Autumn Arrives 2017

Pansies and Fall Annuals are ready to grace the landscape and retail shelf! Cooler days, full of Fall color, are here…

 

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Plant Highlights: Garden Peony

 

Common Name: Garden Peony

Botanical Name: Paeonia

Sizes Available: 2 Gallon size

Season of Interest: Spring and Summer

There are few plants that are able to compete with the majesty of the Peony. Long lived, beautiful blooms, and attractive foliage; combined with minimal maintenance, make this a staple for every garden. If planted with care, the Peony could even outlive the planter, being able to live over 100 years!

Being such a long-lasting plant, the Peony does not like to be transplanted, so choosing a special (permanent) place for them is essential. Mostly they require full sun, and good drainage, and should flourish. They tend to do better in a cooler climate with a cold winter, which helps with the formation of new buds. Although most blooms are finished by the end of Spring, the foliage puts on a lovely display reaching into the Autumn. Peonies love their space, so don’t plant them too close to other shrubs or plants to compete. You should plant Peonies in the Fall before the first hard frost. Most experts say they perform better on this timeline than when planted in the Spring. No matter when you plant, the Peony typically takes a few years to reach its full potential. Perfection should never be rushed!

With such a spectacular show of blooms, one would think that the Peony is sensitive and time-consuming to cultivate. Not true! Neglecting your plant may be the best thing for it, so let Nature do the work. Peonies are very hardy and resist most plant blights. They even have a built-in form of protection in the form of ants that love it’s nectar, as they attack the harmful insects that try to invade the foliage and buds. Complete this package by being deer resistant, and the Peony is a truly astounding plant. Plantworks offers all of our Peony stock in 2 Gallon sizes. We offer the following varities as a “Perennial”: 

  • Armani– Deep red blooms
  • Bowl of Beauty– Light pink blooms
  • Cora Stubbs-Dark pink rims with lighter pink centers
  • Coral Sunset– True, coral color blooms
  • Do Tell-Orchid to shell pink blooms
  • Duchesse de Nemours– Double white blooms
  • Felix Crouse– Watermelon red blooms
  • Festiva Maxima– Double white blooms
  • Itoh ‘Bartzella’– Bright yellow blooms (very hard to acquire)
  • Karl Rosenfield– Double red blooms
  • Krinkled White– Single white with crinkled petals, and yellow stamens
  • Monsieur Jules Elie– Double light pink blooms
  • Moonstone– Pink blooms that fade to white
  • Paul Wild– Deep red blooms
  • Pink Parfait– Double pink blooms
  • Pink Dawn– Light pink and white blooms
  • Primevere– White outer petals and yellow centers. Semi-double bloom
  • Raspberry Sundae– Double pink blooms
  • Sarah Bernhardt– Dark pink blooms
  • Scarlet O’Hara– Red single blooms, with yellow stamens
  • Sorbet– Light pink with yellow center

 Peonies have varying types of blooms. These are important to know, as they are listed on most of the plant descriptions. They are as follows:

  • Single: a single or double row of broad petals encircle fertile stamens, carpels visible
  • Japanese: a single or double row of broad petals encircle somewhat broadened staminodes, may carry pollen along the edges, carpels visible
  • Anemone: a single or double row of broad petals encircle narrow incurved petal-like staminodes; fertile stamens are absent, carpels visible
  • Semi-double: a single or double row of broad petals encircles further broad petals intermingled with stamens
  • Bomb: a single row of broad petals encircles a shorter dense pompom of narrower petals
  • Double: the flower consists of many broad petals only, including those which likely are altered stamens and carpels

 

Did you know? A bit of Peony trivia…

  • “Sara Bernhardt,” is one of the most popular Peony varieties on the market today. Typically in the range of over 20 million stems sold each season!
  • The Peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius the Greek God of medicine and healing. When Asclepius became jealous of his pupil, Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the Peony flower.
  • The ancient Chinese city Luoyang, has a reputation as a cultivation epicenter for the Peony. Throughout Chinese history, Peonies in Luoyang have been said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of Peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.
  • Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony, giving it the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers.

 

Plantworks also grows a version of the Peony known as a “Tree Peony,” or Peony suffruticosa. 

