Tag Archives: planters

New Statuary for Spring 2017

When the big crates of statuary arrive, it’s a sure thing spring is just around the corner. Here’s a look at a few of the pieces that came in recently. Whimsical animals, and pretty planters that struck our fancy and we hope will tickle yours too.

They’re even better in person!

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Planters and Statuary for Spring 2016

Statuary Planters 2016 - BraunSoon we’ll be unloading spring shipments of shrubs, herbs, flowers for garden beds, pots, and more. For now though, two large shipments of planters and statuary have arrived, and we’re waiting on a third from a new supplier.Statuary 2016Statuary 2016

There are cast stone planters, but light weight alternatives are available as well, easy on the wallet,  (And the back!)  too.Statuary Bird Baths 2016

Winter is a good time to take a walk through your yard with a critical eye. Might there be a spot for a bird bath? One can easily be  worked into existing planting beds near the cover of shrubbery, or used as a focal point to draw the eye to a particular area of your landscape.  Try to locate it where you can see your feathered friends from inside your home as well.

RoosterThese cast stone bird baths are classic shapes, and will add timeless beauty to your garden. And, while we’re on the subject of birds, why not  give them a place to live by adding a succulent roof bird house. They make quite a stylish abode!Succulent Roof Bird House

Do you or someone you  know have chickens? So many people do these days, and our statuary suppliers have jumped on the bandwagon, offering Henrietta the hen, and two versions of a rooster.Statuary 2016 Rooster

Statuary 2016 Hen

 

 

Statuary Gnomes 2016

 

 

 

 

If you fancy a conversation piece for your yard, one of these  just might fit the bill!   Any of them would also make a great gift, and since they’re cast stone they are meant to last a long, long time.

Statuary St Fiacre and Buddhas 2016Planters,  bird baths, chickens, roosters – and  I haven’t even mentioned our trio of charming gnomes – what fun it would be to come across one or more of them in a garden!

Perhaps you’re more inclined toward religious statuary…we have Saint Fiacre (The patron saint of the garden.), Saint Francis, or the choice of Buddhas for your tranquil piece of earth.

Soon more and more plants will arrive, and spring will too. Until then though, stop by to stroll the greenhouse and browse. You might spot the perfect planter, a gift for a friend – or both!

By Kris Blevons

Herbs, Veggies, Cool Season Annuals Shine in Late Winter Containers…

Wondering what to do about your winter-weary container plantings? It’s still too early to put in the real heat lovers, but there is hope.

Sweet allysum, lettuce and violas

Sweet allysum, lettuce and violas

If your pots  look just plain awful, it may be time to, at the very least, empty them out and add fresh potting soil so you’re either ready to freshen them now  or get a jump on planting them in another month or so.  (You’ll be so happy you did this when you don’t have to do it later!)

 

 

Herbs add so much to container plantings. Whether it be some thyme to trail over the edge or a bit of parsley to add some fluff, they will add texture, color, and scent…not to mention it’s nice to snip a bit here and there for cooking! Take a look at this herb post from last year for more information. While not everything in that post has arrived yet, it will soon; so keep your eyes open!

 

Silver thyme and lettuce brighten this planting...

Silver thyme and lettuce brighten this planting…

Other great additions this time of year are lettuce and arugula…just in time for spring salads! Plant some now and you’ll be picking until the heat sets in and they “bolt”, or send up blooms. This will mean they’re finished for the season and need to be replaced with something that will withstand the heat of summer. Another really pretty veggie addition is red-veined sorrel…and it’s very cold hardy as well.

Poppy and cool season annuals, diascia, sweet allysum and pansies

Poppy and cool season annuals, diascia, sweet allysum and pansies

 

 

 

 

 

This is also the time of year for what is termed “cool season annuals“. These are the flowers that shine when the nights are brisk and the days aren’t too too hot. Think sweet allysum, lobelia, heliotrope, diascia, and nemesia for starters (Though breeders have now improved the sweet allysum to withstand even our brutal summers.),

 

We even have the first of the geraniums in stock now; they love this late winter, early spring weather. If your pansies survived this winter, they should begin to really blooom for the next month, as well, and snapdragons will even later.

