Tis the Season to Get Planting – Fall is the Best Time to Install New Material in the Lowcountry 

Did you know that Fall is the best season to install new plant material in South Carolina? This is the best time of year in our state to consider installing new material before the chilly winter ahead. Although true northerners may chuckle when those of us in the Lowcountry discuss our “chilly” temperatures – it IS important to be ready for the temperature to drop so that you and your plants aren’t caught off guard. 

In our area, above-ground plants go dormant and cease growth in the Fall and Winter months. This includes evergreen shrubs and plants! However, the soil does not freeze, which allows plant roots to continue growing, even in colder weather.

If you plant now, when Spring does arrive then root development has a head start to search for water and nutrients leading to optimum growth during the warmer seasons.

Important Tips:

  • You must provide adequate water during the establishment period. Plants installed in the warmer months will require more water than in the Fall or Winter. That’s why planting during this season requires a bit less water consumption.
  • When buying new plant material, take a look at the size of the shrub in the grower’s pot, especially the root ball. The roots are where the majority of water and nutrients are taken into the plant. Smaller root balls cannot sustain larger plants for long periods of time. These will need more frequent and deep watering practices.

It’s always crucial to check with your local garden center to select the right plants for your yard and season. At The Greenery, we rely on a guide called “plant hardiness zones” as well as our many years of expertise in the markets we serve to help make our plant selections for our customers. This helpful guide created by the USDA specifies which plants will fare well in certain geographic regions based on the average temperature and rainfall. (Although no one can fully predict Mother Nature – so it is simply used as a guide.)

Not sure what to plant? Stop by The Greenery’s Garden Center to speak to one of our experts so that you can get planting today!

Proper Care for Chrysanthemums

When you think of flowers in the Fall season – one of the most popular is the Chrysanthemum (or Mum for short). But, if you’ve ever purchased Chrysanthemums, you know that they aren’t the easiest plant to keep alive. Yet this stubborn Fall staple is almost a requirement to keep on your front doorstep or porch this time of year.

Chrysanthemums

Although many people treat Mums as Fall annuals, they are actually fairly hardy perennials. Mums can come in a variety of colors including yellow, lavender, pink, purple, red, bronze, orange, and white.

Chrysanthemums

So…what are you supposed to do to avoid the dreaded brown Mums that inevitably occur if not cared for properly? Instead of hoping that people just think your dead Mums are a scary Halloween decoration, proper care can result in beautiful, thriving mums! Just follow these simples tips:

Begin with Less Blooms: Mums that are covered in colorful blooms may provide instant gratification, but it’s better to purchase plants that haven’t fully flowered yet. Each of the mum’s bloom consists of tiny flowers called florets.

While it may be tempting to choose the plant with the most florets from your local nursery or garden shop, try to choose one with less blooms instead. This will help extend the life of your plant through the season and allow you to enjoy the flowers even longer!

Water Frequently: Although a very popular plant throughout our communities in the Fall, Mums actually do not like the hot southern heat here in the Lowcountry. That’s why it’s crucial to frequently water your mums, sometimes up to twice per day. If you notice the leaves are wilting on your mum plants, then spray a bit of water on the leaves to revive them.

Chrysanthemums

Choose Partial Shade: Mums can technically tolerate full sun exposure, but it’s best to place them in a partially shaded spot. Try to place your mums on a covered porch or under the shade of a tree in your yard.

Select the Right Soils: Mums thrive in moist soil that drains easily. Make sure the pot they are planted in has drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to escape freely during watering. Mums do not like standing water and will quickly rot if left too wet. 

Pondering purchasing a Chrysanthemum? Come visit our experts at the Greenery Garden Center for more tips to keep your Chrysanthemums alive and thriving all season long.

Chrysanthemums

CONTAINER GARDENING ELEMENTS – THRILLER, FILLER & SPILLER

Container gardening is a great way to enjoy beautiful plant combinations on your patio or by an
entryway. You can enjoy beautiful containers of plants and flowers, even fresh herbs, year round.

There are THREE simple elements to designing a wonderful container garden. Remember these when you go shopping for plants and you can’t go wrong. Each container should contain a:

  • Thriller
  • Filler
  • Spiller

Thriller plants are the big, bold focal points of your container plant designs. This plant provides an eye-catching vertical element. Tall, ornamental grasses such as purple fountain grass or Japanese sweet flag work well, but you can also use spiky blooming plants such as Canna Lily, Asters, Cosmos, Salvia, and Dahlia.

