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March, 2010

BOUNCING BACK WITH COLOR


After experiencing the coldest and most prolonged winter we have had in many years, it
is time to celebrate spring with an explosion of color. Annuals are the fastest way to achieve
Nature’s nirvana. We have hot pink petunias, purple alyssum, red begonias, rose dianthus,
and bright yellow calendulas all awaiting a brief journey in your vehicle to arrive at their new
home where their sole purpose in life is to brighten your world. With their help the cold, gray
days of winter will soon be a distant memory.
In order for your new annuals to reach their utmost potential, you must provide for
them. Plant them in the appropriate amount of light, enrich the soil with generous amounts
of Revitalizer Compost, and add our magical mix (equal amounts of Color Essentials and
Landscape Essentials). Always plant annuals close together and in abundance.
Then enjoy the fruits of your labor in the riotous show of color your flowers will provide.
What fun! P.S. Take time to pick a few flowers to bring the floral happiness indoors.

ROSES ARE NOT JUST FOR ROSARIANS


In the recent past, gardeners planted hybrid tea roses and struggled mightily with few
rewards. New introductions have changed the art of growing roses forever. Own-root roses (so
called because they are growing from their own roots rather than being grafted) are the rage.
With a little maintenance, they bloom freely through most of the year. Their requirements:
bright sunshine, good air circulation, mulching, feeding every four to six weeks, annual pruning,
and occasional applications of cornmeal to discourage diseases.
Some of our favorite new own-root roses are the ever-expanding Knock-Out series, the ‘Easy’
series which includes Livin’ Easy and Easy Going, and the fragrant and vibrant yellow Julia
Child. Of course the antique roses are also growing on their own roots, and the number and
variety of these wonderful roses are almost endless. (Belinda’s Dream is one of our favorites.)
The antiques we carry are ever-blooming, many are fragrant, and it is fun to learn about their
histories.
The roses we offer need not be relegated to the rose garden. They are so easy they can
be used throughout the landscape. Don’t fall prey to rose-a-phobia. Come see all of our
irresistible selections.

HERBS ARE IN ABUNDANCE


Herb gardening is fun anytime of year, but during the warm spring months it is particularly
satisfying. When working with them you will be rewarded with their scent, their feel, and their
flavors, all of which seem particularly intense.
Think about setting aside an area in your landscape to create an herb garden. You can make it
formal or casual, large or small. Even a large container can be a source of herb pleasure. Adding
some edible flowering annuals adds color and interest.
If you don’t want to delegate an area specifically for herbs, use them throughout your landscape.
From shrubs to groundcovers, there are wonderful herbs that will add new dimensions.
CELEBRATE SPRING
Whether you are preparing for the upcoming Easter season or are simply using the beauty of
spring as an excuse to decorate your home and garden, we can help. We have bunnies, the best
Easter lilies around as well as a plethora of other flowers, an incredible collection of crosses, baskets,
eggs, and lots more. We can help you create beautiful containers that will bring you pleasure for
many months. Come visit us soon and see all the new arrivals that will brighten your day and
your spring.

THE GIANTS ARE HERE


On one of our gift buying trips we found some really fun garden art in the form of giant insects.
These metal creatures are brightly colored and will bring a fanciful touch to your landscape. These
big guys must be seen to be appreciated so come by soon. Kids will love them.

FERTILIZE!!
Feeding your landscape plants is always important, but this year it is especially sodue to the
residual drought damage and the severe cold we have experienced. Every plant in the landscape
needs adequate nutrition to put on a healthy flush of spring growth.
We recommend feeding the entire landscape as soon as possible with Landscape Essentials.
For blooming plants, apply Landscape Essentials and Color Essentials mixed in equal parts. This
was a long, cold winter, but proper feeding will help your plants recover and thrive as the weather
warms.

BIRDS ARE LOOKING FOR HOMES


Spring is nesting season for our resident birds. Many, such as cardinals and doves, build
nests in the branches of trees and shrubs. Others such as woodpeckers build in the hollows
of snags. Some, however, prefer houses. If you hang up birdhouses or nesting pouches you
are likely to attract busy little wrens, shy titmice, and chattering chickadees.
Putting up birdhouses is definitely a win/win activity. You help the birds by providing
them with dry, cozy housing, and the birds help you significantly by harvesting insects from
your garden to feed to their young. There is no better insect control than foraging parents
looking for tasty morsels of protein for their young.
It is a great experience for nature lovers of all ages to have the privilege of watching birds
rear their young. This takes several weeks and involves building the nest, hatching and feed-
ing the babies, and fledging. Much of this you can observe and enjoy.

