Category Archives: Spring

Japanese Roof Iris – A Plant With A History!

Iris tectorum 'Alba'

Iris tectorum ‘Alba’ with Carex ‘Evergold’

The days are becoming warmer, and the white Japanese roof iris are beginning to bloom. A charming iris, it spreads slowly in part sun and the fresh green iris fans are lovely as a counterpoint to other plant forms in the garden.

Iris tectorum ‘Alba’ is the one shown here in my garden…and the one we carry, grown by a local supplier and available now.

Iris tectorum 'Alba' with 'Blue Mouse Ears' hosta and violas

Iris tectorum ‘Alba’ with ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ hosta and violas





Though its common name is Japanese roof iris, it’s actually native to China. Botanist
Carl Maximowicz (1827-1891) discovered it growing on roofs in Japan in the early 1860s. In an earlier dynasty, an emperor, during a period of war, decreed that only food (rice and vegetables) would be grown in the ground – no flowers. So, the resourceful Japanese grew these flowers on the edges of their thatched roofs. They were the original roof gardens and must have been quite a sight to come upon!

Pretty fans of Iris tectorum 'Alba'

Pretty fans of Iris tectorum ‘Alba’


In addition to providing beauty in a time of war, the ground roots were the source of the white powder used to whiten geishas’ faces. I must say researching plants is not boring at all; the tidbits learned can be fascinating.

When in bloom, this pretty iris is about a foot tall and the fans droop a bit, so the groundcover effect is quite lovely. The bloom period lasts 2-3 weeks late April into May.

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Variegated Solomon’s Seal…Lighting Up the Shade

Morning sun in spring on  emerging Variegated Solomon's Seal...

Morning sun in spring on emerging Variegated Solomon’s Seal…

Variegated Solomon Seal, Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’, is a favorite in my shade garden…though, if you know me, you know I have a lot of favorites.  Tough as it is beautiful, it is a stalwart in many gardens, lending its graceful, arching foliage and fragrant, bell-shaped white blooms to the early spring palette.

Though it tolerates drought once established and will slowly form large colonies of plants, it’s happiest in dappled light and moist soil. The spot mine are in is along a dry riverbed that is definitely quite moist during periods of rain but also can be very dry in the summer.

Companions include ferns, acorus, calla lilies and more...

Companions include ferns, acorus, calla lilies and more…


Other happy companions in this area include: Autumn ferns, dryopteris erythrosora; Southern maidenhair ferns, Adiantum cappilaris; various hostas; a ground cover strawberry begonia, Saxifrage stolonifera; Acorus; blue woodland phlox, Phlox divaricata, that has seeded itself;  forget-me-nots, myosotis sempervirens;  a calla lily; hydrangeas; Virginia sweetspire; and more that like this shady area.

Along a dry riverbed...

Along a dry riverbed…just coming
up in the spring…








Variegated Solomon's Seal shown in lower left - mid summer with hydrangeas blooming...

Variegated Solomon’s Seal shown in lower left – mid summer with hydrangeas blooming…


The height of variegated solomon’s seal is around 2′ tall, spreading  indefinitely where it’s happy. The  white, bell-shaped flowers will bloom until late spring, and fall brings beautiful, blue-black pendulous berries that hang downward along the stems. The arching foliage is also very lovely in flower arrangements.  Really, what more can one ask for in a perennial plant?

The Perennial Plant Association named Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year, calling it “a classic beauty for the shady woodland garden or the part-shade to full shade border.”




Spring 2014 – New Shrubs to Peruse

Bert and Jay unloading...

Bert and Jay unloading…

blueberry bush blooms after a rainstorm

blueberry bush blooms after a rainstorm

March brings the beginning of the spring planting season, and new arrivals will be coming in almost daily from now through  June. It’s an intensely busy time, and, after this past winter, we understand everyone is more than ready to plant something…anything!

The first spring deliveries bring  shipments of select shrubs. Because of space limitations we get them in first; it’s amazing how much room a blueberry bush or a Lady Banks rose  in a 5 gallon pot can take up…especially noticeable when our entire operation is on 1/3 of an acre  (Including the parking lot). Some shrubs in these  first shipments are one time orders only, so don’t hesitate if you see something you like.

