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McDonald Garden Center began in 1945 in Hampton, Virginia
in 1980, McDonald expanded into the Virginia Beach market on Independence Boulevard
In spring 2009, McDonald unveiled the first Garden Market
The Great Neck Virginia Beach location opened its doors 2017

The History of McDonald Garden Center

McDonald Garden Center began as a partnership between two brothers in 1945 in Hampton, Virginia. In the 1950's a diversity of plants and products made the operation a full-line garden center. New buildings and plant display areas met the growing needs of Peninsula gardeners. In 1973, Eddie Anderson and his wife Sara purchased the garden center. With a commitment to improving the quality of life through the business of gardening, McDonald Garden Center grew rapidly in size and structure.

McDonald expanded into the Virginia Beach market with a second location on Independence Boulevard in 1980. Originally a horse stable and riding academy, this site has retained and utilized some of the property’s original design and structure.

In spring 2009, McDonald unveiled the first Garden Market in Poquoson, Virginia. Now, Garden Markets have expanded throughout the Southside, the Peninsula and up into Williamsburg with ten seasonal locations. These Garden Markets provide quality plants and garden accessories from mid-March through July.

The Great Neck Virginia Beach location opened its doors in the fall of 2017 and offers the same high-quality products and services as our location on Independence Boulevard. Unique to this location is Angie’s Cabana, which features locally made jewelry, women’s clothing and shoes, and an assortment of gift items and accessories.

McDonald landscape design and installation division offers renovations of existing landscapes or the design of something new. All projects begin with the design process, where you’ll meet with a skilled landscape designer who will assess your needs and objectives and provide expert recommendations. Our Landscapes team provides complete installation services to ensure the professional appearance of your project. Our crews are specially trained to handle a broad range of horticultural and construction applications.

With two year-round Garden Centers, seasonal Garden Markets and a Landscape Design and Installation division, McDonald Garden Center offers a wide selection of high-quality products and services designed to enhance the lifestyles of our customers for all seasons. Our knowledgeable staff is committed to serving our customer and our community with integrity and enthusiasm. We strive to preserve both our customer’s trust and legacy since 1945 of unparalleled excellence in service and attention to detail.

planting seeds

Sow, Now's the Time

Starting plants from seed is one of the most exciting and rewarding gardening activities. Growing seed is not complicated, it just requires a little thought and care. For best results, it is important to use fresh seed and follow the instructions on each seed packet which include specific planting tips, light source requirements and watering specifications. So grab a selection of your favorite seeds from annuals, to perennials to herbs & veggies -- and start from seed!

What you'll need:

  • Your choice of fresh seed packets
  • Clean pots or seed trays with drainage holes (egg cartons & Styrofoam cups work too but be sure to create a drainage hole). We recommend using seed starting supplies from Jiffy.
  • Seed starting mix. We recommend Black Gold Seed Starter Potting Mix.
  • Plastic spoon and or pencil - to make a hole for seed.
  • Jiffy seed starter greenhouse. This will allow the soil to heat up faster and help germinate the seed.
  • Plant labels and/or markers.
  • Light source such as a bright window or a grow light
  • Water

Sowing the Seed:

  • Read seed package for special instructions.
  • Start the seeds about 8-weeks before the last expected frost date. In Hampton Roads, that is about April 15.
  • Label containers with seed type.
  • Fill pots or trays with seed starter mix to about 1 cm below the rim of container.
  • Plant seed. For small seed, sprinkle on top of starting mix and for large seed push into mix until just covered (soil depth depends on seed type).
  • Cover seeds with a thin layer of starting mix - approx. ¼ inch deep (do not cover very fine seed).
  • Water

Finishing Touches:

  • Place pots or trays inside your seed starting greenhouse or use a large, loose plastic bag or cover with cling wrap to keep seeds warm and moist until germination.
  • Place in a warm, well lit area -- out of direct sunlight as it warms up.
  • If potting soil begins to dry out, remove cover and water gently.

Transplanting Seedlings:

  • When seedlings are 2-3 inches tall, transplant to a larger container for continued growth.
  • To transplant, fill the new container with pre-moistened mix and gently press the mix around the transplanted seedling and water to settle soil.
  • Plant seedlings in garden when the weather has warmed into the 50 degree range at night. Remember to acclimate the seedlings to outdoor life by slowly exposing them to sunlight in order to minimize stress on the plant.

To learn more about seed starting click here.

Variegated Anthurium

The Language of Love

Flowers have been a long-standing favorite for Valentine’s Day, and February 14th is one of the busiest days for flowers. Looking for the perfect way to say it, try sending a flower that has a meaning. Here is a list of some ‘meaningful’ flowers that we adore:

ORCHIDS (Meaning: Love, Luxury, Beauty and Strength)
During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty. The 14th wedding anniversary flower, pink orchids convey pure affection, and the popular cattelya orchid represents mature charm.

ROSES (Meaning: I Love You)
The rose is a year-round favorite. It is the symbol of love and the most popular flower given on Valentine's Day. Each color offers a distinct meaning: red, the lover’s rose, signifies enduring passion; white, humility and innocence; yellow, expressing friendship and joy; pink, gratitude, appreciation and admiration; orange, enthusiasm and desire; white lilac and purple roses represent enchantment and love at first sight.

ANTHURIUMS (Meaning: Hospitality)
With their open, heart-shaped flowers, it’s no wonder that anthurium have come to symbolize hospitality. With bold, typically red flowers and shiny, dark green foliage, anthurium, are long-lasting and irresistibly beautiful.

TULIPS (Meaning: Perfect Love)
In the Victorian language of flowers, red tulips are a declaration of love, making them ideal Valentine's Day. A Turkish legend may be responsible for the red tulip's symbolism. The story goes that a prince named Farhad was love struck by a maiden named Shirin. When Farhad learned that Shirin had been killed, he was so overcome with grief that he killed himself - riding his horse over the edge of a cliff. It's said that a scarlet tulip sprang up from each droplet of his blood, giving the red tulip the meaning "perfect love."

LILIES (Meaning: Beauty)
Known as the May birth flower, and the 30th wedding anniversary flower. While white lilies symbolize chastity and virtue, white stargazer lilies express sympathy and pink stargazer lilies represent wealth and prosperity. Symbolizing humility and devotion, lilies of the valley are the 2nd wedding anniversary flower.

To discover other Valentine's Day gift-giving plant ideas click here.