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Luscious® Marmalade Lantana
Luscious® Marmalade Lantana
Luscious® Marmalade Lantana

LUSCIOUS® Marmalade Lantana, A Sweet Addition to Your Landscape

Few plants supply as much long-lasting, reliable color as lantana. This heat and humidity lover features brightly colored bloom clusters that last through the summer and into fall. Lantana thrives in hot, dry weather and tolerates just about any well-drained soil, growing well even near the beach. And, it’s a magnet for butterflies. This versatile plant has many applications and can be used just about anywhere in garden.

Luscious® Marmalade Lantana produces vivid clusters of coral-pink flowers with tinges of orange and yellow centers that bloom abundantly and constantly day in, day out all summer long. This variety will grow to about 18-inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 24-inches. Marmalade is a perfect selection for planting in outdoor containers and hanging baskets. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of vibrant, cascading flowers. It’s also a good choice in beds and borders.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade and is adaptable to both dry and moist growing conditions. Marmalade is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary to remove dieback.

Chef Jeff Veggies, McDonald Garden Center
Chef Jeff Veggies, McDonald Garden Center
Cucumber Short Snack & Mascotte' Dwarf Bush Bean

Good Things Come in Small Packages, Compact Short Snack Cucumbers & Mascotte' Dwarf Bush Beans

In the world of gardening, bigger is not always better. Nowadays, seed companies are constantly producing new varieties of vegetables that can be grown as compact plants in small areas and even in pots, so don't let limited growing space stop you from creating a bountiful garden. And contrary to what you might think, compact and dwarf vegetables are just as tasty and certainly as healthy as their larger counterparts. Here’s a few of our favorites from the Chef Jeff collection:

Short Snack Cucumber
Short Snack Cucumber produces high yields of 6-inch, glossy, spineless, deep green cucumbers. These thin-skinned, seedless cucumbers are an excellent addition to salads or make for a healthy, on-the-go snack. Short Snack produces fruit early and often. Harvest as often as possible, since the more fruit you pick the more the plant produces.

Mascotte’ Dwarf Bush Bean
This dwarf bean is an award winning “All American Selection” as well as named a "Top New Edible Plants for 2014" by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. 5-6 inch, stringless, slender, flavorful pods grow on bushy plants 16-18 inches tall making them ideal in patio containers, window boxes or small gardens. The unusually large, white flowers add an ornamental element, and the beans set on top of the leaves for easy harvesting.

TIP: Compact and dwarf varieties of vegetables require the same light and soil conditions and fertilization as standard varieties. Vegetables grown in containers or raised beds may need more frequent watering, since the roots may dry out quicker.

Double Mint Gardenia

Double Mint Gardenia, for Double the Blooms and More

It's easy to fall in love with gardenias, the belle of the southern garden, and the queen of fragrant flowers. With their lush, evergreen leaves, snow-white blossoms, intoxicating scent and the ability to withstand the Southern summer heat, what’s not to love?

And, if you’re looking for a gardenia that offers double the petals, double the flowers, double the fragrance, and double the bloom time, look no further than Double Mint. This gorgeous gardenia flaunts sophisticated ivory and white blossoms with glossy, evergreen foliage. Double Mint is a quick growing shrub that blooms in spring and again in late fall. It is compact and tightly branched growing two-to-three feet tall and wide making it perfect for small space gardens and foundation plantings. Place Double Mint beneath a window, in a container on the porch, or along a garden path to enjoy its heavenly scent all season long.

Double Mint does best in full sun but is tolerant of a bit of shade. Remove darkened blossoms to promote new buds and prune after the bush is finished flowering in the late fall.

Asian Moon Butterfly Bush

We’re Over-the-Moon for this One, Asian Moon Butterfly Bush

As fragrant as it is beautiful, the butterfly bush (buddleja) is a must-have for that sunny spot in your garden. The long flower spikes of colorful, nectar-rich blooms appear all summer long and attract crowds of butterflies and other pollinators.