Chamaecyparis 'Golden Mop'

Chamaecyparis ‘Golden Mop’




If you’re looking for a focal point in the garden, we have a chamaecyparis in now named ‘Golden Mop’. Shown here is a picture of one in my  garden.  If you’ve looked at pictures of some of our outdoor Christmas  decorations using live greenery,  you might be able to spot the  bright golden foliage lighting up those holiday arrangements.  In March, the perennial groundcover Veronica ‘Georgia Blue’ makes a pretty skirt underneath it. We have some of it in stock now as well.

Rosemary looking a little rough after this past winter...

Rosemary looking a little rough after this past winter…

Do you need some new rosemary plants in your garden after this frigid winter?  I do. With this in mind, we have tried to get in as many as we can. These first shipments will include large pots of upright rosemary to replace those so many of us lost. Remember to place your rosemary where it will receive at least 4 hours of good sun and won’t be in soil that stays wet for any great length of time. I’ve had a large one out by my mailbox for a number of years now (Inexplicably, it was the one that survived this winter.) that rarely gets much attention and is enormous.

This tea olive is right at nose level from my deck...

This tea olive is right at nose level from my deck…

A couple more favorites of mine that we have now until they’re sold out are the wonderfully fragrant tea olives, Osmanthus fragrans. Their small white flowers aren’t noticeable until the elusive scent wafts through the garden in the late summer through fall and again sporadically through the winter. Plant these in a protected area in sun to light shade, ideally near entranceways or seating areas where the scent can be fully appreciated.

On afternoon walks in the fall their scent is unmistakeable in my neighborhood!  According to this link by UGA (Click on publications and search for osmanthus fragrans.), they will grow to a size of 10-15 feet at a fairly quick rate. I started with a one gallon pot 9 years ago, and it’s easily at its mature height now.  This is the only winter mine exhibited cold damaged leaves and bare stems; with spring, some fertilizer, and new growth they should be fine.

Sarcococca in my garden with Dicentra cucullaria peeking out from underneath...

Sarcococca in my garden with Dicentra cucullaria peeking out from underneath…

One last shrub I’d like to mention is one you may not be familiar with; it’s an excellent for shade areas called Sweet Box, Sarcococca confusa. It will gradually spread in woodland areas and has clusters of fragrant white flowers in the spring, followed by round black fruit later in the season. It’s a very nice evergreen shrub and useful as a filler or background plant. If you have a woodland garden, it’s a must!

These are just a few of the new arrivals; others  include confederate jasmine, figs (Yum!!), Virginia sweetspire, Red Drift roses,  bay laurel and more.  If you’re in the area, please stop by and take a look!









March Brings New Shrubbery, Vines and Herbs…

Unloaded in the parking lot...

Unloaded in the parking lot…

It’s the beginning of March, and finally (!) the nursery looks like more than an empty parking lot. A sure sign that spring is approaching are the first shipments of shrubbery,  early perennials, and herbs, including a couple of different spiraeas, snowball viburnum, Deutzia ‘Nikko’, blueberry bushes, and ‘Red Star’ and ‘Golden Mop’ evergreen chamaecyparis.

Bay laurel

Bay laurel





If your  bay laurel, rosemary or confederate jasmine succumbed to this winter’s frigid temperatures,  we have some of all of these too. Unfortunately many of us have to replace them this year. The ‘Tuscan Blue’ rosemary is in one gallon pots –  a good size to plant now.

Confederate jasmine, shown here with a clematis growing through it...

Confederate jasmine, shown here with a clematis growing through it…


This shipment also brought Virgninia Sweetspire, Itea virginica. A great shrub for our area, it is adaptable to many situations and provides spring blooms and beautiful fall color as well.

In addition to the confederate jasmine, another  flowering vine, the beautiful (and non-invasive) honeysuckle, Lonicera ‘Alabama Crimson’, is in stock now too. It’s blooms are honey for hummingbirds as they repopulate our area for the summer.

'Alabama Crimson' honeysuckle, growing on my arbor

‘Alabama Crimson’ honeysuckle, growing on my arbor




This first shipment is just the beginning of the rebirth of the nursery for a new season of gardening. More and more will arrive until, finally, we’ll be oveflowing again with green and flowering goodness…stay tuned!






Late February and March To-Dos

See the green growth at the base of this snapdragon?