Filler plants are mid-size, mounding, or rounded plants that surround and enhance the thriller and fill the space in the planter. You can use one filler or opt for two or three different plants in your container gardening design. Suggestions include: Begonias, Coleus, Petunias, Lantana, Geraniums, Caladium, and Gerbera Daisies.

Spillers are splashy plants that cascade and tumble over the sides of the container. For example, here are some popular choices: Sweet Potato Vine (available in purple or green), Bacopa, Ivy, Trailing Vinca, and Trailing Begonia.

Remember these tips when preparing a Container Garden:

  • Be sure to use pots that will accommodate the plants when they are fully grown. 
  • Good drainage is a must.
  • Use a high quality potting soil, and place plants together that have common needs. For example, don’t mix sun and shade plants. Plants that require a lot of watering shouldn’t be mixed in the same container with drought-loving specimens.
  • Group plants in odd numbers. It creates a more natural vibe.

For more information or a little guidance to get you started, be sure to stop by The Greenery Garden Center to ask one of our Garden Experts!

Upgrade Your Outdoor Space with Hardscape Designs

When people think of landscaping, they usually think about plants, trees, flowers and bushes. But there’s so much more to landscaping than that!

Hardscaping is now in high demand for backyards as a key way to add beauty to your property. Hardscapes can include fire pits, patios, and retaining walls, but can also be defined as benches, fences, walkways, and strategically placed rocks or other non-living features that enhance your landscape areas.

Adding hardscaping to your property adds both functionality and beauty to your home and outdoor living space. In most cases, it will also add to the value of your property. Hardscapes provide outdoor living and entertainment spaces, enhance privacy, and even add safety by directing visitors along safely built walkways.

The Greenery’s experienced landscape teams can install your exterior hard surfaces to complement your property’s style and landscape design. Our teams are experienced with projects of all sizes, budgets and levels of complexity.

Some of our exterior hardscape work includes drainage solutions, concrete flatwork, brick paving, retaining walls, columns and decorative walls, trellises, arbors, fencing, gates, synthetic turf, surfacing, and much more.

Our team at The Greenery will work with you to create a hardscape that enhances your landscaping while fulfilling your practical needs.

Contact us today to bring your landscaping visions to reality! (843)785-3848

JANET FANNING FEATURED IN HILTON HEAD MONTHLY

The May issue of Hilton Head Monthly features a hidden gem – knowledge and expertise from one of our favorites, Janet Fanning. Janet is not only the nursery manager at The Greenery Garden Center on Hilton Head, she is a wealth of wisdom in all things gardening based on her countless years of experience. In the well written article by Dean Rowland, Janet shares with readers the tips for creating the perfect, peaceful outdoor garden in a small space. It’s definitely a must read…

Janet Fanning

HERE’S WHAT TO KNOW TO CREATE A UNIQUE OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE
BY DEAN ROWLAND
REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM HILTON HEAD MONTHLY

Big yards and big gardens provide a variety of options to enjoy all year long, from weekend parties to small gather-rounds with family and friends to quiet strolls amongst the flowers, plants and hardscapes.

Small gardens, on the other hand, are a special place unto themselves. Every plant, flower and outdoor touch of Lowcountry ambiance are nourished with love and attention to detail.
Although limited in space, they can unlock the imagination to create big statements. After all, season-long living in the Lowcountry begs for an outdoor oasis that titillates the senses, from color to fragrance to flowing water to unique textures in furniture to pinching herbs for sublime or bold flavor in your favorite foods.

They can be a place of solitude or casual lazing with a friend. “The past couple of years we’ve learned that you can be outside and have peaceful contemplation that is healthy, or a conversation,” said Janet Fanning, nursery manager at The Greenery on Hilton Head.

Flowers and plants create the foundation on which to build outdoor living space.

“There’s two different ways of seeing it: There’s the garden bed and the space as an outdoor ‘room’ that you create for cocktails or white wine in the summer evening,” she said.

“The first thing you need to consider is plant choice, which hinges on light exposure, direct sun,” Fanning said. “You need to decide if you want the garden space to have annual color that you need to change out two to three times a year, plants that are green all the time, perennials that will die in the winter or do you want a combination of those things?”