Asian Moon Butterfly bush, also known as Summer Lilac, is a dramatic and fragrant addition to the landscape featuring long, graceful panicles of light purple flowers with orange eyes that flower from June through late fall. And thanks to shrewd breeding and hybridization, this buddleja is completely sterile (does not produce seed) and won’t spread outside your garden. And, no seed production also means the plant can produce more flowers rather than spending energy producing seeds. Asian Moon reaches approximately 7-feet but can be easily cut back to maintain its size. It grows effortlessly in hot, dry and sunny locations and is a magnet for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Perfect in containers, borders, cottage gardens, rose gardens or butterfly gardens.

TIP: Asian Moon is a popular cut flower, so be sure to bring some indoors to enjoy its rich color and honey fragrance.

Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex
Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex great in containers

Spring's Unsung Hero: Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex

In spring, when brightly colored annuals are getting their (deserved) time in the limelight, there is one standout in the grasses world that deserves a little light of its own (lime tones already included). Enter, Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex by Southern Living.

There are multiple variations in the Carex series, but the Everillo is our favorite at McDonald Garden Center. Few others we’ve seen are as simultaneously showy and versatile. With bold, evergreen color that lasts all year, this shrub adds drama to your containers but is perfect for accents, borders, groundcovers, and mass plantings in the landscape. It’s complementary enough to have a supporting role if desired but bold enough to command the stage.

Part sun to shade, well-drained garden soil, and yearly fertilizing will make the Evercolor® ‘Everillo’ Carex thrive to give you year-round interest. No pruning is needed- just plant and enjoy.

Check out this video for more info:

Chinsoy Azalea
Chinsoy Azalea

Satsuki Azalea, Chinsoy

Satsuki azaleas (pronounced sat’ski) have been bred and selected for over 300 years in Japan and are prized for their prolific and diverse flower colors. With their shiny, green leaves, quick growth habit and the ability to withstand pruning and shaping, these plants are perfect for bonsai styling. Satsuki azaleas break all the rules of traditional spring-blooming azaleas and flower in late May and June while other azaleas flower in March or early May. But the reason you’ll really love satsuki azaleas is that no matter how captivated you are with the beauty, color and richness of the bloom you see today, there will be another completely different bloom produced tomorrow that is even better than the last.

Satsuki azalea Chinsoy (aka Chinana) begins blooming in May and produces two-inch, hot-pink flowers complimented by glossy, dark green foliage. It has a compact, mounding habit and reaches 1.5 to 2 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Chinsoy prefers full-sun in the morning and afternoon shade. Prune after blooming to shape but not during winter as next year's flowers will be removed. Late spring blooms attract both butterflies and hummingbirds.

NOTE: The name satsuki means fifth moon. It refers to the flowering period of these azaleas, which is in the fifth month of the oriental lunar calendar, which correlates to May and June in the U.S.

Million Bells Blue Moon Punch
Million Bells Double Orchid
Million Bells Double Ruby
Million Bells Over Easy
Million Bells Lovie Dovie
Early Sunset Containers by Al Fresco
Catkins Planters by Al Fresco
Surf City Cache Containers by Al Fresco
Bordeaux Six Pocket Strawberry Jar by Al Fresco
Lakejoy Planters by Al Fresco
Pacific Bird Feeders, Treats & Toppings
Pacific Bird Mill Worm Feeder
Pacific Bird Topping Assortment

NEW for Spring 2018

Spring is here and with rising temperatures and longer days it's time to shake off winter and get outside. Whether it's planting new blooms, providing a refuge for wildlife, or creating a beautiful and relaxing outdoor retreat, we have some inspiring new products for the spring garden and beyond.

When it comes to filling your containers and flower boxes with gorgeous blooming plants for summer, think calibrachoa (aka Million Bells and Superbells). What's not to love about these easy-to-grow annuals that come in every color or combination of colors imaginable. And, these non-stop bloomers are self-cleaning, so there’s no deadheading required. Check out these new ones for 2018:

Million Bells Blue Moon Punch - large, cool, lavender blooms accented with a deep purple eye and black throat that turn to silvery-light purple as they mature. Flowers appear early in the season and continue to bloom into fall without deadheading. Wonderful for containers, window boxes and hanging baskets. 6 to 12 inches tall by 12 to 24 inches spread. Part-sun to sun is ideal for the light-loving variety.