See the green growth at the base of this snapdragon?

February is usually the month the temperatures begin to rise, though there is always the possibility of cold weather still through March. This year it’s definitely been colder than usual, and the pretty pansies, snapdragons, and other cool season annuals we all planted last fall have definitely taken a hit.



These pansies need to be deadheaded - they have cold damaged blooms and buds...

These pansies need to be deadheaded – they have cold damaged blooms and buds…

Normally in February, regular deadheading (pinching off faded blooms) should  be done to keep pansies and violas blooming well. Many of the snapdragons you planted will still be green at the bottom, but have dead growth that needs to be clipped off. With temperatures moderating and even rising, they will begin to grow again. In fact, they may be prettier than ever late spring into early summer; think of the cold damage as a rejuvenating pinching back!

Mondo grass, prior to being cut back with a string trimmer...

Mondo grass, prior to being cut back with a string trimmer…


Mid-February is the traditional time to cut back mondo grass, liriope, and acorus  in your landscape before spring growth begins. A string trimmer makes quick work of this job. Don’t wait too long to take care of this necessary grooming maintenance or you’ll risk damaging new growth.

This big clump of miscanthus needs to be cut down to make way for fresh growth...

This big clump of miscanthus needs to be cut down to make way for fresh growth…






Do you have tall perennial grasses in your landscape? They should also be cut back now. The easiest way to address large clumps of grasses is to bundle them up with strong twine or a bungee cord, then, if it’s a small clump, cut it back with your hand pruners. Or, if the clump is large, use a power hedge trimmer and simply cut the entire clump to the ground.  Again, don’t wait too long to tackle this chore or the new spring growth will already be up. Be very careful with these large perennial grasses; wear long sleaves to protect your arms and glasses to protect your eyes from the sharp grass blades.

It’s still a bit early to fertilize shrubs and trees in anticipation of spring growth – that is best left for the end of March into April.  However, if you didn’t shred your leaves this fall and work them into garden beds, resolve to do it this year. Adding any organic matter to beds helps loosen soil and provides nutrients,  contributing to the overall health of your soil and microbes that live in it.

These 4'x8' beds are just the right size for a few veggies...

These 4’x8′ beds are just the right size for a few veggies…

Have you been thinking about creating a new bed in your landscape? It’s a great time to do this as well. Perhaps you’d like to have a vegetable garden this spring. Even a small area of 4’x8′ can provide enough space to grow a couple of tomato plants or some peppers or a combination of a few different things.

The one thing to remember when making a new planting bed is you must add organic matter to our clay soil – leaf mulch, cow manure, soil conditioner, homemade compost (Do you have a compost pile? You should!).  Work as much organic matter as possible into your new bed. This will aid in drainage and soil fertility and make it easier to plant too!  If you have old newspapers, these can be laid over the top of your bed and a thick layer of mulch or leaf mold placed on top. Not only does the newspaper smother weed seeds you may have brought to the surface but it will decompose – the perfect way to recycle your newspaper!

Narcissus 'Baby Moon' foliage beginning to come up through the ipheion...

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’ foliage beginning to come up through the ipheion…

You may have perennial bulbs appearing in your garden. As this foliage emerges, it is the time to fertilize them with a bulb fertilizer. If they seem crowded and don’t bloom well,  consider dividing into smaller clumps this spring.

Taken a bit at a time, these tasks aren’t too demanding, and the deadheading, cutting back, and fertilizing will make your landscape shine!


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.

Planters…Cast Stone, Fiberglass, Terra Cotta, Glazed – Pretty Pots For Your Garden Spaces…

photo (21)

Containers, planters, pots…whatever you choose to name them, there should be a place somewhere in your landscape for one – or more. Shown here is a sampling of our 2014 spring order of cast stone, light weight fiberglass, terra cotta, and glazed pots.

Well chosen and beautifully planted containers obviously add beauty to your home. This in turn enhances value by contributing to the overall curb appeal.

So you’ve already got a couple of pots by the front door, you say? That’s one of the first places folks put planters. It’s an obvious choice, and a good one, since they define your entrance. This same idea can be used if you choose a planter to accent the beginning of a path, act as a focal point at a destination, or have a pair flanking a gate or other garden entrance.

Planted, tall pots can soften walls...