The checklist of considerations for creating a small garden includes sun, shade, exposure, maintenance, a water source, deer prevention, hardscapes, visual drama, sound and movement, privacy, color, materials, textures, height, bordering and more.

Free-standing horizontal pergolas or vertical trellises with arches of wood or metal anchor vines creeping up the side and on top greet guests to the garden walkway. Garden gates with welcoming potted flowers in front give an inventive flair to the environment.

Statues of all sorts—animal, religious, historical or symbolic and materials like stone, ceramic, cast iron or metal—can increase the aesthetic appeal of the garden space.

Water, whether it’s a pond, waterfall or fountain, has unlimited ways to embellish the space.

Fanning likes a hardscape that allows water to trickle or flow steadily. “The whole point of having water is for the movement,” she said.

A single or multi-tiered fountain achieves that, especially when stones are added to create a unique display. The soothing effect of water is a pleasant sound in an otherwise quiet outdoor retreat. Wind chimes also achieve the same effect.

A pond liner and pump will set up any homeowner for a small haven. Water lilies and white-water snowflakes add some color and float on the water like nature intended them to do.

Complete the outdoor ensemble with a bistro set of comfortable chairs and table and a water-resistant rug. Infuse the scene with subtle or bold lighting.

“A big statement can be done with hardscapes or decking to put your furniture on,” Fanning said. “There’s uplighting for your plants or specimen trees, which is nice to have at night.”

Decorative lanterns also can make the private garden glow after the sun sets.

Looking to create your own small space of peacefulness in your yard? Stop by The Greenery Garden Center today to talk to Janet or one of our other Greenery team members about the steps to take and the plants to use to make your garden into a little slice of heaven. We’re open Monday – Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm and Sunday from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.

The Truth about Spanish Moss

The name can be quite misleading for this iconic southern sight found draped on trees across the Southern portion of the U.S. and Central/South America. Did you know that Spanish Moss is neither from Spain nor is it actually moss?

Tillandsia Usneoides (Spanish moss) is actually an epiphytic bromeliad. Tilalandsia Usneoides, sometimes known as air plants, get their required moisture and nutrients from the rain and air AND as with most air plants, Spanish Moss does flower. Flowers are small, barely noticeable, but can be seen if you look very closely. They flower spring through fall. And they also exude a sweet fragrance at night.

Spanish moss reproduces through seed and by producing pups. Pups are genetic replicas and can form chains up to 20 feet long. Seeds are structured to be carried by the wind or creatures to a new location.

Generally, Spanish moss appears in older, more mature trees and shrubs. Because it is an epiphyte, its nourishment comes from dust and water in the air. Therefore, Spanish moss receives nutrients from older trees that are shedding dead cells.

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Another common misconception about Spanish moss – it doesn’t actually kill trees! It takes nothing from the tree. Although, it can get heavy and cause some damage with its weight, especially after a rain shower.

Spanish Moss is sensitive to air pollution and is said to not grow well in areas where pollution is significant. So Spanish moss doesn’t need to be removed from the trees, and in fact plays an important ecological roll.

Many people also incorrectly believe that Spanish moss contains chiggers. After repeated attempts and experiments, entomologists have not found Chiggers in most Spanish moss. Chiggers are most commonly found in tall grasses.

**For those not native to the Lowcountry or the south…chiggers are extremely tiny pests that can only be seen through a hand lens or microscope. Their presence is usually made known by the extremely itchy welts they leave behind.

USEFULNESS

Spanish moss had many uses back in the day. In fact, during the civil war, Spanish moss was used as blankets and saddle pads. It was durable, waterproof, did not chafe horses, was breathable for the horses and was found in ABUNDANCE.

Spanish moss was used right up through the 1960’s as furniture stuffing, insulation, string, floor mats and many more everyday items!

Spanish moss has also proven useful to other creatures. Birds such as Warblers and Oriels often use it to build their nest. In addition, some snakes and bat species make their homes in Spanish moss.

This misunderstood centerpiece of Southern horticulture has gotten a bad rap but deserves to be defended. The next time you see Spanish moss magnificently draped on a majestic towering oak tree – don’t avoid it or plan to remove it. You should just enjoy the texture and beauty that it adds to the lovely scenery that surrounds you.

For more information about various plants and flowers, be sure to consult with one of our horticulturalists on staff, follow The Greenery Garden Center Facebook page, visit us at The Garden Center.

