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Succulents…Who Knew?


What plant is easy to grow, hard to kill, and can be planted just about anywhere? Succulents! These plants may possibly be one of the most versatile on the globe and they have certainly gained popularity recently. We are seeing them used just about everywhere. Because they have shallow roots, they can survive without a great deal of water or care and thrive in drought-like conditions. Succulents also have a variety of pleasing shapes and colors, and look good whether they have blooms or not! Not only are they amazing in the garden, but lately succulents have moved to center stage and are being used in a multitude of ways both inside and out. And, many people are using them in all sorts of way; as table arrangements, living sculptures, as cut flowers – the skies the limit when it comes to using succulents. Take advantage of these unique garden characters and challenge yourself to come up with new ways to display your succulents around the house. Whether you combine a few succulents together in a pot or arrange succulents to form a pattern in a vertical garden, they certain to add a burst of color and a little drama to your house and garden. Here are a few unique ideas for using succulents:

Succulent wreaths are a gorgeous addition to any home or outdoor living space. And, because succulents roots so easily, they are ideal for creating an easy to care for wreath. Simply lay them in place and in a few weeks, they will root into the soil or medium. Try using various shapes and shades of green succulents to create an interesting textured wreath that will continue to change and fill out as the plants become more established. Display wreaths on a door, as a centerpiece, or hang it on an interior wall – the options are endless! Succulent wreaths will thrive in a sunny indoor location or a partially shaded outdoor spot. And best of all, succulents require minimal watering to keep it growing!

Succulents are striking on their own but arranging them in groups or by introducing a colorful variety will surly up the wow factor in your home and garden. Experiment with these garden gems by adding a succulent container to a balcony, deck or patio. And don't fret, you don't have to live in a warm climate to utilize outdoors - there are plenty of cold hardy varieties that will weather the winter. Just be sure to ask which varieties are best suited for outdoor use in the Hampton Roads area. Or, plant the tender succulents in a container that you can bring indoors during those cold winter months.

Succulents have become the hot new trend in table arrangements for both indoors and out. Whether you mix it with classic decor to add a touch of modern or incorporate it into your outdoor space to create a rustic feel, these living arrangements have a number of advantages. Succulents don't wither in the sun, cause allergies, or have to be thrown out, unlike cut flowers.

The succulent craze is fast becoming one of hottest trends in wedding decor! Succulents come in a vast assortment of shapes and colors from greens to dusty blues to serene pinks and purples and even oranges. And, there are countless ways to use succulents on that special day. Incorporate succulents into the bride’s bouquet and table-top centerpieces, or use as boutonnières for groomsmen and even as garnish for the cake.

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Trend Alert

TRENDS WE LOVE: A look at outdoor trends for 2014.

Everyone knows that trends come and go, and this is true in the gardening world as well. Whether you’re looking to make a change in your outdoor or indoor space, or you’re just curious about what’s hot for 2014, we’ve got the inside scoop on what’s trending 2014. This year, the color Radiant Orchid is the new black, growing herbs is chic, coastal living and vintage themes are all the rage. And, blurring the line between indoors and outdoors is more apparent than ever! Get ready to see these new trends in 2014:

Embrace rustic elements using zinc, teak, concrete, birch, glass, burlap and reclaimed wood. We can't get enough of these nature-inspired finishes that add a chic style to the home and garden. This spring, you'll see a lot of these materials used in pots, plant tags, indoor and outdoor decor, and other accents. Get ready for vintage chic, you're going to love it!

Herb is the word for 2014! Grow herbs indoors and out to spice up dining and decor. Whether you're cooking, infusing oils, making perfume or just enjoying the aroma, herbs are some of the most versatile plants in the garden. They are also perfect addition to a small space garden as you can grow one or ten successfully. Create an herb garden outdoors using raised beds and containers. And, don't forget to bring these plants indoors. Not only do indoor herb gardens look great as decor, but you'll love the convenience of snipping off fresh herbs while your cooking.

Capture the calm and serenity of the coast. Incorporate shades of blue and coastal motifs such as coral, oyster shells, anchors, star fish and more. This theme will inspire you to incorporate the coast in your home. The options are endless from lamps to cushions to pottery and even furniture. In the past, people have reserved coastal style to waterfront home or the beach, but now we are seeing this style used everywhere. You don't have to live on the water to enjoy the feel it brings you!

Take the outdoors in and the indoors out. Create spaces that blend seamlessly to extend your outdoor living space. Blending indoor and outdoor spaces is a continuing trend in 2014. Try using outdoor furniture on a sunporch or in your kitchen or creating large windows that bring the outdoors in visually. Also, extend your outdoor spaces using fire pits, outdoor fireplaces with mantles and even outdoor kitchens. The possibilities are endless.

Color of the Year: RADIANT ORCHID
Prepare to see this harmonious blend of fuchsia, purple and pink everywhere this year. It is said to inspire confidence and the color represents great joy, love and heath. The purple and pink tones give us a flexible color palette to work with from pink and violet pastels to deep purples and bright fuchsias. There is certainly no lack of plants that fall into this color category, so make room for this color in your garden.

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Get Waterwise

Landscaping with water-wise plants, often referred to as Xeriscaping, is a great way to recognize Earth Day. Water-wise plants are adapted to local conditions and generally grow better. They also require less maintenance and ~ of course use less water! There are a wide variety of colorful, fragrant and beautiful plants that fit this description and most have long blooming seasons. By selecting plants that will thrive in dry conditions, you can save on your water bills – and help the environment, too. Here’s some of our top choices:

ICE PLANTS. These succulent perennials are low-growing making it a perfect ground cover or the perfect border. They also are gorgeous planted on their own in containers. Bold colored flowers range from golden yellow to purple. The Firespinner variety is our top pick this season with it's stunning orange blooms!

MEZOO TRAILING RED. This unique, annual foliage plant is an ideal spiller for any container combination. It adores the full sun and blooms with small red flowers. Try pairing it with Knockout Roses, Geraniums, Petunias and even ornamental grasses.

PORTULACA.This beauty is a small, fast growing annual plant with very bright, bold blooms. The flowers will open on bright, sunny days and close at night. Plant Portulaca in a container, window box or hanging basket and let it spill over with abundant blooms. We love the new Happy Hour series with bright colors like banana, fuchsia, orange and mixed. Look for these in store in May as they like it a bit hotter.

SEDUMS. Sedums encompass a very wide variety of hardy, perennial succulents with water storing leaves. Some are loved for their interesting and attractive foliage, while others for their gorgeous flowers. Sedums make an ideal groundcover and look absolutely beautiful planted in a container. The possibilities are endless with Sedums! We recommend our new varieties, Lemon Coral and Beach Party.

HENS & CHICKS. Few plants are as hardy, easy to maintain, effortless to grow and beautiful to boot! These succulents are shaped similar to an artichoke, but the color and leaves can vary. Colors range from pale mint green to dark olive, burgundy to red, purple to pink and sometimes even gray. The leaves may be thick or thin, bristly or round-tipped, smooth or covered with fine hairs. The parent rosettes are the "hens," and the smaller rosettes that sprout from them are the "chicks". Tuck Hens & Chicks into the niches of a rock garden, in containers or directly in the ground. They prefer full sun to partial shade.

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