Planted, tall pots can soften walls…

Perhaps there are areas in your outdoor spaces that would benefit from  groupings of containers. Odd numbers are easiest to work with; use different heights and shapes to make it even more interesting.

If your home has a lot of hardscape (walls, a wide driveway entrance or parking area) or other unplanted spaces, well placed containers can add to the design there too. Tall containers can be easily filled with plants to spill over the edges to soften the landscape picture.Cast Stone Urns

Is there an area in your garden that nothing seems to grow or roots from nearby trees make it impossible to dig? Think about placing an interesting pot or stacking pots to create an interesting focal point.

Cast stone...

Cast stone…

Using similar containers throughout an area will create unity in your design (Though a little surprise here and there never hurt anyone!).

Once your containers are in place and planted, watering and plant maintenance will be important – stay tuned for future posts.

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Phlox divaricata – a must have for the woodland garden!

phlox divaricata in the garden....

phlox divaricata in the garden….

Wild blue phlox, woodland phlox, wild sweet william – whatever name you choose hardly matters. This native wildflower, Phlox divaricata, graces the most beautiful gardens in Birmingham in the early spring – March and April are its time to shine!

Phlox divaricata shown in Kris' spring garden

Phlox divaricata shown in
Kris’ spring garden




Find a spot for this one now, while it’s available, and you’ll add another layer of beauty to your garden too. Once established, it spreads readily, yet is never offensive or thuggish. The soft blue blooms have a delicate fragrance that is a subtle greeting as you walk through the garden…and bees and hummingbird moths love it too.

When it’s finished blooming, you can choose to cut it back, which helps tidy it up for summer. Don’t cut all of it back though, if you’d like it to reseed, popping up in other places in your yard – it will make itself at home!

Phlox divaricata enjoying the spring sun before its shaded by the rose bush...

Phlox divaricata enjoying the spring sun before its shaded by the rose bush…

Wild blue phlox is a denizen of my garden that I welcome wherever it chooses to be. Favored conditions are woodland soil or in a cultivated garden, and filtered or morning sun is perfect for it. But I also have some in a hot, sunny bed, a spot where it receives shade in the hottest part of the year by a large rosé bush, retreating in the summer and letting the rose take center stage..

How could anyone not want such a sweet, versatile, native perennial wildflower?

Phlox divarcata is a happy companion with many woodland plants

Phlox divarcata is a happy companion with many woodland plants


**Companion plants to consider include:
Columbine species, including the native columbine, Aquilegia canadensis
Perennial ferns, including Southern maidenhair, Japanese painted, tassel, Korean rock and more
Hellebores (Lenten roses)
Solomon’s seal (variegated or green)
Epimedium –
Other wild flowers, including spigelia, (Indian pinks) asarum (ground cover gingers), rue anemone, bloodroot, celandine poppy, Virginia blue bells, Iris cristata

Pretty pots of woodland phlox are available now...

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A Look At The Nursery – Come See!

We’re at the beginning of the new planting season and thought it would be nice to give you a glimpse of the nursery…for those of you familiar with us, you know things come in and go out just as fast – if you see something you think you could use, it’s really best to make up your mind quickly! Of course, we’re always happy to take your name and number and call you if we’re out of something that can be reordered.

Beautiful pots of 'Tuscan Blue' rosemary...

Beautiful pots of ‘Tuscan Blue’ rosemary…


The rosemary has been beautiful – this is one herb that does so well for us here in the Birmingham area…it’s happy in the ground and in containers.  It’s just a big,  beautiful, edible shrub!  Plant it in full to at least half day of sun and give it excellent drainage and you’ll have a winner on your hands.

The tables under the lath house are filling up with bedding plants...

The tables under the lath house are filling up with bedding plants…


We’re beginning to get serious about stocking bedding plants. While our last average frost date here is mid-April, we are pretty much there, though many of you are just now seeing the pansies at their peak. Enjoy them, and when they’ve given out in the heat, replant with your summer bedding plants. Container plantings are usually the first to suffer as a result of higher temperatures, especially if they dry out at all. We’re beginning to get in everything you’ll need for pots, hayracks and more…shipments come in just about every day but Monday!

The nursery is divided into distinct areas. All of the shrubs are against the fence on the inside of the lath house  and on the end toward the alley.