6 Signs That Your Irrigation System Needs Professional Attention

The summer months are fast approaching in the Lowcountry. And that means an increase in the temperature and more water required to keep your lawn and landscape well hydrated to survive the summer heat. Proper watering is key to keeping your yard looking good in all seasons, especially summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank with your water bill. There are steps you can take to assure that your lawn is watered and your back account isn’t drained in the process. Here are the six signs that your irrigation might need some professional help:

Your Water Bill Makes You Faint – A spike in water usage can indicate a leak that’s letting water escape from pipes while it drains money from your wallet. It’s also possible that your controls are not properly set. Irrigation systems can be complicated, and every installation is unique. The Greenery’s irrigation technicians have experience with both residential and commercial systems.

Your Lawn Has Water Puddles, or Brown Spots, or Both. Overly saturated areas and patches of yellow or brown grass both indicate trouble that can range from incorrect zone settings to faulty sprinkler heads. The Greenery’s irrigation professionals can pinpoint the problem and restore the efficient water flow that keeps your grass and landscaping green and healthy. 

The Sprinklers Activate at the Wrong Times – Your system controller probably needs attention. The information stored in the controller, the brain of the system, tells it when and how long to supply water to the sprinklers. There are hundreds of different controller systems on the market, and The Greenery’s irrigation professionals have experience with all of them. 

Your Driveway and Garage Door Get Watered Thoroughly, Leaving Your Grass High & Dry – Sprinkler heads can get clogged, blocked, or even worn out over time. Maybe they weren’t properly aimed from the beginning. One sprinkler head can waste hundreds of gallons of water over the summer.

You’ve Gotten Plenty of Rain, But the Sprinklers Still Turn On (Even During the Rain) – Remember the system controller we mentioned above? Something has to tell it that you’ve gotten enough rain. A simple rain sensor detects measurable rainfall, and automatically turns off the irrigation valves. The Greenery’s irrigation professionals can easily install a rain sensor, making even older irrigation systems up-to-date and more efficient. 

The Water Company Wants to Know the Results of Your “Backflow Test”. A special backflow valve is installed onto your plumbing system to protect your drinking water and the city water supply from contaminants that could flow back from the irrigation system. A regular test is required. The Greenery’s irrigation professionals can conduct the backflow test to certify that your system is compliant.

Don’t get stuck with a faulty irrigation system that wastes water and your money. CALL US TODAY for an affordable, professional check of your irrigation system 843-785-3848.

The Groundhog Predicts 6 More Weeks of WINTER – What to do now?

As we all know, Groundhog Day is celebrated each year on February 2 in North America. The tradition  derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow, it will retreat to its den, and winter will continue for six more weeks. However – if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early!

Perhaps in a continuous theme that has seemed to occur recently – our reliable groundhog, known as Punxsutawney Phil, DID in fact see his shadow. Meaning 6 more weeks of winter…

While it’s a fun tradition each year to recognize…SPOILER ALERT – studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the arrival time of spring-like weather. Not sure if you find this to be good news or bad. But either way, its important for you (and your landscape) to be prepared for whenever Mother Nature decides to usher in warmer weather.

Mulch

If the groundhog is right…then it is important to continue to be vigilant about taking care of our outdoor and potted plants. Remember that tropical plants are not immune to the adverse effects of freezing temperatures. Moving potted plants inside and outside regularly can cause undo stress on the plants. So you may want to consider just moving plants indoor for the duration of the cold months. However, outside plants need attention too. At the Greenery Garden Center, we use N-Sulate frost cloths to protect our outdoor plants and shrubs. Sheets can cause limbs to break and plastic tarps don’t allow the plant to breathe. But N-Sulate cloths help covered plants to stay 5 degrees warmer as well as protect against frost without weighing down branches. Keep in mind that this cloth will not help when there is a hard freeze.

Another important measure to take before a frost or drop in temperatures – is to make sure that plants are properly hydrated. Be sure to thoroughly water at the base of each plant. The exception to this rule is for succulents. Because they hold water and water expands when frozen, any freezing temperatures can cause succulents to break open. 

White Flowers

Maybe you will opt to bring the outdoors “in” during these last weeks of winter. A great option for you might be the Peperomia. This hearty plant was selected as House Plant of the Year by the National Garden Bureau because of its vast selection and ease of care. Peperomia’s prosper best with bright, indirect light and in temperatures between 60-80 degrees. The Greenery Garden center has a wide array of houseplants to choose from to help fight off those winter blues you may be experiencing. Studies have shown that having indoor plants can help you recover from illness quicker, reduce stress levels and improve indoor air quality.