Superbells Double Orchid – this double bloom calibrachoa features light pink blooms accented with deeper pink veining. Perfect as a trailer in hanging baskets, window boxes and combination pots. Double Orchid stands 6 to 12 inches tall with a spread of up to 18 inches. Plant in full-sun to part-shade locations and well-drained soil.

Superbells Double Ruby – red, double petunia-like flowers all season long. This low maintenance, profuse bloomer is ideal as a spiller in hanging baskets and containers. Like Double Orchid, Double Ruby grows 6 to 12 inches tall with a spread of up to 18 inches. Plant in full-sun to part-shade locations and in well-drained soil.

Superbells Over Easy – an abundance of cascading, tiny, white, petunia-like flowers with yellow centers that bloom all spring and summer. With a trailing habit of up to 24 inches, this calibrachoa is a great option for containers and hanging baskets. Plant in full-sun to part-shade locations and well-drained soil.

Supertunia Lovie Dovie - striking bi-color blooms with white flowers and hot pink star-shaped veining. Lovie Dovie stands 6 to 2 inches tall and trails up to 30 inches long. Its mounding, trailing habit makes it a perfect choice for hanging baskets, containers or window boxes. Blooms continuously without the need for deadheading.

Containers are a perfect and easy way to dress up porches, patios, decks, entryways or balconies and can be changed up from year-to-year or from season-to-season. Whether you’re looking to add instant color, provide a focal point in the garden, or tie in the architecture of your house to the landscape, containers are the perfect solution for those who want to try gardening but have limited space or limited time.

We offer a variety of Al Fresco containers in an assortment of colors, shapes and textures to fit just about any garden style or design. Here are a few of our favorites for 2018:

Early Sunset Containers - featuring a vibrant, sunset hue that will make a statement inside or out. Whether indoors or on the front steps, porch, deck or patio, this planter will standout no matter where you sit.

LakeJoy Series Planters – coastal charm and beautifully finished with a turquoise-green glaze makes this pot an ideal chose for creating a fresh focal point in your home no matter where you place it. Stunning in garden, on the deck, balcony, or poolside.

Surf City Blue Containers – featuring a navy and white nautical inspired theme, this indoor pottery from Al Fresco brings you the best in coastal style. On a sunporch or in the kitchen, this container will bring you seaside everyday no matter where you are.

Catkins Planters – a textured exterior creates a contemporary style, perfect for instant impact indoors in either coastal or shabby chic themes or for decorating outside on the patio, deck, balcony, terrace or in garden.

Home Six Pocket Ceramic Strawberry Jars - grow your own fresh strawberries with the Alfresco Home Ceramic Strawberry Jar. Featuring six pockets to foster plant growth, it is ideally suited for the way strawberry plants branch out. Kiln-fired ceramic earthenware is glazed in a beautiful light blue color to contrast with the red berries.

Pacific Bird is committed to providing wild birds with the best natural nutrition possible. Offering treats and toppings with the perfect balance of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins and feeders that are easy to fill, handle and use. Ideal for the novice or avid wild bird enthusiast alike.

Treats & Toppings - a variety of treats and toppings made with only the healthiest, heartiest, farm-raised, pesticide-free worms and insects. Products are minimally processed and contain no artificial preservatives or binders. Treats and toppings are made from premium seeds, dried fruits, hearty nuts and protein-rich worms and insects to attract a greater variety of wild birds all year long. Chose from a variety of suet cakes and balls and assorted toppings.

Feeders - designed to meet the needs of birds - and people. Feeders are easy to fill and clean and are constructed with a durable, metal construction, offering excellent protection against squirrel damage. Feeder designs will complement any backyard environment and cater to the individual eating habits of many different types of birds. Select from an wide assortment of suet, ball, sock and cage feeders.