Annuals and tropicals are out front on the tables and steps, and also in the middle area under the lath house on tables.

Perennials and groundcovers are against the greenhouse on tables and on the ground.

Herbs and veggies are on the end toward the street and side garden. The fresh fruits and vegetables are on the red tables as you enter toward the greenhouse door…and the U-Pot-It bench is against the greenhouse as well. We know it can get very overwhelming to come in and see so much in a relatively small area, so hope this helps…

Happy Spring!

More Select Shrubs And Vines Available Now!

On a recent walk through the nursery in the last post, we highlighted leucothoe, oak leaf hydrangeas, Osmanthus fragrans, the sweet tea olive,  and Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’.

Burkwood viburnum

Burkwood viburnum

Viburnum burkwoodii blooms smell heavenly!

Viburnum burkwoodii blooms smell heavenly!

We continue our tour of durable southern shrubs and vines with Viburnum burkwoodii, Burkwood viburnum. This is an early blooming deciduous (losing its leaves in the winter) shrub. It begins to bloom in March, with pink buds opening to extremely fragrant, medium size blooms with a fairly open form. Pruning may be done after bloom to open it up or control its 8′-10′ size.

Virburnum opulus - snowball viburnum

Virburnum macrocephalum – snowball viburnum

snowball viburnum blooms start out lime green, then turn white

snowball viburnum blooms start out lime green, then turn white










Another viburnum, Viburnum macrocephalum,  or Snowball Viburnum, is often commented on when it’s in full bloom in the Birmingham area. Its blooms really do look like big snowballs (some also mistake them for hydrangea blooms, but this shrub blooms much earlier.) The buds, when forming, are a beautiful green. They mature to white, unscented blooms, but impressive nonetheless! This deciduous shrub will grow to 20′ with a rounded shape, but can also be pruned to create a tree form as well.

There are countless spiraeas that begin to leaf out in early spring and have many tiny blooms along arching stems – Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’ has beautiful golden leaves too, (Ogon means yellow.) This is a lovely 3′-5′ shrub that will do well in a sunny spot.

Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon'

Spiraea thunbergii ‘Ogon’


Fragrant, yellow blooms cover the native
Carolina jasmine in the spring








A native vine in plentiful supply now is Gelsemium sempervirens, Carolina jessamine. This evergreen vine has fragrant, bright yellow blooms usually beginning in March. It is a twining vine, so you will need to give it a trellis to climb on (it’s quite useful for hiding ugly chain link fencing.) Cut it back after it blooms if you need to control growth.

In a future post we’ll talk about the varieties of hollies available – and post pictures of some hollies and other shrubs that  owner Billy Angell is planting in his new landscape….

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Select Shrubs To Plant Now!



Here are a few highlights from a walk through the nursery to showcase some favorite southern shrubs, though these are just a few of many!

Tough and durable, we start with a shade garden stalwart, leucothoe, a wonderful evergreen screening plant that reaches 8′-10′. Cut stems are long lasting in flower arrangements, and it’s utilized by Birmingham florists throughout the year, culminating in gorgeous additions to holiday arrangements. The long arching stems are quite graceful, and some companions include azaleas, pieris, mountain laurel and hydrangeas, just to name a few.

Oak leaf hydrangea lights up a woodland path...

Oak leaf hydrangea lights up a woodland path…



If you live in Birmingham and have an area in your landscape with some afternoon shade (though they tolerate sun with adequate water) you really should have an oak leaf hydrangea or many! With their dramatic, oak leaf shaped leaves, white blossoms fading to pink, and gorgeous red fall foliage color, they add year round interest – not to mention beautiful winter bark and form. A must have! Or, you might prefer the ‘Nikko Blue’ french hydrangeas? We have those too!

Osmanthus fragrans, sweet tea olive

Osmanthus fragrans, sweet tea olive


Sweet tea olive, Osmanthus fragrans, has a bloom you might miss while walking through the garden, but you won’t miss their fragrance! A broad leaf evergreen growing 8′-10′ (sometimes taller) these are best situated where their unbelievable fragrance can be enjoyed – near your home, which also will offer cold protection, and in a spot that offers some sun. Enjoy their blooms fall, winter and spring and sporadically through the summer.

Osmanthus 'Goshiki' is useful as a cut stem in holiday arrangements....

Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’ is useful as a cut stem in holiday arrangements….

Another Osmanthus we have now  is the yellow variagated false holly, ‘Goshiki’. This is one tough plant – useful for those hot spots in the yard where you’d like an evergreen shrub that grows to roughly 6′ and almost as wide. This is another that is beautiful used as a cut specimen in floral arrangements any time of the year. It’s very prickly though! (Hence the name, false holly…)

Osmanthus 'Goshiki' this is a tough shrub!

Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’ this is a tough shrub!









In addition to those listed above, we have a very good selection of hollies and gardenias in stock. Take a walk down to the end of the nursery near the pinestraw and you’ll see the selection. Have a question about them? Billy loves hollies and is very well versed on them – he’d love to help you!

We’ll continue our tour of tough shrubs and vines in our next post..meanwhile, take a look through your landscape – maybe you could you use one of these southern gems too!

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Herbs and Some Annuals In Stock Now!

This post is mostly about herbs, but we’ll mention a few annuals you can plant now too. Everyone is getting spring fever, but this is that tough time of year when it’s best to sit tight and wait out these last few weeks of winter…we know it’s hard!  So, not to worry, if you just need to  get out in the garden or maybe plant a few pots on one of those beautiful early spring days,  here are some plants that will satisfy your cravings now.


First up, dill and cilantro. These are two herbs that you really must plant early, because once the real heat of early summer moves in, these will bolt, or flower.

cilantro - another one that's best in cooler weather

cilantro – another one that’s best in cooler weather


dill is grown for the leaves and dill seed

dill is grown for the leaves
and dill seed









Now, with your dill, this isn’t all bad because when the flowers are spent  you end up with dill seed which is great for pickles…(Let the flowers stay on the plant til you see the seeds forming.) but the cilantro will  flower, or bolt,  and give it up once summer arrives. So, plant now and enjoy if you like these two!

Leaf lettuce - yum!

Leaf lettuce – yum!

Next up, not an herb but we’re going to put it in this post anyway, is lettuce. If you didn’t plant it this fall it’s not too late to get a late winter crop going that you can enjoy until the heat sets in.

We have some beautiful red and green leaf lettuce – it’s ready to go in the garden, grow a bit and end up in your salad bowl! If you plant it in a spot with a bit of afternoon shade it will last longer  before it finally bolts in the heat. (Yes, lettuce flowers too!)image

We’re just beginning to get in some thyme – there are so many varieties! Right now we have ‘Silver Posie’ and ‘Red Creeping’. We’ll have plenty of culinary thyme, lemon and silver thyme in the coming weeks too.

Creeping red thyme

Creeping red thyme



If you don’t have at least one rosemary in your landscape,  try to find a sunny spot for one this year, either in the ground or in a pot…rosemary is really a big shrub and of course it has great culinary uses as well as being ornamental – there are many varieties of rosemary – what we normally have in stock is a mix of upright and trailing. At this time we have the more upright growing varieties. Rosemary blooms in the early spring with purply/blue blossoms that compliment the gray-green foliage beautifully.

Yes, that is one rosemary!

Yes, that is one rosemary!

We have mint too – ‘Kentucky Colonel’ is the prettiest and best tasting there is. Remember to keep your mint contained in a pot unless you want it to take over your garden! Mint is also happiest with a bit more moisture than other herbs and it can also take a bit of shade…you’ll be set for the Kentucky Derby and your mint julep – or maybe a mojito?

Mint 'Kentucky Colonel'

Mint ‘Kentucky

Parsley, both curly and flat leaf is also available – all the best cooks say flat leaf is the tastiest…but curly is very pretty in the garden and in pots, so we’ll have both and leave it up to you which one – or both! you want in your garden.

Lavender and ornamental variegated oregano round out this first list of herbs…these are really for blooms and foliage more than culinary use. Lavender can be tricky in our heat and humidity, ‘Goodwin Creek’ lavender pictured here does well if given adequate drainage.

Lavender 'Goodwin Creek'

Lavender ‘Goodwin Creek’

Be sure not to crowd your plants (Yes, we know it’s difficult when things get wild and wooly in the middle of summer but try to give them a bit of room if you can…)

variegated oregano

variegated oregano





The variegated oregano one the right  is one we really like in pots…it adds a bit of foliage interest in herb containers and in mixed annual plantings as well. We’ll have the culinary oregano in soon also.