Purple Flowers

But maybe you’re ready to prepare for Spring and forget about the groundhog’s prediction. Then stop by the Greenery Garden Center today. The daffodils and hydrangeas are in and blooming! They are certain to brighten your day and your yard! We also have a wide variety of fountains to start sprucing up your yard and outdoor area to prepare for warmer weather. There are large, small and even tabletop fountains available for any space. 

In the Lowcountry, the last official ‘frost date’ is around March 15th – so it is usually best to hold off planting sensitive plants outdoors prior to the end of March. Of course, The Greenery Garden Center DOES have a large selection of trees, shrubs and perennials that can be planted now to get you ready for spring! Just ask anyone at the retail store what might survive a late season frost. Our staff is happy to help.

So whether you are counting on more winter or clinging to the hope of sunshine ahead – come visit The Greenery Garden Center today for all of your gardening needs. 

It is a Great Season to Update Your Yard

We live in a milder climate even in the Winter!  Did you know that in the Lowcountry – this is one of the best times of the year to update your outdoor plantings?

Although the calendar officially welcomes Winter on Dec. 21, thanks to the Lowcountry’s moderate climate – we are fortunate enough to continue to make improvements to our yards well into the winter months. Our warm days and cool nights are perfect for establishing new plants and giving them a chance to take root. Another benefit to this time of year is that generally there are fewer pests – less hungry insects and plant diseases helps to create a healthier environment for plants to flourish. And a more comfortable atmosphere for enjoying your outdoor spaces! It’s not too late to plant perennials, trees and shrubs. 

Pansies

Too many plant options for your landscape have you feeling overwhelmed? Well…the experts at The Greenery are here to help! Most people don’t realize there are many plants that can grow beautifully this time of year in our climate. Some local growers produce late crops of spring and summer flowers that will perform well in Lowcountry landscapes up until a heavy frost. Don’t feel trapped by the “typical” early winter flower choices. Lowcountry landscapes have the unique opportunity to open a world of possibilities that other climates can’t offer. Plants such as Pansies, Violets, Snapdragons and Camellias are flowering summer annuals that can still add that pop of color to your yard. There are also nice foliage plant options to choose from such as Crotons and ornamental cabbage. And don’t forget about the permanent landscape plants that are perfect choices all year round – including Ginger Lilly, Stromathe and Dianella to really make your landscape stand out this season.

violets

Despite our mild temperatures, you may notice a reduction in color in your lawn as the plant reduces leaf blade growth and begins storing energy in its roots to survive the winter. Although you may think that just because your lawn isn’t green then it doesn’t need attention…this simply isn’t true. It is important during this transitional period to assist your lawn in this process. It still needs your help!

Just a few simple tips can help your lawn be the greenest on the block come springtime. Now is a good time to apply a high-potassium winterizer fertilizer to help your lawn prepare ahead of time for its upcoming dormant season. Aerate your lawn to ensure stimulation and nourishment takes place before winter dormancy begins on your landscape.

December is also a great time to trim back dead growth on your trees and perennials on your property to give plants a fresh start for Spring.

With the holidays upon us, it is important to consider updating your landscape and being attentive to your lawn as you welcome more guests to your home for holiday festivities – especially those guests trying to escape the northern winter cold! And with the sun setting earlier each night, this is also a great time to consider installing lighting to enhance your outdoor space.Although December has some of the longest nights in the entire year – that doesn’t mean you have to live in the dark. Outdoor lighting can enhance your property’s value and curb appeal as well as increase the security of you home.

It may almost be winter, but a full landscape installation from The Greenery can have you enjoying time outdoors with your friends and family all season long. 

Call The Greenery to learn how you and your guests can enjoy the outdoors for longer at (843)785-3848!

Operation Patriots FOB

It was an honor for the Employee Owners of The Greenery, Inc. Landscape Services to devote a day of service to local military families at Operation Patriots FOB (OPFOB). This very special video captures our commitment to the community in which we work and live and our gratitude to all of the men and women who serve this great country.

OPFOB is an amazing, volunteer-run organization and place for active military, combat veterans, and their families to regroup, refocus and recharge their lives. Visit their FB page or website opfob.org to learn more.

Love everything!! Inside and outside as beautiful things!

Jane K.

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