Red veined sorrel adding some color...also shown Perennial Veronica 'Georgia Blue' and golden acorus.

Red veined sorrel adding some color…also shown Perennial Veronica ‘Georgia Blue’, golden acorus and lemon variegated thyme…

 

When the heat takes it’s toll on these cool season beauties, it will be time to plant your summer combinations. We’re so lucky to be able to have more than one growing season!

caution when using these cool season flowers, however. Be a weather watcher and protect these from any freezing temperatures. If you do this, you’ll have the prettiest planters of anyone on your block!

Remember, you can always bring your manageably sized pots in for us to plant! We also carry a good selection of the biodegradable pulp pots that look great on their own or can be dropped into another container. Like to do it yourself? Browse the nursery and collect what you want for your planters, or ask us for help choosing just the right plants.

 

 

More Statuary and Planters…Spring 2014

A few more of the planters and some statuary that arrived recently…

Assorted statuary...

Assorted statuary…

light weight...fiberglass

light weight…fiberglass

Different shapes and sizes of light weight planters...

Different shapes and sizes of light weight planters…

glazed bowls...

glazed bowls…

St. Francis...St. Fiacre

St. Francis…St. Fiacre

cast stone window boxes

cast stone window boxes

As of January, 2016, many of these planters are no longer available. Please stop by or call for availability, and look HERE for the latest offerings.

Late Summer Plants Jump Start The Fall Garden

Marigolds & Coleus - FallI’m not quite sure I’ve been  living in the Southeast this summer…plentiful rain and decent temperatures – (Though it looks like the heat is finally returning.) this has been Alabama in August?!

But, even with a manageable summer, annuals planted back in April can still be looking worse for wear, no matter how well you tend your garden and containers. Potted plantings especially can get just plain root bound, and may need rejuvenating by late summer when school starts back up.

Pumpkin season is right around the corner...

Pumpkin season is right around the corner…

 

 

And, before you know it, pumpkins and gourds will be on display all over town – and they look beautiful with all the late summer plants you can begin putting in now and in the coming weeks!

But what to do? If you’ve been cutting back your annuals they may be just fine. If they are, that’s great. Keep tending them until pansy season, which generally begins when temperatures really begin to cool down and fall is definitely in the air – usually sometime in October.

photo (33)But, if your garden and beds are struggling…think about where you’d like to see marigolds, ornamental peppers, late season salvias, and, further down the road, lettuce, asters and cool season herbs – we’ll have transplants of parsley, thyme (Look for the lemon variegated thyme which looks beautiful with green or red lettuce and marigolds.) dill and cilantro too.
Just a few marigolds go a long way in planters or beds – each plant gets quite large – and they only need periodic dead heading to keep blooms coming.

What about mums, you ask? Well, we’ll have mums as well, and they are beautiful too. You do need to know though, as soon as all their buds open, there won’t be more flowers. You can enjoy them until they’re done blooming, but, no matter how many flowers you pinch off, they won’t make more! But for a weekend football party or get together, they can’t be beat as a traditional fall flower on a table or by your front door.

Soon everything will be available to create this planting arrangement...

Soon everything will be available to create this planting arrangement…

September is right around the corner, and that is the month all of these plants become more readily available. If you begin planning now, you can have a glorious fall planters and garden beds that are the envy of your neighborhood!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 

Annuals And Perennials – What’s The Difference?

