Now that the holidays are over and we are entering the winter months of January and February, it is time to dream about planting a new garden or redoing our present garden(s). It is so much fun to look thru all the garden pictures on Pinterest and other sites. Sit down and start drawing or writing notes of what you would like your garden to look like. Colorful? Calm? Shady? Sun? there are so many types of plants available to help you get the garden you dream of. You can do all the reading you want to do, but what it comes down to is to plant YOUR garden, a garden that YOU like. Yes, there is advice out there to plant in three’s, to mass plant, to color coordinate, etc. These are just ideas to aid you, but in the end your garden should reflect you! On our website, under Plants and Products, we have a huge selection of some of the plants that we have carried in the past. We have not updated it yet this year, but this can give you a pretty good idea of most of the plants that are available at our nursery, from perennials to shrubs to trees. Sketch a design or jot notes down and bring them to our garden center this spring and one of our sales staff will be happy to tell you if these ideas will work or perhaps suggest alternatives. So dream January and February away and come visit us this spring.
We have a new weigela in stock. My Monet Purple Effect Weigela gets abundant pink flowers in late spring. Its’ neat variegated leaves start off green with white edges and eventually takes on purple tones as the growing season progresses. This plant is great for borders, mass plantings and containers as it only grows to about a foot and half in height and two feet wide. Click here for more information on this plant.
Do your roses look as good or better then the following pictures? If not, perhaps next year, or even this year yet, give them a scoop or two of Fertilome Rose & Flower Food. I was always skeptical about using fertilizer, except for Miracle Grow, as a waste of money. Well this spring when it was time to prune my roses, I put two scoops of this fertilizer by each rose bush and what a difference! My roses, and I have about 15, all look wonderful this year and as of today, June 5th, they have started blooming. I also used this same fertilizer around many of my perennials and they, too, are looking fantastic. At first I was wondering why everything looks so good this year, then I remembered that I used this fertilizer. Well from now on I am a believer and will be using this every spring and whenever else I think a flower needs a boost. It is recommended to reapply every 30 days. Stop in at Trees Today and pick up a bag of this fertilizer. It is a systemic, meaning that it is taken up by the roots of the plant, PLUS it is an insecticide.
Have you seen the new Itoh peonies yet? They are a cross between the tree peony and the common herbaceous peony. The main differences are that the Itoh stems are much sturdier, the Itoh’s bloom for 3-4 weeks and can have 30-60 blossoms per plant and up to 6″ wide, depending on the variety. Itoh blossoms are exquisite, coming in more colors like yellow, apricot, coral, purples and then the usual array of pinks. If Itoh flowers are protected from the hot afternoon sun, they can last as long as 14 days in your garden. They are very fast growing, maturing to about 3 ft tall by 3-1/2 ft wide. Planting in the morning sun is preferable although they can be planted in filtered to full sun. The lush mound of Itoh foliage is another plus as it makes a nice looking shrub and often turn color in fall. Deer generally avoid them. It is recommended that for a real WOW, plant 3-5 in a cluster although one single specimen alone, or in a pot puts on quite the show also. The downside is that they are more expensive then the herbaceous peonies, but once established they viturally are carefree and can last up to 50 years. Consider them an investment.
Hellebores, or Lenten Roses, typically bloom late winter or very early spring in Zone 4. They are among the very first flowers to bloom, sometimes around the time Lent starts, thus the name Lenten Roses. The foliage is thick and very low to the ground. Flowers are about 2″ wide and the thick foliage is pretty much deer and rabbit resistance which is good, as the foliage tends to stay green year round. When planting, it is important to keep the crown of the plant above ground. If the crown is planted below ground, there is a good chance the plant will die. Once established, hellebores live up to the sleep, creep and leap motto. The first year planted they do very little, the second year they are establishing roots, and the third year and beyond they really start leaping, providing tons of flowers. Plant them close to your house so you can appreciate their beauty. They will bloom even if there is snow on the ground. A few of the Lenten Roses we carried last year are below:
This is the first year we are carrying the Jane Magnolia tree. It is quite similar to the popular Ann Magnolia tree, but there are some differences. The Jane Magnolia tree has larger flowers with more purple-pinkish-white petals whereas the Anne Magnolia flowers have fewer petals and are deep pink. Jane Magnolia blooms in late spring which is a bonus as earlier blooming varieties may have their buds nipped by late frost. Magnolias bloom before foliage appears so you will see a tree in blossom with no leaves to hide the flowers. The leaves are large and deep green in summer, turning to yellow in fall. The growth rate is about a foot a year but I have seen magnolia trees grow much more then a foot per year. Usually this tree produces sporadic blossoms throughout the summer. The tree does best in morning sun and filtered afternoon shade and will grow in just about any type of soil. In spring, when you see the Jane Magnolia tree in bloom and smell the perfume of the flowers, you will be extremely happy you purchased this tree. Please “Google” Jane Magnolia tree and you will see how beautiful this tree is in bloom.
Several varieties of blooming azaleas have arrived. If you have been thinking about getting an azalea now is the time to stop in and purchase one as you can see what the bloom color looks like. Either a single specimen or several planted together will put on show-stopping site in spring. Azaleas generally prefer morning sun and afternoon shade with moist and acidic soil. If your soil is not acidic, we sell a product to help make your soil acidic. Just ask one of our salespersons for help.
Everywhere you look, magnolias are putting forth a beautiful display of pink and white (some yellow). If you have not seen them, take a drive around La Crosse and we are sure you will find trees or shrubs in full bloom or will be soon. At Trees Today we have a good supply of magnolia shrubs and trees that range from 8ft to 35 ft at maturity.
Finally, a Japanese Maple that is a zone 4. This is a dwarf maple that was discovered growing in a yard in Minneapolis by a landscaper. The maple was about 4 ft tall and 8 ft wide. Obviously this tree survived some very harsh winters, even the polar vortex. The Velvet Viking was named for its rich velvety color and after the Minnesota’s Viking football team. Monrovia Nursery received some cuttings and began the long process of bringing this plant to market. (-MPLS Star-Tribune 6/13/20) Presently there is only a limited supply of these trees available to the public. Be the first in your neighborhood to plant this tree. Since they are a dwarf variety, they also make beautiful patio plantings in a pot.
Hurry In if you are looking for a crabapple tree. A new shipment just arrived and most of the trees are in or about to be in full bloom. We have the old favorite Prairifire, along with Red Splendor, Spring Snow and several others. Again, hurry in because once these trees are gone we may not be able to get any more plus when they are blooming you get to see the bloom color.
We have some amazing plants that just arrived on Monday, May 4. Many are blooming. At the end of this article are actual images of these plants, in stock, and at our nursery. Stop in! Also, we will be getting more hanging baskets and annuals before the weekend.
If the Covid-19 virus has gotten you stir crazy, stop in and stroll around the nursery grounds. You will feel better just absorbing in all the green and flowering plants. There are blooming trees, rhododendrons, magnolias, peonies (very soon), Lenten roses and others. Stop in! Trucks are arriving almost daily with new plants. This is the time of year to dream and plant your yard. Following are actual pictures of a few of the plants that we have in stock.