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) 

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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!

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!

Plant Highlights: Asclepias

Butterfly Asclepias.pngCommon Name: Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed

Botanical Name: Asclepias (incarnata, tuberosa)

Sizes Available: 12 count Quart flats and Gallons

Season of Interest: Spring and Summer

 

 

 

It is finally Pollinator Week 2017! Yippy! The time is now to think about pollination planting and all the critters that make life for us possible. Did you know about 75% of plant species need the help of animals and insects to move pollen for fertilization? An estimated 1/3 of foods and beverages are made possible by pollinators.

While Honeybees are the superstars of Pollination, there are so many other beneficial animals that will, hopefully, continue to pollinate our environments. If you see these creatures, make sure to be friendly:

  • Ants
  • Beetles
  • Butterflies
  • Moths
  • Bats
  • Various species of Bees
  • Flies
  • Various birds, including Hummingbirds
  • Some small mammals

How can you entice these little friends into your space? By planting pollinator, and native species in your landscapes. There is one guaranteed way to attract various species to your garden, and that is to plant some Asclepias! Multiple variations on this herbaceous perennial are perfect for attracting winged friends, and for bringing bright colors into your space. Plantworks Nursery carries the following varieties:

  • Asclepias Tuberosa (milkweed)- Orange (Traditional) and “Hello Yellow”
  • Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)- Milkmaid, Cinderella, and Ice Ballet

While we have grown Asclepias incarnata for a number of years, 2017 will be the first time we have Tuberosa available. This has been great news to our friends who have been begging us for this brightly colored, pollinator attractor. (Also, being named the Perennial Plant of the Year 2017 doesn’t hurt any plants cause!) These native plants are right at home in North Carolina, and will fit perfectly into almost any planting project. Non invasive and easy to manage, they are practically a perfect perennial.

Here are some brief points to know about both:

Tuberosa- Milkweed- Butterfly Weed

Grows to around 1-3 feet tall. Clustered orange or yellow flowers from early Summer into the Fall season. Lanceolate leaves. Prefers dry, sandy, or gravel soil. They need full sun to thrive. Butterflies love this plant because of the colors and the mass amount of nectar it provides. The major pollinator point to remember is that this plant is the larval host for the Monarch butterfly. Common names include “Butterfly weed,” “Indian Paintbrush,” and “Orange Milkweed.” Best propagated through seed, and most commonly found in fields.

Incarnata- Swamp Milkweed

Herbaceous, perennial native to North America. Prefers damp to wet soils, with good drainage. Like most Milkweeds, it produces a toxic sap that repels herbivorous animals and infectious insects, leaving room to attract pollinators of all types. Upright, growing to around 59 inches in height with fleshly white roots. The blooms emerge in late Spring. Pink/mauve, or white, colored blooms in summer. Full sun is needed for best performance. Found naturally growing by stems, lakes, and low-lying areas. This type of Asclepias is also a Monarch butterfly host.

So, make sure to consider the bees and butterflies all year around, but especially this week in particular while we celebrate their contributions to our lives. Tune into the little things around you that make life amazing, and realize we are all a part of an interlocking machine that works together to move forward. Yay Pollination!

*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)

Perennials for Pollinators

Perennials for Pollinators

The Spring season has rushed right past us!

While we have been busy supplying the east coast with beautiful Annuals, the Perennials are just beginning to hit their stride. June is the official month of Perennials as acknowledged by the Perennial Plant Association, and this is the time to prepare for long lasting color and interesting shapes to fill any space!

Not only is June perennial month, but also it is the time for Pollinator week. What is Pollinator week, you may ask? Taken straight from the National Pollinator Partnership website:

“Ten years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 19-25, 2017 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior.”

As you can tell, June is the month for consideration planting for various reasons. Planting perennials in your space encourages wildlife and long lived landscapes, and planting for pollinators is essential to the survival of the ecosystem. Being aware of native perennial plants for your area, and planting those,  also greatly enhances the health of your landscapes and gardens. Plantworks Nursery has an extensive selection of Perennials that are pollinator friendly, and native to our Zone 7B. We can help you encourage pollination and healthy landscapes all throughout the year, just give us a call!

In addition to our tried and true plant varieties, as of Spring 2017, we will be growing Asclepias Tuberosa, winner of the Perennial Plant of the Year award for 2017. What makes this plant in particular worth mentioning? It is a larval host for the Monarch butterfly, and it is the only food source for them to survive. Planting Butterfly weed, Swamp Milkweed, or any variation of the species is sure to promote butterfly life, and give you a fantastic show of hummingbirds, bees, and other happy creatures when in bloom. Plantworks Nursery also carries many other great Perennials that will enhance your landscape or retail shelf. Some of these are included in the following list, but there are so much more!

  • Achillea- Yarrow
  • Agastache-Mexican Hyssop
  • Astilbe
  • Baptisia- False Indigo
  • Campanula
  • Ceratostigma- Plumbago, Leadwort
  • Chrysogonum- Green n Gold
  • Coreopsis- Tickseed
  • Dianthus- Garden Pinks
  • Dicentra
  • Digitalis- Foxglove
  • Echinacea- Coneflower
  • Eupatorium- Joe Pye Weed
  • Gaillardia- Blanket Flower
  • Geranium- Hardy
  • Leucanthemum- Shasta Daisy
  • Lobelia- Cardinal Flower
  • Monarda- Bee Balm
  • Nepeta- Catmint
  • Penstemon- Beard Tongue
  • Peony
  • Phlox- Paniculata and Subulata
  • Platycodon- Balloon Flower
  • Pycnanthemum muticum- Mountain Mint (New 2017)
  • Rudbeckia- Black Eyed Susan
  • Salvia- Garden Sage
  • Solidago- Goldenrod
  • Spigelia marilandica- Indian Pinks
  • Verbena- Vervain
  • Veronica- Speedwell

Please contact us all throughout the month of June for price discounts on certain perennials for pollinators. We are ready for warmer days!

Happy Planting!

Grower Picks March 20th, 2017

They keep coming…Grower Picks! Warmer weather is on the horizon, and the plants are ready for it. Each section of the Nursery has chosen a few exceptional looking items to spotlight for our clients. These items are highlighted on our weekly availability in grey for easy identification. The following pictures are current and accurate as to plant quality. Please contact us with any questions on pricing or availability.

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Happy Planting!

Grower Picks March 13th, 2017

Ready for more Grower Picks? These plants are looking amazing right now, and are ready for a new home! Each section of the Nursery has chosen a few exceptional looking items to spotlight for our clients. These items are highlighted on our weekly availability in grey for easy identification. The following pictures are current and accurate as to plant quality. Please contact us with any questions on pricing or availability.

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Happy Planting!