Annual…Perennial…It’s okay if you can’t seem to remember which is which – that’s our job! So, for all of you that are perennially (haha) confused and would like to finally get it straight, here’s the scoop:

Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 3.54.53 PM

annual bedding plants…

Annual: one of those go-to plants that you put out each year – for example in your planters – (annually) a geranium, or begonia perhaps. Annuals give you a lot of bang for your buck in one fell swoop – but, when they’ve exhausted their blooming period, they are finished, kaput, done. This also applies to fall plants such as pansies and violas. We call them cool season annuals because their blooming period – (before they’re finished, kaput, done,) is the cool season, or winter. Cool season annuals just can’t take the heat, so when they’ve given it up we plant out summer annuals – think zinnias, begonias, caladiums, coleus, fan flower…all the pretty plants we buy in our frenzy of spring fever.

So, maybe that helps a little bit? Put another way, you plant annuals in the Birmingham area annually (each year – spring and fall.) Some annuals for spring/summer planting become available early in the spring and others show up a bit later and really need the heat turned up to do well. Annuals also provide lasting color – useful for the long summer season…typically, annuals in the Birmingham area begin to play out and look “tired” by mid-August though, even with the best of care. August is one tough month!

Caladiums...

Caladiums…

Caladium 'Aaron', a great choice for sun or shade

Caladium ‘Aaron’, a great choice for sun or shade

Here’s a small sampling of some great annuals for Birmingham and surrounding areas – this is just the tip of the iceburg, however. For more inspiration, check out our Facebook page too, or better yet, stop in!

Dragonwing begonias – sun or shade, with adequate water they get huge!
Caladiums – traditional shade plant, now many selections are available for sun too. Pretty mixed with asparagus or other ferns, begonias, Sunpatiens, torenia or any other flowering annual that compliments the color of their leaves. They’ll do best if you wait to plant in garden beds until the ground is warm, usually by May.

Coleus – beautiful colors! Another that used to play only in the shade, now many varieties are used in full sun plantings. Very useful as an accent foliage in beds or containers, they can get very large! It’s quite easy to keep them at whatever size you’d like, though. Simply pinch when young or cut them back if they get out of hand! Check the tag for sun tolerance.

Gomphrena – This one may not be familiar to you. A heat lover, it has globes of purple, orange or sometimes pink flowers, and is long lasting and tough. It never looks like much in a pot so you’ll have to trust us on this one – but if you do, you won’t be sorry …and they’ll still look good in August!

narrow leaf zinnias come in white, yellow, orange and a mix...

narrow leaf zinnias come in white, yellow, orange and a mix…

Gomphrena & narrow leaf zinnias in a hot, sunny bed

Gomphrena & narrow leaf zinnias in a hot, sunny bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zinnias – There are many varieties of zinnia from the tiny flowered narrow leaf zinnia to the more open Profusion and Zahara zinnias, and they all love the heat. Don’t be afraid to cut them back if they become rangy mid-summer. If you do, they’ll also still be looking good in the latter part of the season.

Vinca – this one is the absolute easiest, most fool proof annual to use for a lot of color in hot spots. Plant them and don’t baby them with too much water. They’ll reward you with loads of pretty blooms in clear colors. There’s also a trailing vinca as well. As with caladiums, don’t plant too early in the ground.

Sunpatiens and New Guinea impatiens – these are the types of impatiens that are resistant to downy mildew which is affecting bedding plant and double impatiens in our area. They are only available in larger pots, but you don’t need as many of them since you can space them further apart in your beds. In containers they make quite a show too!

white pentas still looking fresh in this late summer photo

white pentas still looking fresh in this late summer photo

Pentas – the butterflies love pentas and these come in so many colors. Bright red, white, light and dark pink, lilac – there’s a color for everyone! To maintain pentas, you need only keep them deadheaded – keeping the old blooms cut off. If you haven’t tried these, you’re in for a treat!

Lantana – The old stand-by for sun and heat. There are many good selections of lantana now and growth habit varies – some will get enormous, (tall and wide) while others will stay more mounding and compact, so always check the tag for size. Particularly nice for planters are the trailing varieties which come in bright yellow, white and lavender. They take a while to take off, but once the heat sets in they spread like crazy!

heat loving lantana...

heat loving lantana…

 

 

 

 

 

 

This hanging basket for sun includes a sun loving caladium, angelonia, pink fan flower, trailing silver dichondra, and an airy white euphorbia...