Nasturtiums are so much fun we had to include them in this post. Ok, technically they’re an annual but you can eat them too! They’ll add a peppery bite and some color to your salad! If you plant nasturtiums, don’t baby them too much.



Don’t fertilize them – they’ll bloom better if you don’t. Enjoy them til the heat of summer takes them out, then replant them again in late summer to bloom for you through the fall.

Whew! This is just the beginning! So, there are some things you can do now while we wait for the last of winter to get out of here…happy planting!

Spring Shrubs! From Azaleas to Vitex…

some of our hollies...

some of our hollies…
fresh off the truck!

Recently some of our favorite nurseries in Alabama  sent spring shipments of shrubs, a few trees and the beginning of our perennial stock…perhaps you’ve seen the mass of green in the parking lot!

In addition to old southern favorites like oak leaf hydrangeas, gardenias and azaleas, (among them the deciduous, fragrant  Florida Flame and ‘Varnadoe’  azaleas) and sweet tea olives, including Osmanthus fragrans ‘Fudzhingou’ (a particularly floriferous selection), we also offer the tough, tried and true cleyera, some pyramid hollies that would be great in containers,  and the  blue flowered butterfly and bee magnet, Vitex ‘Shoal Creek’.

Viburnum 'Awabuki' Beautiful as a screening shrub

Viburnum ‘Awabuki’
Beautiful as a screening shrub

If you need even more tough plants  we have ‘Mary Nell’, ‘Nellie Stephens, and ‘Emily Bruner’ hollies. Or, if you have a spot or large planter  for a specimen plant, the limbed up Burford hollies are beautiful.  ‘Snowball’ and  ‘Awabuki’ viburnums,  anise and leucothoe…so much more that could be beautiful additions to your landscape!

Knockout roses have been around for a few years – if you haven’t tried the yellow or white selections, we have them now. And, if  you need more ornamental shrubs have you tried blueberries? In addition to white blooms in the spring and delicious fruit in early summer they also have wonderful fall color – we have some beautiful plants here if this is something you’d like to try.

These blueberries are loaded with buds!

These blueberries are loaded with buds!

Finally, what could be more southern than a magnolia? The hybrid Magnolia ‘Butterflies’ is a small, deciduous magnolia with fragrant, white blooms in early spring…

Fragrant tea olives... Osmanthus 'Fudzinghou'

Fragrant tea olives…
Osmanthus ‘Fudzinghou’

This is a small sampling of what we have in stock. Please stop in to see the other offerings – new arrivals will be coming in weekly!

Magnolia 'Butterflies'

Magnolia ‘Butterflies’



Succulents Coming Soon

This planter shows what we did with some of the succulents we’re beginning to get in – this definitely means spring is coming! Echevarias, rhipsalis, sedums, cryptanthus, these are all plants that take our summer heat in stride. Some are annuals and only grow through the summer, while others will survive winters for us as well.

Mix them with a few herbs – think thyme, oregano, chives, sage, trailing rosemary (we’ll give you examples down the road!) or other sun lovers – a pretty variagated yucca would be interesting, or you could go with a different contrast in leaf form and soften the look with some asparagus fern…the possibilities are endless and so much fun!


You could even include some houseplants – pepperomias in particular work well as do some pileas. An interesting plant you may not have seen much of is one called rhipsalis, with light, thread-like foliage. Remember, these will add a lot of color all by themselves. If you would like some flowers in the mix, purslane,  narrow leaf zinnias (cut them back if they try to take over), and mecardonia (tiny yellow flowers on a low growing, trailing plant) are a few you could start with.





– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Spring Statuary Shipments Have Arrived!

Each year, the arrival of the spring statuary shipment signals the beginning of a new growing season. We like the way the  clean lines of these planters work in the context of  a variety of home styles. The cast stone pieces are of the highest quality  and won’t crumble in inclement weather like cheaper versions.

cast stone urn

cast stone urn

A sampling of cast stone planters

A sampling of cast stone planters









We also offer lightweight planters  –  easier on the back but still the same quality. Ranging from bowl shaped planters to those that are a  classic pot shape,  they are definitely moveable!

