting should be done as late as possible. Shorter days and cool temperatures intensify the sweetness of the plant. The easiest way to harvest is to cut the branches off with pruning shears before stripping the leaves. Once all of your leaves are harvested you will need to dry them. Crushing dried leaves is the final stop in your quest to sweetness!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Japanese Beetles

It’s that time of year again…Japanese Beetles have returned! The long metallic green beetles with copper-brown wing covers are here to attack and eat all sorts of plants. The adult Japanese Beetle emerges from under your lawn in June to begin feeding. They usually stay active for 4-6 weeks beginning in late June. An individual beetle will live from 30-45 days. They feed on about 300 species of plants. They devour leaves, flowers and overripe or wounded fruit. They tend to feed in groups starting at the top of the plant and working their way down. The damage done to your plants is not from just one beetle. It is from a whole group that destroys everything.
At Strange’s our certified horticulturist recommends a few different products.
  1. BEETLE TRAPS- These traps have both male and female lure attached to them, so you draw both sexes at the same time. Once the beetles are trapped in the bag, they’re not getting out, so you never have to worry about them again!
  2. SEVIN- Sold in either powder or crystal and contains carbaryl. As the beetle eats whatever has been covered with Sevin, they ingest the chemical and they die. If you want a safer product use Eight from Bonide.
  3. HARI KARI- Used as a contact killer. You see ‘em you spray ‘em, you kill ‘em.
  4. MILKY SPORE- An organic long term treatment. Apply from April to October any time the ground isn’t frozen to prevent spread of grubs. As the spore works down into the soil, the grubs come along, ingest the soil, and the spore multiplies within the grubs so they die. When the grub dies, the spores are redistributed back into the soil so that more grubs can pick them up and follow through on the cycle.
  5. K-NEEM - Neem is an organic product produced from the oil of the neem tree. It is extremely effective at controlling Japanese beetles, along with other insects. It will even treat powdery mildew.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hardy Lantana

Most lantanas are considered annuals, but did you know there are a few that are considered perennials? These varieties are considered hardy in Zone 7 and can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees.

Lantanas are the perfect summer plant because they love full sun, are drought tolerant (once established), and are a magnet to butterflies! They generally grow to be 3 - 5 feet tall by 3 - 5 feet wide and bloom all summer long.

Miss Huff Lantana was planted in our perennial trail bed last year and has come back strong this year.

Two other lantana varieties we carry that are winter hardy are:

Mary Ann


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Callicarpa Americana

One of the worst things about Summer is the increase in bug activity around your garden. Strange's has plenty of natural solutions to repelling them, and we'll be putting together a video very soon of mosquito repellents we carry. Until then, see below for more information on the beautyberry plant, an ARS confirmed bug repellent.
Tired of swatting away mosquitoes and horse flies? Worry no more. ARS (Agricultural Research Service) chemist Charles Cantrell and ARS entomologist Jerry Klun confirmed that the beautyberry plant, also known as Callicarpa Americana, contains three repellent chemicals: callicarpenal, intermedeol and spathulenol. All three chemicals repulse mosquitoes, deerflies, horseflies, and ticks as well as ants. ARS botanist Charles Bryson stated “My grandfather would cut branches with the leaves still on them and crush the leaves, and then he and his brothers would stick the branches between the harness and the horse to keep deer flies, horseflies and mosquitoes away.” He also said for almost 40 years he has grabbed handfuls of leaves from the beautyberry plant, crushed them and rubbed them on his skin for the same reasons.
American beautyberry is a fast growing perennial shrub: growing five to eight feet tall and almost as wide with drooping branches. In August or September, clusters of small purple to blue berries surround the woody stem. It prefers sun but can handle partial shade. It attracts many song birds as well as provides beautiful color for early winter months.

Everything is Blooming at Strange's!

Come to Strange's this week for fantastic savings & beautiful blooms!

Right now our greenhouse and nursery are swimming in color. We receive new shipments of flowering annuals every day to ensure the freshest flowers for your home and garden. Check out some of what's available as well as beautiful blooms you can find throughout our store!

If you have visited Strange's recently, you know that we are currently hosting our temperature sale! As it gets hotter, the discounts become greater - when it hits 95 degrees, you get 20% Off Everything in the Store! That is on top of already discounted items. But hurry -
this sale ends this Thursday, June 16th!


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Latest in New & Exciting Plants!

One exciting and rare cultivar that is featured in Strange's Summer Plant Trials is the Tomaccio tomato.