This hanging basket for sun includes a sun loving caladium, angelonia, pink fan flower, trailing silver dichondra, and an airy white euphorbia…

 

Angelonia – Sometimes called summer snapdragon because of the shape of the bloom, angelonia is a good choice to add some height in beds and containers. Strongly upright in growth, but loose enough to not look stiff, it’s a welcome addition to our summer plant palette. Hybridizers have been working overtime improving color, bloom size and heat tolerance, making these beauties one of the newer go-to plants for summer plantings, adding shades of purple, pink, lilac and white.

Persian shield...

Persian shield…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strobilanthes/Persian Shield – This foliage plant is an excellent annual, like the caladium, that is useful as a foliage accent in plantings. In the ground or in pots, it is gorgeous!

Rex begonias...

Rex begonias…

Rex Begonias – Another great foliage accent in many leaf patterns. Good for shade planters primarily. Technically a houseplant, but I couldn’t resist putting another foliage option in this post!

We’ll discuss perennials (they’re the ones that come back if they’re in their happy spot.) in a future post. Meantime, maybe there are one or two annuals on this list you haven’t tried – maybe it’s time!

 

 

 

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

 

 

Cork Bark Pieces – These Are Planters!

imageimageThese cork bark pieces are so organic and natural…we love them and wanted to pass on just a couple of ideas for planting them. Actually, they were one of those happy accidents – one wrong stroke of the keyboard, with a different item number ordered than planned, and, voila, these cork bark pieces arrived the other day that were rounded, with just enough space for planting rather than being flat…oh, happy day!

You may see other possibilities for these bark planters that don’t involve plants at all…that’s fine too – we will have plenty in stock in the coming weeks and you can decide how they’d work best for you. They are affordable and fun for whatever use you choose to make of them.

imageOf course, if you’ve been keeping up with previous posts, you know we’ve gotten in some pretty cool looking succulents, as well as air plants and the beginning of the new season’s herb offerings. So, with all this bounty to work with, one bark planter became a succulent, herb, airplant design and the other became a study in silvery grays and blues with a pop of chartreuse…image

 

imageAs with any combination planting,  look at color, texture and form of the plants you’re working with. The bark is rough and brown…in one planting the red coloring of the hens and chicks play off the brown of the planter while the red edging of the thyme also picks up the color of the succulents. The spiky air plants contrast with the rounded forms of  the rolled bark as well.

The silver succulents show nicely against the dark of the bark, and the repetition of the round forms is pleasing, almost like a river running along the piece…of course, succulents and some herbs are best for this type of shallow planting. image

 

Strong morning sun with shade in the afternoon will be helpful in keeping these looking their best…We planted these with a light potting mix – water freely when dry but let dry completely between watering. We will be checking  the thyme more frequently and keeping  it clipped, and as plants outgrow the composition we’ll  pull them out and replace with new ones…fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Flowers – Lilies and More!

The ultimate Easter flower...

The ultimate Easter flower…

We love the colors, blooms and scents of the Easter holiday…from pure white Easter lilies to the soft purples and pinks of hydrangeas, and the fragrance of stephanotis…this season speaks of new beginnings..

With the upcoming holiday and family and friends gathering for Easter, we have the plants, flowers and arrangements for your table or gifts for loved ones at this special time.

Easter lilies are the traditional Easter plant – enjoy their blooms and scent, and if you have a spot in the garden, plant your lily as soon as danger of frost is past. (Easter is late this year, but please wait until at least the end of April to early May to plant your lily outside.)

hydrangeas in the colors of Easter...

hydrangeas in the colors of Easter…

We also have beautiful hydrangeas…while these are considered florist hydrangeas, for you folks that want to try planting them out in your landscape find a spot with filtered sun, rich soil and a bit of protection. Keep them well watered their first summer in the ground.

