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Dianthus, Pink Pompom
Dianthus, Double Bubble
Dianthus, Early Bird Chili

Dianthus, A Small Investment with Big Returns

With winter behind us, we welcome a new season with one of our favorite spring-blooming perennials, Dianthus! These re-blooming flowers give us that color we've been waiting for. Not only are they beautiful, they are also very easy to grow. The most difficult part of growing dianthus is choosing which types you want to plant. Depending on the variety, blooms begin in early spring and continue all the way until frost. Dianthus blooms may be single or double (think little carnations), and tend to be white, pink, red, rose, or lavender - available in nearly all shades except true blue. Dianthus plants range from tiny creeping groundcovers to 30-inch-tall cut flowers, which are a favorite with florists.

Dianthus are drought-tolerant plants ideal for sunny spots at the edge of a flower bed or a path. Plant them early in the season, so they can become well established before hot weather sets in. These petite flowers sparkle in borders, beds, window boxes and containers. They flourish in the cool temperatures in spring and fall and prefer a full-sun location and well-drained soil, preferably with neutral to alkaline soil ph. Dianthus is also deer resistant. If you’re looking to add a blooming spring addition to your garden, look no further than dianthus. Before you know it, you will find your garden filled with the vibrant colors and distinctive fragrance. Here are a few of our favorites:

Dianthus, Pink Pompom - delightful rose-pink double flowers provide a bright burst of color in early spring, appearing continuously until autumn. The tidy mounding habit is practically maintenance-free. Pompom is perfect in landscape borders, rock gardens, containers and as a long-lasting cut flower. May remain evergreen in warmer winter regions. Prefers partial to full sun.

Dianthus, Double Bubble – features fully double flowers and simple, pure pink color. A profuse bloomer, 'Double Bubble' will be completely covered in blooms in early summer and then again in early fall. Foliage tends to be steely blue-green and finely textured and takes center stage when the plant is not in bloom. Plant in mass or in borders and containers. Double Bubble is deer resistant, low maintenance, drought tolerant and fragrant. This dianthus truly has it all!

Dianthus, Early Bird Chili - begins its show just as the weather starts to warm and keeps on blooming through autumn. Blooms stand tall above grassy, blue-green foliage with sturdy stems. Bold, coral double-blossoms sparkle in borders, beds, patio pots and window boxes. Its fragrant blooms are also perfect for cut flower arrangements. Early Bird prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Photos provided by Centerton Nursery, Monrovia and Plant Haven International, Inc.

What's the Difference Between a Fruit and a Vegetable?

Tomato, tomahto. Potato, potahto. If you’re here to settle a produce aisle bet on matters of semantics where edible plant varieties are concerned - "What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?” - you will be perhaps chagrined to learn that for many of those food pyramid superstars, the answer isn’t very simple. There’s a lot of either/either, neither/neither involved with what makes a fruit a fruit and a vegetable a vegetable and a fair amount of crossover between the two categories. Read the full article by Chowhound here
What's the Difference Between a Fruit and Vegetable?

Tips for Growing Camellias by Monrovia

Quite possibly one of the most eye-catching evergreen shrub, camellias feature stunning rose-like flowers in shades of pink, red, and white in fall, late winter, or spring, depending on the type. They shine throughout the rest of the year with their glossy, deep green leaves and superb symmetry. They can be grown as large shrubs for use as a hedge, screen or corner plant, espalier, or "limbed up" to form an attractive small tree. And, planting more than one species will give your garden multi-season color. To learn more about growing camellias check out this blog Tips on Growing Camellias by Monrovia.

Baby Gem Boxwood

A Real Gem in the Landscape, Baby Gem Boxwood

Boxwoods have been the backbone of Southern gardens for centuries and are one of the most popular shrubs in landscape design. Extensively used in both formal and more casual gardens, boxwoods are easy to grow and maintain and can be easily shaped. They make an excellent filler for gaps in the landscape or can be used to divide one portion of a yard from another. Gardeners looking for a plant that provides simple greenery with a fine texture need look no farther than boxwood.

Baby Gem Boxwood is a fine-textured, broad-leafed evergreen that grows as tall as it is wide, reaching a manageable size of approximately 4-feet tall and 4 to 5-feet wide. This petite boxwood is exceptionally compact and is excellent for use in smaller gardens for borders and hedges or simply as an accent in the landscape. Densely branched, the tiny, green foliage is abundant and retains its color exceptionally well in winter. Other notable characteristics include deer resistance and tolerance of dry soils once established. Baby Gem prefers full sun and well-drained soil locations.

Photos provided by Garden Debut