*All plant highlights reflect plants grown by Plantworks Nursery. If you are interested in availability, please contact us for information. (plantworkssales@gmail.com or 919-732-6594) 

Pansies

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Availability: Fall Season Crop. September- November

Sizes: 4” 18 count flats or 36 count cell packs

Pricing: Set by quantity ordered (discounts offered)

The beginning of the Autumn season at Plantworks is marked by many deliveries of Pansy plugs.

One delivery after another, starting in August, alerts the staff that cool weather is finally (hopefully) on the way, and summer is drawing to a close. Friends of Plantworks have already been planning, and pre-ordering, their Fall season supplies throughout the month of July, but seeing the flowers begin to emerge, is a sure sign of the season’s change. Plantworks Annual houses will become filled with the delightful old-fashioned garden favorite, blanketing the houses in a brilliant show of color barely contained in one place.

Sporting bright colors, and happy “faces”, the garden Pansy is a large-flowered hybrid plant, often grown in the United States as an annual or biennial. (Pansies are technically hardy, evergreen perennials in Zones 6-10.) Cultivated as a garden flower, hybridization across several species has introduced us to the Pansy as we know it. Often, for simplicities sake, the older name of Viola tricolor var. hortensis is often used when discussing botanical names.

The common Pansy has two slightly overlapping upper petals, two side petals, and a single bottom petal, with a slight beard, emanating from the flower’s center. There is potential for the plant to grow to nine inches in height, and they normally have a diameter of 2-3 inches (although larger and smaller varieties do exist). The color choices are endless, as well as sizes of the blooms. In English, there is argument as to correctly using the terms “pansy” “viola” and “violet.” In fact, they may be used interchangeably. (The distinction often comes into play with the number of petals and their shapes, and also with the origin of the plant.) There can also be distinctions made with flowers possessing a well-defined “blotch,” or “eye,” in the middle of the bloom. Typically the term Pansy is used to describe bedding plants used year after year, with the term Viola being used to describe smaller, more delicate annuals/perennials.

The varieties of Pansies available are astounding, and ever growing. Cultivation, hybridization, and experimentation has long ensured there will be no end to the amazing combinations and colors. The stock offered by Plantworks is comprehensive, and can be overwhelming to someone who just needs a few items. We hope this helps you decide the best Pansy for the job, whatever your growing needs may be. The following are varieties that Plantworks will have available for 2017:

  • Matrix
  • Panola/ Panola XP
  • Frizzle Sizzle
  • Cool Wave
  • Sorbet/ Sorbet XP
  • Colossus
  • Crown
  • Delta
  • Majestic Giant
  • Viola Penny

Did you know? The name “Pansy,” comes from the French word pensee, meaning “thought,” imported into Late Middle English as the name of Viola in the mid- 15th century. The flower is regarded as the symbol of remembrance. The “love in idleness,” name was meant to invoke the image of a lover who has little, or no, other pastime than to think of his beloved.

Please contact us for availability questions, or about scheduling deliveries. We are here to ensure you get the most color from the Autumn season as possible.

  • 919-732-6594
  • plantworkssales@gmail.com

Happy Planting!

Planting for Fall

Hot, Summer days encourage time indoors. What better way to spend that time than thinking about Autumn? Everyone in the “Green Business,” knows that every season can only be enjoyed for so long, and it is always time to plan ahead. Preparing for Fall is essential for getting the best yields from your crops; whether they are vegetables, herbs, perennials, or annuals.

Plantworks focus in the Fall season is the Pansy. We carry many different varieties, colors, and styles to choose from. (We will save Pansy information for another post, since they are such fun, happy plants!) We also carry a wide variety of Fall Annuals that can withstand the colder weather. The following are our Fall Annual offerings:

  • Cardoon
  • Celosia (New for 2017)
  • Dianthus- Garden Pinks
  • Dusty Miller
  • Erysimum
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Ornamental Cabbage
  • Ornamental Peppers (New for 2017)
  • Snapdragons
  • Swiss Chard

In these categories, we have many different colors and styles to choose from. All Annuals are sold in 4″ 18 count flats, except for Cardoon, which is offered in gallon sizing as well. As you can note, for the first time in 2017 we are offering Celosia and Ornamental Peppers for the Fall season. Previously, these plants were only available in the Spring.