The fragrant stephanotis wreaths are beautiful annual vines…they will bloom now and sporadically through the summer – they’re very nice in planters with other blooming summer annuals. They aren’t winter hardy though, so if you’d like to keep them be sure to bring them in for the winter.

Pastel pink orchids float above campanula, violets and selaginella in this Easter arrangement

Pastel pink orchids float above campanula, violets and selaginella in this Easter arrangement

Of course we also have long lasting and elegant orchids – let us arrange a grouping in one of your containers or ours. In addition to gorgeous orchids we also offer kalanchoes, violets, freesia, campanula, calla lilies and more!image

We always have the most beautiful orchids!

We always have the most beautiful orchids!

If you’d rather have an Easter arrangement or basket made up of plants that you can use later in your garden and seasonal planters, we have that as well! Just let us know and we’ll offer appropriate suggestions for you.

From all of us, we hope all of you have a wonderful Easter !

These Ground Covers Are Tough!

The plants here are actually more than just ground cover, that one size fits all word that describes  plants that spread and spread…(or at least we hope they will where we put them!)

Ajuga - there are some great ones!

Ajuga – there are some great ones!

We say they’re more than just groundcover, because many are ornamental as well as being tough. There are many, many varieties of ajuga for example, some with dark, shiny leaves, others with the tiniest of leaves that work well in containers, still others have pink and cream variegation and blend well with annuals in mixed planters to add foliage color and texture.

Golden creeping jenny is also a useful trailing plant in containes

Golden creeping jenny is also a useful trailing plant in containes

Golden creeping jenny is very much at home in moist areas where it will spread happily – combined with golden sweet flag (Acorus ‘Ogon’) it will light up the landscape…the acorus will need occasional division and a trimming in February (at the same time you cut mondo grass).

Creeping jenny is also a wonderful addition to planters as a trailing element…it will also tolerate sun if well watered.

Dwarf mondo, a great substitute for grass in shady spots

Dwarf mondo, a great substitute for grass in shady spots

Dwarf mondo is a tried and true groundcover useful as a grass substitute in shady areas. You’ll find that it is sold in 4″ pots, but when you plant, be sure to pull the sprigs apart and loosen the root system, it will establish much more quickly for you.

Creeping raspberry adds a coarse texture and reddish winter color

Creeping raspberry adds a coarse texture and reddish winter color

Another you may not be as familiar with is Rubus – creeping raspberry. This is an evergreen groundcover that spreads and roots along the stems as it grows. It can cover some tough territory, from areas under trees to rocky slopes. Once it establishes, it will spread quickly. The foliage turns a beautiful red/bronze color in the winter and it has insignificant white flowers in the spring (no raspberries though, darn!)

Carex adds a fountain like growth habit...

Carex adds a fountain like growth habit…

The Carex species are another grassy groundcover, really more clumping in habit but we include them here because they add such interest to the landscape. The one shown here is Carex ‘Evergold’ a variegated grass that really lights up shady spots and if used in a container fountains over the edge beautifully. As with the acorus, it benefits from a trimming in the spring.

Creeping fig also clings to walls using ootlets along the stem

Creeping fig also clings to walls using ootlets along the stem

Many of you are familiar with creeping fig…we have plenty in stock now. It prefers a shady, moist spot but will adapt to sun if given adequate moisture.

 

 

 

Remember, all of these are also useful as components in planters, so even if you’re not in the market for a true groundcover, you may still want to take a look at these when you’re planning your summer pots too!

 

 

U-Pot-It ~ You Take It!

The U-Pot-It bench – ready for you!

Spring is right around the corner, and we want to remind you the U-Pot-It-Bench is available (when Ozzie isn’t sleeping in it, that is!) for all of you who’d like to bring your own pots in and plant them yourself!

Of course, you can also pick a pot or planter out from our stock too – all we ask is that you use our plants…but you knew that already!

Details are posted on the bench, and forms are provided to keep track how much soil and fertilizer you use. Have fun!