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Pretty Primrose

PRIMROSE

If you’re yearning for a kiss of spring, but Mother Nature seems somewhat slow to oblige, don’t despair. Primroses can be grown with minimum of effort on a sunny windowsill. They make cheerful gifts for anyone, even yourself while still held indoors in the grip of winter.

The vivacious colors of the Primrose, when seen in bloom seem to jump up and grab you with their charm. Their crisp ruffled leaves form a neat rosette and their fragrant blossoms look like a dainty nosegay in a rainbow of colors: red, yellow, orange, white, purple, bronze or maroon ~ all vivid and captivating. Native to China, there are more than 500 species of Primula bearing their flowers, either singly or in cluster, above the foliage.

Display on a windowsill and keep the plant slightly moist and in direct sunlight. If the window is somewhat cool and drafty - all the better! While not a long-term houseplant, primroses are hardy, low-growing perennials that offer much enjoyment from your windowsill until the weather breaks. Then they may be moved outside, making an excellent border or mass planting under a flowering Dogwood or two. They can also be used in cool spring combination planters for your porch, perfect for Easter décor. Rich acidic soil, plenty of moisture, good drainage and plenty of air circulation are imperative. They like a shady spot as respite from those hot summer days with maybe the morning sun to bring them into flower again.

Visit us and bask in the myriad of colors provided by this delightful harbinger of spring - the world may seem to be a little brighter place!

It's all about Pansies!

Lucky for us gardeners, planting isn't just a spring activity. Your gardening season doesn't have to be over in the fall. Pansies are a great way to extend your blooms into cold weather.

When selecting pansies, think about the surrounding area that they’ll be planted in. Annuals are used to not only provide beautiful color but to also give contrast in the existing landscape. With so many beautiful vibrant colors to chose from, the last thing you want to do is pick a color that will blend in with the existing landscape. Choose colors to POP! One of the best things about pansies is how low maintenance and care free they are. They are a tough annual that survive even the harshest environments. With just a little TLC, you can keep a tight form and keep them blooming all season long. Pansies tend to get a bit leggy at times. If this occurs, simply pinch them back. Depending on how large they have gotten you may even take them back to half of their existing size. This will stimulate new growth resulting in a tighter plant. You may lose a few blooms right off the bat but in the long run it will make for a much more attractive plant.

Another tip to encourage flowering and growth is proper fertilizer. When you fertilize, pay attention to the nitrogen (the first number listed on a fertilizer), and the phosphorus (the middle number listed). Those are the components of a fertilizer that promote leaf growth and flowering. We recommend McDonald Greenleaf fertilizer specifically formulated for Hampton Roads… it’s what we use on our own plants and it has been a customer favorite for years.

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Plant of the Week: Marigolds -- Beautiful & Beneficial

These little golden beauties are grown for their season-long blooms, their beautiful scent, and because they are easy to grow. Marigolds bloom early in the summer and continue non-stop up to the first hard frost in the fall. And, did you know that marigold plants produce unique compounds that give off strong odors that deter many insects and pests? By planting marigolds alongside your vegetables, not only are you providing lovely flowers, but you're also helping keep your veggies safe from pests - naturally! Marigolds also help tomatoes and roses grow better and are beneficial for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. These bloomers are perfect in beds, pots and window boxes. Plant them in an area with good drainage, ample moisture and a full to half-day sun. Young plants should have their first flowers pinched off to encourage more blooms and a bushier form. Be sure to deadhead mature plants to ensure continuous flowering. Marigolds, no annual garden should be without these cheerful, bountiful blooms.

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>

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