  • Celosia Twisted Orange
  • Celosia Twisted Red
  • Ornamental Pepper Blaze
  • Ornamental Pepper Zamora Orange

In addition to our Annual and Pansy selections, we offer a whole range of Perennials that are perfect for cooler season plantings. Spring is a time of chance; with the ground still cold, and frosts sneaking up on planters. In Autumn the ground is warm, and the days are cooler to support transplants. There is time to plant before a hard frost arrives, especially here in North Carolina, where in some cases, we could plant all year long! The following are all Perennial plants available through Plantworks Nursery throughout the year.

  • Peonies- Most experts agree Autumn plantings of these perennial shrubs is best, and will give the gardener the best results.
  • Aster- Masters of the Fall garden!
  • Astilbe
  • Iris (Bearded and Siberian)
  • Monarda
  • Dicentra
  • Nepeta
  • Campanula
  • Aquilegia
  • Dianthus
  • Echinacea
  • Solidago
  • Hosta- Any variety
  • Hardy Geraniums
  • Stachy’s (Lamb’s Ear)
  • Poppies- Best transplanted in late Summer while dormant.
  • Penstemon
  • Phlox (subulata and paniculata)
  • Sedum

Summer is a time of planning for Plantworks as well. The heat doesn’t stop us from looking ahead and preparing for colder days. We are ready to supply all of your planting needs throughout all the seasons. Please contact us for availability on Fall items, or with pre-booking questions. We encourage early shopping!

Now is also the time to begin soil conditioning, and deciding how best to overwinter items. Do you have Tropicals, Succulents or Dahlias that need to be brought indoors? Do you need to mulch outside plants for best insulation? Is your garden mostly in pots, and how best to give them heat during Winter? Are you planting bulbs for early Spring color? No matter what dirt you are getting into this time of year, make sure to enjoy yourself and show the garden a little attention now for spectacular results later.

Happy Planting!

In the Garden: July

In the Garden: July

July is here! Half the year already gone…

Another busy Spring has flown by, and the temperatures only seem to be rising across the country. Here in Rougemont, North Carolina we are opening early and closing before midday to ensure everyone stays as cool, and safe, as possible working out of doors. With the sun blazing, and plants craving water and pruning, there is plenty to do to keep the average gardener, or landscaper, busy.

While sitting back and enjoying the splendor of a Spring season well planted, there are some concerns that require your attention during the hottest months of the year. Remember the following points to ensure quality plant life and health:

  • Mulch! This will conserve moisture in the ground (and pot) for those of us not around during the day to water.
  • Try your best to water early in the AM. Water deeply at this time to prevent drought stress in your blooms and foliage.
  • Dead-head plants regularly to encourage new growth and continued blooms throughout the Summer.
  • You can lightly fertilize at this time of the year to get more growth.
  • Make sure to pay special attention to potted plants, as they will dry out much more quickly than in-ground plants.
  • Don’t give up on Annuals just yet! As long as you keep them watered and moist, plant until your heart is content.
  • Think ahead: Plant that Pumpkin for Autumn!
  • Speaking of planning ahead: now is the perfect time to think about Pansies and other Autumn plantings.

Happy Planting! 

Stay Cool!

July Plants of the Month: Great Grasses

Plantworks Nursery features a special plant(s) each month for discounted pricing. These are NOT plants that are past shelf life, or overstock. They are high quality items that are ready for retail sales, or planting. We strive to get material to the public that is in perfect, planting condition.

July Plants of the Month are as follows:

July POM Carex

Carex “Flacca Blue Zinger”: Gallon size discounted. ($4.50)

Carex (also known as Sedge) comes in many forms. There is a Carex for virtually any situation or planting as they can handle a wide variety of planting conditions. Blue Zinger is slightly larger and more upright than other varieties, and is very drought tolerant once established. The blueish-green color is astounding in mass plantings, or as a focal point for displays. This blue color will hold throughout the Winter months to look beautiful all year long. Also a great plant for erosion control in the landscape.

July POM Schi. 

Schizachyrium “The Blues”: Gallon size discounted. ($4.50)

Little Bluestem is a native grass that has a distinct blue color in summer, that turns a rich red-purple in Autumn. This particular grass prefers full sun, and is drought and heat tolerant once established. An upright version that is very easy to maintain with a good watering schedule. The color change throughout the year ensures this grass gives a show no matter the temperatures. It can also grow well in poor soil, which makes it perfect for rock gardens or difficult areas in the landscape.

 

Please contact us for any information on these plants, or how to purchase them for your planting job. Pricing specials run from July 1st-31st. (plantworkssales@gmail.com)

Happy Planting!