Superbells Double Orchid
Superbells Double Ruby

A Million Reasons to Love Million Bells

Calibrachoa, also known as Million Bells or Superbells, look like tiny petunias, but there’s nothing petite about their show-stopping color from spring until fall. Known for their superb color, heat tolerance, disease resistance, and oodles of blooms, it’s no surprise why this series is a star performer. With growth habits that range from the small and compact to the cascading, these plants make for colorful, trailing accents in containers or hanging baskets, along walkways, and on garden walls. Calibrachoa requires about six hours of sun each day in order to set more buds and produce flowers all season long. It can survive in a slightly shadier site if you don’t have sun, but for “millions” of flowers, the right amount of sun is needed. Check out these two, new varieties that will brighten your landscape or containers:

Superbells Double Orchid – this double bloom calibrachoa features light pink blooms accented with deeper pink veining. Perfect as a trailer in hanging baskets, window boxes and combination pots. Double Orchid stands 6-12 inches tall with a spread of up to 18 inches. Plant in full-sun to part-shade locations and well-drained soil.

Superbells Double Ruby – boasts red, double petunia-like flowers all season long. This low maintenance, profuse bloomer is ideal as a spiller in hanging baskets and containers. Like Double Orchid, Double Ruby grows 6-12 inches tall with a spread of up to 18 inches. Plant in full-sun to part-shade locations and in well-drained soil.

Aloe Vera: The Easy to Grow Plant That Can Soothe Your Skin

Aloe Vera has been used for centuries to heal wounds and soothe minor skin irritations such as burns, minor cuts, and bug bites. Aloe is a good plant to have around if you ever forget your sunscreen. Cut a leaf from your plant and put it in the fridge for a few minutes. When you scrape the gel from inside the leaf and apply it to your skin, it is a cool, refreshing way to soothe a sunburn. Aloe vera is not only useful but easy to grow. Here are some tips for growing Aloe Vera at home:

Light - aloe vera grows best in very bright light but will tolerate less light. If the light is too low, they will not grow much.

Water - aloe is able to survive weeks without being watered. Too little water is always better than too much water, because it will rot quickly in wet conditions. Limp, lower leaves are usually the first indication that your aloe is getting too much water. Water your aloe in the morning every two weeks or when the soil mixture has dried completely. Remember to water less during the winter months. If you choose to grow your aloe outside in the summer, you may need to increase your watering.

Potting - choose a pot with drainage holes. Clay pots are an ideal choice, because they are porous and allow the soil to dry thoroughly between watering. It is best to use a cactus mix that is coarse and drains well.

Aloe plants do not mind being a little snug in their pots, so there is no need to repot frequently. Being a top-heavy plant, they may begin to tip over if the pot is too small. This is a good time to repot.

Aloe vera can be grown indoors year-round or placed outside for the summer. They can be grown in shaded areas or slowly acclimated to a sunny porch. In our area, you can put your aloe outside the first week of May and leave it out through October. Aloe plants do not like cold, but will tolerate it for short periods. It is best to bring your aloe in before temperatures drop into the 40s.

Another bonus to aloe plants is their ability to multiply. Often times, you can harvest many baby plants from the base of your aloe. Aloe is a great plant to share with family and friends!

Hot Color to Light Up the Landscape, Heuchera Fire Alarm

Set your landscape ablaze with this spectacular flaming-red heuchera variety, Fire Alarm. A real show stopper in any season, this heuchera features big, glossy foliage that is bright red in spring, taking on brown tones for summer and then turns back to bright red come fall. White spikes of pink, bell-shaped flowers rise above the foliage in summer. Heuchera Fire Alarm offers bold texture and color contrast in mixed containers, mass plantings, borders and groundcovers and is evergreen in mild winter climates. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination.

Fire Alarm will grow to approximately 10-inches tall at maturity with a spread of 16-inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade and is loved by butterflies, pollinators, hummingbirds and is deer resistant. Heuchera Fire Alarm is a delightful selection to complement just about any color scheme.