PALM READING Just In


Many palms around the area look worse than they have in
years because of January’s severely cold weather. Are they
• Lots of tomatoes and
other veggies
dead? The answer to that question depends on the type of • Garden bells
palms and how much protection they had.
The palms we recommend for outdoor use (windmill,
• Whimsical balancers
sabal, and Mediterranean) suffered minimal damage and are to animate the garden
fine. There are two types of Mexican fan palms, and one is • Colorful geraniums,
much hardier than the other. Cut off any brown leaves and gerberas, fuchsias...
wait. If they are alive, new growth should appear in four to • Gifts galore
six weeks. • Beautiful blooming
Queen palms (cocos sp.) and pygmy date palms (Phoenix hanging baskets
sp.) are tropical and are probably dead. • Orchids and
Sago palms are really not palms; they are cycads. Those bromeliads
that were not protected have many brown fronds, but most • Crosses and saints
are not severely damaged. Trim off the dead fronds and • Unique yard art from
fertilize them. They should put on a set of new leaves later Haiti
this spring.
PLANT OF THE
MONTH: MARCH
Gardening Calendar
Fuchsias a Color your landscape with annuals and blooming
Fuchsia buds may be fun- shrubs, trees, and vines
ny-looking balls, but when a FEED EVERY PLANT IN YOUR LANDSCAPE!
they open, magic occurs. The
a Apply beneficial nematodes in the vegetable
blooms are exquisite in form
and color––combinations of garden to control wireworms and other insect
deep purple and rose, pale pink larvae
and red, white and hot pink. a Plant ‘own-root’ roses for long-season color
The pendulous blooms will a Create an herb garden/kitchen garden
amaze you every time you look a Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees after
at them. they finish blooming
We sell fuchsias in hanging a Feed houseplants to enable them to put on strong
baskets, and they would love growth as the day length increases
to be placed in a shady area of a Clean existing birdhouses and put up new ones to
your garden. Feed them often attract insect-eating songbirds
to extend their season and keep a Apply a thin layer of compost to turf areas
them blooming. a Scatter Semaspore Bait if young grasshoppers are
Early spring is the only time
present
fuchsias are available so don’t
wait too long to come in and se- a Apply whole ground cornmeal, Plant Wash, or
lect your beautiful specimens. Actinovate to control and prevent brown patch
a Plant strawberries, blackberries, and grapes
EARLY SPRING a Mow regularly to control spring weeds
COLOR a Frolic in the warm and renewing spring sunshine
In South Texas, spring is
well on its way. Everywhere MARCH IN THE VEGGIE GARDEN
shrubs and trees are bursting
into bloom. If you want to March is a busy month in the vegetable garden. Tomatoes,
achieve a high level of color squash, beans, cucumbers, and melons can be planted, but
in your landscape this spring have N-Sulate on hand to protect them if we should have a
and every spring, now is a great late frost. Broccoli and cauliflfower transplants along with
time to plant. lettuce and chard plants can also be set out. It is still a little
Flowering shrubs such as early for peppers, eggplant, and okra.
spirea, Indian hawthorne, pyr- If you planted radishes and beets you should be able to
acantha, flowering quince, begin harvesting them later this month. Lettuce seed and
primrose jasmine, Lady Bank- onions which were planted earlier should be thinned, and the
sia rose, loropetalum, camel- young plants used to create culinary delicacies.
lias, and Encore azaleas are Snow peas are probably starting to produce, but do re-
terrific performers. member to spray them every couple of weeks with liquid
Trees that will turn heads seaweed and molasses to prevent spider mites and lengthen
are redbuds (and white red- their season.
buds), mountain laurels, and Keep feeding all of your vegetables to ensure healthy
deciduous magnolias. growth and a great harvest.
Blooming vines include con-
federate jasmine, Carolina jes- Spring into action, switch your Garden Gazette to
samine, wisteria, pink jasmine, the e-mail format. Tell us next time you are in, call
tangerine beauty crossvine, us, or e-mail us at gardengazette@sbcglobal.net (this
and coral honeysuckle. address is only available for subscription purposes).
Plant these colorful plants Please include the address where you are currently
now and enjoy flowers this year receiving your newsletter so we can match the names
and for years to come. correctly.
334 West Sunset Road Presort Standard
San Antonio, Texas 78209 U. S. Postage
210-824-3772 Paid
www.shadesofgreensa.com San Antonio, Texas 78209
Permit No. 548
Business Hours
Mon. - Sat. 9:00 to 5:00
Sun. 10:00 to 4:00 Address Service Requested

2010 SATURDAY SPRING SEMINARS


March 6 – USING COMPOST TEA ... Come learn all of the many great benefits you
can achieve using compost tea throughout your landscape and garden.
March 13 – ALL ABOUT ROSES ... This is the time of year for roses...selecting, planting,
pruning, and general care will be covered in depth. Learn about the benefits of own-root roses.
March 20 – ANNUAL COLOR ... Annuals are the showiest and fastest way to bright your
spring garden. Let us help you optimize this wonderful resource.
March 27 – CREATING THE ULTIMATE CONTAINERS ... Donna will show you how
to design and build fabulous containers to celebrate spring or to decorate for Easter. Don’t miss
this most popular seminar.
April 3 – BRINGING COLOR INDOORS ... Make your Easter decorating fun and easy
with colorful plants such as orchids, bromeliads, and reiger begonias. We will show you how to
use them effectively.
Seminars begin at 9:45 am (the coffee will be ready by 9:00). Parking can be
challenging during seminars so please follow our signs for optional parking areas.

NOTE: Remember to apply Semaspore Bait to control grasshoppers. For optimal


results you should make the first application when you begin to see small, immature
grasshoppers. Timing is very important so watch your garden and be ready to treat before
the problem gets out of hand.
CONTROLLING WEEDS
The absolute best control for weeds in your lawn is healthy turf. To achieve this you
should feed three times per year with Landscape Essentials, apply a thin layer of compost,
mow regularly, and if your soil is compacted, apply Medina Plus.
If you have weeds in flower or vegetable beds, spray carefully with the vinegar/orange oil
mix, use the push/pull hoe or dandelion digger, and apply a two to four inch layer of mulch.

PRUNING REMINDER
If you have not done your yearly pruning of green shrubs, summer-flowering shrubs,
perennials, and ornamental grasses, do not put this important task off any longer. Do it
immediately. Spring-flowering shrubs which are flowering now should be pruned as soon
as they finish blooming. Remember that dull shears damage plant tissue so use sharp, high
quality shears to prevent damage. We recommend Fiskars by-pass shears for ease of use.