Lightweight Planters in a classic shape

Lightweight Planters in a classic shape

Lightweight bowls & square planters

Lightweight bowls & square planters












So, whatever you’re looking for…planters, bird baths,  or something else – perhaps a Japanese lantern, celtic cross or Saint Francis, come take a look.   Don’t worry about getting them home – we deliver! We’ll put them just where you want them at your front door or along a garden path…then you can sit back and enjoy!


Celtic Crosses

Celtic Crosses




Native Plants…Here Are Some Jewels For The Garden!

We’ve gotten in our first shipment of native perennial plants for those of you who’d like to add some of these beauties to your garden. The selection is usually a bit limited, so please come see us now if you’re interested in them.

jacob's ladder...sweet blue blooms will appear in spring...

jacob’s ladder…sweet blue blooms will appear in spring…


Blue woodland phlox will spread readily in a woodland garden

Blue woodland phlox will spread readily in a woodland garden










Plants in stock now include bloodroot, (Sanguinaria canadensis) which have the purest, whitest blooms in early spring…) blue woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) that will slowly spread where it’s happy…  jacob’s ladder, (Polemonium reptans)  Indian pinks, (Spigelia marilandica) that are actually red and yellow!  Celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) which will brighten the garden with  bright yellow blooms…and southern maidenhair fern, which handles our heat in stride…(Adiantum capillaris)

Southern maidenhair fern adds a soft texture and light color to a landscape

Southern maidenhair fern adds a soft
texture and light color to a landscape


when the bloodroot appears
spring is not far off!









The above photo shows the bloodroot   just emerging…These are all in quart pots with the exception of the southern maidenhair fern, which is offered in gallon containers. We are so pleased this shipment is from just down the road in Wilsonville, Alabama.

You’ll notice as you walk in our door we have our own southern maidenhair fern growing in the greenhouse out of the asphalt – obviously some spores landed there and took a liking to that spot – so, sorry, it’s not for sale…of course, we’ll  continue to post as new arrivals come in, so stay tuned!

this southern maidenhair fern is growing in asphalt...

this southern maidenhair fern is growing in asphalt…

Promise In A Packet…Seeds!

If you’ve been in recently you may have noticed the colorful seed display behind the counters.

Oh the promise of seeds – those tantalizing pictures and mouthwatering descriptions of vegetables, flowers and herbs…all in a magical seed packet.

Maybe you’ve never tried to grow anything from seed. That’s ok, there’s a first time for everything!  Here are some easy flowers to grow by direct sowing them right where you want them to come up  in your garden: zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, marigolds, tithonia (Mexican sunflower) and gomphrena are a few.

It's planted with lots of help but...

Seed planting is a fun project for the little ones!

Since you will be sowing these directly into the ground, you need to be sure the soil is warm enough for them, May is the perfect month to plant these. Here you can see Billy planting seeds in the garden with some little helpers in the community garden across the street last spring. Below you can see we have veggie seeds too – and plenty to choose from as you plan your summer garden!

Warm season vegetable seeds...eggplant, peppers, melons and more!

Warm season vegetable seeds…eggplant, peppers, melons and more!

Make Someone Happy With A Blooming Basket!

We’ve had recent posts showing pictures of gerbera daisies – well, here they are in action as the focal point of a pretty combination basket – this one went out to someone as part of a birthday celebration…

Pretty gerbera daisies in a mixed basket

Pretty gerbera daisies in a mixed basket

We added a sweet primrose with a touch of foliage – using maidenhair fern and pink fittonia to round out the composition. Add a bow and voila! a lovely gift for some lucky someone! The primroses are also a bright  and seasonal addition to arrangements, but keep in mind they  are available only for a short time early in the year since it will get too hot for them as we get into spring and the warmer months. (Primroses are native to cool, moist climates – while we might have the moist part covered, we certainly aren’t cool!)

Forced bulbs, add bright blooms in this container...

Forced bulbs, add bright blooms in this container…

Here’s another example of some of the seasonal flowers available now – this container shows forced bulbs of tulips, hyacinths, and narcissus, as well as a pure white hydrangea and willow branches to add even more drama…these forced bulbs are, like the primroses, usually available in the early portion of the year. You can plant the narcissus in your garden once they’re done blooming – we’ll talk about that in a later post.