Spotlight On: Tomaccio
New for Spring 2012!
Though this looks like any old tomato, this special new variety is uniquely sweet. Ideal for drying, Tomaccio tomatoes have an intense, sugary flavor when dried in a food dehydrator or conventional oven. Pegged as the "sweet raisin tomato," these dried tomatoes are great for a wide range of preparations. This vigorous-growing variety may reach the height of 9 ft. Support the main stem with a 6 ft cane. For faster ripening, remove all the leaves below the ripened tomatoes. The tomatoes are already matured with their full flavor when they begin to turn red. To learn more:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another New & Exciting Plant in our Plant Trials!

It sure is getting hot out there! With the heat taking over, its the perfect time to spotlight this heat tolerant cultivar.

Spotlight On:
Illusion Garnet Lace Sweet Potato Vine
New for Spring 2012
Known as Ipomoea batatas, this low maintenance landscape plant is pet friendly. Its trailing habit makes it great in mixed containers, window boxes, hanging baskets and landscapes. With red, attractive foliage, it grows to 6-10" and trails up to 48", needing spacing of 12 - 18". Ipomoeas can be overwhelming, but you can cut back or remove stems at any time. They also make great annual ground covers. Needs full to partial sun and is hardy to 35 degrees F.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New & Exciting in Summer Color

Another day, another new cultivar! You can find all spotlighted plants in our plant trials.

Spotlight on:
Coreopsis 'Salsa'
New for Spring 2012
Its common name Tickseed, this is part of a brand new series of annual varieties called the Coloropsis Series. All members of this series are highly floriferous, bearing masses of 1-2", single flowers with toothed petals. These plants pack a huge punch of color in the landscape or can be used in containers for added texture and color. Its easy to grow and perfect for the beginner gardener. One plant will provide you with long-lasting cut flower bouquets all summer long. It attracts butterflies and needs full sun -- also deer resistant.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New & Exciting in Summer Color

With summer on its way and summer weather already here, Strange's has begun our Summer Plant Trials 2011! Visit our plant trials located in the flower beds along W. Broad St. and you can check out hundreds of new cultivars that we receive as samples. Check back here as we post more information about what you can find in those beds. Here's our first feature:

Spotlight on:

Pink Lemonade Suncatcher Petunia
New for Spring 2012
This beauty grabs attention in large baskets and gardens. A full and trailing flower, the beautiful yellow-pink color lasts well into Fall. It prefers full to partial sun, regular watering, and can grow to 8 - 12".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Summer Blooming Flowers

Sorry for the delay in posts -- cold weather is not our favorite thing, so like nature, we like to hibernate from December to March. :)

Now that summer is coming up, its time to start getting ready for summer blooming plants. Below is just a handful of what we carry at Strange's Garden Center.

Butterfly Bushes
Butterfly Bushes (Buddleia) are known for their ability to attract beautiful butterflies to the garden. They require full sun and well-drained soil, and are very tolerant of urban pollution and alkaline soil. Keep an eye on them, as they can get out of hand and spread more than you'd like. Butterfly bushes are generally pest free, except for spider mites during drought or stress. These bushes should be deadheaded from time to time. We have several varieties, available in 1 Gallon or 3 Gallon.

Crepe Myrtles
Crape myrtles are perhaps one of the easiest and showiest plants to grow. The vibrant, colorful blooms in June, July and August, make other plants pale by comparison. Crape myrtles come in many different colors and sizes now, everything from dwarf varieties that don't get any taller than 5 ft, to tall standards 20 to 25 ft high. The care is identical for all kinds and colors. They need full sun, the more sun the better, and thrive in hot weather, also tolerating dry soil once established.

Echinacea Magnus
Echinacea Magnus is a drought tolerant, long blooming perennial that attracts bees and butterflies, but is not attractive to deer. Native to Virginia, it was named Perennial Plant of the Year in 1998! This beautiful plant blooms over & over, starting in June. Flower heads are flat instead of recurved like many other selections, making the blooms look bigger and brighter. New flowers are vivid in color and as they age they will fade to a softer shade of pink.

Bombshell Hydrangea
A must for your garden! With a compact growth habit, 'Bombshell' is incredibly well branched. Covered in white flowers against medium green to dark green foliage from early Summer until frost, this cultivar has more flowers per plant than any other Hydrangea paniculata. With its long bloom time and compact habit, 'Bombshell' is a significantly improved plant in all respects. It is low maintenance with little to no pruning needed to keep it compact. A remarkable show in most garden settings.

As always, please check with the location for availability.